The Hijacking Of…1,2,3 SCKLM 2015!SCKLM 2015 SWALLOWED WHOLE
By now, the whole running world, except perhaps The North & South Pole communities, has heard of the incorporation of Malaysia’s prima doña running event, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, into the Ministry of Sports’ National Sports Day event to be held on 10th October 2015 in KL. The latter event also happens to be the untouchable pet project of our ambitious Minister of Sports, KJ, as he is affectionately known. If you recall last year, KJ officiated the launching of SCKLM 2014: I was there, and I watched him become the 1st participant to register online for his first 10km run ever. At that time, I was thinking to myself how cool it was to have a Sports Minister who could actually run, and I was impressed with his seemingly sincere support for the running community. However, after reading yesterday’s press statement (see below for contents) emitting from his office regarding SCKLM 2015, all my fear of dirty politics entering the sacred sports arena, along with their hidden agendas, resurfaced automatically. Politics in Malaysia Sports is nothing new, but within our running events circle, politicians presence have been limited to flagging-off the events & giving-away prizes to the runners. Now, KJ has singled-handedly crossed the boundary of decency to a place where his actions are perceived to be disrespectful to the 35,000 registered runners who paid 4 months in advance to run on 4th October 2015. In the past, paid runners have had to put-up with all kinds of reasons for a postponement or cancelation of running events such as ‘Act of God’, ‘Force Majeure’ & ‘Riots’, but never in our wildest dream could we have imagined that a whole Running event could be airlifted and inserted into a political rally disguised as a Sporting Event! The words, “gob-smacked” & “flabbergasted” do not come close to describing the feelings felt now by the faithful community of passionate runners. Yes, the faith of runners has been shaken to our very core. Can runners ever trust the words & promises of another race organiser ever again? If the ‘powers that be’ can command Malaysia’s most prestigious running event to roll-over & play dead, what chance has all the other smaller event organisers to stand-up against the whims & fancies of a politician? The short answer is “nil”, “nada” & “zip”!
THE WRONG PRECEDENCE By accepting, under pressure to do so or otherwise, the unlawful demands of a political force, I am afraid that Dirigo Events have let themselves down & the whole local running community too.
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?Many people, especially runners, are fed-up with politicians unashamedly abusing their power for personal gains, speaking incoherent rubbish in public, and generally messing-up our economy & our lives. You see, running is one of the few remaining non-aligned bastions where we could escape from the meddling of clueless politicians & where we do not have to listen to their rhetoric repeated over & over again in the mainstream media. When runners get together, they normally talk about Running, and those runners who talk politics will soon be finding themselves alone. So, it crushes our world to find that politics & its powerful friends are now able to tell tax-paying runners when & how we can run! My Grandpa would have told those unwanted advisors, “go and fly kite!” Admittedly, I did signed-up earlier for the Fit Malaysia 10km Run scheduled for 10th October because it was free, or more accurately, it is paid by the Rakyat. Now, I have less than 3 months to decide whether or not, I should run in SCKLM 2015 at all, because under the current circumstances, the quality of SCKLM 2015 will be heavily diluted to make room for the added non-running activities & extra crowd, and furthermore, we have a venue with limited capacity. This seems like a recipe for chaos. Ironically, in 2011, the now-extinct Siemens 10km run was postponed to a later date of that year because the original date clashed with the Yellow Bersih Rally at the same place!
DO THE RIGHT THING It is not too late for KJ to see the error of his ways & to reverse his decision of high-handedly hijacking 35,000 SCKLM runners for the sake of meeting his target of 3 million participants at the inaugural National Sports Day. However, the likelihood of a Malaysian politician admitting to a mistake is like expecting the Klang River to freeze-over! Neither is it too late for the Title Sponsor & Organiser of SCKLM to stand for the rights of their paying customers & stick to the original plan & date: In doing so, they can restore our faith in Running!
PARTING SHOTS Will common sense prevail or will SCKLM 2015 be remembered for all the wrong reasons? Only time will tell, my fellow runners.
LOVE LETTER This press statement released by KJ’s office was cited from SCKLM official website.
PUTRAJAYA, 13 JULY- The inaugural National Sports Day which will fall on the 10th of October 2015 will see the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 as the flagship event in its activity line-up.
The Marathon, which saw all 35,000 spots snapped up within 4 days, will lend a big boost to the targeted 3 million participants for the inaugural National Sports Day. This means that the iconic race will move from its announced date of Sunday, October 4 to Saturday, October 10, 2015.
National Sports Day will be celebrated simultaneously at district, state and national levels on the second Saturday of October each year following the inaugural event. The celebration has multiple objectives of inculcating a sporting culture, promoting unity, stimulating economic growth, growing sporting knowledge and recognising sporting talent.
“We thank Dirigo Events and Standard Chartered Bank for agreeing to move the Marathon date in support of the National Sports Day,” said Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin.
“It’s very significant to have the support of the 35,000 runners. Since 2009, the Standard Chartered KL Marathon has attracted participation from all over the country and abroad. We recognise that the date change will pose some challenges to runners and organizers,” he said.
He added that the ministry will work closely with the organisers to make the transition as smooth as possible for participants.
The race organiser, Dirigo Events, will be contacting all participants of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) to provide some options soon. Runners are also advised to check the official website: http://www.kl- marathon.com for more information and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Press statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sports
Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2015 moves to October 10 as part of the National Sports Day
Flagship Marathon of First Ever National Sports Day
FEELING LOST? If you have registered & paid but cannot or will not run on the new date of 10/10/2015, then your only official options are to arrange for a full refund or transfer your bib to another runner. Here are the SCKLM links to help you do so:-
1) For Cancelation & Refund; http://www.kl-marathon.com/registration/registration-cancelation/step-by-step-guide/
2) For Bib Transfer;
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