KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 2017 : Malaysia put up a spectacular 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) opening ceremony that drew appreciative remarks from spectators who filled the National Stadium as well as netizens.
The Aug 19-30 biennial sporting extravaganza was opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V in a blaze of colour and light that culminated in the dramatic lighting of the Games cauldron and a dazzling fireworks display in the skies above the 90,000-capacity arena.
“Congratulations Malaysia on a spectacular SEA Games 2017 opening ceremony. Malaysia Boleh,” British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell tweeted on the two-hour show that was executed with clockwork precision.
Thailand’s Bangkok Post described the ceremony as a dazzling one that awed spectators in the stadium and beyond with its theme of honouring past sporting heroes and legends while celebrating the stars of the future.
The opening, which was also attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, was anchored by a spellbinding showcase of Malaysia’s cultural diversity that brought together live action on the field embellished with dramatic lighting and sounds that mesmerised the crowd.
Some couldn’t hide their pride after watching the spectacle, profusely offering congratulatory messages to those behind the show.
“Tears of joy and so proud of my beloved country Malaysia for hosting the 2017 SEA Games, a world- class opening ceremony indeed,” Nisa Batrisya tweeted through her account @NisaAjax.
Other messages were addressed to Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, fondly known as KJ, who delivered a rousing speech in which he rallied Malaysians to wholeheartedly support the country’s athletes.
“Dear @KhairyKJ. Congratulations for the great opening of SEA Games 2017! I can’t express how proud I am to be a Malaysian,” Syakira Hafifah tweeted on her account @hafifaharikays.
Malaysia are eyeing 111 gold medals to become the overall champions of the Games it last hosted in 2001 and currently have pocketed seven.
At stake are 404 gold medals in 38 sports, including the debut of ice hockey, ice skating, indoor hockey and cricket.
The opening ceremony of the 29th SEA Games not only caught the attention of the locals but it also wowed the foreigners here.
The ceremony, which kicked off at 8pm at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, here, left the foreigners in awe through the spectacular show on what could be a night to remember for those who attended the event.
A student from United Kingdom, Adrien Lee, 18, who had never witnessed the opening ceremony of any sporting event before, described the opening ceremony of the KL2017 as ‘one of the most amazing things’ in his life.
“It was absolutely a joyful and memorable night for me and my family….the way everything was coordinated was absolutely fantastic,” he told Bernama.
Zhenia Pestin, 27, who travelled from Belarus said he felt goosebumps seeing the moment the nation’s rising diving star Nur Dhabitah Sabri flown up in the air to light the cauldron and described it as ‘the most splendid segment of the night’.
“I also enjoyed the Orang Asal show as I had a chance to see the performer put on a very big mask and dancing on the floor..it was very spiritual and amazing,” he said.
A tourist from Thailand, who wanted to be known as Mint, 26, said she was amazed with everything that was put in place for the opening ceremony of this biennial event.
“I really liked the whole event especially the cultural show which highlighted the unity of the diversified region,” said Mint who will stay here to support her country throughout the KL2017.
Meanwhile, a local businessman, Ridzuan Abdul Jalil, 47, was impressed with the technology used to light up the whole night at the opening ceremony.
“Congratulations to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for organising an outstanding and glittering show tonight,” he said.
The 29th edition of the Games until Aug 30 brings together some 4,900 athletes from 11 countries, namely Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Timor Leste and hosts Malaysia.
Meanwhile. Khairy has apologised to his Indonesian counterpart over a mistake on the Indonesian flag in a booklet on the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017.
He said that the mistake was purely unintentional.
“Bapak Imam, please accept my sincere apologies for this. There was no malice.
“I very much regret that this mistake happened. My apologies,” he said on his Twitter account in response to a tweet from Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, regarding the matter.
In the booklet, the Indonesian flag appeared upside down. – Bernama