THE SEA Games has lost its original objective of promoting solidarity and if things stay the same when Thailand host the 2007 edition, it may even lose its identity. Malaysia’s chef-de-mission Low Beng Choo said that the SEA Games Federation (SEAGF) Council should go back to the drawing board and take a hard look at the composition of subjective and traditional sports which did not serve the purpose of helping athletes in the region to reach Asian and world standards. Recent hosts of the biennial Games have included traditional sports which they excel in to boost their medal haul. Two years ago in Vietnam, fin swimming and shuttlecock-kicking made it into the Games programme and for this series, the Philippines brought in dance sport, arnis and muay thai (Thai boxing). “The focus should go back to the development of sports which are contested in the Asian Games and the Olympics,” said Beng Choo. “There are some sports here which will probably not be included in the Games until they (the Philippines) play host again. “We are not talking about development if the sports are not contested in the Asian Games. “For example, hockey is an Olympic sport but it was not contested here and this is one of the things the council have to look at. “The SEA Games should go back to its original objective, which is to offer a platform for the member countries to test their skills in the main sports.” The issue of judging in subjective sports also came up again in the Manila Games. There were questionable decisions in wushu, karate and taekwondo. Gymnastics also saw three gold medals awarded for the men’s floor exercise. Bodybuilding was not left out and even two-time Mr Universe Sazali Samad was deemed not good enough for gold. Beng Choo said that Malaysia took a strong stand against the inclusion of too many subjective sports but they were the lone voice. “There is only so much we can do because there are 11 member countries,” she said. “One thing we can look at is to ensure referees in subjective sports must only come from member associations. “We can also look at whether the traditional sports can be separated from the main sports and hosted separately.” While it is the norm to make a big hue and cry when an athlete is not awarded points befitting his performance, Beng Choo said that there was nothing much one could do but to make sure there was no room for error. “There are judgment calls in some sports like gymnastics and diving. The only way is to make sure that our athletes are so good that the judges have no choice but to declare them as medal winners,” she said.