PETALING JAYA: A karate association that sent a team to France on its own for a tournament where it bagged gold wants the national budget to include funds for private sports organisations taking part in international events.
The International Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Sei-bu-kan Karate-Do Association of Malaysia (IOSSKAM) said there was a misconception that private sports associations were financially stable and did not need government funds.
In reality, many of them were struggling to even own basic training facilities, its president, Minalochuni Pathmanathan, said
“The funds we are seeking will benefit athletes who will get a chance to take part in international tournaments,” she told FMT, adding that it was difficult for these bodies to raise money on their own.
In May, the association made headlines after its team travelled to Paris with the help of a local travel agency and bagged several medals, including a historic gold, in the French Karate International Open.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia hoped that the 2023 budget would provide an allocation for it to prepare for the 2024 Paris Olympics, including its “Road to Our First Olympic Gold Medal” programme.
OCM president Norza Zakaria said the funds would allow it to lock in coaches and support staff for a longer period. “Currently, we renew the contracts of athletes and coaches after a tournament, which is not great for long-term planning,” he said.
Norza said contributions from private companies and individuals should be given tax exemption or incentives to boost financial contributions for sports.
This would reduce pressure on the government to provide funding and create a more sustainable model for both the public and private sectors to develop sports.
Meanwhile, the Malaysia Esports Federation (MESF) hoped for an allocation to set up an academy to train talent and an arena to produce game developers.
Its head of communications, Putri Noor Juwita Abdul Jalil, told FMT that Malaysia should have its own game developers as esports tournament organisers relied mainly on international developers.