Malaysian Sports Minister urges caution over McQuaid support

The Malaysian government Sports Minister has warned the national cycling body to steer clear of forays into the political sphere and instead concentrate on the betterment of the sport following their controversial backing of incumbent UCI President Pat McQuaid.

Last week it was announced that the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) not only joined with Morocco in their nomination of McQuaid for the up-coming UCI elections in September, but also that the south-east Asian nation is proposing a Constitutional amendment that would allow their backing for election. As it stands, all nominations must be made 90 days prior to the election and candidates require the backing of their own federation.

"I don't wish to interfere in the MNCF's choice of who it wants to support in the UCI elections," said Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in response according to the New Straits Times late last week.

"But I wish to remind them that the focus of their efforts and priorities should be towards the wellbeing and development of our national cyclists and the events under their care, like our premier event Le Tour de Langkawi."

The MNCF relies mostly on tax payer funding and earlier this year, head coach John Beasley called for the federal government to step in and ask questions as to why development projects have stalled considerably, particularly in road cycling.

"As it is, this is a highly controversial issue, so I would not want to interfere in the political choices of the MNCF, or whoever they wish to support in this elections [sic]. They must remember that whatever they do, it has to benefit the development of Malaysian cycling," said Khairy

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