• 10 Questions for Yayasan NAAM

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 31st of March, 2016

    These are the 10 questions which I will be asking Datuk M.Saravanan, Chairman of YAYASAN NAAM and Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, when I visit NAAM’s office later today.

    10 Questions for Yayasan NAAM

    1)      What is the organization structure of NAAM[1] and who are its staff?

    NAAM’s website only shows the board of trustees. The management staff of NAAM is not listed. I would like to know who is its CEO / Executive director and the rest of the management staff as well as the chairman / head of NAAM at the state level. I would also like to know how many of them are MIC leaders at the branch, division, state and national levels. For example, it is reported here that a Datuk VS Mogan is the chairman of NAAM in Negeri Sembilan.[2] He also happens to be the MIC information chief and member of the MIC Central Working Committee.

    This is to evaluate the extent to which NAAM is comprised of MIC leaders at various levels and hence whether NAAM is an MIC entity pretending to be an NGO.

    2)      What is the compensation structure of the board members of NAAM as well as its staff?

    I would also like to know the compensation arrangement (salary / allowances) for the board of NAAM, the management team as well as the state chairmen.

    This information is to evaluate to what extent NAAM is being used as a vehicle to reward MIC leaders financially.

    3)      What are the details in audited accounts for NAAM in 2014 and 2015?[3]

    NAAM submitted its accounts for Financial Year End 31st December 2014 on 30th June 2015. The accounts showed that NAAM did not have any income or expenditure. Why was this the case? Was NAAM not operational in 2014? Did it not receive any funds or incur any expenses in 2014?

    If the 2015 audited accounts are not ready, I would be satisfied with a copy of NAAM’s unaudited accounts showing the preliminary balance sheet, the P&L statement and the cash flow statement. This is to ensure that the funding which NAAM says that it has received is indeed being channelled through the accounts of NAAM and not through another entity.

    4)      What are the content of NAAM’s board meetings?

    If there were any board meeting minutes in 2014 or 2015 which documents the activities of NAAM, I would also like to inspect them. It is not uncommon for foundations / NGOs like NAAM to have quarterly board meetings to report on the progress of its activities.

    Having access to these minutes would allow me to check whether NAAM has regular progress reports to its board so that the board can evaluate the effectiveness of NAAM’s activities.

    5)      Can NAAM furnish me with a list of all its programs and activities run in 2014 and 2015, the participants of these programs and how much each program cost?

    Chairman or NAAM and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister, Datuk M. Saravanan promised that he would give me a full breakdown of the activities of NAAM in a press conference yesterday.[4] I hope that he can follow through on this promise.

    Having this list of participants would enable the public know who exactly were the beneficiaries of NAAM’s programs and how much was spent to train each of them. It would also enable the press and other interested parties to contact the participants themselves to see the extent to which they benefitted from NAAM’s programs and to ascertain if a majority of them were MIC members.

    6)      Where is the budget item from which NAAM obtained its funding from?

    It was reported that Saravanan had said that the RM19 million received by NAAM in 2015 was given by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister’s department. A check of the EPU’s operating expenditure in 2015 showed that it was allocated RM48.8 million out of which RM40 million was for the payment of salaries. Did NAAM’s allocation in 2015 come from EPU’s operating expenditure? Or did it come from another budget item under the Prime Minister’s department? Is NAAM’s allocation classified under operating expenditure or development expenditure?

    What is NAAM’s budget allocation for 2016?

    This information is important from a transparency standpoint since Saravanan had said that the money did not come from the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

    7)      Is NAAM also involved in other business activities in order to seek profit for itself?

    NAAM is the 49% and controlling shareholder of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd which lists its core business as the export and import of fruits and vegetable food products. On the 15th of January, 2015, NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd signed an MOU with DRS Trading Sdn Bhd which is also involved in the distribution of agriculture products.[5] What are the details of this MOU? What is the purpose of NAAM getting involved in business for itself?

