KUCHING (Nov 20): The allocation of RM119.35 million for the 21st edition of the Malaysia Games (Sukma), where Sarawak will become the host next year, reflects the drive for the state to excel in biennial national sports meet.
In announcing this when presenting the 2024 State Budget today, Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said from the total, RM69.35 million would be channelled to the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS), and RM50 million to the Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC).
“Aiming to become the Sukma champion again, we have allocated a sum of RM69.35 million to the MSNS for equipping our athletes with the finest sporting equipment, reinforcing them with physical and mental endurance by exposing them to the latest and current sporting, competitions and training trends.
“Operations-wise, a sum of RM50 million will be allocated to the SSC for the development of sports talents and all the activities, as well as sports infrastructures.”
Abang Johari then highlighted the importance of all these efforts, meant to ensure the success of the Sukma hosting next year.
“I am pleased that Sarawak is entrusted by the Malaysia Games Supreme Committee (MGSC) to host the 21st edition. The biennial Games will have events being held throughout the nine divisions in Sarawak. We hosted Sukma in 1990 and 2016, where Sarawak clinched the title of overall champion and second place (respectively).”
The Premier also said the state government was committed to producing world-class Olympians by consistently advancing its sports landscape.
He said in making Sarawak a sports powerhouse in Malaysia, the 2024 State Budget would allocate RM75 million for the refurbishment of existing sports facilities and also the development of new ones.
This provision, he added, would include upgrading works on Stadium Sarawak football field and the Sports High-Performance Centre.
“With our vision of becoming the nation’s sports powerhouse and our commitment to developing and managing sports professionally and producing world-class athletes, the state government, through SSC, is consistently advancing our sports landscape from the grassroots level, through collaborations with schools and other relevant agencies.”
On the development of the Sarawak Sports Village, Cricket and Rugby Ground Petra Jaya, and the Wushu Centre, Abang Johari said these facilities should be completed next year.
“The completion of these three projects would create more opportunities and allow the state to bid for the hosting job of major international events such as Borneo International Games, the SEA Games, and the Commonwealth Games, among many other tournaments,” he added.