SUKMA XIX without Velodrome?

During the weekly state executive council meeting on Wednesday, June 6, the Executive Councillor for Youth, Sports and Character Building, Howard Lee defended his claims that Velodrome Rakyat is unfit for cycling events in the upcoming Sukma Games scheduled for in September.

Howard visited the site on Tuesday, June 5. He was unimpressed with the recently-refurbished velodrome. The timber track is in poor shape and may injure cyclists. He plans to bring the matter up with the Sport Ministry.

Ipoh Echo spoke to Datuk Amarjit Singh, vice-president of Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF). He was shocked at Howard’s insistence.

“This is a baseless claim. There was no expert or representative from MNCF and Perak Cycling Association during Howard’s visit. He should’ve invited qualified people to determine the track’s safety,” said Amarjit. He met Howard on June 7.

Ipoh Echo spoke to Howard on June 8 during a social event at P.O.R.T and sought his side of the story.

“As for today, June 8, I still stand by my statement. The velodrome is unfit for any cycling events. I’m giving the responsible party till August 1 to fix the problem. Should they fail, cycling events at the velodrome will be cancelled,” he remarked.

Howard questioned the RM11 million allocation the previous state government received to renovate the facility in 2016. Was the money properly spent?

With less than three months before the Sukma Games, time is running out on those responsible.

Ili Aqilah

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