Making Malaysian motorsports affordable is in the plans, says Youth and Sports (KBS) minister Hannah Yeoh. During her welcome speech at the 30 Years of Malaysian Cub Prix dinner, Yeoh said finances is an issue in Malaysian motorsport.
“How can we make this (motorsports) more affordable?” asks Yeoh. “When I meet the sports associations they tell me they have no money and when I return to Putrajaya then the government tells me they don’t have money too.”
Saying she heads one of the smallest ministries in Malaysia today, Yeoh is exercising her creative mandate to engage with partners in finding “out of the box” solutions to promoting motorsports. Saying greater co-ordination among ministries is required, Yeoh believes “we can grow anything in Malaysia.”
Commenting on the successful expansion of the Malaysian Cub Prix over the past three decades, Yeoh said Cub Prix has only received a grant from KBS once, in 2018. “And yet, you have been successful in such a scale over a period of time,” she said.
Yeoh said she wants to co-ordinate amongst government ministries and agencies to remove “roadblocks” that stand in the way of productive investment in motorsports and “money should not be pumped in to solving bureaucracy.” “How do we make it affordable? By removing roadblocks,” Yeoh says.
Saying race organisers mentioned having to go from ministry to ministry in order to meet government officers for approvals and wasting time, Yeoh says she has instructed KBS to look into organising “open day” meetings every month to put all agencies together in one location so that organisers “don’t have to run all over the place.”
Yeoh also emphasised race organisers should work with the Malaysian Association of Motorsports (MAM) and not use the excuse it is expensive to make it (motorsports) safe. “We have no choice, we are dealing with very young lives and KBS with MAM has released a list of venues that are audited and considered to be safe,” said Yeoh in indirect reference to the fatal racing incident at Datuk Sagor.
“There have been many requests from state governments for more tracks to be built, but that is not going to be easy as we have very limited funding,” said Yeoh. “What kind of model can we put together to ensure we have more infrastructure but is not dependant on government for maintenance,” added Yeoh.
Yeoh also called on organisers to make motorsports inspiring for young people. “In order to inspire young people you have to give them more platforms to race safely,” Yeoh said.
With grassroots racing organisers such as MSF, Yeoh says things have to be done differently. “Don’t do the same things every year and expect things to improve,” said Yeoh, “we have to transform motorsports into a lifestyle thing.”
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