KUALA LUMPUR: Ideally, sports should be kept clear of politics, according to Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh (pix) in her response to the involvement of politicians in sports associations.

However, Hannah Yeoh did not rule out the importance of influential people in obtaining sufficient funds and solving the financial shortcoming of a sports federation.

“But to ensure that the ‘reset’ of sports in this country happens, the association must have sufficient funds to develop the sport,“ she said.

“That is also why when they want to gather funds, they look for influential personalities to help them find funds,“ she told reporters after opening the 2023 National Martial Arts Championship at Titiwangsa Stadium here today.

According to her, the ministry will initially work with the Ministry of Education (KPM) and the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) to successfully ‘reset’ the country’s sports with the presence of young talents from schools and colleges.

“If we want to ensure that we get the biggest platform for these new talents, we cannot just rely on MSN (National Sports Council), Putrajaya or the national level.

“We need to do more and I believe that with the RM40 million grant from the Ministry of Finance this year, we can have more tournaments like today where young kids can come together and develop a new interest in sports,“ she said.

The issue of ‘resetting’ Malaysian sports became a hot topic after the poor performance of the Malaysian contingent, which failed to reach the target of 40 gold medals, and the seventh place finish at the 2023 SEA Games in Cambodia. - Bernama