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Government to Decide on Hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games Amid Financial Considerations

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Government to Decide on Hosting 2026 Commonwealth Games Amid Financial Considerations

(CTN News) – Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh said the government will make a decision on the invitation to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games at a Cabinet meeting on Friday (March 22).

She stated that the decision requires serious analysis and cannot be made hastily.

“Pending the government’s current hidden attitude, the Youth and Sports Ministry believes that the people’s interests should always come first. We are dedicated to avoiding waste taxpayer money, even if we are ready to host the Games,” Yeoh stated.

“The ministry will ensure a conservative financial approach is taken every time with the people’s money,” she said in response to Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden (PN-Alor Setar) during Ministers’ Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 21).

Afnan Hamimi inquired about the government’s position on Malaysia’s candidacy to host the Games, after Australia withdrew last year due to an increase in organizing costs from $A2.6bil (RM8.09bil) to $A7bil (RM21.78bil).

The decision was determined after considering the existing situation of the country’s economy and the welfare of its citizens.

Yeoh stated that if the government agrees to host the Games, the ministry asks for judicious expenditure so that expenses do not exceed the RM603 million grant allocated by the CGF.

“Given the financial ramifications for the people’s money, it may be preferable not to host the Games if it puts the country’s resources under strain. “The final decision lies with the Cabinet,” she stated.

Yeoh went on to say that if Malaysia decides to host the Games, her government will form a monitoring agency to undertake audits.

“This decision incorporates the views of Olympians, experts and various stakeholders to guarantee transparent financial management,” Yeoh said in a statement.

She stated that her ministry believes it is critical to follow proper protocols and open financial practices in order to ensure accountability.

“Let us not overstep the Cabinet’s decision tomorrow. I believe the Cabinet decision will emphasize the nation’s interests while taking into account the welfare of the people,” Yeoh explained.

Afnan Hamimi agreed with the ministry’s viewpoint and urged the government to consider and study previous experiences before making a decision.

For the record, Sukom 1998 had a loss of RM11.6 million. The accounts were eventually settled after 13 years due to 23 court cases and 15 rulings, the majority of which dealt with unpaid bills and financial explanations,” Afnan stated.

He also mentioned that the city of Birmingham in the United Kingdom went bankrupt after staging a similar event.

“These past cases, experiences and financial records ought to serve as valuable references moving forward as we anticipate tomorrow’s decision.”

He also advocated for a financial projection and study to examine the probable consequences.

“If government expenditure is necessary, it is essential to prioritise spending in a manner that benefits the people,” the prime minister added.

Onn Abu Bakar (PH-Batu Pahat) has proposed reducing the amount of sporting events and using venues outside of Kuala Lumpur, such as the over 27,000 unsold residences, if Malaysia were to host the Games.

SEE ALSO: Victoria Cancels Hosting Plans for 2026 Commonwealth Games due to Budget Blowouts

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, she crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. Her writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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