Welfare of retired athletes taken care of: Fatimah


KUCHING: Sarawak’s retired national athletes are well taken care of by the government.

For example, Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said pensions were provided by the federal government to athletes who had won medals at the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

“If the federal government has already provided this, we do not duplicate,” she said, noting that the pensions were quite substantial.

Fatimah was responding to reporters who had asked if the state government had special programmes for retired national para-athletes.

She had earlier officiated at the OKU Empowerment Workshop on ‘Accessibility for Physical Disabled Community’ here on Friday (Jan 21).

The head of her ministry’s OKU development unit, Matthew Chin, who explained further on the pensions, said they were provided under the Sports Victory Prize Scheme Incentive (SHAKAM).

“For gold medallists, they will gain a monthly pension of RM5,000 for life starting from the day they won until they pass away. For silver medallists, the monthly pension is RM3,000 and for bronze medallists, it is RM2,000,” he said.

On top of this, there is also one-off incentives for Olympic and Paralympic medallists.

Chin said Sarawak’s own para-athletes who took part in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were rewarded accordingly.

“Bonnie (Bonnie Bunyau Gustin), who won gold, was rewarded with an incentive of RM1 million and a monthly pension of RM5,000 while Jong Yee Khie, who won silver, was rewarded RM300,000 and a monthly pension of RM3,000,” he said.

Bonnie had clinched Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games while Jong won a silver.

Meanwhile,  Fatimah assured that the government was always ready to help and willing to listen to persons with disabilities (OKU).

On the workshop, she encouraged the participants to deliberate on matters raised so that the voices of the OKU community could be heard.

“It can be deliberated and let’s hear your opinions. In 2022, we do not want to do things as usual; we want to do something more this year,” she said.

Fatimah sought the views of relevant organisations, including her ministry, associations, and policymakers to provide feedback and ideas on what more could be done to empower the OKU community.

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