PUTRAJAYA: A high-level committee (HLC) has been established to focus on talent development models for combat sports, athletics and swimming, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix).

Ahmad Zahid, who will chair the HLC meeting on June 7, said the committee involved the cooperation from the Youth and Sports Ministry, Higher Education Ministry and Education Ministry.

“The HLC serves to ensure that the country does not fall behind and keeps pace with countries with advanced sports development,” he said after chairing the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development (JKPS) meeting here today.

Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and her deputy, Adam Adli Abdul Halim.

Ahmad Zahid said the HLC would also look at unearthing talent among personnel from the security forces and enforcement agencies so that they too are included in national sports development.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said today’s meeting agreed to invite government-linked companies to finance sports programmes to spur development.

JKPS also proposed increasing tax exemptions for sponsors to encourage their involvement, he said.

Among the matters discussed in the meeting was the review of JKPS membership and the proposed establishment of Malaysia Sports Integrity (MSI).

Other issues discussed were the performance of the Malaysian contingent at the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games and athlete preparation programmes for the next two editions of the biennial Games.

Meanwhile, Hannah said the establishment of the HLC will prepare the country’s athletes for the 2025 SEA Games in Thailand and the Olympic Games. - Bernama