SPECTATORS at the Perak Stadium were in high spirits although it was raining during the opening ceremony of the Malaysian Games (Sukma) 2018 in Perak.
The rain lasted throughout the ceremony but that did not hamper the festive mood of those present at the stadium.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said Sukma is a platform for Under-21 athletes to showcase their skills and talents in their respective fields.
“The Ministry welcomes Sukma to be the platform to develop sports talents among our youth.
“Famous sportsmen such as Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Datuk Nicol David, Azizulhasni Awang, Shalin Zulkifli, Pandalela Rinong and others were born from the success of Sukma.
“Today, you represent your respective states. I hope to see you representing Malaysia in the future,” he said.
He added that Sukma unites Malaysians from different beliefs.
Perak Mentri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said there were 427 gold medals up for grabs this year.
“Perak, as the host, celebrates the presence of almost 12,000 athletes and officers from 14 contingents including friends from our neighbouring country, Brunei,” he said.
Before the speeches, each participating state contingent took part in the march-past; with Penang State Secretary Datuk Seri Farizan Darus leading the Penang team.
To mark the opening ceremony, Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah placed a Sukma Baton on a stand before putting a ‘keris’ in a launch box.
Immediately, the Sukma cauldron was lit and the Games was opened.
The public were entertained by various traditional dance performances and light displays.
Spectators were extremely amazed by the colourful performance from drones, which form various shapes and designs in the air.
Also present were the Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Raja Muda Perak Raja Jaafar, Raja Di-Hilir Perak Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain, Youth and Sports Deputy Minister Steven Sim, Perak Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham, Penang Youths and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee and other dignitaries.
A massive fireworks display capped off the opening ceremony of Sukma 2018.
Story by Christopher Tan
Pix by Darwina Mohd Daud