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Lui & Bhullar’s Sports Law Miniseries Episode 1


Harneshpal Karamjit Singh (Co-Managing Partner) []

Syuhada Binti Mohd Soberi (Legal Associate) []


On 21.12.2020, it was widely reported that the Ministry of Youth and Sports had appointed Ibrahim Mohd Yusof as the new Sports Commissioner. The appointment was made after Dr Wirdati Mohd Radzi’s contract ended on 30.10.2020.

However, the position, role and power of the Sports Commissioner is still unknown to many. It is pertinent to state that the Sports Commissioner plays a vital role in the development of Sports in Malaysia.


Appointment & Powers

The coming into force of the Sports Development Act 1997 (“SDA”) witnessed the birth of the Sports Commissioner, wherein under Section 10 of the SDA, the Minister may appoint a Commissioner of Sports as the Minister thinks necessary for the proper administration of the SDA.

The Sports Commissioner is empowered as follows:

(a) to register or refuse to register any association, club or society as a sports body and any sports body under the Societies Act 1966;

(b) to impose such conditions as he thinks fit on the registration of a sports body; and

(c) to revoke or suspend the registration of a sports body.

Registration of Sports Bodies

Accordingly, under Section 15 of the SDA, sports bodies are to apply to the Sports Commissioner to carry out any sporting activity. The registration of a sports body can be done vide its Secretary through the Sistem Pendaftaran Badan Sukan (eROSA) available at

Failing to register would mean that the sports body is not allowed to carry out any sporting activity which includes hosting tournament.

It must be noted herein that the Sports Commissioner has the discretion either to register or refuse to register any sports body that applies to the Sports Commissioner, under Section 17 of the SDA.

The Sports Commissioner can refuse registration except if the Commissioner is satisfied that such sports body is a non-political organization for the promotion and development of a sport in Malaysia or that the constitution or rules of the sports body contains provisions for all the matters set out in the Second Schedule or Third Schedule, whichever is applicable, or such other matters which the Commissioner may reasonably require.

However, if the Sports Commissioner does register a sports body, the Sports Commissioner is to issue a certificate of registration and may impose conditions on the sports body. The certificate is to be conclusive evidence that a sports body is registered under the SDA.

Some conditions that may be imposed may include the submission of annual general meeting documents and financial statements as witnessed in the case of Persatuan Automobil Malaysia (AAM) v Menteri Belia Dan Sukan Malaysia [2020] 1 LNS 2250.

Revocation or Suspension of Sports Bodies

The Sports Commissioner is also empowered to revoke or suspend the registration of a sports body, under Section 20 of the SDA.

Revocation can only occur if the registration was made because of fraud or mistake or misrepresentation, or if the sports body is inactive or no longer fit and proper to represent its sport.

Suspension may occur as follows:

(a) if the sports body fails to comply with any of the conditions imposed by the Commissioner under section 18;

(b) contravenes any regulations made under this Act;

(c) fails or neglects to remedy any malpractice, misconduct or irregularity on the part of its office bearer or its members within the period specified in the written notice given by the Commissioner;

(d) is uncooperative or obstructive in the implementation of the regulations, policies or guidelines made under or pursuant to the powers under the SDA; or

(e) fails or neglects to carry out any activity and affair of its sports body in accordance with its constitution.

However, the Sports Commissioner must give the sports body an opportunity to submit reasons against its proposed revocation or suspension.

It is apt to state that the revocation or suspension would effectively mean that the sports body will be cut off from any government funding and would be unable to send participants to any sports competitions including the Olympics and Paralympics.


As such, the role that the Sports Commissioner plays within the national sports framework, is one of an Administrator for the proper function of sports bodies and sporting activity in Malaysia.

Without registration under the SDA and the grant of a certificate by the Sports Commissioner, a sporting body will not be able to function for its sport in Malaysia.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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