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February 21, 2003

RM5 million allocation to develop sports for disabled

From: Utusan Malaysia Online, Malaysia - 21 Feb 2003

KUALA LUMPUR Feb 21 - The government has allocated RM5 million this year for the purpose of developing sports for the disabled.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ong Tee Kiat said the move was to encourage more disabled people to participate in sporting activities at national and international levels.

"Besides that, the allocation will also be used to assist sports associations for the disabled in terms of organising games and providing advice," he told reporters after launching the new logo and name for the 14th National Sportsmeet for the Deaf and the ASEAN Invitation which will be held in Langkawi from May 31 to June 5.

He said it was important for everyone to cooperate in developing the field of sports for the disabled especially considering the achievements by Malaysian athletes in several events during the recent Paralympic Games,

"During the ASEAN Paralympic Games in Busan, Korea Selatan last year, our athletes managed to set a new record in the swimming event. This proves that they can succeed despite being physically disabled," he said.

Ong expressed confidence that cooperation from members of the public and the private sector would enable Malaysian athletes to succeed not only at national level but internationally as well.

Meanwhile, President of the Malaysian Sports Association for the Deaf, Lim Heng Tuck said a total of 23 contingents would be taking part in the national games for the deaf.

"The event will be held in a more joyous atmosphere as participation also involves ASEAN countries," said Lim.

He said the games, organised once every two years, is held with a two fold objective of searching new talents and selecting a national representative to represent Malaysia in the 7th Asia Pacfic Sportsmeet for the Deaf in Kuwait next year.

A total of 12 events will be contested. They are football, badminton, track and field, ten-pin bowling, lawn-bowling, volleyball, basketball, ping-pong, netball, swimming, sepak takraw and handball.