KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Institute (NSI) will be allowed to continue managing the Podium Programme despite its athletes having failed to shine at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there is no need for the Podium Programme to be reassessed or come under the National Sports Council (NSC).
"The Podium Programme must be continued and there is no need for it to be reassessed as it has not been fully completed," said Khairy, when met at the New Straits Times Press office today.
"We still have the Indonesia Asian Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics programmes to go through. In fact, all the athletes have agreed that the Podium Programme must be continued.
"We do not have any problems if there are minor changes which need to be made."
Khairy added that the athletes would have lagged behind their rivals in terms of performance if not for the Podium Programme.
"I am confident that this programme is still necessary. I have met with representatives from ISN and MSN, and they, too, agreed that the programme needs to stay under ISN."
Khairy said he is satisfied with the national contingent's performance in Gold Coast despite failing to hit the overall top-10 target set for them.
"Although we finished 12th, there were many sports in which we won silver but were very close to gold.
"I do not want to give excuses but for me there is also an element of luck in this. Sometimes luck is not on our side."
Former NSC director general Datuk Mazlan Ahmad has suggested that the NSC take over the Podium Programme following the contingent's lacklustre performance in Gold Coast.
Malaysia won seven gold, only one more than in Glasgow four years ago, despite the increased focus on preparation under the Podium Programme.
Mazlan has been credited with steering the nation to a historic result at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.