KUCHING, Nov 15: Sarawak has spent over RM400 million to build sports infrastructure for last year’s Sukan Malaysia (SUKMA) which was hosted by the state.
To ensure that the stadiums, arenas and venues are continuously being used, the Sarawak Sports Council has been tasked to position Sarawak as a destination for organising international events.
Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said because of this, rigorous bidding to attract international sporting events to choose Sarawak as the preferred venue has and will continue to be carried out.
“The state was able to attract and host various series of sporting events such as FINA World Championship Diving, Victor Far East Malaysia Masters Badminton Championships 2017, 3rd Southeast Asia Squash Championship 2017, 31st Malaysia International Open Master Athletics Championship 2017 and Sarawak International Open Tenpin Bowling Championship 2017 and a few others,” Abdul Karim said at the State Legislative Assembly today.
He added that the ministry recently won two bids to host the 21st Asia Master Athletics Championship 2019 and World PARA Swimming Championship 2019.
The Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championship and the 18th Asian Cadet, Junior and Under 21 Karate Championship will also be held in Sarawak in 2019.
Apart from promoting Sarawak’s sports facilities to international audiences, Abdul Karim said the ministry is looking at various ways to optimise the usage of facilities by promoting the said facilities to locals as well.
The rental fees for the usage of facilities are kept lower than market price in order to make them accessible to all.
“For the record, the usage of the facilities this year has increased by 20 per cent as compared to last year and revenue generated from rental last year was RM442,745. As of OCtober this year, revenue generated has increased to RM575,585.00,” Abdul Karim said.
Meanwhile, under the 11th Malaysia Plan, a sum of RM229.45 million has been allocated for the construction and upgrading of youth and sports facilities throughout the state.
“Sarawak Youth and Sports Centre (Games Village) is one of the major projects to be constructed. It is now in the midst of the planning and design stage and is expected to commence construction in 2018. The new Betong Swimming Pool complex is progressing well and scheduled to be completed by December 2018,” he added.
Among other sports complexes in mid-construction or upgrade are Sri Aman, Bintulu, and Sarikei sports complexes which are scheduled for completion in 2018. Upgrading of three youth camps namely Pueh in Sematan, Mukah and Kemuyang in Sibu are also expected to be completed by 2018. — DayakDaily