Proposal to rotate Sukma between S’wak, Sabah, Peninsular M’sia brought forward

Abdul Karim (in white shirt) checking out the cutting-edge technology at Megalanes Sarawak ahead of Sukma 2024 on May 31, 2024.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 31: It has been proposed that the hosting of the Malaysia Games (Sukma) be rotated between Sarawak, Sabah, and Peninsular Malaysia.

Minister of Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah emphasised that this rotation would allow Sarawak to host the event every fourth year instead of every 14 years.


The proposal was discussed in a meeting between the Premier of Sarawak, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, and Minister of Youth and Sports Malaysia, Hannah Yeoh, previously.

“This is probably more manageable, and it will strengthen Sarawak’s position politically.

“It will not be a big problem. If it falls on Peninsular Malaysia, they can decide which state to hold it, whether Kelantan, Johor or other states,” he told a press conference at Megalanes Sarawak in Batu Kawa here today.

Abdul Karim highlighted this in addressing concerns about the significant costs involved in organising a major sports event. He noted that many states in Malaysia, including Johor, which was supposed to host the Sukma Games this year, had declined to do so last year due to these costs.

With Sarawak taking up the responsibility this year, the federal government is providing only RM50 million for Sukma Sarawak 2024, leaving the Sarawak government to cover the remaining costs. Sarawak hosted Sukma in 2016, incurring costs between RM200 and RM300 million, with the federal government subsidising RM40 million.

While Abdul Karim hoped for more federal funding, he emphasised the economic benefits of various spin-offs that would boost the local economy.

“We must understand it is not just about the money. Hosting an event of such magnitude boosts Sarawak in multiple ways, especially the local economy, by creating opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs in various industries.

“Moreover, Sukma Sarawak is organised in nine divisions throughout Sarawak, not just in Kuching. The supporting sectors will benefit, even the contractors engaged to maintain the restrooms,” he said.

Abdul Karim added that Sarawak is blessed as it has been doing well financially, notably with the Premier projecting Sarawak’s revenue to reach RM16 billion by the end of the year based on the first-quarter performance.

“We can always find ways to earn the money. While we are not calculating the gains, but on the ground, people are very happy, especially the hotels and food and beverage businesses, whenever big events come to Sarawak,” he added.

Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Development Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu was among those present. — DayakDaily