    Is NAAM getting involved in business so that the other shareholders of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd can earn a profit for themselves? The other shareholders of NAAM Trading House Sdn Bhd include Kesavan A/L Kandasamy (MIC Youth National Leader, Office Bearer in charge of New Media) with a 30% share, G. Padmanathan (former MIC FT Youth Chief) with a 19% share and M.Mathuraiveran (MIC CWC Member) with the remaining 2% share.

    8)      What are the standard operating procedures (SOPs) used by NAAM to process claims and expenditures it has incurred and does NAAM claim these expenses from the Ministry of Youth and Sports under which NAAM’s funds are supposedly parked?

    This is an important point since NAAM signed an MOU with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to support the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP). I would like to see a sample of the claim forms and procedures used by NAAM and how the Ministry of Youth and Sports ‘signed off’ on NAAM’s expenditures as part of the monitoring mechanism. The transparency of this monitoring mechanism is all the more important given the recent investigations into large scale corruption in the Ministry of Youth and Sports by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

    9)      How successful has NAAM been in helping Indian Youths obtain access to TEKUN loans for their chili planting and other entrepreneurial endeavours? Can these records be revealed?

    There have been numerous news reports on how NAAM wants to help Indian youths to obtain loans from Tabung Ekonomi Kumpulan Usaha Niaga (TEKUN), an agency under the Ministry of Agriculture.[6] At the same time, it has also been reported that NAAM will act as the middleman to collect the loan payments from these young Indian entrepreneurs to pay back TEKUN.[7] I would like to examine the records of how many individuals have NAAM help to obtain loans from TEKUN and what is their track record in paying back these loans.

    Furthermore, I would like to ask why NAAM needs to spend the bulk of its expenditure to help the chili farmers when many of them are able to borrow money from TEKUN?

    10)   Why is there a need for NAAM when an existing agency – SEED – has already been set-up to help Indian entrepreneurs?

    The Secretariat for the Empowerment of Indian Entrepreneurs (SEED) which sits in the Prime Minister’s Department was established in 2012 with the specific purpose of providing assistance to Indian entrepreneurs especially at the SME and individual levels.[8] Under the SEED program, RM180m of funds was set aside under 5 discreet programs to help different groups of Indian entrepreneurs. This includes RM30 million for the “Skim Pembangunan Usahawan Masyarakat Indian (SPUMI)” which is parked under TEKUN. SEED also works with other agencies such as SME Corp and Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) in order to assist Indian entrepreneurs obtain funding and loans. Given that there was already an existing government organization under the Prime Minister’s department, why is there a need for NAAM, especially when it seems to be duplicating the efforts of SEED?

    Hopefully, I will be able to have satisfactory answers to these 10 questions when I visit NAAM’s office later today.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] For the rest of this statement, NAAM refers to Yayasan NAAM.

    [2] http://www.bernama.com/bernama/state_news/bm/news.php?cat=sl&id=1205456

    [3] The assumption here is that the activities relating to chili planting and youth development is related to YAYASAN NAAM, the company registered with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) rather than an entity which is registered with the Registrar of Societies (ROS). I stand to be corrected on this point since it is possible that NAAM also registered itself under ROS as well as CCM.

    [4] http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/335808

    [5] https://www.facebook.com/datuksaravanan/posts/768011720009801

    [6] http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/Selatan/20140712/ws_05/500-belia-terima-faedah-projek-NAAM, http://www.nst.com.my/news/2016/01/121186/saravanan-wants-tekun-assist-indian-youths and http://www.therakyatpost.com/news/2014/07/21/naam-pilot-project-help-500-indian-youths/

    [7] http://superteks.rtm.gov.my/index.php/berita/tempatan/6364-yayasan-naam-tekun-jalin-kerjasama-bantu-usahawan-belia-india

    [8] http://www.seed.org.my/aboutus/index.php?id=8

  • Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, 29th of March 2016

    Totally unacceptable and unethical for the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give an MIC-controlled foundation RM19 million in government funds

