No meat in 2017 SEA Games Report

2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games Report book

The 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games Report has finally surfaced – some 18 months after the regional event ended but leaving many debating if it was another wasted effort.

The 739-page book, sighted by Twentytwo13, does not provide any detailed insights into the 29th edition of the Games, sans a 14-page commentary by the Malaysia Organising Committee that mainly recaps the highlights of the Games.

An error was spotted even before flipping into the main pages as the name of the party responsible for printing the book in Malaysia was missing. Other observations include:

  • The book mainly features results of events accompanied by brief summaries.
  • Athletes are not identified in pictures.
  • Athletes are also not named in the results involving several team events (e.g. men’s short track speed skating relay 3,000m on Page 446).
  • On Page 446 also, the timings of the skaters are listed as ‘athlete’ instead.
  • The overall medal tally for artistic gymnastics shows 13 gold medals were won (Page 402) but only the details of 10 gold medal winners are published (Pages 403 to 414). Twelve events were held in the 2017 edition – seven for men (artistic team all-around, floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar) and five for women (team all-around, vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor). Two gold medals were awarded to Malaysian athletes Tan Fu Jie and Loo Phay Xing in the men’s individual Pommel Horse event.

It is understood several parties had voiced their displeasure over the report, mainly because it was generally a compilation of the results.

Others were perplexed that the report was done in consultation with various parties, yet much of the feedback was not reflected in the end product.

Nevertheless, those approached were unwilling to go on record, allowing the culture of “silence and acceptance” to remain embedded in Malaysian sports.

Some RM450 million was allocated to host the KL SEA Games and Asean Para Games, under Budget 2017.

It was reported the ministry had collected RM100 million from over 300 sponsors.

The Games, which saw Malaysia crowned as overall champions with 145 gold medals, came under criticism for late results, wrong Indonesian flag printed on the official souvenir books given to VIPs during the opening ceremony to a last minute change of venue and times (involving Pencak Silat and Muay Thai).

It remains unclear why the organising committee has yet to provide the post-Games summary.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim, had during a visit to Twentytwo13’s office on Jan 3, revealed the delay in releasing the accounts was due to the Finance Ministry’s directive for it to be audited externally.