Hannah Yeoh incentivizes national athletes with new deal

KUALA LUMPUR: Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh walked into a hall full of athletes and coaches yesterday, and handed them a host of New Year goodies which brought cheers all round.

Athletes who sign their contracts next week, will no longer receive allowances but salaries which come with Socso as well as EPF contributions.

"Last year a series of town hall sessions were held, and the end result is that athletes will sign contracts for the Podium Programme next week. And the benefits will be backdated to Jan 1," said Yeoh.

And Podium athletes will no longer receive allowances, but salaries.

"There will also be an increase of salary from the previous minimum RM800 to RM1,500 for athletes who are newcomers to the Podium Programme.

"For Sea Games bronze medallists, their allowance will increase from RM1,000 to RM1,700. Silver medallists from RM1,500 to RM2,000 while gold medallists will receive RM2,700 from the previous RM2,000," said Yeoh.

The minister then warned athletes that since the tax-paying public will now be their paymasters, they must change their mindset to improve their standards.

The total cost of salaries for athletes and para-athletes will come up to RM16 million this year.

"And for coaches who are the backbone to develop athletes, their contribution is not forgotten, and I have asked the NSC (National Sports Council) to re-evaluate their allowances as well," said Yeoh.

The minister also told National Sports Associations (NSAs) not to gift her with lavish souvenirs, or even T-shirts. "I don't need expensive souvenirs when I officiate at NSA functions. In fact, I already have too many T-shirts and NSAs who keep giving me these, will indicate that they are rich enough not to receive more monetary aid."

The Malaysia Games will be held in Sarawak this year, and NSC has plans to have a Masters Malaysia Games covering athletes up to the age of 40.

"In my meetings wits NSAs, there were many requests to have a Masters Malaysia Games to cater for athletes who cross the age of 21 and are no longer eligible and have no more tournaments to look forward to.

"So, the NSC will hold a Masters Malaysia Games after Sarawak (date not finalised) and limited sports will be held to cater for those Under-40," said Yeoh.


OLYMPICS: GOLD (RM7,500), SILVER (RM7,000), BRONZE (RM6,500)




SEA GAMES: GOLD (RM2,700), SILVER (RM2,200), BRONZE (RM1,700)

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