Malaysia is set to host the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games from 19 to 31 August 2017. It has been sixteen years since Malaysia last hosted this biennial regional event. The official motto “Rising Together” aptly underscores the unity between the nations in the region as well as to signify the Kuala Lumpur games as the first SEA Games to be held since the formation of the ASEAN Community in 2015. Some 5,000 athletes from 11 nations are slated to compete in 38 sports. Notably this SEA Games will see the introduction of five new sports including two winter sports – bridge, cricket, Tarung Derajat (Javanese martial arts), ice hockey and ice skating.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports has been preparing for this momentous affair for quite some time now. This month has seen the ministry roll out a number of programs to get Malaysians excited leading up to the official SEA Games opening. Among the highlights include the KL 2017 Torch Run, which is entering its final journey, the launch of three official songs and the Minister of Youth and Sports kick starting the One Medal, One Tree green program initiative.
Our Malaysian athletes have been gearing up for this sporting event and is tasked with winning 111 gold medals out of 405 up for grabs. Coincidentally it is the same as the amount won by Malaysia the last time it hosted the Games in 2001. Of course this time around among the athletes to look out for is our very own Rio Olympic silver medallist Pandelela Rinong and recent world champion of women’s 10 metre platform event Cheong Jun Hoong; artistic gymnast Farah Ann Abdul Hadi; and ‘Pocket Rocketman’ Azizulhasni Awang.
Markedly this time around hosting the SEA Games is particularly meaningful for Malaysia as it will also be celebrating 60 years of independence – Diamond Jubilee – at the end of the month. So let us show our national pride and give moral support by turning up for the games to cheer our athletes on!
Malaysia Boleh! Malaysia Boleh! Malaysia Boleh!