Malaysia’s well-known UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) Commissaire Jamaludin Mahmood feels that the current National Sports Council (MSN)-Le Tour de Langkawi (LTDL) model is the way forward for Asia’s premier cycling race.
Jamaludin was the Chief Commissaire at the inaugural event way back in 1996 and is also now serving as one of the Commissaires for the current event.
“I believe this is the best model to follow simply because there are checks and balances in place. Since everything involves finances, the control by a government body like the Ministry of Finance will ensure that no ‘irregularities will take place,” said Jamaludin.
“When the race is given to a private company, the bottom line is their bottom line. That has affected the race somewhat as they are more concerned about money and making profits.
“The important thing for Le Tour de Langkawi now is to bring back the drama and the excitement of the early years when top teams and world class riders are here in droves. That is something that has been missing for many, many years.
“The early years were the best years obviously.”
For the record, Jamaludin has been at almost every edition of Le Tour de Langkawi since its inception in 1996 except for those in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2012 and 2013.
For the first time in Le Tour de Langkawi’s history, the National Sports Council (MSN) has been mandated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to organise the 27th edition of the race.
The organisation of the race is no longer given to individuals from a private company where now MSN is being given complete control to hire and coordinate through the tender process.
Asked if the tour still needs to use ‘foreign’ assistance after being in existence for more than 25 years, Jamaludin said: “In certain aspects of the race yes. Because we have to realise that this is a Pro Series race. If lesser races, we can manage things on our own.
“But with WorldTeams and also UCI ProTeams taking part in the race, we have to have a certain standard to comply.”