(The Flying Singh in action in Australia – the true mark of a consistent racing champion and a statement that tells that he delivers. Picture source: FIA APRC)
An interesting statement in yesterday’s Malay Mail titled “PM: Where is the support?” in reference to the sponsorship and financial support to Karamjit Singh who is the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championships (APRC) title holder.
I am just loss for words, just like the Prime Minister’s statement but while he is wondering on why rally driver Karamjit Singh does not have the support of the private sector to continue racing for the country, I am wondering why the Sport Minister was sitting on the issue all this time and is not making strong statement.
It is not like that it was a secret or what; the newspapers have been running this story for months now. Unsurprisingly it takes the PM to address it in the Cabinet meeting and only then the Sport Minister get cranking on it – another story of Pak Turut following the Pak Lah?
Now that Pak Lah has highlighted it, only now the Sports Minister want to consulate the “right” people lah, make further “study” lah, etc – all things that should have been done a long, long time ago. I guess by time this is settled, Karamjit would have sold off his apartment, gotten the money, settled all the dues, migrated to another country and will be racing for a foreign team. By the time the proposals are approved and the work is started to help out Karamjit, Karamjit would have won a race and will be celebrating with champagne in a land far, far away
You have to respect the man, Karamjit…being good in what he does, he was willing to the extent of selling of his apartment for settled the fine and to get back his car. It is more admirable that he does not want public funds or money from the Ministry to continue rallying, but needs assistance to secure sponsorship from the private sector. The PM probably nailed his sentiment when he remarked “If Karamjit is a Malaysian and has been producing results and bringing honor to the country, why has support not been accorded to him?”
For some, the reasons are obvious but setting aside the issue of him not belonging to a particular race, is it because Karamjit is so used to winning, nobody thinks that it is a great feat? If our own F1 man, Alex Yoong had won a F1 race (not in a million years, from the way he performed), it would be been splashed all over the front page, became talk of the town and probably had something named after him. But when Karamjit Singh wins the Asia Pacific title year in year out, at the most, the story get printed at a small space somewhere in the Sports section.
To those readers who commented that it is one man’s hobby and so why one need to help, there are 2 things that you need to know. Firstly, if you can’t help, shut up and go away. Let whoever who want to help to help. Secondly, remember a guy who is called Ayrton Senna from Brazil? It is the guy who went out from “Land of Great Footballers” and became F1 world champion three times before his untimely & tragic accident. Even today, people still talk about the Great Senna and how he drove in F1.
We have our own “Ayrton Senna” in the form of Karamjit Singh (forget Alex Yoong, he did not even come close). Rather than wasting money on some (disaster) sports (like Football?), the Government should have seriously looked into helping Karamjit. He carries the name of Malaysia whenever he wins and that is a better publicity to Malaysia. The best part is that he delivers results…that are more important than just talking participating in world class event.
Enough said. Over to you, Sports Minister