Abd Karim: Sarawak out to top 2024 Sukma as host, champions


Wong (right) hands over the Suksar flag to Richard as Abdul Karim (fourth left) and other officials look on. – Photo by Chua Chin Mei

SIBU (Jan 18): Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is optimistic that Sarawak can take advantage of the opportunity as host to become overall champion of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) XXI in August.

“We might not be really good in some of the sports, but with the right mindset and the right kind of support, I strongly believe a lot of miracles can happen.

“This is why we must win this time.

“Sukma has been very very elusive to Sarawak. The last time Sarawak emerged as champion in Sukma was in 1994. It is a very, very long time.

“We cannot afford to lose the best opportunity to become champion again.

“Therefore we have to put our mindset to become champion. To win, it is not just the athletes who must excel, we also need the support of the organising committee, the residents and every single one involved to make sure Sarawak team excel in Sukma,” he said when representing Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to officiate the closing of 3rd Sarawak Games (Suksar) here today.

Over 10,000 athletes will compete in 37 sports involving venues in nine divisions namely Kuching, Samarahan, Serian, Sri Aman, Betong, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu and Miri in this year’s Sukma from Aug 17 to 24.

The minister also said the 3rd Suksar was part of the preparations for Sukma 2024 to identify new athletes and lift up their spirit for the national games.

Apart from that, he added, it was to promote sports not just to big cities but also to other divisions in Sarawak.

“We do hope that even though this is just the 3rd Suksar, as the years go by, we would want to see more athletes coming up from various other divisions in sports that have not been popularised that much among those in other divisions.

“Among them, maybe one day we would be seeing fencing. This time around we do not have fencing in Suksar but in this Sukma we are going to have fencing.

“Probably in the next Suksar we might have to have fencing. So is cycling which is popular in Sibu, Kuching, Miri, Betong and Bintulu now.

“By including these sports in Suksar, it will further increase interest of youths in other divisions. We all know that involvement in sport is always very good in the upbringing of our youths,” he said.

At a press conference later, Abdul Karim revealed that Sarawak will send 1,000 athletes including those selected from the 3rd Suksar to compete in all 37 sports in the 2024 Sukma.

“We will announce the sports that will be our target for medal collection when we get closer to Sukma later.

“Some of our athletes are still abroad and some are in the shadow team but have not yet been shortlisted,” he said.

A total of 1,365 athletes from the four zones of Northern, Southern, Western and Central competed in 13 sports in the 3rd Suksar.

Also present at the closing ceremony were Deputy Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak (Youth & Sports) Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu, Deputy Minister for Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak (Entrepreneur Development) Datuk Ripin Lamat and Sibu Resident Datu Wong Hee Sieng.

Wong later handed over the Suksar flag to Betong Resident Richard Michael Abunawas. Betong will be the host for the 4th Suksar.