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Complexes to be upgraded in phases
Published on: Tuesday, November 29, 2022
By: Anthea Peter
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Complexes to be upgraded in phases
Ellron explained that the Ministry will continue to conduct maintenance and upgrade works in all sports complexes next year, based on what the Budget 2023 allocation allows.
Kota Kinabalu: The State Government through the Youth and Sports Ministry will upgrade Sabah’s 16 sports complexes in phases, said its Minister Datuk Ellron Angin. 

He said minor repairs and upgrades have been carried out at the Tenom, Semporna, Penampang, Keningau, Sipitang, Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Tambunan, Nabawan, Beaufort, Kota Belud, Kudat, Ranau, Lahad Datu, Beluran and Sandakan Sports Complexes this year. 

“However, these minor repairs and upgrades are not comprehensive (to repair) all the damages in a sports complex, as there are still many more repairs that need to be conducted in phases every year,”

He said this during question time at the State Legislative Assembly Sitting, Monday, in response to Luyang Assemblyman Phoong Jin Zhe who asked what the State Government’s short-term and long-term plans are to upgrade the 16 sports complexes in Sabah. 

Ellron explained that the Ministry will continue to conduct maintenance and upgrade works in all sports complexes next year, based on what the Budget 2023 allocation allows.

“For the long-term, the Ministry will continue to submit applications under the Malaysia Plan development programme funded by the State Government for the addition of sports facilities at existing sports complexes,” he said. 

The lack of funds to maintain Sabah’s sports complexes has always been an issue even under Phoong’s helm as former Youth and Sports Minister circa May 2019 to September 2020. 

In August this year, Phoong had slammed former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri for proposing to build racing circuits nationwide when there were more urgent matters to tend to, such as Sabah’s subpar sports facilities. Phoong was reported as saying that to repair the urgent needs of all 16 Sabah’s sports complexes, such as broken roofs and malfunctioning sewerage systems, the Government would need approximately RM85 million. 

According to Ellron, the Government carried out upgrading projects worth RM19,619,824 at 15 sports complexes in Sabah last year. 

The Kota Belud Sports Complex had the most expensive upgrade valued at RM5,450,000, followed by the Ranau Sports Complex (RM3,880,000) and Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex (RM3,730,000).

Meanwhile, Ellron said his Ministry would prioritise rural sports facilities that have a greater need for maintenance and repair work.  He said the Ministry has carved out the allocation for such works, namely the maintenance of football fields, sepak takraw and volleyball courts and of the like in village areas as part of the 2023 budget. 

However, he said the allocation is insufficient to cater to every application received from clubs, associations or committees at the village level across Sabah. “Each maintenance work is based on priority which is subject to the level of damage and the needs of the sports facilities found in village areas throughout Sabah. 

“In other words, there is no fixed allocation distributed to every village area in the State,” he said in response to Nabawan Assemblyman Datuk Abdul Ghani Mohamed Yassin who asked if the State Government will provide allocation for the maintenance of sports facilities in village areas as part of the 2023 budget. 

Additionally, Ellron said in 2022, 62 courts, 11 multi-purpose sports courts and nine football fields have been set up and upgraded throughout Sabah, including in Nabawan. 

Ellron also said the Ministry will conduct more sports championships in villages next year to conduct a more comprehensive harnessing of sport talents. “We are aware that championships in schools alone are not enough to scout new talents, as there are many youths that do not make it to secondary school or even university. 

“We have started conducting championships in the villages, we recently did one in Nabawan for the 12-year-old category. More will be done in 2023,” he said. 

Ellron was responding to a supplementary question by Abdul Ghani who asked if the Ministry would conduct new talent scouting programmes in rural areas.

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