2001 Southeast Asian Games

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21st Southeast Asian Games
Host city Kuala Lumpur
Country Malaysia
Nations participating 10
Athletes participating 4165
Events 391
Sports 32
Opening ceremony 8 September 2001
Closing ceremony 17 September 2001
Officially opened by King Salahuddin
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Officially closed by Mahathir Mohamad
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Athlete's Oath Noraseela Mohd Khalid
Torch lighter Daud Ibrahim
Ceremony venue Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Website 2001 Southeast Asian Games
1999 2003  >

The 2001 Southeast Asian Games (Malay: Sukan Asia Tenggara 2001), officially known as the 21st Southeast Asian Games, was a multi-sport event held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 8 to 17 September 2001 with 391 events in 32 sports and disciplines featured in the games. The games were opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah Al-Haj (Malaysian King Sultan Salahuddin) in the Bukit Jalil National Stadium and were closed by Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad. The games is the first Southeast Asian Games in the 21st century and the first in the 3rd millennium. Around 4165 athletes from 10 Southeast Asian nations participated at the games.

It was the fifth time Malaysia host the games, and the first time since 1989. Malaysia is the third country to host the games after Thailand and Myanmar and before Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei and and the first nation to host the Southeast Asian Games in the 21st Century and the 3rd millennium

The final medal tally was led by host Malaysia, followed by Thailand and Indonesia. Several World, Asian, Games and National Records were broken during the games. With little or no controversies at all, the games were deemed generally successful with the rising standard of competition amongst the Southeast Asian nations.


Development and preparation[edit]

The Kuala Lumpur 21st SEA Games Organizing Committee (KULSOC) was formed to oversee the staging of the event.

Steering Committee members of the Games[1]
Position Name Designation
Chairman Mr Hishamuddin Hussein Minister, Ministry of Youth and Sports
Vice Chairman Mr Tunku Muda Serting Imran President, Olympic Council of Malaysia
Members Mr Mahamad Zabri Min Secretary General, Ministry of Youth and Sports Secretary
Mr Mohd Zahidi Hj. Zainuddin Chief, Armed Forces
Mr Samsudin Hitam Secretary General, Ministry of Finance
Mr Mohamad Taha Ariff Director General of Health
Mr Kamaruzzaman Mayor, City of Kuala Lumpur
Mr Aseh Hj. Che Mat Secretary General, Ministry of Home Affairs
Mr Arshad Hashim Secretary General, Ministry of Information
Mr Tengku Alaudin Tengku Abd. Majid Secretary General, Ministry of Youth and Sports
Mr Mohmad Shaid Mohd. Taufek Senior Deputy Secretary General, Prime Minister Department
Mr Mohd. Shahar Sidek Director General, Road Transport Department
Mr Wira Mazlan Ahmad Director General, National Sports Council
2001 Southeast Asian Games is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur
Negeri Sembilan
Negeri Sembilan
2001 Southeast Asian Games host states


The 2001 Southeast Asian Games used a mix of new, existing and temporary venues. Most venues were pre-existing public-sporting facilities which were reverted to public use after the games. No major retrofitting work were done in most venues as most had been used to host major multi-disciplinary events such as the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

At the centrepiece of the activities was the Bukit Jalil National Sports Complex. Incorporating the new 87,411-seat national stadium, it hosted most of the events.

A games village was not built. Instead, a "village in the city" concept saw athletes and officials housed in hotels across Peninsular Malaysia. Besides being physically near to the sport venues, it was hoped that it will add vibe to all the states and reduce post-games costs in converting a dedicated games village to other uses.

The 21st Southeast Asian Games had 38 venues for the games. 18 in Kuala Lumpur, 10 in Selangor, 4 in Johor and 3 each in Negeri Sembilan and Penang respectively.[2]

