17th August, 2012
THANK YOU … Vela (left) presents a memento to Pang for officiating at the Media Launch of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2012 Borneo Sevens, yesterday. KH Tan is at right, while Ong is next to him.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s hopes for a rugby stadium may not materialise any time soon, but there was positive news for the State rugby enthusiasts, especially the Sabah Rugby Union yesterday, as Datuk Peter Pang En Yin revealed their intention to build two quality rugby fields soon in the State Capital.
Although the Youth and Sports Minister refused to give any definite day when the work would begin, but the New Sabah Times Sports reliably learnt that the project will start as soon as after the Hari Raya Festival celebration.
Some two years back or so, the Federal Government, through the Youth and Sports Ministry (Federal) had pledged to build Malaysia’s first rugby-specific Stadium in Kota Kinabalu.
Its Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek had said that his Ministry would request for an allocation of RM35 million under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2015) to build the stadium for the development of the sport.
And it has been a while that the proposal of building the stadium was mooted, but there has been no sign that it would materialise.
Pang said they have done their part in pursing the matter.
“We will still continue to submit our request to the Federal Government, but for now, we will start the project with ‘whatever means’. We will take our own initiative to start the project,” said Pang, adding that the rugby stadium project will be scaled down.
Pang said this when officiating at the Media Launch of the HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2012 Borneo Sevens, to be held at the Likas Stadium on August 31 to September 2.
“For a start we will build the basic facilities first. This would comprise two good quality playing fields, which we hope to complete before the Sabah Games (SAGA) next year,” said Pang.
He said his Ministry would work closely with the Sabah Sports Board as well as the Sabah Rugby Union to ensure the necessary facilities for the complex.
Also present at the ceremony were SRU President-cum-Borneo Sevens organising chairman, Velayuthan Tan, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Penyuki Matta, Sabah Sports Board Deputy General Manager, Terrence Pudin, SRU Vice President, KH Tan and HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad East Malaysia Area Director, Ong Eng Mun.
For the record, more than 50 schools are actively involved in rugby development, which is the largest number in any Malaysian state.
The HSBC Asian Sevens Series 2012 Borneo Sevens will be a three-in-one rugby bonanza, including the Asia Pacific Women Rugby Sevens and the inaugural Borneo Junior 7s for U-16 boys.