Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sea Games / Sepak Takraw: Azalina takes PSM to task

YOUTH and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said is fuming that the Malaysian Sepak Takraw Association (PSM) took it upon itself to pull out of the Sea Games without first informing her ministry.

Azalina said any problems the Asean affiliates of the sport had should have been brought to the attention of the Government first before action was taken.

"This is not their internal matter. I have said many times, sports associations must think of the national interest as tax payers money is involved," Azalina told reporters after joining the expedition to explore the Tempurung Caves in Gopeng, Perak on Friday.

"If there are problems, bring it up with the National Sports Council," she added. "We can evaluate the situation and advise on the best course of action.

"If we have to withdraw, let the Government do it nicely and later we can lodge a protest." President of the PSM Datuk Ahmad Ismail had announced Malaysia's withdrawal from the Games to protest the use of rubber-coated balls instead of the traditional rattan type.
Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam stand to benefit the most from Malaysia's absence as they will now have a better chance of making the men's team and inter-regu finals. -- Bernama

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