24/06/2024 10:48 PM

From Nurul Izzati Mansor

SURABAYA, June 24 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) is ready to host the 2026 Asean University Games (AUG), said Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapha Sakmud here today.

He said the Cabinet had approved the possibility on Thursday but the final decision rests on whether Malaysia is chosen to host the biennial games which will be determined in a technical meeting of the Asean University Sports Council (AUSC) to be held here tomorrow.

“The final decision will be determined here (Surabaya) where the meeting will be held … but the government is ready. In terms of hospitality, we want to make sure that its organisation will be the best at the ASEAN level.

“This is also one of the tourism products for us to raise our country’s profile so that it becomes a tourist attraction in ASEAN and the rest of the world,” he said after cheering on the national contingent that will compete at AUG 2024 here today.

Commenting further, Mustapha said the organisation of AUG 2026 in Malaysia also provides an opportunity for the country to set in motion bigger groundwork to host the 2027 SEA Games.

He said to be host for AUG 2026, the MOHE is committed to ensuring that the facilities and equipment of the venues are improved before the prestigious sports event.

“When we become host, we have to work hard, be committed to ensure our sports infrastructure is at a satisfactory level so we do not get any complaints from athletes,” he said.

In the meantime, Mustapha said AUG is the best stage to produce athletes of calibre to compete on the international stage.

“Our focus is to produce national athletes. Not only the best from an academic point of view but also successful as top athletes. So this combination is important for us to portray to the younger generation,” he said.

Earlier, Mustapha met the national contingent to give a motivational tonic to the camp before they take part in the Games that will open tomorrow and run until July 6.

The national contingent is targeted to bring home 35 gold medals at the AUG held at two locations, in Surabaya and Malang.


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