KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican expressed his confidence that there will be some good tidings for the sports and recreation sector soon, even though the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended till Feb 18.
He said the issue regarding the sector had been tabled at the National Security Council (MKN) special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Reezal Merican said the discussion was based on suggestions and recommendations from operators and industry players, as well as an engagement session with the sports industry community a week ago.
“Thank you to the Prime Minister, who well understands the issue, and Insya Allah, a suitable standard operating procedure (SOP) is being discussed for the current MCO. I have full confidence that operators and sports industry players are careful and will comply with the regulations or SOP set.
“Insya Allah, I expect some good news for us all soon. Take care and keep safe. Let’s break the COVID-19 chain together,” he said in his recent Facebook post.
Commenting further, he said he focused on three perspectives when debating the issue, including the fact there was a high compliance rate with the SOP by operators and industry players, which resulted in almost no cases involving the sector.
“Secondly, the livelihood of Malaysians involved in sports activities for income such as commercial sports facility operators and thirdly, the fact that the sports industry must be viewed as a huge economic ecosystem, and not to merely focus on the sports activities itself.
“Sports as an industry pulls in high-value commercial investment, including corporate sponsorship, broadcasting and content which attracts a high number of eyeballs and generates sales of merchandise involving major competitions such as the Malaysia Football League or Sepak Takraw League,” he said.
Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced a two-week extension of the MCO throughout the country except for Sarawak, as the number of daily cases recorded is still high.