The plans to move the Commonwealth Games Federation headquarters out of London will be re-visited in the months to come.
In stating this CGF President Tunku tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar said that decisions such as this should not be looked at emotionally but practically and that he hoped commonsense will prevail amongst member countries when the proposal is revisited in the months to come.
“Yes there was a proposal to move the headquarters out of London as our lease at the present location comes to an end in the middle of next year,” said Tunku Imran.
“Thus the search for a suitable replacement started and a total of 15 countries were considered and evaluated as possible sites for the relocation process.
“Amongst the countries considered were Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. In the end it was found that Malaysia offered the best, both in terms of location, facilities and tax benefits.”
Imran said that while historically the CGF has always been based in London, the financial implications were a consideration in making this decision to relocate.
“We will handle this with tact as there is just too much emotion attached by those opposing the relocation exercise,” said Imran.
“We have less then a year to make a decision, as we have to vacate the present location by September next year and look for an alternative, be it in London or another country, to be decided by the Council.”
The CGF Executive Board tabled a proposal to the Council at its meeting on August 16. But it was subsequently withdrawn in the afternoon.
The current headquarters is located at a building in Piccadilly owned by EON Productions, the film production company that makes the James Bond movies. It is staffed by six and the move to Malaysia would save them £925,000 (RM5 million) within the next quadrennial,” contends Imran.
“And we are not even talking about assistance that we could derive from the Malaysian government.
“Since both me and Jega (Tan Sri M. Jegathesan) were Malaysian’s, we made it clear that we had no personal interest and kept out of the decision making process.
“The selection of Kuala Lumpur was based on a report submitted by an independent and reputable firm KPMG and the executive Board made the decision to table it at the Council.
The British Empire Games Federation was founded in 1932 after the successful staging of the British Empire Games in Hamilton, Canada two years earlier.
In 1952 the name was changed to the British Empire and Commonwealth Games Federation. Another name change occurred in 1966 when it was called the British Commonwealth Games Federation. It was not until 1974 that the name was changed to the Commonwealth Games Federation, as its known today.