KUCHING, Jul 2 – The dry run for the 18th SUKMA hosted by Sarawak from July 22 to 31 ended without any glitches at the Sarawak Sports Complex in Petrajaya here Friday morning. It was witnessed by the State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani who is the chairman of the organising committee.
Speaking at a media conference later he said he was generally happy with the dry run which gave the committee a chance to fine tune the organising aspects of the nation biggest sporting event. He said they are now in top gear in terms of preparations. He said their officials and volunteers are very excited to get going.
He also added that the state government had spent about RM400 million to upgrade existing venues and also built new ones to host the 24 sports contested. He said an additional RM50 million has been set aside for operating expenses and organising cost since about 6,000 athletes and officials nationwide and from Brunei would be arriving in Sarawak for the games.
“The Games Village at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) is ready to accommodate them. We will also set up the “Sarawak Kitchens” at all colleges there for athletes to sample local food. The state was very grateful to Rapid KL for providing 25 buses to transport athletes although a total of 100 buses would be needed for transportation throughout the Sukma,” he said.
Morshidi said Sarawak as the host would be sending 548 participants, the biggest contingent, followed by Selangor and Perak. He said Brunei will be the smallest contingent with 67 participants. The majority of the events would be held in Kuching (Kota Samarahan), Sibu would host badminton and volleyball and Miri, Karate and sailing.
Morshidi said the Head of the State Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud would officiate the opening ceremony on July 23 while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is expected to attend the closing on July 31. Sarawak last hosted the Games in 1990 and had emerged overall champion in 1990, 1992 and 1994 and runner-up in 1988, 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2004. — Bernama