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Malaysia could host the Olympics… with some neighbourly help


OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar greets IOC president Thomas Bach upon his arrival at KLIA on Monday. - BERNAMA

OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar greets IOC president Thomas Bach upon his arrival at KLIA on Monday. - BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: What are neighbours for?

To realise an Olympic dream, for one.

Malaysia may join forces with her causeway neighbour, Singapore, to realise their dream of hosting the prestigious Games for the first time in the South-East Asian region.

On Monday, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said having a dual host for the Olympics is a possibility under the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) new agenda.

“Doing it all on our own may be beyond us but under the new Olympic reform agenda, the IOC allow twin bids. I do see a joint bid between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in the future,” said Tunku Imran after visiting the national junior shuttlers at the Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara together with IOC president Thomas Bach.

“If we can put politics and the baggage of history between us aside, we can make this work. And with a plan to build a bullet train from KL to Singapore in the pipeline, it will be perfect.

“I have spoken to the Singapore NOC (National Olympic Council) and a few people in the government. It is too late to enter the bid for the 2024 Olympics but we can consider the Games in 2028 or 2032.

“It looks possible for us to formulate a really sensible bid, which can turn out to be a win-win situation for both parties.”

Tunku Imran said that Malaysia had failed to host the Asian and Olympics Games in the past because of the lack of sporting stars.

“We have the infrastructure but we could not get our standards up in terms of having many international and world class athletes from a variety of sports,” he said.

“But the  IOC are now more flexible. They are not stuck with the 28 sports under their Olympic programme. We may be able to bring in bowling, karate and squash – the sports we are good at into the Games.”

Tunku Imran is the sole Malaysian member of the IOC. He will be attending the 128th IOC Session in Kuala Lumpur from July 31-Aug 3.

At the Session, the 100 over members will vote to decide on the hosts for the 2020 Youth Olympic Winter Games and the 2022 Winter Olympics.

   

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