Malaysia has declined the opportunity to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games due to financial concerns, as confirmed by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. This decision comes after the withdrawal of Victoria, Australia, last year. The Ministry stated, ‘The government has decided not to accept the offer from the Commonwealth Games Federation.’ The 2026 event will not be held in Malaysia, citing cost reasons.

Earlier yesterday, Malaysia’s sports minister Hannah Yeoh had expressed hesitation regarding the country’s potential hosting of the 2026 Commonwealth Games, highlighting financial considerations. The uncertainty arose after the original host, the Australian state of Victoria, withdrew last year, citing escalating costs. This withdrawal cast doubt on the fate of the quadrennial event, which primarily involves former British colonies, prompting discussions on its benefits and relevance.

Financial Support Offered by Commonwealth Games Federation very low: Malaysia

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has extended an offer of 100 million pounds ($127.93 million) to Malaysia to assist in hosting the event. Malaysian officials disclosed this offer, with the cabinet scheduled to deliberate on the matter imminently. However, the proposal has sparked mixed reactions due to apprehensions regarding expenditure and the limited timeframe for preparation.

Proposal for Downsized Games

In response to the financial concerns, the Malaysian Olympic Council has suggested organizing a scaled-down version of the Games. This proposal includes reduced spending on athletes’ accommodations and scaled-back opening and closing ceremonies, aiming to mitigate potential financial strains.

Youth and Sports Minister Yeoh, addressing parliament, emphasized the need to exercise prudence in utilizing public funds. She indicated that if Malaysia were to host the event, spending should align with the support provided by the CGF. Yeoh reiterated that a final decision rests with the cabinet, highlighting the importance of protecting taxpayers’ money.

“If taxpayers’ monies have to be spent, then perhaps the best choice that will be made by this government is not to host the event,” Yeoh stated, underscoring the cautious approach awaiting the cabinet’s verdict.In the event of Malaysia hosting the Games, Yeoh asserted that measures would be implemented to ensure financial transparency. The ministry intends to appoint a regulating body to audit the event’s accounts, aiming to uphold accountability and safeguard public funds.Malaysia has previously hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

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