Saturday, September 19

No need to rush into setting new dates for 20th Sukma — Karim

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Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah

KUCHING: Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has called on organisers of the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma XX) to take their time in setting new dates for the biennial event because of the prevailing situation.

According to him, the entire nation is still under the Movement Control Order (MCO) as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced many organisers to cancel or postpone national and international sporting events.

“The organizers should not feel pressured to set a new date for Sukma … because all the states involved are aware of the current situation our country is facing,” he said.

He also commended the Sukma organising committee which has pledged for the biggest sporting event in Malaysia not to be held in December this year as it would hamper the preparation of athletes sitting for the Malaysian Education Certificate (SPM) examinations.

“Apart from the SPM exams, we have to take into account other factors such as the monsoon season that usually occurs from the month of November to March and the organisers may face the risk of prolonged raining weather that may result in flooding in some states that will be participating in the coming Sukma,” the minister added.

“For the Sarawak contingent, we are likely forced to make new selection of athletes who will compete because some of the existing ones have already exceeded the age limit,” added Karim.

He also agreed with the recent statement made by Federal Youth and Sports Minister Dato Sri Reezal Merican Naina Merican on key aspects to consider before setting a new date for Sukma 2020 including the official declaration by Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) on national security situation that arised from the Covid-19 pandemic and getting consensus from all parties, especially the Sukma Supreme Council.

“The issue of age limits should also be taken into consideration as this year’s Sukma postponement is beyond our expectations and it would be unfair to any athlete who has already made preparations for the past two years for this games are not allowed to perform because the qualifying age limit is 21 years and below,” he pointed out.