KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh (pix) hopes the budget allocation for her ministry (KBS) this year and next year will not be cut.

She said this is because the national athletes will be on a crucial mission next year, specifically the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

“I have ‘whispered’ to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim just now that the budget for this year and next year should not be cut because we have the Olympic Games,” she said to thunderous applause from those attending the 2021 National Sports Awards (ASN) ceremony, here, today.

Budget 2023 is set to be re-tabled by Anwar at the Dewan Rakyat sitting on Feb 24.

The Prime Minister, in his speech at the ASN, threw down the gauntlet to Malaysian athletes to make history by bagging the country’s first Olympic gold medal at the 2024 Paris Games.

Yeoh, meanwhile, described the national contingent’s achievement in 2021 as not disappointing when they contributed a silver and a bronze at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics before the national para athletes delivered three golds and two silvers to make it their most successful outing in Paralympic history, surpassing their record of four medals in the 2016 edition.

Through their recognition at the 2021 ASN, she also hoped that the achievements of the winners would spur others to continue fighting as well as be an inspiration and ignite the spirit of unity among Malaysian.

In line with the ‘Malaysia Madani’ concept conceived by Anwar, she also urged all parties in national sports to work together to continue to steer and lift the country’s dignity on the world stage.

“Among the six important pillars of the concept are confidence and collective discussions among all parties or ‘musyawarah’.

“Every athlete, coach and sports crew involved need to have a high level of confidence and this is the pillar of success and high achievement in sports,” she said.

The prestigious sports awards, introduced in 1996, are the government’s highest recognition in appreciation of the excellence achieved by the athletes, coaches, officials and national sports associations throughout the year. - Bernama

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