Malaysia remains in Commonwealth Games contention amid exit claims

Tan Sri Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation of Malaysia (CGAM), has moved to deny reports suggesting that the country will not bid to stage the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games.

On Friday, Malaysian news agency Bernama reported quotes from Tunku Imran that claimed the country was withdrawing its proposal to stage the multi-sport event.

According to Bernama, Tunku Imran had said: “We had a lot of experience in hosting multi-sports Games including the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Everyone knows that it will cost a lot of money and therefore, I would like to stress that Malaysia will not make a bid to host the Games.”

However Tunku Imran, who is also president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, has since clarified his stance and insists the country remains committed to bidding for the event that was stripped from Durban, South Africa earlier this year.

“This is not a traditional bid process but a partnership approach led by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) with the prospective interested countries and we are delighted to be part of the selection process,” Imran said on Saturday.

“We are committed to the power of sport and our place on the world stage and passionately believe there are enormous hosting benefits for Malaysia associated with the Commonwealth Games. We look forward to continuing to work with the CGF team throughout the next stage of the host city selection process.”

Durban had its hosting rights for the 2022 Games withdrawn in March amid long-running concern over financing of the event.

The CGF last month announced that Malaysia, along with Australia, Canada and the UK, is in contention to become the new host of the event. The CGF had been expected to make a decision in the summer, but an announcement is now not expected to be made until early autumn due to the level of interest shown.

The next edition of the Games will take place in Australia’s Gold Coast region in 2018. Glasgow in Scotland staged the most recent edition in 2014.

Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur, staged Asia’s first Commonwealth Games in 1998.