Friday, October 18, 2013

Malaysia Not Pulling Out Of Myanmar Games - Khairy

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 (Bernama) -- Malaysia will not be pulling out of the Myanmar SEA Games in December as yet although some bombing incidents were reported in the country lately.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said his ministry was closely following the situation based on feedback from the Foreign Ministry and the Malaysian embassy there.

"We will evaluate the security situation there before we send out athletes. For now, we are sticking to our original plan to send a contingent to the Games," he told reporters when met at an Aidiladha function at the National Sports Complex here Thursday.

He was commenting on the latest incidents of bombings in Myanmar, including one at a posh hotel in Yangon on Monday in which a United States citizen was reported to have been injured.

However, Khairy did not dismiss the possibility that Malaysia might give the Games a miss if the situation deteriorated further as the safety and security of the athletes and officials was paramount.

Khairy also expressed confidence in the ability of Malaysia's chef-de-mission to the Myanmar SEA Games Datuk Wira Kamaruddin Embi, who is a former police chief of Negeri Sembilan and Perak, in assuring the safety and security of the Malaysian athletes and officials while they are in Myanmar. Meanwhile, National Sports Council director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, who was also present, said the final list of athletes to the Games would be decided after the Malaysian Open Athletics Championship, at the latest by next week. The championship will be held over the weekend.

Malaysia will be taking part in 31 events at the Games excluding vovinam, traditional boat racing, wrestling and kempo. This 27th edition of the SEA Games will be held in Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung Beach from Dec 11 to 22.

Later, speaking at a press conference on the Alumni Sekolah Alam Shah Rugby Championship (ASAS RC) at the same venue, Zolkples said the NSC would be "cutting some slack" for senior Malaysian athletes for whom the Myanmar SEA Games would be their "swansong".

He said they would be sponsored to the Games even if they did not qualify on merit in recognition of their contributions to the country.

Veteral hurdlers Noraseela Mohd Khalid and Mohd Rabbani Hassan are among those said will benefit from the move.

ASAS RC will be held a the German-Malaysian Institute's (GMI) Mini-Stadium in Bangi on Oct 26 and 27

-- BERNAMA

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