Malaysia May Not Host 2026 Commonwealth Games To Avoid Taxpayer Burden, Yeoh Says

In a parliamentary session today, Minister Hannah Yeoh of the Youth and Sports Ministry emphasised the importance of prioritising public interest and fiscal responsibility, particularly concerning taxpayers’ money, in any potential bid for Malaysia to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Yeoh affirmed that the ministry would adopt a cautious approach, ensuring that any plans involving public funds are handled conservatively. She clarified that while the government’s stance on the matter is yet to be determined, the ministry’s proposal suggests that expenditure should not exceed the grant provided by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

Acknowledging the financial implications, Yeoh highlighted the possibility that Malaysia might opt not to host the games, considering the prudent use of taxpayers’ money. She stressed that the final decision would be made by the cabinet during an upcoming meeting.

“However, taking into consideration the taxpayers’ money if need to be used, the best option that the government may take is to not organise it,” she said.

The discussion arose following a query by Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden (PN-Alor Star) regarding Malaysia’s bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, prompted by Victoria, Australia’s withdrawal last year due to escalating organizing costs.

Yeoh assured that the ministry is prepared to appoint a regulatory body to conduct an audit of the organizing account if Malaysia decides to proceed with hosting the games. This decision, she mentioned, stemmed from feedback received from various stakeholders, including Olympians.

Emphasising good governance and financial transparency, Yeoh stated that the ministry is committed to systematically recording all costs and expenses associated with the event.

Furthermore, Yeoh indicated that the ministry refrains from preempting discussions before the cabinet meeting scheduled for tomorrow, underscoring the importance of prioritising national interests while upholding the government’s main Madani agenda.

The fate of the 2026 Commonwealth Games remains uncertain after Victoria, Australia, withdrew its hosting bid due to a significant increase in costs. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had previously hinted that Malaysia’s decision on hosting the games could be finaliszed this week.

Yeoh concluded by mentioning that her ministry is currently preparing a cabinet paper on the issue, indicating ongoing deliberations on Malaysia’s potential bid for the prestigious international event

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