KUCHING (May 26): Sarawak could be a host state for the 2027 South East Asian (SEA) Games, which will be held in Malaysia, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister said preparations for next year’s Malaysia Games (Sukma) play a significant role in positioning Sarawak as a regional sports event hub.
“Sarawak is looking at sports tourism on a very big scale. We want to organise Sukma again; the last time 2016. Soon the SEA Games could be held here in Sarawak — next SEA Games after Thailand — to be hosted by the state. From what I can see, seems to be going along that line,” he said during the opening of ‘Come Discover Bumi Kenyalang 2023’ here last night.
Noting the bright prospects in sports tourism, Abdul Karim said hosting sporting events will not only improve economic growth but also enable the injection of funds for the development of sports infrastructure and talent in the state.
He pointed out the two international marathons held in Sarawak had created multiple effects in various economic sectors.
“The Sarawak state government welcomes any initiative that can improve the state and fully support feasible ideas as we encourage our people to be innovative.
“For example, we’ve organised two international marathons events here in Sarawak; one in Kuching and the other one in Miri.
“That is why I’m trying very hard to bring as many sports events into Sarawak. We want you to share new ideas that can help us to make the environment sustainable,” he said.
Abdul Karim said both tourism and sports sector players need to think of ways to attract tech-savvy young talents.
At the same time, he said the younger generation must also strive to enhance their entrepreneurship skills because the world today needs innovative and creative talents.
“As Minister of Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development, I am genuinely concerned with the development of our youths.
“We must ensure that our youths develop holistically if we want continued stability. They must be easily adaptable to survive during trying times. They must be loaded with the right kind of knowledge and tools to prepare them for any possibilities in the future,” he stressed.
Abdul Karim pointed out that in the era of automation, innovation is needed in all aspects of life.
“If you master it, you will not go hungry and, in fact, you will flourish and benefit those around you too,” he added.
Cambodia hosted the 32nd SEA Games this year, while Thailand will host the 33rd edition in 2025.
The 34th edition in 2027 will be the seventh time Malaysia will host the regional games.