S'pore, KL talk Olympics

S'pore, KL talk Olympics
SPECTACULAR SHOW: A dazzling fireworks display at the National Stadium signalling an end to last month’s SEA Games, which was held in Singapore successfully.
PHOTO: The New Paper

After the joy and excitement of last month's South-east Asia (SEA) Games here, some have wondered if Singapore can pull off hosting a successful Asian Games or Commonwealth Games.

Very few, though, believe the Olympics, with the monumental price tag attached to it and the requirements for many different facilities and various accommodation, can ever be staged in the Republic.

Even with the $1.3 billion Sports Hub up and running.

But it appears a joint-bid for the Olympic Games by Malaysia and Singapore is a possibility.

According to the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, a joint-bid could be put forward for the 2028 or 2032 Summer Olympics.

Earlier this week, he told Malaysian media that a joint-bid would be allowed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and that Kuala Lumpur could team up with Singapore.

"Doing it all on our own may be beyond us but... I do see a joint bid between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in the future," Malaysian wire agency Bernama reported Tunku Imran as saying.

"I have spoken to the Singapore NOC (National Olympic Council) and a few people in the government.

"It is too late to enter a bid for the 2024 Olympics, but we can consider the Games in 2028 or 2032."

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has described the idea as "an interesting concept".

EXPLORING

An SNOC spokesman, responding to queries from The New Paper, said the idea of a joint bid is being looked into.

"While Singapore have hosted the Youth Olympic Games and the SEA Games, we are unable to host the Olympic Games due to the demands and magnitude of the requirements," she said.

"To jointly bid with Malaysia for the Games is an interesting concept which has yet to be explored in depth.

"We have to tread carefully as hosting the Olympic Games is a massive undertaking which will need the full support of the government."

Tunku Imran told Malaysian media that both Malaysia and Singapore have the necessary infrastructure, but are lacking world-class athletes across several sports.

Should Singapore and KL end up winning a joint bid, it would likely be only the second time in history that two countries' cities play hosts to the Summer Games - the first and only one being the 1956 Olympics, which was co-hosted by Melbourne and Stockholm.

hpeishan@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on July 29, 2015.
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