KUCHING: Roughly 100 buses will be used during the 2016 Malaysian Games, better known as Sukma, and the Para Games, which begin here on July 23.
But due to the lack of buses locally, 25 RapidKL buses have been shipped to the state in order to ferry some 8,000 athletes, officials and volunteers.
The buses arrived last week, along with drivers and mechanics – all from Kuala Lumpur.
Sarawak Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, who attended a handover ceremony at Pending Port Authority here yesterday, said the RapidKL buses would be here for about a month before returning to Peninsular Malaysia.
Morshidi said the buses were handicap-friendly.
“They will be used until after the Para Games... How I wish we had RapidKuching,” he added.
Kuching’s inadequate public transport system is plain to see and a long-standing issue.
Morshidi thanked RapidKL (which is sponsoring the service including shipping) saying the Sarawak government is forking out more than 90% of the cost for the Malaysia Games.
The state secretary heads the Games Organising Committee.
Hostels and venues for the 18th edition of the games include the newly upgraded Petra Jaya Sports Complex (track and field events, diving, lawn bowl, among others), Kuching South City Stadium (gymnastics, boxing), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (archery), Chung Hua Primary School No 3 (wushu) and the Megaland Bowling Centre in Batu Kawah.
Venues also include Sibu’s new Indoor Stadium (badminton) and Miri’s Marina Bay (sailing).
A total of 23 venues will be utilised. A dedicated games village was not built and instead hostels from nearby universities will be used.
A pair of hornbills, “Satria” and “Satrina”, are the official mascots for the event.
This will be the second time Sarawak has played host to the national sporting event.
All states have held their respective games except for Kelantan.
Prior to this games, Sarawak hosted the 1990 Games when it emerged as the overall champion.
Sukma ends July 31, with the Malaysia Para Games on Aug 5 to 12.