    In a parliamentary reply on the 8th of March, 2016, to a question asked by MP for Batu Gajah, V.Sivakumar, on the effectiveness of the chili planting program conducted by NAAM and the amount of funds that were channelled to NAAM, it was revealed that an amount totalling RM19 million was given to Yayasan NAAM via the Ministry of Youth and Sports (See Appendix 2).[1]

    Yayasan NAAM or the New Affirmative Action Movement is a registered company chaired by the Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, M. Saravanan.[2] The other board of directors / trustees include Krishnan A/L Letchumanan or L. Krishnan (former MIC MP for Teluk Kemang)[3], Mathuraiverna A/L Marimuthu or M.Marimuthu (current MIC CWC Member)[4] and Selva Kumar A/L Mookiah (MIC Legal Advisor)[5]. (Appendix 1)

    The awarding of government funding to an NGO that is effectively controlled by a political party is totally unacceptable and unethical. One can imagine the furore that would have been caused if the Penang state government had channelled state funding to an NGO that was controlled by the DAP and has a free hand to use the funds to conduct its political activities. MACC would have been unleashed to investigate this NGO immediately.

    The signing of the Corporate Integrity Pledge (CIP) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Yayasan NAAM in May 2014 does not make this abuse of government funding any more acceptable.[6] The recent revelation of a corruption case involving the embezzlement of RM107 million in the Ministry of Youth and Sports shows that the abuse of funds and corruption can happen under the nose of the Minister. What more when it involves a company that is not audited by the Auditor General and that is not under the control of the Ministry of Youth and Sports? More than two years after it was first registered, Yayasan NAAM only has a bare bones website and for a foundation that is supposed to reach out to the youth, it does not even have a facebook or a twitter account.[7]

    I call upon Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, to explain why funds from his Ministry were allocated to this MIC controlled NGO and to give us his assurance that there has not been any abuse of government funds by Yayasan NAAM.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Appendix 1: List of Directors of Yayasan NAAM

    Appendix 2: Parliamentary Answer on Yayasan NAAM being allocated RM19 million from the federal government

    [1] According to this report, a grant of RM37m had been allocated to Yayasan NAAM http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/04/30/naam-aims-to-give-indian-youth-a-lift/

    [2] http://www.naam.org.my/v1/index.html

    [3] http://www.lions308b1.org/home/our-district/district-governor/

    [4] http://www.mic.org.my/about-us/leadership/cwc

    [5] http://www.mic.org.my/news-events/press-statements/2014/press-statement-mr-selva-mookiah-legal-advisor-malaysian-indian

    [6] http://www.kbs.gov.my/my/ucapan-menteri-kbs.html?download=11:majlis-menandatangani-memorandum-persefahaman-dan-ikrar-integriti-korporat-oleh-yayasan-naam-dan-kementerian-belia-dan-sukan and http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [7] There is a facebook account for Persatuan NAAM Wilayah Persekutuan (https://www.facebook.com/NAAMWP) and a twitter account for NAAMWP (@naamwp) but there is no account for the foundation or the organization at the national level.

  • Questions to ask Khairy Jamaluddin regarding the MACC investigation into massive corruption involving an officer with the Ministry of Youth and Sports

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 21st of March, 2016

    Questions to ask Khairy Jamaluddin regarding the MACC investigation into massive corruption involving an officer with the Ministry of Youth and Sports

    I was greatly disturbed when I read about the RM100 million scandal involving a civil servant from the Ministry of Youth and Sports that was revealed by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) last weekend.[1] I understand that the Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, will be giving a press conference at his Ministry later today at 10am to address this issue. Given the seriousness of this investigation, including assets worth RM20 million and cash in 69 bank accounts totalling RM8.3 million found belonging to this civil servant, I ask that the Minister answer the following questions in order to shed more light on this case:

    1) Have you been briefed by the MACC or received any information from the MACC about this investigation?

    2) Are any of the individuals who have been arrested by MACC still working at the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies?

