ISKANDAR PUTERI, Sept 19 ― The 2020 Johor Malaysia Games (Sukma), which has been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be shelved again, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican.
However, he stressed that several changes would be made, including holding the Para Sukma first.
“After studying what has been tabled by the Johor Sukma Secretariat at today’s meeting, the supreme committee unanimously agreed for the 2020 Para Sukma to be held first from March 8-13 next year.
“This is after taking into consideration that about 171 athletes (who will be competing in the Johor Sukma) will be sitting for the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examinations from March 1-19, 2021,” he told reporters after the Johor Sukma supreme committee meeting at Kota Iskandar here today.
Reezal Merican said he would hold a final meeting with the committee in December to determine the exact dates for the hosting of the Johor Sukma next year.
“I prefer to take a calculated approach. Imagine if we were to cancel Sukma, we will be sending a wrong message to the sporting community as it would have an adverse effect in terms of training and sponsorship,” he said.
Reezal Merican said the ministry had also discussed alternating the hosting of Sukma between other states and the two states in the Klang Valley.
“The government, through the Economic Planning Unit, suggested that we change the Sukma hosting module to reduce the burden in terms of capital expenditure, which can reach up to a quarter of a billion ringgit. Just imagine having to spend that amount each year.
“Looking at the situation, the committee proposed to have the Games hosted for two years in other states and two years in the Klang Valley, which is Selangor and the Federal Territory, together with the National Sports Council.
“This will enable the ample amount of facilities in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to be used more often and, that way, we won’t need a high capital outlay,” he said. ― Bernama