KJ eyes MPM presidency, vows to take para-athletes to greater heights

KJ eyes MPM presidency, vows to take para-athletes to greater heights

PUCHONG: Former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who is running for the Malaysia Paralympic Council (MPM) presidency, vowed to continue with the good works of its predecessor.

Speaking at a press conference today, Khairy said that the outgoing MPM president SM Nasarudin SM Nasimuddin has done a great job managing the organisation and it would be a daunting task to continue from where he has left off.

“Nasarudin contributed a lot for MPM’s development and providing incentives to our athletes. A lot have been planned and that needs to be continued,” he said.

On June 17, Khairy formally submitted his candidacy for the MPM presidency. He would face a one-on-one fight with Persatuan Kanu Malaysia president Datuk Seri Megat D Shariman Zaharuddin.

The post went vacant after Nasarudin decided not to defend MPM presidency, which he has held for the last four years.

Asked on his chances of winning, Khairy said he was not sure about it.

“I’m just a politician. I don’t know what are the chances. I’m just offering myself for the post and want to contribute.

“I’ll leave it to the members to decide,” said the Rembau MP.

On his mission for MPM,  Khairy said that he has plans in store for the organisation and its para-athletes. One of them is to set up a sports school exclusively designated for the development of para-athletes.

“For now, there is no structured programme for our para-athletes. Therefore, I would like to work with the Education Ministry to set up a sports school designated to help our para-athletes.

“This is among of my ideas. I hope I can contribute to this,” he said.

Khairy also said that he plans to take Paralympic sports to greater heights and bring it to the grassroots level to raise awareness among Malaysians.

“I also plan to get more support from the private sector for Paralympic sports. During the 2016 Paralympic sports in Rio de Janeiro, we saw a lot of corporate companies coming forward to help our athletes,” he said.

On whether his experience as a minister would serve as an advantage for his candidacy, Khairy said he was unsure about it.

Khairy was also Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) vice president from 2007 to 2010.

“It’s been a year since I left sports. Maybe there is some advantage with my experience as minister and FAM vice president and all but I don’t know.

“Win or lose, I will continue to contribute to MPM,” he said.

By G Vinod