    3) Do you think there are others who are still working at the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies who will be arrested by the MACC as a result of the investigation?

    4) Do you think there are others who are working in other Ministries who will be arrested by the MACC as a result of the investigation?

    5) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    6) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the National Sports Council / Majlis Sukan Negara, either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    7) Were any of the companies which are implicated in the MACC investigation paid by the Malaysian Youth Council / Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM), either directly or indirectly, for contracts and / or the provision of services after you became the Minister of Youth and Sports?

    8) You signed the Corporate Integrity Pledge on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports as part of an initiative by the Anti-Corruption National Key Results Area (NKRA) under the Government Transformation Program (GTP) in May 2014.[2] Can you spell out specific changes in the procurement process and / or the awarding of contracts in the Ministry of Youth and Sports as part of the Corporate Integrity Pledge?

    9) Some have speculated that the key person arrested from the Ministry of Youth and Sports is the secretary of the finance department, Otman bin Arsahd. Can you explain in detail the process in which Otman would approve of payments by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and any of its related agencies to companies with contracts, directly or indirectly, awarded by the Ministry and any of its related agencies?

    10) Some have speculated that the real mastermind behind this scandal is the former Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Dato’ Mohid bin Mohamed, who is now the Deputy Secretary (Policy) at the Ministry of Multimedia and Communications. He was one of the people associated with irregularities in spending for past events organized on behalf of the Ministry of Youth and Sports including the infamous K-Pop concert during the 2012 National Youth Day / Hari Belia Negara.[3] He has been the subject of many blogs posts which hinted at his role in corrupt dealings in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.[4] Were you aware of these accusations and did you change any processes and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in order to address some of the accusations and / or shortcomings?

    11) One of the companies named in the Parliamentary Account Committee (PAC) hearing on the K-Pop concert and the expenditure during the National Youth Day is Stadium First Sdn Bhd. This company was also named in one of the blogs accusing Dato’ Mohid bin Mohamed and Otman bin Arsahd (and a few others) in the Ministry of Youth and Sports of corrupt practices. Did Stadium First continue to receive any contracts from the Ministry of Youth and Sports or any of its related agencies after you became Minister of Youth and Sports?

    I am sure that the public would also be interested in hearing Khairy answer these questions in as much detail as possible.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament

    [1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/projekmmo/berita/article/pegawai-kbs-songlap-rm100j-beli-kereta-audi-beg-hermes-cincin-cartier

    [2] http://www.pemandu.gov.my/gtp/upload/NAAM_KBS_CIP_Press_Statement_PEMANDU.pdf

    [3] http://www.parlimen.gov.my/images/webuser/pac/laporan%20pac/PAC21112013-DR1.pdf, http://accountable.sinarproject.org/people/mohid-mohamed

    [4] http://rizalhashim.blogspot.my/2013/06/yb-kj-youve-been-forewarned.html?m=1, https://dupahang.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/ramai-bengang-rm10-juta-untuk-himpunan-belia/, http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.my/2015/01/shaberys-new-mcmc-appointee-under.html?m=1, http://www.tranungkite.net/v12/modules.php?name=AvantGo&op=ReadStory&sid=2931

     

  • Possible appointment of Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar as the next Bank Negara Governor raises concerns

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 14th of March, 2016

    Possible appointment of Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar as the next Bank Negara Governor raises concerns

    I read the disturbing news reported by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday that Tan Sri Dr. Irwan Serigar bin Abdullah, the current Chief Secretary of Ministry of Finance, will be named as the new Central Bank Governor of Malaysia after Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.[1]

    I want to raise some concerns regarding Dr Irwan’s role in multi-billion ringgit debts of Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd, a 99% Ministry of Finance owned company. Pembinaan PFI first rose to prominence when the 2013 Auditor General’s report showed that it had accumulated liabilities of close to RM28 billion at financial year end 2012, putting it only behind Petronas and Khazanah among government owned entities (See Figure 1 below).

