Abdul Karim (centre) links arms with (from left) Dr Tan; Arunisman; Phoong; Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan; Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting; and the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee for a photograph session. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Sabah and Sarawak ministries of youth and sports have agreed to set up a new sports institution to be named the East Malaysia Sports Commission (EMSC).

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said, EMSC would replace the state’s National Sports Institute (NSI) which has been closed since December, last year.

Abdul Karim (centre) links arms with (from left) Dr Tan; Arunisman; Phoong; Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan; Tourism, Arts and Culture Assistant Minister Datuk Sebastian Ting; and the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee for a photograph session. Photo: Ramidi Subari

Abdul Karim said this in a press conference after receiving a courtesy call by his Sabah counterpart Phoong Jin Zhe at Bangunan Baitulmakmur here yesterday.

“The new institution will provide employment to former staff members of the National Sports Institute who were terminated by the federal government.”

Abdul Karim said he had a fruitful discussion with the Sabah delegation who also visited the sports centre in Kuching.

He said Sabah and Sarawak would work together on the formation of EMSC to enhance the development of sports in the two states.

Meanwhile, Phoong said they also discussed organising international sporting events which could be held in both states.

“We see that the island of Borneo has potential to attract more tourists especially with the decision by Indonesian president Joko Widodo to move its capital to Borneo,” he remarked.

Among members of the Sabah delegation were its Youth and Sports Assistant Minister Arunarnsin Taib, deputy permanent secretary to the ministry Neldin Gimbang, Sabah Sports Board chairman Dr Tan Kah Hock and Sabah Sports Council director Mohd Asneh Mohd Noor.