Wed, 05 Jan 2000

Sports council vows to boost fund-raising

JAKARTA (JP): The National Sports Council (KONI) started the new year with a vow to intensify both its fund raising efforts and its public accountability report transparency.

With local, regional and international multisport events coming up -- the National Games (PON), the Olympic Games and the 2001 Southeast Asian Games -- KONI chairman Wismoyo Arismunandar said that he would try to encourage the government, and the general public as well, to invest their money in sports development.

"We have to be able to appraise our strengths and weaknesses, eradicate the weaknesses and organize our sports potential. Although we were up against it last year, we were still able to maintain our superiority.

"We want the government to pay more attention and be more committed to sports development. I don't mean to beg for money like a small kid, but I want everyone to realize that sports are essential to the nation's life ," Wismoyo said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

He said KONI was still weighing three proposals on fund raising program.

KONI's audit chief I Putu Gede Ary Suta, who was also present at the briefing, said KONI had appointed accounting firm Richard Tanubrata & Co. to audit the council's accounts. He also said the council had asked another accounting firm, Prasetio, Utomo & Co., to design a new financial system.

"We want to increase people's participation in sports development, but at the same time we should have good public accountability reports," Ary, who is also a staff member at the Ministry of Finance, said.

He said that the report would have a different format because KONI is a nonprofit organization. "KONI is nonprofit. It has no working capital but donations instead. It's also a semigovernmental organization."

Ary suggested KONI hold a special seminar on fund raising to end the disputes surrounding sports funding.

"There's always controversy when KONI starts to raise funds. Let's try to design a concept of fund raising. Everybody is talking about raising funds for sports development, yet KONI is still finding it difficult to get the money."

During the media briefing, the first of the year, Wismoyo mentioned some of the problems facing national sports development.

He acknowledged the government's lack of support for sports, adding that some Asian countries earmark a considerable amount of their budgets on sports development.

"Vietnam is a poor country but its government pays a lot of attention to sports. The Malaysian government spent US$28 million on training for the 1999 Southeast Asian Games, while the Chinese Taipei government, as stated in their 1994 report, allocated Rp 400 billion for sports," he said. (ivy)