Malaysia@Olympics 2012: Show us the Accounts

August 15, 2012

Malaysia@Olympics 2012: Show us the Accounts

Posted on 14 August 2012 – 06:49pm

by R. Nadeswaran@

THE Olympics is over but for the British media, the fever is still running high with interviews, post-mortems, analyses and commentaries on what has been described as the best ever performance in 100 years.

On the home front, Datuk Lee Chong Wei and Pandelela Rinong Pamg are being heaped with praise, which they both rightly deserve. They did the nation proud and have set the standards and the tone for others to follow.

In the meantime, there are many equations and variables that are being drawn in relation to medals and medal winners. Comparisons have been drawn showing the populations of participating countries and the number of medals won. There’s also a computation as to the number of medals to the size of the contingent.

Even more succinct is the amount of money the country spent in preparing the athletes against the medals won. Britain’s 64 medals including 29 golds cost £4 million (RM20 million) apiece. Others have spent more while most have spent less. Judging by the British standards, our medals came at half their cost.

Malaysians have been told that the quest for a first ever gold medal at the London Olympics did not materialise but National Sports Council (NSC) Director-General Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong told reporters in London that it is “still deemed a success.”

“As for winning a gold medal, we did not succeed but it is not a failure because our medal haul equalled the Atlanta feat. The London Olympics also showed that we don’t have to depend on badminton alone for medals,” he said.

We will leave these remarks to be deciphered and interpreted by those in the know, but what we already know is that Zolkeples has admitted that the “Road to London 2012” programme with a RM20 million budget and aimed at winning the country’s first ever gold medal in the Olympics, did not reach its objective.

So, the definition of the words – success and failure – gets blurred as we go along, and depending on who is saying it and who is analysing it, the variation could be a mile. What is more significant to taxpayers is that money, all RM20 million of it was used properly in the preparation of the athletes and not for junkets and holidays.

Because it has been the usual practice of the NSC and the Sports Ministry to keep the expenditure and the figures a secret, we can only speculate as to whether the sum included the cost of sending NSC and other sports officials to various events in preparation for and to the London games.

If the work of these officials is to “monitor” our athletes and distribute Malaysian flags and organise the support group, then it is money wasted. If they are on the sidelines to hug the players and steal the limelight from the coaches, then it is certainly not justified.

However, if they are there to give their expertise or offer advice to enhance the performance of the athletes, then this cannot be questioned. There is nothing wrong with the taxpayer exercising his right to know how much was spent on each athlete and each of the various disciplines.

Let it be said that no one is grudging the money spent but what is asked for is some form of accountability. It’s not just the Olympics that you notice the presence of officials but at other qualifying meets and major competitions.

What are their roles in these instances? Just because they hold the purse strings, can their expensive outings be justified? Other than the Olympics which come under the purview of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, other sports are governed by the respective national associations.

Today, four years after the Brickendonbury debacle where grandiose plans for a training centre had to be aborted, Malaysians are still in the dark as to how much was spent on travel and professional fees. Pushed for details, the answer has always been “sulit”.

There is no such thing as confidential when it comes to accounting for people’s money, unless of course it is spent on defence systems or procurements which may be of a sensitive nature.

Let’s start the “Road to Rio” programme with a full blast from the past – a complete set of expenditure and where the money went in the quest for gold in London. This will be rewarded with a deserved a gold medal from the rakyat.


7 thoughts on “Malaysia@Olympics 2012: Show us the Accounts

  1. We can do better with competent and thoroughly professional sports administrators manning the shop. Ravamp the NSC and the Olympic Council of Malaysia. We need to go down to Ethopia, Somalia, Kenya and other places in Africa and elsewhere if need be, and recruit athletes with potential, bring them home, nurture and train them. Choose the best local talent and give them international exposure. Finally, make sure we send the best to represent us. They need not be just Malays. Please, no more pregnant women for the Olympics. Let us start now with RiO 2016 in mind.

    BTW, Lee Chong Wei should retire now. It is not fair to depend on him because by 2016 he at 30+ will pass his peak and will not be able to take on new and young badminton talents (in their 20s) from China, Indonesia, South Korea and Denmark.–Din Merican

  2. Britain ( minus – great ) imported a young refugee from Somalia, make him a citizen, schooled & trained him into a runner . Due to the lucrative marketing strategy , they renamed this potential with British nickname ……and viola …. Mo Farah became a British Olympic hero ! Mohammed is now a Mo.
    Congrats Mo Farah and keep on running.

  3. Ya, sri tujuh why can’t we do the same? May be we can look for one from the large number of citizens by night from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Burma and the Philippines. You win medals you get citizenship.

    I am with Din, no more pregnant shooter just because she is a Melayu. Buat malu kita aje.


  4. Show us the accounts? Dream on. Or as I like to say, a snowball has a better chance in hell.
    Anyone remembers the 1998 CW Games, held in Bolehland’s backyard?
    Better still does anyone remember Azalina of Sports Ministry fame who promised full disclosure of the accounts. It is 14 years and three other venues since, and yet there is no hide nor hair in sight.
    And i do love Embong’s “it is still deemed a success” to Malaysia’s outing in London 2012. If that is a success show me what failure is? Maybe he meant sending the largest number of officials per athlete. That would be a record. Unfortunately there is no event for that.
    Talk about condoning mediocrity.

  5. The day Malaysia become a great nation is when the Chinese and the Indian parents stop telling their children: “you need to study harder, remember this is not your country, forget about sports, forget about being a 4-star general, forget even being a MAS pilot, remember you are just a Chinese (replace with Indian, where appropriate) so just study hard and make lots of money, then you can decide your own life to remain here or move elsewhere…”

    Will that day ever come?

  6. They need to go down the system…the sports in the primary schools are mostly sukaneka!!! And very kelakar…When they come to form 1 they cant kick football properly…they cant hit the shuttle over the net…they cant timang bola takraw nicely…they cant catch a ball correctly!!!

  7. And one more thing they are having more teachers who can teach academic subjects…!!! We have teachers who qualified as physical education teachers who cant teach basic sport skills!!!

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