In light of recent events involving the Sports Commissioner’s Office, we feel that it is imperative for us to explain what our roles and responsibilities are as defined by the Sports Development Act, and also what we’ve been doing to strengthen it.

The core function of the Sports Commissioner’s Office is to regulate, not to enforce. It has to be kept in mind that the spirit of the Sports Development Act is to encourage sports development, and is not punitive in nature. It is to encourage a higher standard of both high-performance sports and sports development. We have a mechanism that is dual-functioned in nature– one that is preventive and one that is corrective.

With the current Act in place, we have seen sporting events and activities thrive around the country. There are thousands of events that take place annually across the country, and our high-performance sporting achievements for the most part has never been better.

With this in mind, we have also been cognisant of the fact that we need to keep in line with the times. The Sports Commissioner’s Office has been in extensive consultation with various stakeholders since 2014 to amend the Sports Development Act in line with best practices internationally. In that time, the Sports Commissioner’s Office has met the Sports Advisory Panel, Olympic Council of Malaysia, the National Sports Council, the National Sports Institute, National Sports Associations, local government agencies, major event organisers, and public enforcers including MACC, police, RELA, and JPAM. For instance, the Sports Commissioner’s Office has met the Sports Advisory Panel a total of 19 times in that period. This amended Act will be tabled in Parliament once it has followed due process.

With our upcoming amendments, we will have a minimum retention fee of RM10,000 or 5% of the sanction fee to reimburse participants of the event for all international events. This is on top of any legal action the Sports Commissioner’s Office will take against irresponsible event organisers. The penalty for companies that infringe on the Sports Development Act will also be raised from RM5,000 to RM500,000 with these amendments.

Coming back to the current Act, Section 36 is quite clear of what needs to be done by companies registered under the Registrar of Companies in organising sporting events and activities. Any company which organises sporting activities need to apply for a license from the Sports Commissioner’s Office. The Sports Commissioner’s Office functions to receive these applications and we will ensure they comply with a checklist of other permits, as what is readily available on our website (

This approval is important. Per Section 34 of the Sports Development Act, this sanctioning ensures the health and safety measures for participants, officials and spectators, the standard and qualifications for all participants and officials as well as ensuring that this is in accordance with the recognised rules and guidelines of all international governing and regulatory bodies for its sport in all matters.

I also have to make this clear. The Sports Commissioner’s Office can’t be expected to have the technical expertise to evaluate the more than 50 sports defined under the Act. They stand guided by the expertise and experience, as well as the sanctioning of events done by associations. This is to ensure that sports associations maintain the technical standards and international rules and guidelines of sporting events per Section 34 of the Sports Development Act. It is in line with best practices and guidelines of international federations. This is not something that the Ministry can interfere in. For example, the Malaysia Athletics Federation is bound by the IAAF. The Football Association of Malaysia is bound by FIFA.

The current incident involving three runners in the Klang City International Marathon has shone a light on the importance of licensing events of this nature. I would like to ask the public to play their part in ensuring that we identify errant organisers who are merely out to make a quick buck, while disregarding the health and safety as well as the standard and qualifications of all participants.

The list of approved sporting events is out on the Kementerian Belia & Sukan website ( and will be updated regularly. If an event that you have joined is not there, I’d like to ask you to report it to the Sports Commissioner’s Office, so that we can take action which includes blacklisting the organiser completely.

Like any Government agency, it takes all parties and everyone to ensure the safety and security of such events. I’d welcome all of you to join us on these efforts to make participating in sporting activities safer for everyone. Thank you.

Dato Zaiton Othman,
Sports Commissioner of Malaysia
12 December 2017