    Figure 1: Three government owned companies with the highest amount of liabilities in financial year 2012


    Source: Auditor General’s Report 2013

    Dr. Irwan was appointed to the board of Pembinaan PFI in 2012 when he was the Deputy Secretary in charge of policy in the Ministry of Finance (MoF). After he was promoted to Chief Secretary of the MoF, Dr. Irwan remained as a director of Pembinaan PFI.

    The Auditor General’s report prompted a Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) investigation into Pembinaan PFI. The PAC report was released in March 2015, a copy of which can be downloaded from the parliament’s website.[2] The testimony of the witnesses, including Dr. Irwan, clearly showed the spending incurred by Pembinaan PFI is nothing more than a creative way to hide development expenditure from the official budget and in doing so, artificially keep Malaysia’s debt to GDP ratio at below the 55% mark. Pembinaan PFI is not funding expenditure through private finance initiatives (which its name implies) since there is no private money involved in these projects.[3]

    Indeed, during the PAC meeting, Dr. Irwan admitted as much when he said the following to the Chairman of the PAC:

    “Ini Tuan Pengerusi, your understanding is very clear. That you know this is off-budget. It doesn’t come in to the government so that why you know our debt level and rating and everything we can maintain.”

    Dr. Irwan’s role in relying on off-budget expenditure items in order to maintain our official debt levels and ratings raises concerns about his responsibilities as the next Bank Negara Governor. Will he also rely on creative accounting for other sensitive economic data such as BNM’s official reserves? Will he paint an unrealistically positive account of the Malaysian economy via BNM’s economic reports and fail to flag areas of concern such as the possibility of a growing fiscal deficit?

    When asked by The Edge TV on the specific issue of Pembinaan PFI, Dr Irwan gave a misleading answer.[4] He likened the projects under Pembinaan PFI with the MRT project, stating that the payback period is over a very long horizon while in actual fact, most of the projects under Pembinaan PFI are not capable of revenue generation. This kind of obfuscation is also worrying especially during these economically challenging times when clarify of thought and explanation are needed in order to assure the jittery markets.

    The markets are looking for a steady pair of hands to replace Dr. Zeti as the next BNM governor. Any of the three current Deputy Governors would have sent a strong signal to the markets that the independence of BNM will be maintained. The appointment of Dr. Irwan, if true, does not give any reason for the markets to be assured and in fact raises more questions about the independence of our central bank moving forwards.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.wsj.com/articles/malaysia-finance-ministry-official-to-be-new-central-bank-chief-1457721640

    [2] http://portal.parlimen.gov.my/ipms/modules/risalat/res/risalat/2015/Laporan%20Jawatankuasa%20Kira-Kira%20Wang%20Negara%20Parlimen%20Ketiga%20Belas%20-%20Prosedur%20Kawalan%20Pengurusan%20Syarikat%20Pembinaan%20PFI%20Sdn%20Bhd%20(Kementerian%20Kewangan).pdf

    [3] The building of schools, for example, is usually financed through the development expenditure of the government budget. The projects, including the building of schools, financed through Pembinaan PFI, are all off-budget expenditure items which means that the government doesn’t have to officially borrow money to finance these projects. Pembinaan PFI, as a 99% MoF owned company, borrowed the money from EPF and KWAP. The Malaysian government has to help Pembinaan PFI service these loans to EPF and KWAP through its operating expenditure or OPEX.

    [4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HlN7ygkN-c

  • Axing selected athletic events at the 2017 KL Sea Games shows just how short sighted we are

    Opinion Piece by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 1st of March, 2016

    Axing selected athletic events at the 2017 KL Sea Games shows just how short sighted we are

    Imagine this. It’s approaching the 2012 London Olympics. The United States Track and Field association decides not to send any Americans to compete in the 10,000m event at the Olympics because they thought there was no way that any American could win a medal against the African runners. After all, the last time an American medalled in this event was way back in 1964 in Tokyo. For 5 consecutive games since the Seoul games in 1988, every single medallist in this event was from Africa. The only person who could challenge the African dominance in this event was Britain’s Mo Farah and he wasn’t about to convert his citizenship anytime soon. Of course, this didn’t happen. The US sent a full contingent of 3 runners to compete in this event. One of them, a white kid from Oregon, outsprinted his African rivals to take the silver medal behind Mo Farah. It was the first medal for the Americans in this event in 48 years.

