Too much attention on developing eSports?
Minister of Youth and Sports Syed Saddiq announced that the blue print for developing Malaysia’s eSports industry will be released by this April. Although the plan seems promising, certain responses from the public did not view it as such.
Although Syed has been an avid believer of eSport self-sustainability through generating revenue by attracting tourists and foreign investment, there are concerns on how the budget given to the ministry can sustain the industry in the long run. Plus, the building of a gaming arena will be costly in maintenance fees.
Naturally, netizens responded to Syed’s movement for the eSports scene, forming mixed feelings and opinions. Some see the potential of eSport development in Malaysia, while others think the minister has much to learn.
On a more pressing issue, rumours were speculating that Syed was too focused on developing eSports, that he’s ignoring the development of sports in general.
National disc thrower athlete Irfan Shamshuddin expressed his views on the Youth and Sports Minister through Instagram. In summary, Irfan called out Syed for not renewing his coach’s contract, having his allowance deducted, and making him purchase his own flight tickets for training camps.
Following, a string of athletes leaving national teams for various reasons. Para athlete Shukor Farhan Suliman (cycling gold medallist in 2017 ASEAN para-games) left, citing his poor performance and ‘undisclosed reasons’ for leaving.
Moreover, another three compound archers Zulfadhli Ruslan, Lee Kin Lip and Mohd Juwaidi Mazuki (bronze medallist at last year’s Indonesia Asian Games), left because they weren’t satisfied with the terms implemented by the 2019 athletes’ preparation program.
Meanwhile, National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail advised national athletes to voice their concerns instead of quitting so rashly. He said many athletes pulled out of training without receiving their offer letters and did not discuss their problems with the NSC.