Malaysia moots insurance, welfare fund for its sportsmen

Thursday, November 26, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has mooted an insurance scheme and a welfare fund for its sportsmen, particularly for those who have retired, to ensure better health care, an official said.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim announced the decision after visiting former national football player Santokh Singh.

The ethnic Indian star of yesteryears who was the defender for Selangor state, is on the road to recovery after doctors brought him out of his sedated state following a viral infection, New Straits Times reported.

The minister was responding to criticism that the government was only concerned when a former national athlete was hospitalised or his case highlighted in the media.

Ibrahim said the ministry did not have a specific welfare scheme for athletes.

“This is why I have suggested that national athletes contribute to an insurance scheme or set up a welfare fund from which they will benefit after retiring.”

Ibrahim, who was accompanied by National Sports Council director-general Zolkples Embong and National Sports Institute director-general Ramlan Aziz, said he was “taken aback” when he heard of Santokh Singh’s condition.

Santokh Singh, 57, was rushed to hospital Nov 16 after he suffered convulsions and collapsed in his home.

Malaysia has 100,000 Sikhs who excel in sports, business and in other sectors.

Filed under: Football, World

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