State Competition Venue Sports
Kuala Lumpur National Sports Complex
Bukit Jalil National Stadium Opening and closing ceremonies, Athletics (Track and Field)
National Aquatic Centre Aquatics (Diving, Swimming, Synchronised Swimming)
Gymnasium I, Bukit Jalil Billiards and snooker
Putra Indoor Stadium Gymnastics
Malaysia National Hockey Stadium Hockey
National Sports Council Sports Complex, Taman Keramat Petanque
Kuala Lumpur City Hall Swimming Complex Aquatics (Water polo)
Bukit Kiara Sports Complex Netball, Lawn bowls
Kuala Lumpur Velodrome Cycling (Track Cycling)
Titiwangsa Stadium Sepak takraw
Malaysia Basketball Association Stadium Basketball
Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium Volleyball (Indoor)
Malaysian Public Works Department headquarters Fencing
Tenaga National Sports Complex Table tennis
Merdeka Square Athletics (Marathon)
Titiwangsa Lake Garden Athletics (Racewalking)
Jalan Duta Tennis Complex Tennis
Cheras Football Stadium Football (women)
Selangor Malawati Stadium Badminton
Sungai Buloh Rubber Research Institute Cycling (Mountain Bike)
Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium Football (men)
Selangor Turf Club Equestrian (Show jumping, Dressage)
Universiti Putra Malaysia Equestrian (Cross-country equestrianism)
Sepang-Quarantin and Sungai Labu Estate Equestrian (Endurance)
Sungai Long Golf and Country Club Golf
Universiti Tenaga Nasional Karate
PMKM Shooting Range Shooting
Batu Dam Rowing
Johor Johor Jaya Multi-Purpose Hall Weightlifting (competition)
Tan Sri Dato Hj. Hassan Yunus Stadium Weightlifting (training)
Bandaraya Square Archery
Pembandaran Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium Pencak Silat
Negeri Sembilan Bandar Baru Nilai Cycling (Mass start, Individual time trial)
Admiral Marina and Leisure Club Sailing
Paroi Centre Club Sports Centre Boxing
Penang Mega Lanes Bowling Centre, Prai Bowling
Bukit Dumbar Squash Centre Squash
Penang International Sports Arena Wushu, Judo

Torch relay[edit]

The 21st SEA Games torch relay ran from 10 March 2001 to 8 September 2001, covering a distance of 7,884 km. The run began in Labuan followed by Sabah and Sarawak. In the peninsular, it started in Langkawi and passed through 12 states before it ended in Kuala Lumpur. The last leg of the run covered approximately 15 km, from Merdeka Square to Bukit Jalil National Stadium.[3][4]



Si Tumas, the squirrel, the official mascot

The logo of the 2001 Southeast Asian Games is an image of a flame, a universal symbol of passion and excellence. It is frequently used in most international sports. In stylising the "Flame" for the logo, usage of the tongues of flame have been individually separated and simplified. This "ribbon" effect allows flexibility in manipulation. The weaving formation conveys unity, a coming together of Southeast Asia's best athletes. The weaving also gives an opportunity to form the Roman numeral XXI to represent the 21st SEA Games. Colours of the national flag are used to establish national identity. The flame tip is the logo of the Southeast Asian Games Federation which represents the participating nations of the Southeast Asian Games and the Southeast Asian Games itself.[5]


The official mascot of the 2001 Southeast Asian Games is a squirrel named Si Tumas, short form for Tupai Emas (Golden squirrel). It is said the Squirrel is a lovable creature found almost everywhere in the world. In folk tales of many countries, the squirrel is depicted as a friendly and fun animal known for its high energy and speed of motion. The adoption of the squirrel as the games mascot is to borrow its pleasant, friendly fun characteristics to add life to the event. The gold colouring on the squirrel enhances the winning aspect. The SI is phonetically similar to Sea as in SEA GAMES. The SI is also a friendly form of address in Malay. TU is the first part of Tupai which means squirrel in Malay and MAS comes from the word EMAS which is Malay for gold.[6][7]


The theme song of the games is "In Glory We Celebrate (The SEA Games - 2001)", composed by Helen Yap from Magic Nova Productions with lyrics written in English by Tom Leng and lyrics written in Malay by Loloq, and was sung by Lynn Ali.[8][9][10] A campaign song of the games was composed by Jaafar Abdul Rahman Idris with lyrics written by Dato Mokhzani Ismail and was sung by Adibah Noor.[11]


A total of 26 sponsors, comprising 4 Official Partners, 8 Main Sponsors and 14 Official Sponsors sponsored the games.[1]

The games[edit]

Opening ceremony[edit]

Opening ceremony.

More than 15,000 volunteers which include 7,000 school children involved in the opening ceremonies, and to create history by organizing the first SEA Games in three cities. Parallel ceremonies at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru and the Penang International Sports Arena made the first SEA Games of the new millennium a most memorable event.

