2012 New Year Message of the President of Olympic Council of Malaysia
2011 was yet another successful year for the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and Malaysian Sports. The premier event of the year was the Indonesian 26th SEA Games held in Jakarta and Palembang from 11th to 22nd November 2011. The Malaysian Contingent won 59 gold medals, 50 silver medals and 82 bronze medals, to finish in fourth position based on gold medal tally.
The Malaysian Contingent participated in 39 out of the 43 sports. Out of these 39 sports, only 8 sports did not win any medal. 13 sports won gold, silver and bronze medals, 8 other sports won silver and bronze medals, while 10 sports won bronze medals only, making a total of 31 sports out of the 39 sports won medals.
While the overall medal tally was good, what was just as good, if not better was the outstanding performances of some of the Malaysian athletes, such as the Football team who retained the gold medal won two years ago in Vientiane, by defeating the home team, Indonesia, not once but twice, the Synchronize Swimming team who swept all 5 gold medals, the Divers and the Track Cyclists who won 7 gold medals in their respective sports, the bowlers, swimmers and others athletes.
Since OCM has the exclusive authority for the participation of Malaysian athletes at the SEA Games, it is OCM’s duty and responsibility to facilitate and encourage the national sports associations (NSAs) to participate in the 26th SEA Games, irrespective of their chances to win gold medals. In this context, it is worthwhile to note that OCM provided the opportunity to the NSAs of 38 sports out of 43 sports in the programme to participate in the 26th SEA Games, out of which 31 NSAs won medals.
A Malaysian Youth Contingent participate in 4 sports at the 4th Commonwealth Youth Games, held at Isle of Man, and won 4 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal, all from Badminton.
During the year, there were three important initiatives, which will have a big impact on sports development in Malaysia. The first was the transformation programme of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, to turn sports into an industry. The Malaysian Sports Industry Year was launched by the Hon. Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, on 28th July 2011, and will end in July 2012. One of the many events and programmes organized by the Ministry of Youth and Sports was a comprehensive study, by the University of Stirling, on Developing the Malaysian Sports Industry. One part of the study was an evaluation of the capacity and functioning of NSAs, in order to identify the weaknesses of the NSAs, before they could contribute effectively to the development of the Malaysian Sports Industry. The report on the NSAs has been submitted to OCM and OCM will take appropriate action to implement the recommendations of the Study.
The second important initiative is the on-going discussions with the Sports Commissioner’s office on the proposed amendments to the Sports Development Act 1997. It has been almost 14 years since the Act came into force on 1st January 1998, both the Ministry and the sports organizations felt that it was opportune to amend the Act to increase its effectiveness to promote and facilitate the development of sports, especially in the light of sports being an industry. Discussions are in the final stages and the amended Act should be approved by Parliament in 2012.
The third important initiative is the first disbursement of grants from the OCM Trust Fund to the NSAs. It has taken more than 2 years for the OCM Trust Fund to be established with the official signing of the Trust Deed . The first set of grants was disbursed to 3 NSAs in July 2011 and the second set of grants have been approved and will be disbursed to the NSAs in January 2012. The objective of the OCM Trust Fund is to provide some financial assistance to improve the NSAs in managing their organizations.
During the year, OCM continued with its programme to assist the National Sports Associations (NSAs) affiliated to OCM, to improve the governance of their associations. Financial grants, from part of the surplus funds accrued during the year were awarded to the NSAs, for the third consecutive year. In addition OCM conducted 2 Basic Sports Administration Courses for the staff and officers of the NSAs and other sports organizations, one Train the Trainers course and also the Fourth Advance Sports Management Course.
2012 is the Olympic Games year and all Malaysians will be looking forward to Malaysia’s first Olympic gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Unlike in 2008, where the only gold medal hope was on Badminton, for 2012, besides Badminton, other sports with gold medal potential are Archery, Diving and Track Cycling. In addition, we hope the Malaysian Olympic Contingent will have a record number of athletes and win a record number Olympic medals.
In conclusion, 2011 was a good year and all Malaysians must continue to work together to sustain the progress made so far and improve on it. To achieve this objective, it is important that the NSAs affiliated with OCM practice good governance at all times, be united and stay united in order for sports development to progress in a positive environment.
Finally, I wish to thank the Government of Malaysia, in particular the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, YB Dato’ Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the NSAs affiliated to OCM, the OCM Board members and the staff of OCM, for their dedication and hard work throughout the year and to wish the whole sports fraternity a Happy New Year and a successful 2012.
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