The Hijacking Of…1,2,3 SCKLM 2015!

The Hijacking Of…1,2,3 SCKLM 2015! 

Happier Days

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.  

Julie wants 4th October reinstated

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.  

Will there be another twist to this fable?

 HOW SO? It is certainly, NOT about the accommodation & flight booking cancelations, it is about something much more dear to our hearts. It is about breach of trust. Since the inception of SCKLM in 2009, the running community has backed this award-winning event right up to the hilt and to the high-point SCKLM enjoys today. Changing the event date for a good reason is one thing, but to give in to the bullying demands of politicians for the benefit of another totally unrelated event at the expense of SCKLM true supporters is INEXCUSABLE! This makes those people who work in, those who support, and those who help build the local running industry, a laughing stock. If it can be done once, it can be done again; this unprecedented turnaround is laying the foundation for future events to be treated equally bad again. Yes, our local running events are not perfect, but at least, the organisers are trying their best to meet the runners’ demands & we call our own shots, and not some big-wig in Putrajaya. In all decency, the Ministry’s proposal should have been shot-down even before it could reach the negotiation table. There is nothing in the SCKLM 2015 terms & conditions which allow such changes to be made, and certainly, not in the manner that it was made.


Who could have predicted this outcome?

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. 

PC Launch Corporate Gift

 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- for more information and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Facebook: Twitter:


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;

2) For Bib Transfer;


Can SCKLM bounce back?

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About Gus Ghani

Hi:) My name is Gus and I am a Fitness Coach who enjoys outdoor adventures. In particular, I like to run marathons & ultra marathons, and compete in triathlons and century rides for fitness, fun & friendship. My passion is to motivate my friends to exercise more so that they can live life to the fullest. The purpose of this blog is five-fold:- 1) I find writing very therapeutic & beats paying for a psychiatrist to keep sane 2) I like to share & inspire others into engaging in any healthy pursuits 3) This is a great way to keep track of my progress in all my sporting endeavours 4) This also keeps me honest & spurs me on to do more 5) Even if you are a couch potatoe, I hope you will find my entries entertaining and/or informative. In summary, this blog is helping me help others help myself...get it?
This entry was posted in 2015, 42km, Event, Event Organiser, Full Marathon, Fun Run, Half Marathon, Happy Runner, Happy Running, June, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Marathon, Media, Race Director, Race Organiser, Running, Running Event, Running Industry, Sports, Sports Minister, Sports Ministry, Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to The Hijacking Of…1,2,3 SCKLM 2015!

  1. Lee Hui Seng says:

    Fastastic article. U have said all that we need to say

  2. Lee Hui Seng says:

    I think KBS made a huge mistake for following reasons:
    1. Not many runners can take part on a Saturday
    2. Many foreigners and ourstation ppl have booked their weekend
    3. Organiser listened too much to outside interference
    4. Regular runners already booked for other runs on 10 and 11Oct
    5 Changing dates show indecision,especially after it was changed due to a haze that didnt happen a few years ago
    6 This will put Malaysian tourism efforts in a bad light

    This is how it will impact everyone:

    *****4Oct 2015 Standard Chartered KL Marathon,Dataran Merdeka,KL
    ****10Oct 2015(Sat) 21km HRDF Half Marathon Putrajaya
    10Oct 2015(Sat) 12km Run Forrest Run Trail, Mardi Maeps Serdang
    10Oct 2015 (Sat) 6km+22obstacles Reebok KL Spartan Sprint Race
    10Oct 2015(Sat) Kepong Ballbreaker Run,Taman Botani,Shah Alam
    10Oct 2015(Sat) 5km Music Run,SIC Sepang
    10Oct 2015(Sat) Petzl Trail Nite Run,Taman Rimba Alam,Putrajaya Precinct 15
    ****11Oct 2015 15&10&5km HCP Run,Stadium Arena,UM
    11Oct 2015 12km Mahkota Charity Run,Mahkota Medical Centre,Melaka
    11Oct 2015 Water Carpark Run,Kuching
    11Oct 2015 Chicago Marathon

  3. Lee Hui Seng says:

    1st ever ‘National Sports Day'(Hari Sukan Negara) project on 10 Oct is a brainchild of KBS.We dont deny it is a good concept to make every Malaysian citizen aware of benefits of sports.But there are already many other programmes lined up for that day eg The Spartan Race and HRDF Half Marathon.Why need to ‘hijack’ another ready-made event of 35,000 participants to achieve your KPI? If need to achieve your KPI to satisfy your ultimate bosses, then organise your own event. Dirigo Events has been working all year to organise SCKLIM and suddenly their efforts have been ‘credited’ to someone else with a stroke of a pen.
    Have we thought through the numerous inconveniences caused to many overseas and outstation participants who have booked their arrangements?

  4. Lee Hui Seng says:

    It seems from today’s news that KBS and SCKLIM are sticking to their guns and will not revert to its original 4Oct date despite the massive objection to the date change.So much for listening to the countless voices of the Rakyat and voters.

  5. Ange says:

    Just to add on to the list of events, there is another record breaking event of 3k participant by score fitness on 10th Oct 2015.

  6. Suzie Gau says:

    Great article Gus! You nailed it to the cross.

  7. Pingback: Suck it Up Runners or #SCKLM4October | The Expat Runner

  8. Azizul Hakkim Yusoff says:

    Why not the whole month of october becomes national sports month it is still not to late. Starting of with scklm on the first week and then the other event throught out the month.Work with tourism ministry to promote sport tourism and get more international events to M’sian shore. Good for us avid amateur athletes and for the economy. KJ obviously fails to noticed that the events are participated by the same pool of enthusiasts from the running and cross disciplines amateur athletes. Now how can we be at different event at the same time. KJ must be reminded that we are paying customers, we paid in full. Or better still just leave us alone and just do a futsal game nationwide as soccer is the most popular in M’sia.

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