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history of the games


Formerly known as the SEAP (South East Asian Peninsular) Games, the inaugural event was first held in 1959.

The countries which took part were Thailand, Burma, Malaysia, Singapore, South Vietnam and Laos with just 12 sports being competed.

Based on the recently-introduced system of rotation, the next host of the SEA Games in 2017 should have been Brunei with Malaysia scheduled for 2019. However, Brunei stated recently that they are not ready to host as yet for the next several editions.

It is because of this request that the South East Asian Games Federation (SEAGF) made an offer to Malaysia on 14 July 2012 to be the host in 2017 to which Malaysia acquiesced.

In 2019, the biennial games will head to the Philippines and Vietnam in 2021. Cambodia will be the host for the first time in 2023.


The ASEAN Para Games was first held in 2001 when Malaysia was the host, followed by Vietnam (2003), Philippines (2005), Thailand (2007), Laos (2009), Jakarta (2011), Myanmar (2013) and Singapore (2015).

The hosting of this biennial championship for the physically-challenged athletes in the region is aimed at promoting friendship and the development of sports, as well as integrating para-athletes into ASEAN society. With these factors in mind, the ASEAN Paralympic Sports Federation (APSF) has made the decision to hold the ASEAN Para Games immediately after each SEA Games - in tandem with the practices of the Olympic Games and Asian Games.

Malaysia first hosted the SEA Games or SEAP Games back in 1965 and up until the Singapore edition in 2015, Malaysia had hosted for a total of five times. Malaysia was also a host in 1965, 1971, 1977, 1989 and 2001.

The last time Malaysia played host to the SEA Games was back in 2001 when the country emerged as overall champions with 111 gold medals, to be followed by Thailand (103) and Indonesia (72).

After 16 years, Malaysia will once again play host to the biggest multi-sports event in Southeast Asia, equaling Thailand's record for hosting a total of six SEA Games.