Friday, August 7, 2009

Malaysia to bid for 2019 Asiad

Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (picture) has confirmed that Malaysia will bid to host the 2019 Asian Games.

The Minister said that his ministry would inform the Cabinet about this and get its approval for the bid.

"Malaysia has the experience to host world-class games like when we hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998. I believe with that experience Malaysia can host the Asian Games," said Ahmad Shabery after attending the officiating of the Malaysian Sports Industry Convention 2009 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, Friday.

Recently, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) President Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar said he was informed that the government plans to bid for the 2019 Asiad. But he did not give details.

He said the various international standard sports facilities at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex will also be a basis for the bid process.

Ahmad Shabery said the Asian Games were more prestigious than the Commonwealth Games.

He hoped that all quarters would come together and cooperate with the government to ensure that Malaysia won the bid to bring the games to Kuala Lumpur.

The 2010 Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou, China and the 2014 games in Incheon, South Korea. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has decided that after Incheon, the following games would be in 2019, to avoid being in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.

On another development, Ahmad Shabery said the area around the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil will be developed into a one-stop centre for all sports activities including having stores that sold sports equipment.

"The ministry has appointed a consultant to study the proposal to make the sports complex area a sports city," he said.

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