Malaysia are targeting to win 70 gold, 51 silver and 105 bronze medals in the 52 sports they will be participating at the 30th SEA Games in the Philippines.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the 70-gold target, if achieved, would put Malaysia in the top four of the 11 countries competing in the regional Games.
"If this target is achieved, it will surpass the best achievement of the Malaysian contingent outside of Kuala Lumpur, the 2007 Korat SEA Games [in Thailand] with 68 golds," he told a press conference after attending a ceremony to hand over the national flag to the Malaysian contingent on Thursday.
Also present were his deputy Steven Sim Chee Keong, Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin, Malaysia’s chef de mission Megat Zulkarnain Omardin, his two deputies Nurul Huda Abdullah and Ahmad Faedzal Ramli, and National Sports Council director-general Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.
Syed Saddiq said four sports, namely athletics, gymnastics, archery and lawn bowl, as well as several new sports such as esports and obstacle sports, are expected to be major contributors to Malaysia’s gold medal haul.
The national contingent will be represented by 773 athletes, comprising 447 male and 326 female athletes, plus 339 officials.
Of the 773 athletes, 396 will be making their debuts at the biennial Games.
"A total of 322 athletes selected to represent the country at the SEA Games are 21 years old. This does not include the men's and women's soccer players to be named at the team manager's meeting," Syed Saddiq said.
11-year-old men's water skier Adam Yoong Hanifah is the country's youngest athlete, while 57-year-old national pool table player Ibrahim Amir is the country's oldest athlete at Philippines 2019.
At the event, Syed Saddiq also witnessed the presentation of RM1,678,285 under the National Sports Incentive Scheme (SHAKAM) to 16 sports that made the country proud at several international tournaments this year.
Wushu was the biggest recipient of RM444,000 in cash, thanks to two gold, five silver and one bronze medals won at the 15th edition of the World Wushu Championships in Shanghai, China, in October, followed by tenpin bowling with RM360,000, while athletics earned RM168,000.
Syed Saddiq also presented the national flag to Megat Zulkarnain.
A total of 544 athletes and 164 officials attended the final assembly of the 2019 Sea Games Malaysian Contingent, which began last Tuesday.
The 2019 SEA Games will take place from November 24 to December 11, with 56 sports to be contested in Manila, Clark and Subic.