"To me it is unnecessary to construct a building and send our athletes there, when such an exercise may be what they need.
"We don’t want to send our athletes for a holiday. We want them to go abroad, train and enter competitions with sparring partners on par with them!" - Ismail Sabry
The much-criticised plan to build a High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) project in Brickendonbury outside London, as a forward base to prepare Malaysian athletes for the 2012 Olympic Games, has been buried for good.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob drove the final nail into the coffin when he said there would be no appeals as they would be fruitless, the Sun reports.
But more importantly, he assured the public that extravagance and unnecessary expenditure will be things of the past as all projects and programmes - present and future - that involved huge expenses will be reviewed or stopped.
Regrettably, he will not be able to save RM17 million – the "bidding fee" for the Champions Youth Cup (CYC) which Malaysia will host in August. The minister has no choice but to honour the commitments made by his predecessor.
Ismail said as the proposal to develop the Tun Abdul Razak Rubber Research Centre into the HPTC has been rejected by the East Herts Council, there was no use in pursuing the matter any further.
"Even if we appealed, I am certain the council will give the same answer. I’m sure the council has its reasons for not approving it, and if we were to appeal, this process would incur more cost," Ismail said at a specially-called media conference in his ministry to address the HPTC issue.
The council had last October cited green belt zoning and the existence of abundant sports facilities as reasons for rejecting the proposal.
"The ministry can appeal and submit fresh applications but after looking at it from several angles and listening to various parties, the ministry (officials) at Wednesday’s post-cabinet meeting unanimously agreed to cancel the project for good," he said. Click here to continue...
(Well said, Datuk! This news should make a lot of people happy simply because there is not enough justification for setting up the project overseas. It is stupid to send athletes to be trained in Britain when it could be done here. Besides, it would be a waste of the taxpayers money ...and an opporunity for some people to make money...tons of money!)