MIND-BOGGLING. That’s what Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s statement on his social media platforms today, particularly praise of chairman Tony Fernandes, who is said to have transformed the facilities with new ideas, resulting in a RM7.9 million profit in 2019.
The 2019 profits are said to have doubled the RM2.8 million from 2018, when the Pakatan Harapan government first took charge in May that year and Fernandes was installed subsequent to Syed Saddiq’s appointment as minister.
In 2017, the year Malaysia hosted the Sea Games, the board is said to have registered a loss of RM24 million.
All this is fine, until you remember that the previous government had announced that RM1.3 billion had been allocated to refurbish the National Sports Complex to be rebranded as the Kuala Lumpur Sports City, including the provisions of sponsorship thus naming rights to the Putra Stadium, currently known as the Axiata Arena at a significant annual sum.
While the government has changed, the National Stadium Board is still the National Stadium Board.
Fernandes with his “midas touch” may well have done some good.
But where does the RM1.3 billion cost of refurbishment stand, after its completion just prior to the Sea Games in November 2017, while Fernandes took charge of the board in September 2018?