KUCHING: The state government will consider providing an allowance of up to RM10,000 for each Sarawakian athlete representing Malaysia at the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020 and Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he agreed with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah’s suggestion to increase the allowance for these athletes.
“Maybe we give RM10,000 for each athlete. Now they are already there, but we can reimburse whatever expenses they spend up to a maximum of RM10,000,” said the chief minister.
As for athletes who are awarded medals at the Games, he said the state government would decide on their incentives later on.
He said this in a special address to five para-athletes from Sarawak representing Malaysia at the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020 — namely Bonnie Bunyau Gustin, Jong Yee Khie, Muhammad Nur Syaiful Zulkafli, Jamery Siga and Wiro Julin today (Aug 4).
“I take this opportunity to congratulate our athletes and I pray that they will succeed. I hope they will achieve success not only for Malaysia but also for their state, Sarawak,” he said, urging them to take care of themselves while they were in Tokyo as the Covid-19 pandemic was still ongoing.
He also thanked those providing training to the athletes, expressing confidence that with constant training, the athletes would be able to focus well on the competition.
“I can see that the future of our athletes is bright because we will also provide training infrastructure for our youths who are involved in the world of sports,” he said.
Abang Johari said he had directed Abdul Karim to build a number of training centres not only for the benefit of athletes but also para-athletes.
“This will provide a good training environment for our athletes in hopes that they will be able to participate in sports at the international level,” he said.
Also present during the session were Abdul Karim; Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis; Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Rosey Yunus and Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee.