IPOH, Sept 11 — The Perak Football Stadium came alive today with people from all walks of life gathering to witness the opening ceremony of 19th Malaysian Games (Sukma) today.
Despite the rain, thousands flocked to the stadium with umbrellas and raincoats to watch and be part of the historic event.
The ceremony started with the singing of the National and State anthems, followed by the march past of the participating contingents.
The countdown of the opening ceremony ended with firework displays and colourful light shows.
The 19th Sukma has the slogan “Wow, Kita Hebat” (Wow We’re Great) that was displayed for the first time ever by a 3D-projection mapping system and covered an area as large as a football field.
The audiences were also entertained by cultural dance performances with the title ‘Indera Sakti’ — involving Malay, Chinese, Indian and Orang Asli dances — performed simultaneously by a group of school students, Orang Asli and arts groups from the government and private agencies.
The crowd was also entertained by a colourful drone light show, where 250 drones were used in formation to display the Sukma logo, national and state flag and also the Bos Gaurus logo.
The ceremony was graced by the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and his consort Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim.
Also present was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul and Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Syed in his opening speech said the Federal Government was proud of the commitment shown by Perak in organising the 19th edition of Sukma.
“Sukma is an important platform to produce more talented and potential athletes who can represent the country at the international stage.
“We hope the athletes produced here can take the place of our senior athletes in the future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal in his speech welcomed all the participating contingents and asked them to also take the opportunity to visit the tourism destinations in the state.
“We hope our visitors will bring back memorable experience when they go back to their states,” he said.
The 19th Sukma, which is held for the second time in Perak since 1994, will take place from September 12 to 22 with 427 gold medals to be won in 29 sports that will be played in 39 venues in 12 different districts throughout the state.
About 12,000 thousands athletes from 14 contingents including the neighbouring state Brunei Darussalam are participating in Sukma this year.
The closing ceremony will take place on September 22 and will be officiated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.