The Defence Ministry has clarified that it has never sponsored national woman solo runner Honorary Major Dr Suwaibah Muhammad Nasir’s quest of conquering the world’s 30 tallest towers.
“The Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and the Ministry have never sponsored the RM4mil funds needed by solo runner Dr Suwaibah.
“The Defence Ministry only provided moral support to Dr Suwaibah’s efforts on her mission to conquer 30 tallest towers in the world,” it said in a statement on Monday (Feb 11).
The Ministry also said that it was also ready to support the good efforts by anyone.
“It is unfair for any athlete to accuse the ministry of being biased for supporting Suwaibah unfair when he or she never approached the minister for support,” it added.
Last week, Mohamad launched Suwaibah’s mission as well as telemovie Meigho. He is the patron of the “humanitarian mission”.
The telemovie is aimed at helping to raise funds towards the mission, as well as to introduce the solo runner to the community.
Suwaibah, 46, said she would begin her mission with the Southeast Asian leg of the solo run by conquering three towers in the Philippines at the end of February, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore (200m) in March and Ostankino Tower in Moscow (540m) in April.
She said to scale the 30 towers, she needed RM4 million to cover accommodation, airline tickets, visa applications and related matters.
According to her, GISB Holding Sdn Bhd is sponsoring the flight tickets and accommodation.
Previously, Suwaibah scaled Avala Tower (250m) in Belgrade, Serbia on August 31, 2016; Baiyoke Sky Tower (309m) in Bangkok, Thailand, and Gama Tower, Jakarta, last year.
Following that, the nation’s top tower runner, Soh Wai Ching, 25, questioned the minister’s support for Suwaibah’s quest and her need for RM4 million.
He said he only needed 2% of that amount (RM80,000) to represent Malaysia in the sports abroad.
“Why support her? Is it because she had been in the army?” asked Soh, ranked No. 5 in the sport.
Dr Suwaibah was reported to be looking for sponsorship of US$1mil (RM4mil) to enable her to complete the Humanitarian Tour to Conquer 30 World’s Tallest Towers.
She had said that the funds were needed to cover the high costs of accommodation, airline tickets, visa applications and related matters to complete the mission.
However, Asia’s top tower runner and world’s fifth best Soh Wai Ching had questioned the Ministry’s support for Dr Suwaibah and her RM4mil request to fund her run, reported news portal Free Malaysia Today.
Soh said he only needed RM80,000 to participate in tower running competitions this year.