National Sports Council addresses retired Paralympian’s viral story

Malaysian athletes are cheered on and hailed like heroes whenever they represent our country at international tournaments such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. So it’s sad to see them retiring from their roles as national athletes, with little support from those around them.

This issue was recently highlighted by a netizen who met with a retired Paralympian working at a petrol station in Kuala Selangor. After fellow netizens raised concerns over the retired national athlete’s state of affairs, the National Sports Council (NSC) came out to say that they had made efforts to support him, but that he turned their offers down due to commitments to his family.

Retired Paralympian found working as petrol assistant

On 6th September 2021, Twitter user @ezhar_ehsan took to his account to share with his followers a photo of him meeting up with retired Paralympian Mohd Raduan Emeari recently, while adding that he was told not to upload the photo by the athlete in fears of receiving a call and warning from NSC.

He also posted a screenshot of a Facebook post shared back in November 2019, where a fellow netizen said that he’d stumbled upon the Paralympian working at a BHP Petrol Station in Kuala Selangor. The post also lamented the alleged lack of a pension and incentives from the government for the national sprinter who had delivered medals for the country in the past.

Former Paralympian goes viral - viral post
Image credit: @ezhar_ehsan

The Twitter post went viral, receiving over 14,000 likes and 13,000 retweets at the time of writing this article. Many online expressed their concerns over the welfare of retired Paralympian athletes such as Mohd Raduan, who had once dedicated their lives and efforts to represent the country.

NSC addresses viral story

Following the story of Mohd Raduan going viral, the National Sports Council (NSC) came out to address it in a lengthy press statement shared to their social media accounts on behalf of NSC director-general Dato’ Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

The statement first acknowledged that Mohd Raduan had indeed competed in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games in the Athletics event, where he ranked 7th in the Men’s 100m (T36) finals. He was also part of the ASEAN Para Games in 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017, and the Asian Para Games in 2010 and 2014.

Mohd Raduan delivered five gold medals while competing in the ASEAN Para Games from 2007-2017, as reported by Astro Awani.

Former Paralympian goes viral - statement
Page one of the press statement released by NSC
Image credit: National Sports Council

On the subject of financial support, the statement said that the retired Paralympian was given an initial monthly allowance of RM500 during his part-time tenure in an NSC programme beginning in 2007. This allowance was increased to RM1,500-RM2,500 when he became a full-timer in 2009, based on his performance in sporting events, until 2015.

He was later offered several positions by NSC, including a job offer to help out the national squad. But he rejected this to focus on his family instead. He also had admission to a Podium Programme under the National Sports Institute (ISN) in 2016, with a monthly pay of RM4,500, but was no longer a part of this as of 2017. He has not competed in any competitions since, due to family commitments.

Former Paralympian goes viral
Image credit: National Sports Council

Since 2020, Mohd Raduan has been helping the NSC scout for new athletic talents in the Selangor area with a monthly allowance of RM350.

To cap off their official statement, NSC also shared that the National Athlete Welfare Foundation (YAKEB) had met up with the former athlete to offer him basic business courses on 6th September. They will be further supporting his endeavours if he were to pursue starting a business, and will look to supporting all retiring athletes as well.

Retired Paralympian at petrol station goes viral

Our national athletes are hailed for their performances whenever they represent our country in international tournaments. So it is understandably frustrating to see them left with little support following their dedication to their sporting events upon retirement.

That said, we are more than glad to hear that NSC has reached out to support Mohd Raduan.

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Cover image adapted from: @ezhar_ehsan and Berita Harian

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