Penang Interested In Assisting The Hosting Of 2027 South East Asian Games - Hannah

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh
07/07/2024 07:25 PM

PETALING JAYA, July 7 (Bernama) -- Penang is the latest state to express its interest in assisting the hosting of the 2027 South East Asian (SEA) Games, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said. 

She said that the National Sports Council (NSC) was working hard to complete the Cabinet paper to be presented to the Cabinet before the 2024 Olympics from July 26 to Aug 11, adding that she was well aware of Sarawak’s readiness to co-host the 2027 SEA Games and its proposal to hold the opening ceremony in the state.

“We have held a consultation and Sarawak has declared that they want to be co-hosts up to 50 per cent sponsorship, we also have other states who stated their willingness to be involved.

“Penang has also voiced their intention for some sports. So we will bring this all to the Cabinet and make a decision,” she told reporters after attending a Malaysian Association of Dodgeball here today.

Hannah related that the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) had sent letters to all states with an offer if they were interested to assist with hosting the SEA Games.

“The Penang chief minister, via the Youth executive councillor, expressed their interest. To be fair to everybody, we did write to every state stating that you can come and be part of this. 

“So, we will take all their interest first and then look at whether it’s feasible. If we are going to do opening for example, in Kuching because Sarawak wants to do the opening, how will that look like logistically for all everybody, all the participants?” she explained.

When asked if Penang was only interested in hosting several events, Hannah said she had yet to receive detailed information on the matter.

“When states offer themselves, they will usually tell us how many million they are willing to give as sponsorship and whether the venue is suitable for the sport. I don't have the details because they have stated their desire to be one venue sponsor and they also want to give a little contribution to the NSC. So we will prepare all this in writing for the Cabinet,” she added.

She also shared that the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) was still discussing which sports would be contested with countries involved, including Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore to avoid a repeat of the situation faced during the Cambodia SEA Games in 2023.

“I was told by the Olympic Council of Malaysia that the discussion is still ongoing for the agreement. They want at least consistency for the sports. If not, pity our athletes. If we train, then there will be no event (at the Asian Games, or Olympics). (That’s) not fair,” Hannah added.

She also reiterated the stand that the target for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris was to bring home one gold medal, in line with the Road to Gold (RTG) programme.

“I have stated many times that when we established the RTG, the objective is only one, to hunt for the first gold medal for us. For example, national trek cyclist Datuk Azizulhasni Awang and Lee Zii Jia (badminton), they have stated that their desire is to get the gold medal.

“You have to be the best in the world to bring back the medal. So, I believe that the RTG has given all athletes who (have the chance) to bring back the gold medal, the top-up service for them to prepare themselves to go there. Now, everything is in the hands of our athletes. In the arena, they have to do their best to get the gold medal,” she said, adding that national diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri, who is set to make her Olympic debut in Paris thanks to the unused quota by other countries, would certainly be at her best even though she had been dropped from the RTG programme previously after failing to qualify on merit.