MIRI, July 13: Sarawak Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has expressed confidence that the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) which is scheduled to be held in Johor next year will go ahead as planned.
The 20th Sukma event has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the intensified immunisation programme carried out by the government, we are full confident that the Sukma’s 20th will proceed in 2022,” he pointed during a press conference held in Curtin Malaysia Sarawak Miri campus in Senadin on Wednesday.
He pointed out that Sarawak is on track to complete the vaccination of its state athletes, coaches and sports officials including those who are currently training with the various national teams based in Peninsular Malaysia.
“The first batch of our athletes’ vaccination was held in Kuching on June 28 with 154 athletes, their coaches, and sports officials. The second batch was held in Sibu on July 7 this year with 35 athletes involved,” he said.
“Today, we will be witnessing the third phase of the vaccinations for 49 of our athletes and coaches based in Miri and they are those who will be representing us in various sports including rugby, squash, archery, athletics, hockey, sailing, wushu, football, sepak takraw, eSports, silat, beach volleyball, volleyball and badminton,” Karim explained.
In total, there are 135 athletes and 15 coaches from Miri who involved in the vaccination exercise where 54 of them had already received their first jabs based on MySejahtera appointments while the rest of them are under 18-year-old.
Meanwhile, in response to a question on some of Sukma’s regulations, especially on the age limit due to the event’s previous deferral following Covid-19, Karim disclosed that Sukma Special Technical Committee has agreed to extend the age limit to 23.
“As you all know, the Sukma sport event is for athletes aged 21 and below, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic, they had previously delayed the event to 2022, so they have made some changes on the age limit and extended it to 23-years-old,” he disclosed.
Karim later visited the vaccination centre (PPV) in University Curtin Malaysia Sarawak Miri campus, where 49 of the State’s athletes based in Miri were vaccinated.
Karim was accompanied by Minister of Transport Sarawak Datuk Lee Kim Shin cum Miri Divisional Disaster Management Committee (MDDMC) and Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew.
Also present were the acting Permanent Secretary to Ministry of Youth and Sports Sarawak Nancy Jolhi, Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, the Chief Executive Officer of Sarawak Sports Corporation Dr Ong Kong Swee and Chief Operating Officer of Curtin University, Malaysia in Miri Ir Pieter Willem Pottas. — DayakDaily