GUANGZHOU: The Ministry of Youth and Sports is expected to seek the Cabinet’s approval to bid for the 2023 Asian Games if the public pushed for it, said Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.
Ahmad Shabery said although the Cabinet had rejected an attempt to bid for the 2019 Asian Games, the ministry was ready to try and convince the cabinet to bid for the 2023 edition.
“For the 2019 Asian Games, the Youth and Sports Ministry expected the cost of organising the Games to reach more than RM1.6 billion. If we decide to bid for the 2023 edition, it may cost three or four times more.
“But what is more important is the desire of the people. If they want Malaysia to host the 2023 edition, they must voice it out and the government will judge their need,” he told Malaysian reporters after sunat prayers with other members of the Malaysian contingent at the Games Village here yesterday.
He said Guangzhou was reported to be spending more than RM7 billion to host the Games while India were reported to have spent RM18 billion to host the New Delhi Commonwealth Games which ended last month.
Malaysia came close to organising the second biggest Games after the Olympics, in 2006 but were denied by Qatar.
After failing to win the bid to host the 2006 Asian Games, former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi snubbed a chance to bid the Games in 2010 due to the whopping RM1.3 billion cost involved.
The Games was later awarded to China and Guangzhou decided to host the Games.
Incheon City in South Korea will be hosting the 2014 while Hong Kong, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Vietnam and India are all bidding for the 2019 host job which will be decided in 2012. — Bernama