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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians should not point fingers and blame sports associations if athletes failed to deliver, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
He said that everyone involved should take responsibility, including himself.
“We are all part of their successes and failures.
If they do not win, then the important thing is not to start blaming people.
“We should start changing people’s perception towards sports instead,” he said when commenting on reports that the Malaysian National Cycling Federation deputy president Datuk Naim Mohamad wanted to quit when his term as deputy president expired in 2014.
Ahmad Shabery said the failure of the national cycling squad in winning any medals at the London Olympics was not Naim's sole responsibility.
Saying he would have a discussion with Naim soon, Ahmad Shabery added that Naim had contributed significantly to cycling.
"He was graceful in defeat and was willing to take full responsibility, but it was not his failure alone.
"I'd rather wait until the Olympics ended before making further comments on the matter," he said after witnessing the signing of a memorandum of cooperation in the oil and gas industry, between the ministry and Petronas, to start a course in safety, health and environment for students at the National Youth Skills Institute in Penawar, Johor, here yesterday.
Naim had targeted to win three medals in London. As such, returning home empty-handed was hard for him.
Ahmad Shabery also said Mohd Azizulhasni Awang's performance in the men's keirin was not a total disappointment as he had qualified for the final, placing him among the world's top six cyclists.
"Naim has guided Azizul this far. If we didn't win, it was not because he was incompetent but rather the problem is with the entire system.
"We should take pride in the fact that Azizul had finished in the top six and not consider it a failure."
Malaysians, he added, should be proud of their athletes' achievements, especially those who had gotten through to win medals at the Olympics and continue to support them.
On badminton, Ahmad Shabery said the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) should not be blamed for Malaysia's failure to win a gold medal.
"In fact, we should be grateful to BAM for bringing badminton to the present level.
"There are other sports with a bigger expenditure but they are not as successful as badminton."
Datuk Lee Chong Wei won a sil-ver in the men's single at the Olympics.