Youth and Sports minister YB Brig Gen Khairy Jamaluddin had promised a show of modern technology featuring the “past, present and the future” at the ceremony of the 29th SEA Games at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Saturday.

And this was delivered in a dazzling show that left everyone spellbound on a night when rain threatened to throw a spanner in the well planned works but it stopped in time for the extravaganza.

The past sporting greats – Datuk James Wong, Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk Shukor Salleh (football),  Datuk Rabuan Pit, M. Ramachandran (Datuk Zaiton Othman, G. Shanti, Norsham Yoon, Nur Herman Majid, (athletics), Shalin Zulkifli, Sharon Low (bowling),  Rashid Sidek (badminton), Jeffrey Ong, Nurul Huda Abdullah (swimming), Shahrulneeza Razali (cycling), R. Jaganathan (coach athletics), Elaine Teoh (taekwando) , Choo Yih Hwa (lawn bowls) and Nasri Nasir (silat) took centrestage with the Games Federation flag much to the delight of the 80,000 plus who were at the stadium and the millions who watched the television in the comfort of their homes.

There were also past, present and future stars who hogged the limelight as final torch bearers:


Zaki Sadri (athletics)

Khairul Hafiz Jantan (present)

Kirthana (future)



Datuk Razif Sidek (past)

Chan Peng Soon (present)

Goh Jin Wei (future)



Kenny Ang (past),

Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman (present)

Rafiq Ismail (future)



Datuk Ng Joo Ngan (past)

Fatehah Mustapa (present)

Shah Firdaus Sahrom (future)



Bryan Nickson Lomas (past)

Pandelela Rinong (present)

Nur Dhabitah Sabri (future)



Datuk Mirnawan Nawawi (hockey)

Faizal Saari (present)

Hanis Nadiah Onn (future)


And Nur Dhabitah, who is known for her infectious ever ready smile – whether in victory or defeat – was lifted high with high suspension wires to light the huge replica of SEA Games torch – and you guessed it – she was smiling to be given the honour – which was a well kept secret, even from her parents who were at the stadium to watch their darling do the act of honour with pride.

Putting that aside YB Khairy, the hands on minister who will represent Malaysia in equestrian polo, reiterated his call to Asean communities to come together and produce more world champions through the spirit of “Rising Together”.

The pomp and splendour at the opening ceremony certainly reflected “an important part of shaping the Asean communities that is now coming of age” in the words of YB Khairy.

Let the Games begins in the true spirit of sportsmanship. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH

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