HANOI: The 31st SEA Games officially started in Vietnam with a glitzy affair that showcased the cultural fabric and unity of the socialist republic.
In the opening ceremony on Thursday (May 12), the host nation also showed the solidarity of all the countries in Southeast Asia, which has grown stronger over the years.
But it was the Malaysian contingent that caught the eye of many, especially the dress worn by flag bearer and national diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri.
Clad in the traditional attire of a Malay princess which mirrored the colour of the Malaysian flag, the Olympian held the Jalur Gemilang with pride alongside the Malaysian contingent as they walked past the dignitaries led by Vietnam’s president Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
It was apt that Dhabitah carried the Jalur Gemilang as she won the nation’s first gold in the games on May 8.
She won the women’s 1m springboard event and also the 10m synchronised platform women with Datuk Pandalela Rinong.
Chef de Mission (CDM) Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad also wore a traditional Malay outfit in similar colours to Dhabitah.
As for the rest of the contingent, they wore a tiger embroidered tee with black and yellow colours on it.
Only 31 members in a contingent were allowed during the ceremony to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols.
Malaysia has sent 586 athletes to compete in 36 sports contested in the games from today (May 12) to May 23.