KUALA LUMPUR – The 29th Southeast Asian Games formally came to a close in a dazzling ceremony at the jampacked Bukit Jalil National Stadium just outside of Kuala Lumpur.
The hosts put on a lights and sounds show highlighted by a video of selected Malaysian gold medal winners with their parents, along with a song and dance number featuring popular Malaysian singers. The Games’ volunteers, who numbered in the thousands, also performed their own dance number.
After Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak formally declared the Games closed, Olympic Council of Malaysia president HRH Prince Tunku Imran turned over the SEA Games flag to his counterpart Philippine Olympic Committee president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, who then turned it over to Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, head of the organizing committee of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Malaysia was the runaway winner, collecting 145 golds to beat closest pursuer Thailand by 73 golds. The Philippines wound up sixth with just 24 golds, the country’s worst showing in a SEA Games that had this many golds at stake. In the 1999 Brunei Games the Philippines won only 20 golds but the hosts put up only 21 events.