Oct 13, 2009


The Ministry of Youth and Sports has proposed to set up a council to resolve the Malaysian Professional Golfers' Association (MPGA) issue.

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the formation of the council was aimed at helping local professional golfers who are members of MPGA which was suspended by Sports Commissioner Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusof last year and placed under an Ad-hoc Committee headed by Datuk Thomas Lee.

"The job of the council will be specifically to organise tournaments for the professionals. As for the status of the association, it is still beleaguered with problems under the law.

"We will leave it to the ad-hoc committee to find a solution. But setting up the council is important because we cannot wait for the court cases to be over," he told reporters after opening a forum "The Way Forward" with professional golfers and those involved in the golf profession, at the International Youth Centre in Cheras here on Tuesday.

He added that forming a new association for professional golfers would take a long time.

"I seek a little understanding and confidence from the players and allow the ministry to carry out its responsibility. The ministry will manage the council for an interim period before a proper association can handle its matters," said Ahmad Shabery.

He added that the setting up of the council must however, get the blessing of the professional players and the ad-hoc committee.

According to Ahmad Shabery, who himself is an avid golfer, the council would be represented by three professional players, three vocational pros, golf club owner (1), golf industry (1), media (1), government (2) and corporate (2).

"The ministry will allocate RM500,000 for the council to start operations and it will be my 'baby'. I do not know the history of MPGA and I do not want any cronies to be involved.

"We also need to set up an academy to determine the professional status of a golfer. We will engage the services of an experienced man to handle it. I have also asked RM1 million allocation for the academy," he said.

Ahmad Shabery said his has set a December dateline for the council to draft a programme and calendar of activities.

"If possible, we want to organise at least two tournaments a month, offering RM300,000 as prize money. We do not want to organise tournaments that offer RM30,000 or RM50,000...it will be embarrassing," he said.

Meanwhile Thomas Lee said a meeting would be held soon with the players.

The council which was proposed by the minister would be the route map for us to enhance our professionalism in the golf industry. With the minister's announcement, the hard work begins now. We will meet again next week to discuss the details," he said - Bernama

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