What have they been eating? King lobsters everyday?
Former sports minister Azalina Othman Said (and chairperson of Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation Malaysia (WSFFM) has a lot of explaining to do. According to the SUN: Song and dance while others suffer.
The National Sports Council gave (the foundation) a grant of RM9.72 million and another RM1.5 million came from the Youth and Sports Ministry. There were two smaller amounts – RM200,000 from the Olivia Newton John concert and RM110,000 from Datuk Dina Rizal’s Sports Unite Sdn Bhd.
Azalina may be the chairperson but who else is behind this foundation? As you can see, its expenditure is outrageous. Disgusting and Shocking even. Says Citizen Nades:
Before even one sen is spent, the question that should be foremost on the minds of the people who are holding public money in trust should be: How will doing this help the sportswomen? For purposes of easy reading and understanding of the issues involved, here’s where the bulk of the money went:
• Grants RM1.18 million • Meals and Accommodation RM2.1 million • Media and Advertising RM932,000 • Post and Production RM710,000 • Printing and Stationery RM710,000 • Rental of Equipment RM865,400 • Volunteers’ Allowances RM242,000 • Wages RM117,700 • Entertainment RM1.4 million • Travelling and Transportation RM858,000.
Wow! Sounds like a high class corporate NGO but it is not. According to Nades, this foundation received more than RM11 million in taxpayers’ funds. Every right-thinking Malaysian must ensure that it is spent prudently and for the benefit of the rakyat and not on self-seeking or syiok sendiri projects.
Dr Shamala Subramaniam, the Executive Director of the Foundation commented on the report:
We could drink boiled water as opposed to mineral water, we could stay in our friends house and travel to the Games by car pooling, we could get the local council to provide free access to competition venues, we could get free buses from agencies and just pay for the petrol. We, Malaysians need to do this, we need to collectively change the way we engage ourselves in sports. However, this paradigm may take time to form as when we were organizing the Games, there were many people and organizations that just refused to participate if these were not given – because there was no budget for specific women participation. We cannot allow girls and women who want to strive in sports to be hindered by management issues, and that is why we are confident that Malaysians will reach a level of equilibrium to self-dependence but just as how the saying goes “”A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” by Confucius, this is our first step.
I guess the other step would be to open the foundation’s book to public scrutiny. As Nades says:
After all, our money was used. And to the National Sports Council: How did you approve such a sum of money for all these luxuries? Don’t forget, the allocation for sports is not for entertainment, shirts or meals. And the director-general and the board members owe a responsibility to the taxpayers by telling us the truth, but nothing but the truth.