The first Thailand-Malaysia Games

The first Thailand-Malaysia Games (17th-19th August 2005) organized by Yala Institute of Physical Education under Minister of Tourim and Sports, coordinated and supported by Municipality of Betong, has been smoothly run and ended last Friday. The opening ceremony was officiated by Arzan Wannoor MP, Adviser to the Prime Minister. The slogan for this event is “Friendship Beyond Frontiers” and the objectives are to strengthen the friendship between the two neighbouring countries and to promote tourism and economic activities of Southern Thailand.

Each side has sent out about 100 participants respectively to take part in the various games such as basketball, mini-marathon, football, VIP football, Chinese chess and golf. With so many participants from Malaysia and other Southern provinces, Betong town was bustling with joy and excitement, and of course business too! During the three days, I heard people communicating in Thai, Malay, English, Indian, Mandarin and some other Chinese dialects. It was just like a small international town! A Malaysian reporter who came here for the first time told me that the Games was more like a carnival rather than a sport event!

I had a bit of adventure and fun of myself too…Besides receiving the Malaysian media and guests, I was invited to assist in the interpretation for some reporters and speakers. Luckily nothing too technical in the speech which was a relief, as I was not too sure of some of the Thai terminologies. I also ran(and hide!) here and there ,taking pictures …catching the natural snapshots of people!

Many people doubt about the situation in Southern Thailand, even though Betong is two hours away from the unrest area and although we do take extra precautions , however, I must say that life still goes on…!!

The Parade

The Malaysian Guests & Malay Children in their traditional costumes

The Cheering Dance & The Colourful Thai

Watching parade from the 1st floor window

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