Tan Sri Vincent Tan, chairman of the Better Malaysia Foundation (BMF), has stepped in to help the cash-strapped karate team following their recent exceptional triumph at an international competition.
Berjaya Corporation Berhad founder has offered RM20,000 to the privately supported squad to help them pay their fees and debts. Tan’s personal charitable organization, BMF, will provide the funding.
“Their huge success must be acknowledged by all as it was no ordinary feat. The most important thing right now is to make sure their debts are settled as that will free them to plan for their next trip,” Vincent stated.
On May 8, the karate squad from the International Okinawan Shorin-Ryu Sei-bu-kan Karate Do Association of Malaysia (IOSSKAM), which had travelled to Paris on credit with the assistance of a local travel agency, clinched the French Karate International Open, earning the country’s first gold medal in an international tournament.
Raising funds has been challenging for the club as it is not associated with the Malaysian Karate Federation, which is the country’s governing body for the sport.
The team consist of 9 members which encountered discrimination while attempting to gather funds for the meet in Lyon, answered back their worth by acquiring at least a medal each in the tournament.
“No Malaysian bringing honor to the country should be neglected,” said Tan, who hopes to see more attempts to help Malaysian athletes.
The representative for the Karate Kids, Thivashini Krish Dhev Nair, hailed Tan for offering to help the team with their financial problems. She stated that the team’s obligations would be paid soon, and that the team’s attention would now be on preparing for events in the United States and Italy.
“We would like to express our gratitude to the Better Malaysia Foundation and other donors who have contributed to the team’s success,” Thivashini told FMT.
An act of true generosity indeed.