Pen­sion cheer for past par­a­lympians

> Medal­lists to re­ceive same amount as that given to Olympians

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY LEE CHOON FAI

SHAH ALAM: Youth and Sports Min­is­ter Khairy Ja­malud­din has as­sured for­mer par­a­lympic medal­lists that they will start re­ceiv­ing pen­sions once a scheme for them is stream­lined with pen­sions for Olympians.

He said the scheme will be in line with the amount Olympic medal­lists re­ceive cur­rently. The govern­ment did not have a pen­sion scheme for par­a­lympians be­fore.

“Now that we have stream­lined the win­ning in­cen­tives for Olympians and Par­a­lympians, I have asked the same be done for pen­sions as well,” Khairy told a press con­fer­ence at the Pro­ton Centre of Ex­cel­lence yes­ter­day.

Gold medal­lists will re­ceive RM5,000, sil­ver medal­lists RM3,000, while bronze medal­lists will re­ceive RM2,000, said Khairy after an Olympian Medal­lists Ap­pre­ci­a­tion cer­e­mony dur­ing which Pro­ton awarded cars to Olympic medal­lists.

An English daily yes­ter­day high­lighted the plight of for­mer par­a­lympian P. Mari­ap­pan, who is wheel­chair-bound and is barely mak­ing ends meet.

Mari­ap­pan rep­re­sented Malaysia as a power lifter in ev­ery (seven in to­tal) Par­a­lympic Games from 1988 to 2012, bag­ging two bronze medals in the process.

Khairy said Mari­ap­pan and other for­mer medal-win­ning par­a­lympians will start re­ceiv­ing their pen­sions by Oc­to­ber.

“Mari­ap­pan won bronze medals, so he will start re­ceiv­ing a RM2,000 pen­sion by Oc­to­ber,” Khairy said.

Ad­di­tion­ally, he has also asked the Na­tional Sports Coun­cil about em­ploy­ment for Mari­ap­pan at the Par­a­lympic Centre of Ex­cel­lence in Kam­pung Pan­dan, Kuala Lumpur.

Khairy said a grand home­com­ing re­cep­tion awaits the na­tional par­a­lympics con­tin­gent on Sept 22, Ber­nama re­ported.

He said the Cab­i­net had agreed yes­ter­day to ac­cord the con­tin­gent a he­roes’ wel­come at the Bunga Raya Com­plex, KL In­ter­na­tional Air­port upon their ar­rival, adding Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak was sched­uled to join well-wish­ers in re­ceiv­ing them.

(From left) Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Tan Wee Keong, Goh V Shem, Bad­minton As­so­ci­a­tion of Malaysia deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Mo­hamad Norza Zakaria, Rio Olympics chef de mis­sion Tan Sri Mo­hamed Al Amin, Khairy, DRB Hi­com Group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor and Pro­ton pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Al­bar, Cheong Jun Hoong, Pan­delela Ri­nong, Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon. Not present is cy­cling bronze medal­list Mohd Az­izul­hasni Awang.

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