Five world snooker events set to give Pandan Indah a boost

On any given day, locals would head to Pandan Indah for its many eateries.

However, for the next two weeks, some of the finest cue artists in the world will gather in the township located just outside the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

The High-End Snooker Club, located in Pandan Kapital Mall, has graciously offered to host not one, but five world competitions, and one Asian meet.

The Asian 6 Reds men’s snooker championship started on Sunday and ends on Sept 28. The five world meets are:

  • World Masters Team Snooker Championship (from today till Sept 29);
  • World 6 Reds Men’s Snooker Championships (Sept 29 – Oct 4);
  • World 6 Reds Women’s Snooker Championships (Oct 3-6);
  • World 150 Up English Billiards Championship (Oct 4-8); AND
  • World Team Men’s Snooker Championship (Oct 5-9).

“This is certainly the biggest series of cue sports events ever held in Malaysia,” said Malaysia Snooker and Billiards Federation president, Melvin Chia.

“The last time Malaysia hosted a world meet was a world qualifier some 35 years ago.”

“For the world meets, we have the confirmed participation of over 20 nations. As for the Asian meets, 38 players from 16 Asian nations are competing,” he added.

Malaysia is represented by Vietnam SEA Games podium finishers Moh Keen Hoo and Lim Kok Leong. The two are joined by former world snooker tour pro-player, Thor Chuan Leong, and national championship semifinalist, Reza Hassan.

Chia admitted it was not easy sourcing funds to host such a mega affair.

In fact, Malaysia was an accidental host. Qatar was supposed to host the world meets but pulled out.

“We were approached by the international federation to host the event in Malaysia. While I admit funds were lacking, it’s still cheaper to have the events here than to send our players to compete abroad.

“This is also an opportunity for cue sports to make a well-deserved comeback. The Covid-19 pandemic pretty much crippled the sport as many snooker operators had to cease operations. Enthusiasts are no longer spoilt for choice.

“We are glad that High-End Snooker Club was willing to sponsor the venue. This would certainly give the local businesses (in Pandan Indah) a boost. This is the spillover effect of any sporting event,” Chia added.

Cue sports in Malaysia are only remembered during the SEA Games as the athletes have consistently delivered podium finishes despite the lack of attention and funds. Snooker, billiards and pool also suffer from a perception problem, resulting in most corporations shying away.

Chia now hopes this will change.

“We are hosting this on a tight budget. It can be done. It’s all about the sport and giving the players the room to compete.

“Cue sports are not like what they used to be. The environment of the established centres are better than before.

“We truly hope with things opening up, companies will include cue sports in their plans,” he added.

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