SUBANG JAYA: A sports association registered under the youth and sports ministry has expressed disappointment over the lack of assistance from the government despite its record of internationally acclaimed awards.
Malaysia Strongestman Association president Zainurizzaman Moharam said while it had been difficult to get a meeting with previous ministers, it was even harder to get one with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
“When we meet him at events, he says ‘okay’, but there are no results,” Zainurizzaman said.
Under the Barisan Nasional government, he added, the association’s sporting events had been sponsored.
If the ministry was unable to provide sponsorships, he said, the least it could do was to provide letters of support to enable the association to ask for sponsorship from private companies.
“Our sport can deliver medals for the nation,” he said.
“Though it’s new in Malaysia, it is a popular sport overseas.”
He also praised the local athletes who self-funded their participation in international competitions, saying they had made Malaysia proud.
Secretary-general Ahmad Zaki Jinlapudin meanwhile voiced unhappiness with the delay in processing its application to establish a state-level association.
“It is hard to get an event going at the state level. My application for a state strongestman association has been pending for two years,” he said.
Zaki placed second in the 105kg category at the Siam Strongman Classic on Feb 9. In January, he was ranked 56th in the world.
In 2016, he won bronze in the Arnold Classic Asia Multi-Sport Festival in Hong Kong, an event sponsored by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“I train five days a week, an hour every day carrying weights more than my body weight. I even create my own training equipment because I truly love this sport,” he said.