Govt comes to aid of current, former national athletes

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to provide medical and health benefits to current and former national athletes, as well as inject RM3 million into the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) fund.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said this was in recognition of the athletes’ contributions to the country.

“The Cabinet has agreed to the proposal.

“The aid, as well as the medical and health benefits, are a significant commitment by the government towards the welfare of our current and former national athletes,” he said in a statement today.

The minister said the benefits provided included out-patient and in-patient treatment at all government health facilities for all athletes listed by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPC) as having represented the country in tournaments equivalent to and higher than the SEA Games.

He said the facilities were also available to national athletes listed in any core sports teams undergoing training programmes carried out by the National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Institute (NSI).

National athletes listed in non-core sports teams but who have represented the country in tournaments equivalent or higher than the SEA Games also qualify to enjoy the facilities if it is agreed upon by an evaluation committee and recommended by the NSC director-general.

Syed Saddiq said the RM3 million pumped into Yakeb showed the government’s concern towards former national athletes.

“With these initiatives, the government hopes the welfare of current and former national athletes will always be taken care of,” he added.