RIO DE JANEIRO: Bidding to host the Olympic Games is not Malaysia’s cup of tea as the country is not a medal winning nation, said Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.
He said hosting the biggest sporting show on earth is an unrealistic effort as Malaysia is yet to win the first gold medal at the Games.
Hosting such games will only saddle the country with debts and other related issues if the nation is unable to produce consistent medal winners at the world stage.
“What happens after the Games…given the economic circumstances, the host nation will only be saddled with debts,” he told a press conference after visiting the Games Village at the Rio Olympic Games here, Saturday.
Given the current economic situation, he said, his ministry will prioritise the funding of sports in the Podium programme launched for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. “At the moment, all government bodies are facing expenditure cuts and limitations on spending…and we have to priortise spending for the Podium programme.
“After the Rio Games, we will priortise on the spending for the Podium programme and review funds for emerging sports like karate which has medal potential for the Tokyo Games,” he said.
Khairy said Malaysia must win a gold medal in Rio as it will bring more government funds into the Podium programme.
Last year, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president, Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar had said Malaysia might join forces with Singapore to realise their dream of hosting the Olympics for the first time in the South-East Asian region.
He said having a dual host for the prestigious Games is a possibility under the International Olympic Committee’s new agenda.
He said it was too late to enter a bid for the 2024 Olympics but Malaysia can consider the Games in 2028 or 2032.