Malaysia Launches SEA Games

Hadi Azmi
2017.08.21
Kuala Lumpur
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Malaysian fans use a national flag for shelter as rain begins to fall before the start of the Opening Ceremony, Aug. 19, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

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The Philippines contingent heads into the National Stadium, Aug. 19, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

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Spectators pass through a security check before entering the stadium for the opening ceremony, Aug. 19, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

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Cameras flash in the stadium as a crowd of 80,000 watches the opening ceremony featuring a display of Malaysia’s history and culture, Aug. 19, 2017. (Fadzil Aziz/BenarNews)

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The Malaysian women’s basketball team, coaches and officials cheer together before their game against Singapore in Kuala Lumpur, Aug. 21, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

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Fans make noise with traditional “kompang” and marching drums during the basketball game against Singapore, Aug. 21, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

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Vietnam and Thailand women’s basketball teams greet each other before their game at the Malaysia Basketball Association Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Aug. 21, 2017. (Hadi Azmi/BenarNews)

The 29th Southeast Asian Games are under way in Malaysia, with 11 countries competing in the multi-sport event that runs through Aug. 31.

Some 80,000 spectators who filled the Malaysian National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday despite a heavy thunderstorm were treated to a dazzling show of lights and culture during the opening ceremony, officiated by Malaysian Sultan Muhammad V.

“The theme of the Games is ‘Rising Together,’ signifying the coming of age for Southeast Asia as a community,” Kuala Lumpur 2017 organizing committee said in a statement. “The region has come a long way in making its mark on the global stage and this is a time for us to come together to write the next chapter in our collective journey of peace, progress, and prosperity.”

Malaysian officials have been on heightened security alert and carried out at least four drills and three raids in weeks leading up to the games. More than 10,000 police personnel are on duty throughout the venues and at landmarks in Kuala Lumpur.

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