By Fadhli Ishak
OLYMPIC Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar is hoping the government will accept the Sea Games Federation's (SGF) offer for the country to host the Sea Games in 2017.
OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar (front row, centre), Nestle sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong (second from left) and NSC development programme director Jefri Ngadirin (third from right) with association’s representatives at the signing ceremony yesterday. Pic by Goh Thean Howe
With financing being a major concern of Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Tunku Imran said the Games could be hosted on a moderate budget.
Declining the offer, said Tunku Imran, could result in Malaysia having to wait a long time before getting a chance to host the biennial Games.
"Actually, the SGF offered it to us because it is our turn to host after Singapore," said Tunku Imran, after officiating the SportExcel-National Sports Council-Milo circuit pledge signing ceremony yesterday.
"We have already turned down the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games while the 2019 (Asian) Games have already gone to Hanoi.
"We have never missed our (Sea Games) turn before and if we do not take it, they (SGF) will then offer it to Brunei and we will have to wait one whole rotation (of countries) before we are offered it again.
"The Sea Games can be done on a moderate budget. We do not need a new Games village as we can place the athletes in the many three or four star hotels in the Klang Valley.
"This cost, however, will be recouped as the athletes will be paying on a per diem basis.
"Most of the expenses will go to hiring sports officials, transportation and renovation of some of the venues. The cost of the opening and closing ceremony will depend on how elaborate you want it to be."
Tunku Imran disclosed that OCM is currently preparing a paper to be presented to the government about its plans and budget needed to host the Games.
The OCM has to respond to the SGF before the Myanmar Sea Games in December.
"We are currently conducting a survey with the national associations to determine whether they want to be involved in the Games, what events they want to have and what venue they plan to use.
"From this information, we will be able to determine how much is needed to host the Games."
Meanwhile, golf, bowling, cycling, cricket, gymnastics, taekwondo, sepak takraw, shooting, squash, swimming and tennis are the sports that will feature in the SportExcel circuit this year.
Tunku Imran said the circuit had churned out numerous athletes and he was confident that it would continue to do so.
Read more: SPORTCHECK: 2017 or a long wait - Other - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/sports/other/sportcheck-2017-or-a-long-wait-1.234487#ixzz2NUd00oKX