Tighter rules for sporting events soon

KUALA LUMPUR: The Youth and Sports Ministry is drafting amendments to the Sports Development Act 1997 (SDA) to introduce more stringent regulations on organisers of sporting events.

Its minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, said currently there is a mandatory requirement for companies to get approval from the Sports Commissioner, but does not impose any timeline.

"Under the proposed amendments, any interested party and not only companies must get approval at least 90 days before the sporting event.

"Apart from the 90-day requirement, we are also looking to impose harsher punishments on those who do not comply," he said after visiting marathon pacer, Evelyn Ang at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Currently, the fine for those who breach the provisions under Section 36 of the SDA is up to RM5,000 or face a six months jail term or both.

Under the proposed amendments, the fine could be up RM500,000 and a longer jail term.

Khairy also instructed the Sports Commissioner to lodge a police report and call for a thorough investigation on the organiser for failing to get approval for the event.

He also urged all local council and the police to always check with the Sports Commissioner before they issue any license.

On Ang's condition, he said she is in stable condition after undergoing high-risk surgery to remove a blood clot at the Sungai Buloh Hospital.

Meanwhile, Ana Fauzi, a spokesman close to Ang's family, said Ang is under close observation for the next 72 hours.

She said the almost four-hour surgery procedure "went well" on Sunday night.

"Evelyn is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) now. Doctors are monitoring her and we are all hoping that she recovers without any complication as this is a high-risk surgery," she told theSun.

Ang, 44, was among three people hit by a car around 4.30am on Sunday along Jalan Kapar Batu 2 during a pace routine.

She suffered serious head injuries, including a skull fracture.

The other two victims — Amiruddin Hamid, 37, and Ahmad Hadafi Jus, 42, — sustained light injuries.

The 27-year-old car driver allegedly lost control of his vehicle and rammed into the runners from behind.

The police had confirmed that he was not driving while intoxicated as he tested negative in a urine test.

Meanwhile, Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman said the organiser of the Klang International City Marathon, Earth Runners International Group Sdn Bhd, did not apply for a permit to hold the run.

"We regret this deeply because the organisation of any events should get the approval of the Sports Commissioner as stated in the SDA, as well as approvals from the relevant bodies of that sport, police and local councils," Zaiton said.

Approval from the Sports Commissioner's Office is needed to ensure the financial and technical ability of the organisers and that local and international rules are followed, she said.

"It has become a commercial venture for some private companies in organising such races. Some are RM2 companies. They collect the fees of between a few tens to hundreds of ringgit from each participant and carry out the event as they wish without approval from the SCO. There have been cases the event did not take place and the runners were left in the lurch. We have come across many such cases and had also lodged police reports against the organisers." she told theSun.

Zaiton said some organisers are of the erroneous opinion that the events need not be governed by the SCO and that they are not bound to seek its approval.

"We will discuss this with the Youth and Sports Ministry and propose amendments to the laws to ensure tighter regulations in the organising of sports events."

Meanwhile, netizens took to social media to wish Ang a speedy recovery today.

"Sending positive healing thoughts for her recovery," wrote Peggy Hui in Facebook.

Netizens also took the opportunity to reiterate their speedy recovery wish, with hashtags #prayforevelyn, #speedyrecovery and #officialpacerinjured found aplenty around social media.

"Marathoner hit by car still in critical condition #prayforEvelyn. Stay strong, girl & keep on fighting," typed Mimi Yuslinda Yusof‏ @JambuJingga.