The 2021 Southeast Asian Games (SEG) will be the first international inter-regional sports event to be organized by the Association of International Basketball Associations (ABA). The game is expected to attract a record number of participants, with almost one million visitors estimated to attend the competition. The game will be held in Malaysia from 1st to 8th of November and in Indonesia from mid November to early December. Organizers hope that the popularity of the games will result in stronger member participation and more foreign tourists to the host countries. An interesting feature of the SEG is that it is planned to strengthen the connection between the east and west through sport.
The organizers expect that the turnout will exceed the forecasts of over six hundred thousand visitors. The games will be played in different countries of Southeast Asia. In Malaysia, the Peninsula, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore, the Olympic committee is welcoming sports enthusiasts from all over the world. “These games will help us unify our people, promote the unity among the peninsula and boost our sports infrastructure,” said Thanong Kin-ker, Secretary General of the Malaysian Olympic committee. “This is the first step in creating a strong, united and progressive nation.”
The Philippine Olympic committee informed the National Olympic Council about the proposal by the Philippine Olympic committee to withdraw from the SEG. Secretary General Ramon Magbo confirmed that the Secretary General will visit Malaysia from November 8 to November 9 to discuss the proposal with the Malaysian Sports Department. He also plans to visit Indonesia from November 13 to 18 and will meet with the officials from the Indonesian Olympic committee. It is understood that he will announce the decision to withdraw from the SEG at a meeting in Phuket, Thailand on November 21.
According to the Secretary General, there is “no need for the Philippine Olympic committee to join another country’s synchronized swimming event.” The team has been having good results in the last three years and the results have been shared successfully with national and international officials. The National Olympic Committee is welcoming the idea of Philippine involvement in the Sea Games. “The idea is for both sides to win something in this multi-event competition,” the secretary general told reporters in Phuket. “If this idea will be accepted by the Thai and Malaysian authorities, it will be very helpful for the development of our national sports programs.”
The Sea Games represents Thailand’s love for martial arts and Aikido. According to some officials in Phuket, the Thai government is also looking into the idea of joining forces with other Asian nations in the sport. This could help the nation to improve its image as a great tourist destination and help develop regionalism in the tourism industry.
Paphan Naro, the founder of Thailand’s governing body in sport and recreation, revealed that there are discussions on the possibility of a possible joint venture between Thailand and Malaysia in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games. He explained that the games will provide a platform for Thai athletes to compete in the global arena. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first ever Olympics in Southeast Asia. Will the Thai government get involved in the preparations for the forthcomingSEX Games or will they turn their back on a chance at a better share of the regional market? Some analysts believe that it will be the latter, while others think that the government has been unable to keep their foot out of the door in the tourism and travel sectors, especially during these hard times. Regionalism may have a shot at making an impact in the future but for now, we’ll just have to wait and see.