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Sarawak premier proposes for Sukma be rotated between Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia

Publish date: Thu, 09 Feb 2023, 06:31 PM

KUCHING, Feb 9 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg today proposed to Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) to be rotated between Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.

However, he said Yeoh suggested that Sukma should be held only in Kuala Lumpur, not at other places since it costs a lot which many states in Peninsular Malaysia could not afford.

“Then I counter-proposed to her that Sukma can be in Kuala Lumpur, and after that Sabah can be another host and then Sarawak,” Abang Johari said when handing over sports incentives, totaling RM 510,250, to Sarawak’s medal winners at last year’s Sukma in Kuala Lumpur, Para Asean Games 2022 in Indonesia, South-East Asian Games in Hanoi in 2021 and Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England.

The premier said Sukma should be rotated between the three regions if other states are unable to be the hosts due to financial constraints.

“Yeoh agreed and I think she will have a further discussion on this as she had said Sukma is very expensive to stage,” he said.

He said he had also informed Yeoh that Sukma must have a standard set of sporting events, not cancelled at the whims and fancies of the host states, claiming that certain events were taken out by the states because they were weak in those events.

He cited an example of aquatic events where Sarawak is a strong favourite to win most medals were cancelled by the host states.

“If we become the host, we will not cancel events that we are weak in and pick the ones where we can win more gold medals,” he said.

The premier said Sarawak is ready to host next year’s Sukma provided that other states are unable to stage the sporting events.

However, he said the federal government must give Sarawak time because the state government needs to upgrade and repair the sports facilities, like football fields and tennis courts.

“It will cost us a lot of money to upgrade and repair these sports facilities,” he said, adding that there is no problem with the badminton games as they can be held in Sibu which has the best badminton courts in Malaysia.

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