If you were to win first place in a national event, how much prize money would you expect to get?
These kids who participated and won the opening round of the Junior Cycling Malaysia (JCM) series last Sunday (10th April), were offered an embarrassing amount of prize money, ranging between RM10 to RM30.
The now-viral photo (above) shows Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin giving out mock cheques to the winners of the junior category. According to the New Straits Times, the elite category winners received between RM250 and RM1000.
JCM received a lot of criticism after the photos were released on their Facebook page. A netizen commented, “The Under-9 and Under-11 kids who came in third place, held a mock cheque worth RM10. Wouldn’t the cost of making a cheque of that size cost much more than the prize?”
MGAG even created a meme that was widely shared on social media.
In response to the negative comments received by the JCM on social media, Jamaluddin replied, “We want them to grow up with the right values and attitude. Yes, money is important and if they do well in sports, they will be financially rewarded later on but let’s not spoil them from when they are young. Let them want to win for the sake of winning, to be the best not because of money but because of determination and honour.”
He also added that the JCM felt that it was more important for children to have the interest, the desire to win, and experience of participation.
The JCM was launched last month as the Youth and Sports Ministry’s effort to create a pathway for champions. It was reported that RM2 million had been allocated for the project by the Ministry.
What are your opinions about the prizes? Do you think that the winners deserve more or do you agree that prize money shouldn’t matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
For more information, visit JCM’s official website.