As the fireworks lit the sky at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, more than 50,000 people cheered and rejoiced in celebration of the day’s golden achievements and to usher in the two-week friendly Games among the 10 competing nations. The enthusiastic crowd and over 5,000 athletes broke into a deafening roar the moment the Yang di Pertuan Agong King Salahuddin proclaimed: "Let the Games begin", giving the cue for a 10-gun salute. There was an almost endless round of cheers and applause at the National Stadium throughout the four-hour Games opening extravaganza. Excitement took all forms, such as paratroopers sailing in from the clear sky, carrying the national flags of the 10 countries of the SEA Games fraternity.[14]

Malaysia's fourth Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Dr. Siti Hasmah, riding in an open top army 4WD, waving to the crowd and were given a rousing and enthusiastic reception by the spectators. The choir, which rendered the patriotic songs, kicked off a chain of performances including formations, songs and dances. The highlight of the event was the marching-in of the national contingents comprising some 5,000 sportsmen and sportswomen from all over Southeast Asia. They were led by Games mascot Si Tumas.

As each contingent entered the stadium, the giant electronic scoreboard flashed welcome greetings in their national language, such as Minga la bar (for the Myanmar team) and Mabuhay (for the team from the Philippines). The Singapore contingent marched in with two banners which read 'Team Singapore mengucapkan tahniah kepada Malaysia atas kejayaan menganjurkan Sukan SEA ke-21' (Team Singapore congratulated Malaysia on the success of hosting the 21st SEA Games).[15] The loudest cheers were for the home team, with flag bearer Nur Herman Majid leading the nation’s 558 athletes amid the ecstatic welcome by fans waving the Malaysia's flag, Jalur Gemilang. The Games torch was brought into the stadium by former national soccer star Soh Chin Aun and former Philippines track queen Maria Lydia D’Vega Mercado, who then passed it to 19 other runners before the final lap was taken by former cycling ace Daud Ibrahim. From the stage, he held the flaming torch to light a wire leading to the main cauldron at the opposite end of the stadium. As it lit up, thousands of balloons and confetti poured over the spectators amid more cheers and applause. This signaled a jubilant start to the biggest biennial sports meet in the culturally-rich Southeast Asian region.[16][17]

Closing ceremony[edit]

Cultural presentation of Vietnam, host of the 2003 edition

The closing ceremony took place on 17 September 2001 in a rainy night with the theme: ASEAN, a time to celebrate (ASEAN: Masa untuk merayakan). It was attended by 100,000 audiences who managed to get into the stadium and take their seats. The ceremony begins with the performance of local celebrities including Erra Fazira and Ziana Zain.

After that, a group of paratroopers descended on the field of the stadium with the flags of the 10 participating nations of the games accompanied with the song "Jalur Gemilang" performed by a choir group. The athletes of the participating nations then paraded into the stadium by order of sports competed at the games and received warm welcome by the audience in the stadium. The order began with the aquatics, followed by archery, athletics and other sports.

The ceremony then continues with the performance of "Citrawarna Malaysia', performed by 300 dancers and 50 drum players that rocks the stadium with the rhythmic beat that reflects the diversity of the song rhythm and the traditional dances of the multi-racial society in Malaysia. Later, Mohd Qabil Ambak Mahamad Fathil, the Malaysian Equestrian rider was declared the Best Sportsman of the games, while the Thai Athletics sprinter Supavadee Khawpeag was declared the Best Sportswoman of the games.

After Prime minister Mahathir Mohammad declared the games closed, the Southeast Asian Games Federation flag was lowered and the flame of the cauldron was extinguished. The president of the Southeast Asian Games Federation and the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, Tan Sri Tunku Muda Serting Imran then handed over the games flag and the baton to the president of the Vietnam Olympic Committee and the Minister of Sports, Nguyen Danh Thai, a symbol of the SEA Games responsibilities being officially handed over to Vietnam, host of the 2003 Southeast Asian Games. The national anthem of Vietnam was played as the National Flag of Vietnam was raised. After that, an 11-minute Vietnam segment performance titled "Welcome to Vietnam" was performed by Vietnamese female dancers carrying a giant red flag with them. The performance was divided into three parts. The ceremony concludes with a Malaysian farewell segment performance in which the firework simultaneously released into the sky with 21 mountaineers fall from the roof using the ropes attached to them and distribute gifts to some lucky audiences while the balloons and colourful papers were spread into the air. A special concert was then held by popular artistes like Siti Nurhaliza, Erra Fazira, Sheila Majid and Amy of Search.[12][18][19][20][21]

Participating nations[edit]



