Running enthusiasts call for monitoring body in Malaysia

Marathons are big business in Malaysia yet there is no dedicated body to monitor the various running events. — Malay Mail picMarathons are big business in Malaysia yet there is no dedicated body to monitor the various running events. — Malay Mail picPUTRAJAYA, July 4 — Running enthusiasts have proposed to the Youth and Sports Ministry to set up a special body to monitor athletic events, especially runs, in the country in order to protect participants from being cheated by irresponsible organisers.

One of them, Juani Munir Abu Bakar, 30, said having a dedicated body to monitor the various running events was most necessary as there have been organisers who cancelled their events at the eleventh hour and did not make any refunds to the participants.

“Now, such cases have been rampant and the organisers do not give reasonable excuses. Even the fees are not refunded.

“It should be made compulsory for the organisers to register and to obtain licences or permits to organise the events from the special body.

“Should they fail to comply with the stipulated conditions, their licenses or permits should be revoked and they should be (subsequently,) blacklisted. This is to protect the participants from incurring losses,” he told Bernama.

Juani, who had been a victim of irresponsible organisers, said special regulations and guidelines should also be enforced for the organisers to announce cancellations at least a week ahead of the event, and to make refunds within a month.

It is learnt that the registration fees imposed vary between RM45 and RM110 depending on the categories, namely five kilometres, 10km, 21km (half marathon) and 42km (full marathon).

Echoing the same sentiment was Mohd Hazeem Hashim, 24, who hoped that such regulations and guidelines would be created soon.

He also urged the authorities such as local councils or the police to take a stern action against the organisers who had been using their logos in promotional materials pertaining to running events.

“Do not allow these irresponsible quarters to simply use the names or logos (of the authorities) to draw participation from members of the public. Legal action should be taken against such organisers,” said the marathon runner. — Bernama