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Malaysian state Kelantan seeks funding ahead of Sukma Games bid

(Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)

The Malaysian state of Kelantan has requested MYR291m (€63m/$69m) from the national Ministry of Youth and Sport (KBS) to upgrade its sports infrastructure and facilities ahead of a bid for the 2022 Sukma Games.

The Sukma Games is a biennial national multi-sport event involving athletes from the 13 states of Malaysia. Kelantan is the only state that has never hosted it. The state of Selangor is also bidding to host the 2022 event.

Kelantan’s bid and request for funding was announced by Kelantan’s State Youth, Sports and NGO Committee chairman Wan Roslan Wan Hamat, speaking to media at the opening of a local sports event. Wan Roslan said 70 per cent of the requested funds would be used to repair existing facilities, while another 30 per cent would be used to build new infrastructure.

According to the Malay Mail, he said: “We have already applied for this MYR291m allocation to KBS, which includes provisions to build an indoor stadium in the state, among other facilities.

“We do not want everything to be new, now, we already have a badminton stadium, the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium (football) is already there, but when we have the required allocation, we can renovate them.”

Last year, Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the national government would support the eventual host state of the Sukma Games with money and other assistance from government agencies: “The rationale is to organise national-level sports to improve the quality of athletes and to unearth new talents, as well as to encourage more teenagers to venture into sports at the state level,” she told Bernama.

“This national sporting event can also improve the expertise of officers involved in sports and encourage the building and improvement of existing and new sports facilities.”

Wan Roslan also commented on the recent reports that 13 stadiums in the Malaysia have failed safety standards. Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad IV stadium, built in 1967, is lacking safety certifications for wiring, security exits and early fire prevention.

“If we look at it our way, the stadium is complete and in good standing, but we are prepared to do what needs to be done to meet the criteria set to prevent unwanted incidents from occurring,” he said.