OC Opening ceremony Event competitions 1 Gold medals CC Closing ceremony
September 1
Gold medals
Ceremonies OC CC
Archery 2 2 4
Athletics 10 12 12 12 46
Badminton 2 5 7
Basketball 2 2
Billiards & snooker 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 10
Bowling 2 2 2 2 4 12
Boxing 11 11
Cycling 2 4 6 2 2 2 2 20
Diving 4 4 8
Equestrian 1 1 1 1 1 2 7
Fencing 2 2 1 5
Field hockey 1 1 2
Football 1 1 2
Golf 2 2 4
Gymnastics 2 2 10 6 20
Judo 5 5 4 14
Karate 6 7 6 19
Lawn bowls 2 4 6
Netball 1 1
Pencak silat 3 8 10 21
Petanque pictogram.svg Pétanque 2 2 2 6
Rowing 4 4 8
Sailing 1 4 4 4 13
Sepaktakraw 1 2 3
Shooting 10 4 4 4 4 4 6 36
Squash 2 2 4
Swimming 6 7 6 6 7 32
Synchronised swimming 1 1 2
Table tennis 2 2 1 2 7
Taekwondo 7 5 4 16
Tennis 2 2 3 7
Volleyball 2 2
Water polo 1 1
Weightlifting 3 3 3 4 13
Wushu 20 20
Total gold medals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 30 37 63 55 48 53 52 37 3 391
Cumulative total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 43 80 143 198 246 299 351 388 391
September 1
Gold medals

Medal table[edit]

A total of 1280 medals comprising 392 gold medals, 390 silver medals and 498 bronze medals were awarded to athletes. The Host Malaysia's performance was their best ever yet in Southeast Asian Games History and emerged as overall champion of the games.[22][23]


  *   Host nation (Malaysia)

2001 Southeast Asian Games medal table
 Rank  NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
1  Malaysia (MAS)* 111 75 85 271
2  Thailand (THA) 103 86 89 278
3  Indonesia (INA) 72 74 80 226
4  Vietnam (VIE) 33 35 64 132
5  Philippines (PHI) 30 66 67 163
6  Singapore (SIN) 22 31 42 95
7  Myanmar (MYA) 19 14 53 86
8  Laos (LAO) 1 3 7 11
9  Cambodia (CAM) 1 1 5 7
10  Brunei (BRU) 0 5 6 11
Total (10 NOCs) 392 390 498 1280

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Games Operation at the Official website of the games". Retrieved 7 December 2001. 
  2. ^ "Venues of the Games". Official Website. 
  3. ^ "SEA Games torch passes through Klang Valley". New Straits Times. 24 August 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Malaysia Survey And Mapping Department Newsletter" (PDF). 
  5. ^ "Logo at the Official Website of the Games". 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 7 December 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  6. ^ "Mascot at the Official Website of the Games". 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 7 December 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Si Tumas Squirrel". Utusan Malaysia. 
  8. ^ "Lagu tema Sukan SEA dilancar". 1 June 2001. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "Theme Song at the Official Website of the Games". 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 11 December 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "Theme Song at the Official Website of the Games Malay Version". 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 23 November 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  11. ^ "Campaign Song at the Official Website of the Games Malay Version". 7 December 2001. Archived from the original on 23 November 2001. Retrieved 29 January 2016. 
  12. ^ a b "18 September 2001 Edition". New Straits Times. 
  13. ^ "Fraser and Neave Operations Review" (PDF). 
  14. ^ "Sukan SEA Alaf Baru Bermula Penuh Gilang-Gemilang" (PDF). Bernama. 8 September 2001. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  15. ^ "ASEAN solidarity prevails despite trying conditions". New Straits Times. Kuala Lumpur. 9 September 2001. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  16. ^ "Properties d-Choice". 
  17. ^ "SEA Games - Glittering Opening". E-Borneo. 9 September 2001. 
  18. ^ "Malaysia gloriously closes the SEA Games" (PDF). Bernama. 17 September 2001. Retrieved 24 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "SEA Games close". Times of India. 18 September 2001. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "SEA Games - Best Games come to a close and it's over to Vietnam". E-Borneo. 18 September 2001. 
  21. ^ "Frequenly Asked Questions". Official Website. 
  22. ^ "Official Medal Tally of the games". Official Website. 3 December 2001. Archived from the original on 3 December 2001. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 
  23. ^ "Official Medal Tally of the games at Sadec". Sadec. 26 December 2001. Archived from the original on 26 December 2001. Retrieved 4 February 2016. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Southeast Asian Games Succeeded by
Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam