KUALA LUMPUR - The curtains fell on the 29th Southeast Asian Games with an extravagant closing show on Wednesday night that ended with Malaysia formally turning over the 2019 hosting rights to the Philippines.
Foreign Affairs secretary Alan Peter Cayetano received the SEA Games Federation flag from the host country in rites held at the packed 85,000-seater Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
The turnover ceremony signalled the formal transition to the 2019 Games which the Philippines agreed to host after a change of heart by the government officials who initially begged off from the task.
The Philippines finished its campaign with 24 golds, 33 silvers, and 64 bronzes to place sixth in the overall medal tally, well short of projections made by Philippine sports officials back home.
Following the formal turnover, a video presentation, instead of a cultural show as originally planned, was shown on the big screen focusing on scenic spots in the country.
A day before celebrating the country's Independence Day, Malaysia put on an entertaining show to celebrate winning the overall championship with 145 gold medals.
Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak wished the Philippines well in its hosting of the 2019 SEA Games while congratulating the Malaysian athletes for ruling this year's biennial meet.