The staging of the 2009 Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) is reported to have incurred debts amounting to almost RM4 million.
Sources say that the organizers of the premier cycling event are having difficulty in making payments and have requested for aid from the Government. The Ministry of Youth and Sport funded the 2009 race with a grant of RM7 million.
Reliable sources say the organizers require at least another RM4 million to settle all debts. Cycling experts say they hear that the Ministry is considering taking over the organization of the race next year.
At this point, it is cannot be confirmed if a company would be appointed to run the event or the Ministry itself will take on the responsibility with Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) providing the technical and expertise.
I tried to contact the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the 2009 event, Datuk Naim Mohamed (picture) for comments but could not reach him.
About three years ago, the MNCF received RM20 million to run the LTdL, which has helped promote Malaysia internationally.
Many commentators felt the amount was too big for an event which, say some of them, could be organized with a RM10 million budget.