    I bring up this example in light of the recent news that Malaysia has proposed to remove eight athletic events – the men’s and women’s marathon, the men’s and women’s 10000m, the men’s and women’s 3000 steeplechase, the decathlon and the heptathlon – from the 2017 South East Asian (SEA) games in Kuala Lumpur.[1] It was reported that the likely reason for this decision is due to the fact that Malaysia does not have any medal contenders in these events. While the host country has some leeway in choosing to include or exclude certain events from the SEA games – think fencing (out) or speed skating (in) – it is unprecedented for these events to be excluded from the line-up of athletic events. The men’s 10000m had been run since the first SEA games in 1959, the decathlon, 3000m steeple chase and marathon since 1965. The women’s marathon debuted in 1983, the 10000m in 1987 and the heptathlon in 1965.

    An equivalent would be if a country decided to leave out mixed doubles from the badminton line-up because it did not have any medal contenders in this particular badminton event.

    The authorities in charge – whether it is the Malaysian Athletics Federation (MAF) or the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) – should have anticipated the backlash from neighbouring countries over this ludicrous move. There is now talk that certain countries would boycott events such the triple jump, high jump and the discus, all events which Malaysia has medal contenders in.[2] Worse still, Asia’s governing track authority, the Asian Athletics Association (AAA) has said that it would not sanction the holding of the athletics events at the SEA games in KL if these events are excluded from the overall line-up.[3]

    My best guess is that these events will eventually be restored to the athletics line-up as a result of the public backlash and the protests from other countries. These countries have until the middle of March to file their official appeals. But the larger question which this episode has revealed is the fact that Malaysia does not seem to have any plans to develop athletes in these events where we don’t have any medal contenders. This was not always the case.

    Malaysian legend M. Ramachandran dominated the 10000m for almost a decade by bringing home the SEA games gold medal four times from 1993 to 1999. Dlibaugh Singh Kler won the 3000m steeple chase in three consecutive SEA games when the event was first introduced in 1965. Mohd Malik Ahmad Tobias took home the decathlon gold twice – in 1999 and 2003. Yuan Yufang, better known for her dominance in the 20km walk event, also took home the women’s 10000m gold medal in 1999. Zaiton Othman took home three SEA games gold medals in the heptathlon in the 1980s.

    At a time when long distance running and triathlons (which is also being omitted from the 2017 SEA games) are becoming more and more popular in Malaysia, we should be encouraging the development of young talents in these events even if we do not have medal contenders at the moment. After all, the aforementioned Galen Rupp finished 13th in the 10000m in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. With a greater number of willing sponsors such as Garmin, Ultron and Amnig, the Malaysian Athletics Federation should be jumping on the bandwagon to promote long distance running and triathlon, instead of keeping quiet and passing the buck to the OCM.

    At last weekend’s Tokyo Marathon, Edan Syah, achieved a personal best of 2 hours 38 minutes and 55 minutes and was the fastest Malaysian in the race.[4] This timing would have placed Edan in 5th position at the 2015 Sea Games in Singapore. If the marathon is excluded from the 2017 SEA games, athletes like Edan would not know how they will fare against the best runners from the region. And Malaysian athletics would suffer as a result.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] http://www.themalaymailonline.com/sports/article/whos-to-blame-for-the-2017-sea-games-athletics-events-fiasco

    [2] http://www.todayonline.com/sports/athletics-sea-games-could-be-under-threat?singlepage=true

    [3] http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/athletics-at-sea-games/2546972.html

    [4] https://www.facebook.com/edansyah/posts/1685159695100595:0

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