Tue, 11 Apr 2000

Fund woes won't stop events

JAKARTA (JP): State Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Mahadi Sinambela said on Monday that financial shortages would not prevent Indonesia from participating in regional and international events.

He said that Indonesia would compete in the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur although the National Sports Council (KONI) currently had no money in its pocket to fund the training.

"We have to participate in the SEA Games because we want to maintain friendship with other countries. If we don't have money to buy airplane tickets, we can travel by sea," he said.

He said that his office was still considering ways to raise funds for sports training.

"The main thing is that the money will come from the people," he said.

He also said that he had sent a proposal on raising funds from cigarette taxes to the Finance Ministry. He said that the ministry had yet to give its response.

"The basic idea of raising funds from cigarette taxes is collecting money from smokers to finance the non-smokers' activities. We want to popularize this, but we are waiting for the response from the finance ministry," he said.

He remained cool towards objection from cigarette companies over his idea.

"We collect money from consumers, not the manufacturers. I told you that we want to collect the people's money," he said.

He also said that he had not suggested to President Abdurrahman Wahid to enact the tax reduction policy, in which companies that finance sports would receive tax reductions.

"Currently, some companies have allocated some money from their business promotion budgets to finance sports. I don't think we should reduce their taxes as a result of contributing to sports," he said.(ivy)