Malaysia has launched a campaign to drum up public support for its bid to host the Asian Games in 2006, the official Bernama news agency said Wednesday.
It said 120 students from the International Islamic University in Selangor state traveled by road to the northernmost state of Perlis to canvass support.
The students will travel a total of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) across the country over two weeks, using vehicles supplied by local carmaker Perodua.
"Despite facing keen competition to host the games, I'm confident Malaysia stands a good chance with the strong support from the people," Perlis Chief Minister Shahidan Kassim told the students.
Hong Kong, India and Qatar are also bidding for the games. The Olympic Council of Asia will make the decision at its general assembly in Pusan, South Korea in November.
Pusan will host the next Asiad in 2002.
Malaysia is touting its record in staging world-class events, including the 1998 Commonwealth Games, an annual Formula One race, the world team table tennis championships and badminton championships this year.
Last month a Malaysian sports official rapped Hong Kong's "unsporting approach" after the territory reportedly doled out valuable gifts at a presentation in Rio de Janeiro by potential games hosts.
Members of Hong Kong's bidding team insisted that their gifts were worth less than 25 US dollars and said all four bidders doled out inexpensive "mementos" - (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)