KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 — Malaysia has expressed an interest in hosting the 34th SEA Games in 2027, said Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria.

He said this was after the South-east Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) contacted OCM regarding the possibility of hosting the Games following the withdrawal of Brunei, which was supposed to host the 2027 edition. 

“The meeting (today) agreed to submit an expression of interest to SEAGC while the OCM would forward this information to the government and further discussions will be held in due time.

“In the spirit of friendship with SEAGF, I think most likely we have a good chance to secure that (hosting rights),” he told a media conference after chairing the third OCM executive board meeting for the 2021/2025 session here today.

However, he said that OCM would look into the country’s financial capability, apart from the Covid-19 pandemic issue, before deciding to host the SEA Games.

Asked if the 34th SEA Games would be a platform for Malaysia to prepare to host the 2038 Asian Games, he felt that two factors — facilities and the active level of sports or athletes — must be taken into account before the country could express an interest in hosting the Asiad.

Malaysia had previously organised the SEA Games six times, namely in 1965, 1971, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2017 but has never hosted the Asiad.

The Thai capital of Bangkok will host the 33rd edition of the SEA Games in 2025.

Mohamad Norza also said that the meeting today agreed to appoint OCM assistant treasurer Datuk Mohd Nasir Ali as the chef de mission (CDM) for the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia next year and Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia president Gerard Monteiro as deputy CDM for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the United Kingdom this July.

Mohamad Norza, at the same time, said that the Malaysian-level Commonwealth Games Baton Run would be held here on January 20 and the baton will be here until January 25.

Meanwhile, he announced that so far two national alpine skiing athletes, namely Jeffrey Webb and Aruwin Sallehudin, have qualified for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in China, to be held from February 4-20, while the ceremony to handover the Jalur Gemilang would be held on January 19. 

On the restructuring of the national badminton coaching lineup, Mohamad Norza, who is also the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) president, expects BAM Coaching and Training Committee chairman Datuk Kenny Goh to announce the decision soon. — Bernama