Ms Yeoh told parliament that cancelled sporting events by Cambodia, among others, also contributed to Malaysia winning fewer gold medals than expected.
“The host country Cambodia decided not to put up some events for competition (and these events were) expected to give Malaysia 18 gold medals.
“(Cambodia also) introduced some of their traditional sports which offered 93 gold medals. In addition, the host country listed many imported athletes in the main sporting events and changed some age-related rules,” she said.
“All of these things have narrowed Malaysia’s chances of winning a medal for the national contingent as a whole.”
According to her, Malaysia fell short of its gold medal target by six medals. However, the country surpassed its targets for the silver and bronze medals.
“Officially, the Malaysian contingent managed to win 34 gold medals, 45 silver medals – that is eight additional medals – and 96 bronze medals – that is an additional 32 medals exceeding the target – and ranked seventh overall.
“What we did not achieve was the gold medal target, which we lacked by six,” she said.
Ms Yeoh said that moving forward, Malaysia will focus on sports that have the potential to offer many medals and will provide infrastructure and training facilities for sports that have the potential to bring medals, among others.
Bernama reported that this is Malaysia’s worst showing in SEA Games history. In 2021, during the previous SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, Malaysia finished in sixth place overall, winning 39 gold medals, 45 silver medals and 90 bronze medals.