The biennial Southeast Asian (SEA) Games is the largest multi-sport event in the region, next to the Asian Games. It evolved from the South East Asian Peninsular (SEAP) Games, a brainchild by Thailand Olympic Committee VP Laung Sukhumnaipradit, which was first held in 1959 in Thailand. Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were the 6 six original countries to compete in the games. The SEA Games was started to strengthen political, economic, and social ties with the different nations of the region.
In 1977, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Brunei Darussalam joined the 9th SEAP Games in Malaysia, which prompted the renaming of the event to its present name. Later Cambodia and Timor Leste also joined.
The flags of the participating countries:
The 23rd SEA Games scheduled from November 27, 2005 to December 2005 will be the 3rd time the Philippines is hosting the games. The first two were during the 11th and 16th editions of the games on December 6-15, 1981 and November 24-December 3, 1991.