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Monday, April 4, 2011

MSBF snookered by internal strife

Suhana Dewi Sabtu managed to raise enough money from sponsors to compete in an invitational event in Taiwan
[ from News Straits Times - 3 April 2011 ]
[ by Ajitpal Singh ]
THE local cue sports scene could disappear if the Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) fails to solve its internal matters soon.
The federation has been without a president following Raymond Lim's resignation on Jan 15.

Lim, the president of the Johor Snooker and Billiards Association, was elected to replace the long-serving Datuk W.Y. Chin, on Dec 17.

But he made an about-turn by tendering his resignation citing personal reasons.
Since then, the cue sports scene has been inactive and players are in two minds on whether to quit the sport.

They have also lost out in terms of international tournaments due to insufficient funding.

MSBF secretary Melvin Chia hopes the issues will be resolved at the yet-to-be scheduled council meeting.

"The council is supposed to meet on Friday but it could be postponed as some members can't commit to it. We need to address the problems and get the sport going again," said Chia yesterday.

"The council has neither met since last December's elections nor accepted Raymond's (Lim) resignation.

" It is an internal matter and we hope to solve it internally in accordance with the constitution."

Chia also confirmed that MSBF has not presented a proper programme for its players to the National Sports Council (NSC) for funding purposes.

"We have not had a full-time programme for our athletes since the 2009 Laos Sea Games. As for last year, we managed to get funding on an ad-hoc basis from NSC to expose players in preparation for the Asian Games.

"It is sad that we have not planned anything concrete for our players ahead of the Indonesia Sea Games. We need to start soon," he said.

NSC has also advised the federation to solve its internal matters in order to not lose out on funding.

Chia revealed that several players have raised their own money to compete overseas.

"Ibrahim Amir, a silver medallist in the Asian Games, managed to raise money from sponsors to compete in the ongoing Philippines Open while Suhana Dewi Sabtu did the same to play in an invitational event in Taiwan," he said.

In a move to keep the local players active, Chia formed the Selangor Snooker and Billiards Association on March 7 to organise a state-level circuit.

"It is important that we make sure our players are kept active. But of course, the real issue here is to get them funds to compete in international tournaments," he added.

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