2017 host Malaysia looking to emulate Singapore’s SEA Games hosting
SINGAPORE—The next host of the Southeast Asian Games is deadset on achieving two milestones in the biggest gathering of athletes in the region.
Zolkples Embong, chief executive officer of Malaysia’s 2017 SEA Games organizing committee, announced that winter sports such as ice hockey and ice skating would make their debut in the tropical climate of the 11-nation meet.
He also revealed that the 29th edition of these Games would be staged in two locations—Kuala Lumpur and Borneo—across an immense stretch of sea 3,645.2 kilometers apart.
Aside from these plans, Embong said Olympic disciplines would be given priority and cut down on non-Olympic events that have been seeing action regularly in the biennial sportsfest with the number of sports nearly similar to Singapore’s hosting.
The former director-general of the National Sports Council of Malaysia added they would emulate this year’s hosting in more ways than one, especially the “paperless” running of the 36 sports through the ample use of digital technology and social media.
“This is a new dimension of the Games that is worth implementing,” Embong told Channel NewsAsia.
The Singapore SEAG Organizing Committee entrusted its online services and the delivery of information technology to Atos, the results partner of the Olympics since 1989.
Embong said they’re preparing a budget of roughly between US$180 and US$220 million for the biennial meet. Singapore, the world’s most expensive city after Paris, Oslo, Zurich, Sydney and Tokyo, spent around US$240 million for this version of the Games.
“Singapore has set the standard. But our focus will be to continue giving athletes and sports fans the things they enjoyed and were helpful to them in Singapore,” said Embong.
“With the budget we have in mind, I think we can deliver those things.”
Another feature in 2017, he explained, would be the clustering of athletes from similar sports in one hotel. The last time KL hosted the Games in 2001, the athletes were housed per country.
After KL, it could be the turn of either the Philippines or Thailand to host the Games. CFC