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Malaysian opposition party makes sports rights pledge

The youth wing of Pakatan Harapan, Malaysia’s opposition coalition, has promised to broadcast major sports properties such as football’s English Premier League and Spanish LaLiga on free-to-air television if it wins the general election.

Sports would be shown on state broadcaster RTM under the proposal, and the move is designed to sway young people into voting for Pakatan.

Malaysia will hold a general election by August.

Pakatan Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad told the Malaysian Insight newspaper: “As a Liverpool fan, I want everyone to witness the strength of this team.

“The broadcast rights for major sports should be open to everyone and not just paid TV, such as Astro.”

Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysia’s current Youth and Sports Minister, said that taxpayers would have to foot the bill for properties such as the Premier League should RTM acquire rights.

“If it is given to RTM, who will pay for it?” Jamaluddin said. “In the end, the people’s money is used. Say, you have to pay RM200m (€41.8m/$49.9m) to have a broadcast, don’t tell me the money will be spent just like that?”