KUALA LUMPUR,. The national sports community hopes the appointment of Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman as the new Youth and Sports Minister and Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim Chee Keong as its deputy, will continue the excellence of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS).
National Sports Institute (ISN) chief executive officer Dr Khairi Zawi said the ISN was confident with their appointments to helm KBS as both Syed Saddiq and Sim possessed good academic backgrounds to enable national sports to undergo a paradigm shift in the context of preparing more disciplined, competitive and self-reliant national athletes.
“The ISN welcomes the appointment of the new minister and deputy minister from a generation that will drive the sustainability of the country’s high-performance sports.
“With the academic backgrounds of the ministers, ISN hopes it will become the catalyst to strengthen the data-driven culture that is being nurtured in service applications and management of high performance sports programmes under the ISN,” he said when contacted by Bernama yesterday.
Meanwhile, National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail said MSN was excited by the appointment of the duo who were hoped to be able to stimulate the motivation and spirit of athletes, coaches and national sports officials to take the national sports industry to greater heights.
“We will give our full cooperation and commitment to assist the minister and deputy minister to bring significant changes by continuing, implementing and improving policies on national sports, especially high performance sports to enhance our excellence in sports to make Malaysia a sports country,” he said.
Syed Saddiq, 25, and Sim, 36, were among the 13 ministers and 23 deputy ministers who took their oaths of office, loyalty and secrecy before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara, here today.
In the 14th general election, Syed Saddiq, who is an International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) law graduate defeated Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Razali Ibrahim and PAS candidate Abdul Aziz Talib with a majority of 6,953 votes in the contest for Muar parliamentary seat, while Sim defeated MCA’s Gui Guat Lye with a majority of 52,877 votes to defend his Bukit Mertajam seat.
Olympic Council of Malaysia (MOM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria assured that the sports body would continue to provide solid support to the new minister and deputy minister in continuing efforts by the government to improve the performance of the country’s sports either at the elite level or at the community level.
Mohamad Norza, who is also the President of Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), said that as a leader of calibre and an icon of the younger generations, Syed Saddiq would be able to inject new and fresher enthusiasm on national sports development.
“We will work closely with the government in boosting the country’s international performance, especially in achieving the country’s target to bring home the Olympic gold medal from Tokyo 2020,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Association of Sports Writers Malaysia (SAM) was confident that the appointments of both the new faces to hold the youth and the sports portfolio would drive youth and sports further towards greater excellence after this.
“Malaysia is part of the participations in any major sporting event in the world, so the appointment of Syed Saddiq to lead the ministry is very significant to lift the spirit of the national athletes,” SAM said in a statement.