WITH less than six months to go for the 29th SEA Games in August, Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) preparation is going into overdrive.
Mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said DBKL was put in charge of two committees by the Malaysia SEA Games Organising Committee (Masoc).
About 16 committees have been set up for the games with local authorities put in charge of different tasks.
“We were told to handle the food, accommodation and urban beautification.
“I am happy to say that work has started and things are already in motion,” Amin Nordin said.
“The hotels for the athletes and officials to stay have been selected; a total of 41 four- and five-star hotels have been chosen,” he said, adding that they would all also take their meals there.
Amin Nordin said DBKL was also involved in transporting officials and athletes from their hotels to the venues of different sports.
“We will mobilise about 7,000 people and use our own vehicles for the duration of the games from Aug 19 to Aug 31,” he said.
Amin Nordin added that Masoc had finalised the venues for the games and that four major facilities under DBKL would be utilised.
The venues are Dataran Merdeka for archery, Stadium Titiwangsa for sepak takraw, Taman Pudu Ulu for petanque and Stadium Bola Sepak for football.
Of the four, only the Pudu Ulu park is still under construction and work is expected to be completed end of May.
For beautification and landscaping, Amin Nordin said work started at 30 locations in the city including near hotels where the athletes would stay, major roads, roundabouts as well as tourist spots such as KLCC, Masjid Negara and Little India.
“We will use tropical flowering plants such as heliconia and canna to add pops of colour to the locations while landscaping works are ongoing,” he said.
As part of the beautification exercise, the city has built a gateway at the Kuala Lumpur-Selayang border in Jalan Kuching.
Welcome signboards will also be put up at seven locations in Jalan Kuching, Jalan Semantan, Stadium Titiwangsa and the Bandaraya LRT station near Jalan Raja Laut and from Jalan Sungei Besi to Jalan Istana.
Amin Nordin added that volunteers were also deployed to paint road kerbs during the weekends.
“Volunteers from non-governmental organisations and residents of Kuala Lumpur are welcome to help in this initiatives.
“We will provide the paint, brushes and breakfast to volunteers,” he said, adding that the painting of kerbs would be done every weekend.
Food operators would also be monitored for cleanliness and hygiene, especially at the games’ venues and tourist attractions.
Accommodation areas were also being checked for Aedes mosquitoes and rats.
Amin Nordin said the chefs de mission of the 11 participating nations had visited the venues last month.
When queried on the cost, the mayor said DBKL was given only RM1mil and was utilising its own resources for the programmes.
Malaysia last hosted the SEA games in 2001.
Those interested in volunteering can call Sathiah Sudakaran 012-221 6109 for details.
In PETALING JAYA, only one local government sports venue will be used for the games.
Petaling Jaya City Council public relations officer Zainun Zakaria said the Kelana Jaya stadium would be used for the rugby-sevens matches.
“Officers from the Youth and Sports Ministry have been around to assess the stadium’s facilities and they have asked us to upgrade some of them,” she said.
The facilities included the toilets, turf, seating, as well as the roads leading in and out of the stadium.
“Traffic management has not been discussed yet, but for parking, we will use the existing spaces at the Kelana Jaya Lake Park, opposite the stadium and next to the municipal swimming pool,” she explained.
Other than hosting the rugby-sevens, the Empire City development along the Damansara-Puchong Expressway will host the ice-skating events.
Previously, it was reported in StarBiz that Empire City was confirmed as the venue for ice hockey and figure skating, and the rink would be ready by Feb 1.
In SHAH ALAM, football and futsal matches are set to be held at two venues for the games.
Football games will be held at Stadium Shah Alam while the futsal matches will be at the Panasonic National Sports Complex (Matsushita Stadium).
Shah Alam City Council corporate communications head Shahrin Ahmad said the council was placed under the City Beautification Committee headed by Amin Nordin.
“Through this committee, we will focus on several aspects to ensure the city is ready for the games and to receive the visitors,” he added.
Among the areas they are focusing on are beautification works in the city and proper street lights.