HANOI, May 15 — The selection of Malaysia as host of the 34th SEA Games in 2027 is largely influenced by the country’s past success in organising the biennial Games.

Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria said the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) wanted to award the hosting rights to countries that had run the Games successfully in the past.

Therefore, the SEAGF Council meeting, prior to the opening ceremony of the ongoing 31st SEA Games on Thursday (May 12), unanimously decided to award the 2027 edition to Malaysia, with Thailand and Singapore hosting the 2025 and 2029 editions respectively.

“That is because, in the post-Covid-19 pandemic, the SEAGF feels that sports activities in the region need to be reactivated and rejuvenated,” Mohamad Norza told Bernama here today.

It was understood that another country had tried to take the 2027 hosting job, but the SEAGF favoured Malaysia to host the regional Games for the seventh time after 1965, 1971, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2017.

The 2031 edition will most likely be hosted by Laos or Indonesia.

Mohamad Norza said the SEAGF’s decision was delightful news for the country’s sports fraternities.

“We will still be able to continue programmes pertaining to our sports development in elite sports, and this is also in line with what we want to achieve in Cambodia, where hopefully we will be sending young athletes post-Sukma (Malaysia Games) this year.

“And this can continue because the whole value chain must start from Sukma until the elite sports right at the Olympics,” he added.

Mohamad Norza, while thanking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu for their fast response to the announcement on Thursday, said he will meet both leaders for an initial engagement to prepare the necessary paperwork for the government.

“I think we have sufficient time, we are looking at the next five years, step by step. We need to start the thinking process, (about) whether we want to do it in KL or spread it all over Malaysia, (and) what kind of the sports we want to introduce.

“Though the PM is in the US, I think being an ex-sports minister, he understands the needs and aspirations of the sports fraternities... he responded positively,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mohamad Norza said that despite minor issues, Vietnam has been very receptive and positive to solving the problems with a high spirit of friendship between both the countries.

He also hoped that Malaysian athletes will be able to do their best to deliver more medals for Malaysia, including from sports that are not projected in the 36 gold, 35 silver and 75 bronze haul target.

As at 2 pm local time, Malaysia have won 13 golds, eight silvers and 24 bronzes to be placed fifth in the medal tally, while hosts Vietnam top the chart with a haul of 40-32-31. — Bernama