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END OF THE ROAD FOR SUKIM?

The annual Malaysian Indian Games (SUKIM) has been postponed indefinitely. The Games to be hosted by Selangor was scheduled from 1-9 July at the Universiti Putra Malaysia.

However, Malaysian Indian Sports and Cultural Foundation (MISCF) chairman Senator Datuk T. Mohan in a letter to all states has confirmed the deferment of the Games.

No dates were mentioned in the letter, although it is widely expected to be held in either November or December.

While he did not indicate why the change of date was necessary, it is believed that lack of funds has paid put to the continuance of the event.

In the past, SUKIM had relied on the patronage of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) to secure funding from the Ministry of Sports. This was made all the easier with MIC’s Dato M Saravanan holding the Deputy Sports Minister’s portfolio.

Following the defeat of Barisan Nasional at the recent General Elections, SUKIM’s ability to raise the funds from private sponsors would determine its future.

Organising chairman of the fifth edition SUKIM, T. Indran in a Whatsapp message had indicated that Selangor was determined to host the Games by the end of the year.

Indran, in his message stressed that they needed to consider on how to assist the various contingents to participate.

SUKIM was initiated to ensure the development of athletes within the community with the ultimate goal of increasing Indian athletes participation at the national level.

Last year a total of 11 sports were included – athletics, football, squash, silambam, body-building, taekwondo, karate, tennis, badminton, hockey and kabaddi.

To convince the Sports Ministry to continue funding the Games, MISCF needs to seriously convince that they are not a political party vehicle.

They also need to re-look at certain glaring lacks in previous editions of SUKIM.

The most important step must be in ensuring that the state selection processes are more stringent.

In previous editions, athletes from Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, ended up participating in events, representing states like Kelantan and Pahang.

MISCF must also come up with a better marketing and sponsorship plan for SUKIM. If after four editions, they have to postpone because of stoppage of government funding, than they seriously need to rethink the branding of the Games.

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