KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia marked the end of the 29th South East Asian (SEA) Games in spectacular fashion on Wednesday night (Aug 30) with a grand closing ceremony at the Bukit Jalil Stadium.
The festivities kicked off with a military band performance, accompanied by a bevy of Rimau mascots playing the drums.
The spectators then joined in, waving mobile phones from the stands to illuminate the stadium.
The regional athletes then took a final bow, marching out to a well-deserved round of applause from the capacity crowd at Bukit Jalil Stadium.
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak officially closed the 2017 SEA Games with a short speech.
"I declare the Southeast Asian Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 closed and I call upon the youths of the Southeast Asian countries to assemble two years from now at the Philippines to celebrate the 30th Southeast Asian games," he said.
"May they display cheerfulness and concord so that the sports torch may be carried on with even greater eagerness, courage and honour for the good of humanity throughout the ages."
To loud applause from the crowd that filled the 100,000 capacity National Stadium, Najib also declared Sep 4 as a public holiday in appreciation of the outstanding achievement of the Malaysian contingent.
“It is not easy to declare a holiday because Malaysia has too many public holidays but since we have achieved an outstanding result in the SEA Games through the unwavering support of the various races and the excellent performance of our athletes, on behalf of the government I declare Sep 4 as a public holiday,” he said.
Malaysia then extinguished the SEA Games flame and handed the flag over to Philippines, which is set to host the 30th edition of the SEA Games in 2019.
Speaking at the ceremony, outgoing SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar said Malaysia did well to overcome the setbacks it faced as hosts.
"Nothing is perfect in this world, but you managed to overcome some of the problems along the way to produce a final result to be proud of," he said.
The host country wrapped the Games with a record 145 gold medals, 92 silver and 86 bronze. Thailand ended second in the overall medal haul with 72 gold, 86 silver and 88 bronze, while Singapore was fourth overall with 57 gold, 58 silver and 73 bronze.