WSFFM response to the Sun article

Previously here, I wrote about the Women’s Sports and Fitness Foundation of Malaysia, and from a news article in the Sun newspaper (online version), there was much ado over the kind of money spent on entertainment alone.

From Rocky’s Bru2 here, he has posted a response by the WSFFM on this particular issue.

REPLY TO ARTICLE “SONG AND DANCE WHILE OTHERS SUFFER” IN theSun (Wednesday, April 16 2008 )

The Financial report representing the strategies and management of the taxpayers money indeed should justify the consumption of the taxpayers investment. However, it is important for us to justify which segment of nation improvement are we sports people responsible for, and in what way does that directly or indirectly relates to poverty, education, medical and etc. The segmentation of funds for the purpose of sports is for the purpose of developing a nation via the involvement of sports. The WSFFM is an NGO which has and is dedicated in empowering women.

It is vital for us to first provide the necessary facts and figures pertaining the wide spectrum of activities and people who have been involved in these programs and subsequently furnish your goodself with information pertaining the respective expenses. The WSFFM has conducted the following programs and the respective people involved:

1) The National Women Games (2007) – 3,400 (Athletes) and 600 (Officials)
2) The International Women and Sports Conference (2007) – 289 (Participants)
3) Coaching, Technical and Umpiring Courses (2007) – 780 (Women Officials)
4) Membership Program (2007) – 5,832 members recuited

The Games also provided the following to the participants:

a) Free Internal Transport (Games Village – Competition Venues)

b) Free Meals for Athletes and Officials. Meals were prepared and monitored by the National Sports Council Dietitions

c) Gifts and Condolences : These were the free Pillow,Pillowcase, Bedsheets and Blankets given to the 3,400 athletes and 600 officials.

d) The cost of organizing the entire sports specific (Competition) – which entire organizing grant was given to the National Sports Association for managing and running of the events.

e) Media plans – in organizing of any events the media is essential, to a large extend women can be given more coverage.

f) T-shirts for the athletes, team officials, security, volunteers, technical officials and the organizing committee. These total t-shirts :
1. Volunteers – 350 x 2 sets
2. Security – 180 x 2 sets
3. Participants – 3,500
4. Officials (Team / Technical / Committee Member) – 1,820
The mere reason for the t-shirts in its most humble sense is for Identification of Jobs and Designation. The volunteers need identification, bright orange and security.

g) Wages / Allowances – There were many people employed for the purpose of running the Games. Their justifications was their total involvement and time consumed at the expense of their careers or full-time jobs.

h) Grants – These grants were given to the 15 State Sports Council amounting to RM30,000 each state sports council for their participation in the Games and to the NSAs for organizing the Competitions.

i) Entertainment (RM1.4 Million) – We would like to furnish your goodself that the precise definition of the term entertainment used in the accounts encompasses a broad range of expenses related to sporting events, athletes and team management participating in the National Women Games 2007.

The pure meaning of the word entertainment has been embraced for the purpose of denoting the need to express respect and glorification of athletes via the organization of ceremonial eventsIn the same line of definition, the Malaysian Games constitute the opening and closing ceremonies of the National Women Games, the prize giving and recognition ceremonies of the winners, the recognition ceremony for the record breakers and Contingent winners. These events can be expressed to it’s best definition of its intended purpose via the participation of the Malaysian people, which in a more generic form can be classified as audience or the general public which support the Games by their presence.

Full article here.

*****

I was searching this morning over the Internet for the WSFFM’s website, and I could not find much information on their website that accommodates such information. It is comforting to read from this, that perhaps the issue of expenditure has been over-played. But maybe they could work a little more on including this kind of information on their website, so that they don’t need to get bombarded at left right and front, before they defend themselves.

Good on them for responding to this issue at this speed.

And although the expenditure is being justified, it doesn’t mean that the amount of money spent is not excessive. They would probably want to look at ways of decreasing that amount of money spent, but keep the quality up to standard. Difficult, yes, but when there’s a will, there’s a way.

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