Ong (second left) officiates at the Tun Hanif Trophy 2019 and Sport Excel 2nd Malaysian Junior Shooting Championships. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: Sarawak is confident that the skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities will be available in its shooting range by next year. Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) chief executive officer Datuk Dr Ong Kong Swee said this when met by reporters after officiating at the Tun Hanif Trophy 2019 and Sports Excel 2nd Malaysian  Junior Shooting Championships here at the Sarawak Shooting Range, Petra Jaya yesterday. He said the proposed extension for the three facilities in the shooting range will be coming in very soon and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah will be making the announcement on it.

“To upgrade this facility to international standards, we need to have the skeet, trap and sporting clay facilities,” he said. Apart from this, Ong said the timing and scoring system needs to be upgraded to electronic because right now it is done manually. “The upgrade will be done in phases because we can’t do everything for one sport. We have more than 30 sports to deal with and one of the phases is to start the extension of the three facilities, then it is to be followed up with the electronic timing and scoring system,” he said.

Ong, who represented Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, said “This is the first time that Sarawak is able to host such championship after 2016 Sukma.
“A total of 19 ISSF (International Shooting Sport Federation) events will be competed but only 16 events are to be held while the other three events will be held in Subang Shooting Range as we lack the facilities.

Ong (second left) officiates at the Tun Hanif Trophy 2019 and Sport Excel 2nd Malaysian Junior Shooting Championships. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

“Hopefully, by next year, we will have the facilities and the Sarawak Shooting Range will then be able to host all the events.” Ong disclosed that they have invested large amounts of money to build sporting infrastructures statewide including the shooting range.

“Undeniably, sports promote unity among people and also provide the opportunity for our sportsmen and women to display their sporting prowess. Here is an opportunity for our athletes to compete with competitors from other states in our own backyard,” he said. Sarawak Shooting Association president Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai told reporters the Sarawak Shooting Association — the youngest shooting association in the country — and formed in 2013 initially acted as a platform for Sarawak athletes to prepare 2016 Sukma which was hosted by the state as well as to get the state government through SSC to provide a shooting range.

“As you can see today, the range here has all the facilities, except the skeet and trap as well as electronic scoring. If we have all those, we have a chance in being the best shooting range in Malaysia.
“Most local shooters are based in Kuching, thus the association will continue to provide exposure to the sport and reach out to more schools, especially outside Kuching such as Miri, Bintulu and Sibu,” he added. The Tun Hanif Trophy 2019 and Sports Excel 2nd Malaysian Junior Shooting Championships is a five-day championship scheduled from Sept 10 to 15 with a total 16 teams participating and comprise about 250 participants and nearly 100 officials and volunteers.

The participants came from Perak, Terengganu, Sabah, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Perlis, Pahang, Johor, Selangor, Federal Territories and Sarawak as well as from the National Sports Council, Royal Malaysia Police Force (PDRM), Majlis Sukan Universiti Malaysia (MASUM) and Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF). Also present at the ceremony were National Shooting Association Malaysia (NSAM) patron, Tun Datuk Amar Mohammed Hanif Omar, Sarawak Police Contingent of Crime Prevention and Community Safety department chief SAC Datuk Muhammed Hasbullah Ali, championship director Keith Kong Chung Ik and Young Admiral Datuk Musa Omar.