In response to a statement by former prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the youth and sports ministry (KBS) has stated that the RM20 million budget allocation for the construction of drag racing tracks as part of the first tabling of Budget 2023 was never debated or approved in Parliament.
The ministry added that the allocated was never channelled to the youth and sports ministry as Sabri, then-prime minister, had dissolved Parliament after the budget had been tabled. After Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was appointed the 10th prime minister of Malaysia, the tabling of the revised Budget 2023 did not include the allocation for drag racing tracks in the original 2023 budget.
“In addition, the budget was announced without receiving data and feedback from KBS. RM20 million is insufficient for the construction of a drag racing track in every state,” the ministry said in its statement.
“[The Youth and Sports Ministry] is very concerned about the people’s safety and does not want to build a track for the sake of just getting it done. There is no doubt that it is a good platform for youth to take part in motorsport, but the safety of racers, spectators and all involved must be given priority,” the ministry’s statement continued.
The ministry remains proactive in finding ways to ensure that motorsports events can continue to be held in controlled and safe environments, despite the current financial constraints which prevent the construction of new racing circuits, it added.
Existing motorsports facilities under the ministry cited in the statement that will benefit from projects for upgrading and improvement include the Sepang International Circuit as well as the Tangkak circuit in Tangkak, Johor.
Safety in motorsport came under the spotlight when loss of life occurred at the turn of the new year at the Dato’ Sagor Circuit in Pasir Salak, Perak, when a competitor’s race car left the circuit and hit a spectator standing on the infield, killing him. An investigation by the Perak state government followed.
Another racing incident before that at the Battle of the Kings (BOTK) 2022 drag racing event in October also claimed a life, with a racer succumbing to his injuries as a result of having lost control of his car on the drag strip and colliding with a tree, underlining the importance of motorsports events being approved and sanctioned by the governing body, with proper safety measures in place.
* This article was originally published here
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