Persatuan Berbasikal PerakThe Perak Cycling Association (PCA) cannot run away from its responsibility towards the damage at Velodrome Rakyat even though the facility was under the care of the Ipoh City Council (MBI), said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“I understand that MBI, as the owner of the velodrome must take care of its facilities, but sports associations cannot have this notion that they do not have any responsibility over the facilities they use,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Youth Skills Institute and Gamuda Berhad here, Thursday.

He was commenting on PCA president Datuk Amarjit Singh Gill’s statement claiming Khairy had erred when saying said the it was the PCA which had allowed the damage to occur.

Khairy also regretted the attitude of the association which only came forward to seek the help of the government after the velodrome was severely damaged.

He said the PCA, which had been using the velodrome for about 20 years, should have had a plan to raise funds or to take steps to obtain allocations so that maintenance of the facilities could be done from time to time. “They know MBI is constrained in terms of funding for maintenance but what are they doing as an association? Are they just going to fold their arms and wait for MBI to do it, and when it fails, complain to the federal government while demanding for the damage to be repaired immediately,” he said.

Khairy had previously been reported as saying that the repair of the Velodrome Rakyat in Ipoh which had been postponed since 2013, would begin as early as next year, adding that the delay was caused by financial constraints.

In the meantime, Khairy said he would discuss with the chief executive officer of Sepang International Circuit Datuk Razlan Razali with respect to his willingness to help young national rider Jazeman Jaafar to receive funding to achieve his ambition of competing in the Formula One (F1) race next season.

He said obtaining sporting event sponsorship was very challenging due to the current economic situation, and the effort was a difficult task, not to mention the expenses which would exceed RM60 million a year.

“It’s a difficult task but not impossible to realise, because we really want to see a Malaysian F1 rider who is competitive, which most certainly requires substantial provisions,” he said.

According to Razlan, among initiatives that can be taken was to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Finance regarding the need for funds by Jazeman as was done for Moto3 rider, Zulfahmi Khairuddin, although he admitted that the latter’s costs was not as high as what would be required by Jazeman. – BERNAMA

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