LABUAN: Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli took a recent tour of the facilities at the Labuan Sports Complex and did not like what he saw – among others, an Olympic-size swimming pool that resembles a fish-breeding pond and a running track that seems to have been hit by an earthquake.
In short, the complex that was completed on a 50-acre site, is in a state of utter neglect.
Completed in 1986, it houses facilities for swimming, track and field, squash, badminton, basketball, sepak takraw, tennis and archery and has a gymnasium as well.
Rozman attributed the dilapidated state of the complex to “the lack of maintenance culture on the part of the past administration”.
“It is very unfortunate to note it has been allowed to decay to such a level that it needs overall rehabilitation,” he told the reporters who had accompanied him on the visit.
The reporters found the swimming pool looking like a fish-breeding pond. It was last used for the Borneo Sports Games in 2014.
The running track is 90 per cent damaged, looking as though it has been hit by an earthquake. The polymeric rubber surface has cracked and the track is not safe for use.
The tennis court cannot be used because the surface is slippery and needs resurfacing and the court also needs a new coat of paint.
Local athletes have often complained that the pathetic and dilapidated condition of the sports complex is a hindrance to finetuning their talent and skills and blossoming to the full.
“We went everywhere pleading for the renovation and refurbishment of the playing field. We too want to make it big but owing to the lack of proper infrastructure our efforts always go down the drain.
“Besides, persistent attempts in bringing the matter to the notice of the authorities have proved fruitless owing to the lack of funds,” they said.
Labuan, despite being a federal territory, has only one sports complex. The other sports facility is downtown and is sometimes used for government official events.
Rozman said he hoped that the present administration under the leadership of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will take the bull by the horns, adding that Labuan should be given due attention like Putrajaya and cannot be neglected after having being handed over to the Federal Government in 1984.
The MP was briefed by the Labuan Sports and Youth Department that RM20 million was approved for the refurbishment of the swimming pool but it was insufficient and had to be diverted to at least eight other repair works involving sports facilities and infrastructure.
He said that if things remain unattended, the island cannot regain its glory in the field of sports.
Rozman said he hoped that the present administration would conduct an inclusive assessment of the situation for a lasting solution.
He gave the assurance that the sports complex will not be allowed to remain neglected and that the aim is to get it up and running again. – Bernama