PETALING JAYA Feb 6 : The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) has welcomed the recent announcement by youth and sports minister Reezal Merican about the government’s decision to consider the resumption of sports and other outdoor activities.
In a statement today, MGA said the announcement demonstrated the government’s commitment to ensure the sports industry is not adversely impacted financially by the pandemic and the movement control order (MCO) while also keeping Malaysians safe from Covid-19.
“With the expected reopening of more than 150 golf clubs in Malaysia in the short term, it is estimated that more than 38,000 employees, including caddies, are expected to return to work,” said MGA honorary secretary Zulkifli Ismail.
“In addition, several stakeholders operating various golf-related businesses are expected to reopen and immediately benefit from the expected resumption of golf activities.”
MGA said that similar to other open-air recreational activities, like cycling and jogging —which are currently the only sports allowed during the MCO — golf is another outdoor pursuit which may help people deal with the psychological and emotional stress caused by the lockdown.
MGA added that it had updated its mandatory standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be issued to all its affiliates and privately owned and operated driving ranges in a bid to assist the government in its efforts to flatten the curve of Covid-19 infections.
In a statement on his Facebook page on Thursday, Reezal said his ministry had applied for a relaxation of restrictions on sports and recreation during the MCO during a National Security Council technical meeting chaired by senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said this included SOPs for outdoor sports, gyms and other sporting activities, adding that such activities should be conducted within one’s own neighbourhood, would not involve physical contact and would not allow public attendance.