PUTRAJAYA: The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will hold discussions with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) before the re-tabling of Budget 2023 on Feb 24 in a continuous effort to obtain more tax incentives for the corporate sector to sponsor the hosting of sports events.

Its Minister, Hannah Yeoh (pix), said although it had been unsuccessful every year, it would not give up on requesting the MOF to provide more tax incentives for the organisation of sports events.

She said the sports industry would continue to wither when government allocation reduces, no tax incentives are given for corporate sponsors and no encouragement is given to organisers to seek their sponsors.

“The sports industry will ‘die’ if we do not do something critical,” she said after a town hall session with the sports industry at Menara KBS, here, today.

Yeoh also believes that the sports industry has the potential to be one of the sectors that can contribute to the country’s economic growth.

However, she said the problem now is that contributions from the sports industry, for example from the hosting of international meets in the country, are categorised under other sectors like tourism, thus, giving the impression that sports do not play a role in economic growth.

Realising that this situation can be detrimental to the sports industry itself, Yeoh said the KBS is compiling important data before taking further action to address the issue.

“Our problem is that when the sports industry assists with the economic growth, it is not categorised as sports... much (of the contributions from the sports industry) is included in other economic sectors or under tourism, so we are the losers.

“So, we want to compile the data and discuss with MOF,” she said while describing the sports industry as a sector that will continue to expand and be versatile in the future.

According to Yeoh, other issues raised at the town hall session, which was attended by 297 sports industry representatives, were related to the organisation of sports events, insurance scheme, special ties with the KBS and local authorities, service licence rate and collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

“The approach towards sports must change and we must start with the government first... many said the SOP (standard operating procedure) is designed as if to punish and not promote sports. So, we (KBS) want to review and investigate and we need the cooperation of all the ministries involved,” she said. - Bernama