The two events are ice hockey and ice skating, says Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Winter sports will be introduced in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games scheduled to be held in August this year, said Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today.

“In view of the Winter Olympics, we will also be introducing two winter sports at the KL SEA Games. The two are ice hockey and ice skating.

“We are also in the midst of preparing to qualify for three sports in Winter Olympics. The three are ice hockey, ice skating and Alpine skiing,” said Khairy in reply to a supplementary question in the Dewan Rakyat.

Earlier Khairy told the Dewan that preparation for the KL SEA Games is progressing well even though the ministry received limited government funding.

“The ministry received an allocation of RM450 million to meet the specification as host nation. There are no new facilities except for a velodrome,” he said.

Khairy also said that a total of 17 companies such as Milo, Prudential and Air Asia have come forward with sponsorships in cash and kind.

“We need RM80 million, which is RM30 million in cash and RM50 million in kind. We have already achieved 87% of the target equivalent to RM69 million,” he told Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzil ( Kulim Bandar Baharu-Umno).

Khairy was confident that Malaysia would host the games better than the Singapore SEA Games in 2015 with lesser funds.

“KL Games 2017 will have 24 sports compared to Singapore 2015 which had 19 sports.”

Responding to another question, Khairy said the SEA Games will serve as a platform to expose back-up squad athletes.

“The KL Games will not feature Lee Chong Wei in badminton or Nicol David for squash. For hockey, the junior squad will be sent.

“We want to expose the back-up squad members to be ready for Olympics.”