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Showing posts from December, 2010

Fairy tale ending

Here's a fairy tale with a happy ending, written by yours truly.

Read it in today's The Malay Mail.

HD says: I should try writing more fairy tales, hehe.

Dec 29, 2010

Remember this date.

The Malaysian Tigers defied all odds by winning the Asean Cup for the first time.

They managed to defeat Indonesia by a 4-2 aggregate (won 3-0 in Bukit Jalil on Sunday; lost 2-1 in Jakarta minutes earlier).

The Malay Mail's Pearl Lee has urged fellow Malaysians to wear yellow tomorrow in support of the national team.

Well done lads!

UPDATE: 11.05pm - PM declares Friday a public holiday.

HD says: Rajagobal sure dapat Datukship, ada public holiday ka besok?

History in the making

I received a phone call from BBC's Kuala Lumpur correspondent Jennifer Pak and we met up for coffee at Ampang Point.

The Canadian born and bred Miss Pak wanted to know more about the Indonesia-Malaysia AFF Suzuki Cup return leg final in Jakarta later today.

I explained that we were amazingly "polite" towards our Indonesian friends while they witnessed their team go down 3-0 in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Now, we have reports stating that our fans and newsmen there are advised not to don the Malaysian jerseys or to show their support towards the Malaysian Tigers for security reasons.

I wonder how many tickets were actually allocated to Malaysian fans in Jakarta? Apparently only 1,000 allocated for Malaysians and only 500 snapped up according to this website.

Instead, we allocated 15,000 tickets but many more entered the stadium to watch the match. Hmm.

Emotional sentiments aside, I believe such a situation can be tackled in a better manner. Let's hope the Malaysians come out to…

Of bomohs and Pressmen

We have this love-hate relationship with our good neighbours Indonesia.

Thus it comes to no surprise why the Malaysia-Indonesia return leg AFF Suzuki Cup in Jakarta tomorrow is a hot topic in most of the Papers - both here and in the Republic.

Malaysia managed a 3-0 lead in the first leg final at Bukit Jalil on Sunday.

Here are some of the quotes published in the dailies:

"SAYA mahu penonton Indonesia tunjuk semangat kesukanan dan tidak ikut tindakan seperti penonton di Malaysia." - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Berita Harian)

“Siapa dia (Markus) untuk menghentikan perlawanan?” - National coach K.Rajagobal when met at the airport in Jakarta (Berita Harian).

"We have come here (Jakarta) to win, I am confident we will return home as champions." - National skipper Safiq Rahim (NST).

“Of course, the lasers affected our players but I think that falling behind 1-0 had more of an effect on them." - Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl (RedSports).

But the best quo…

The countdown begins - Part 1: Mas 3 Ina 0

This should have been done earlier but was having problems getting online on my Celcom-powered Blackberry.

Here goes:

4.15pm - Traffic was surprisingly clear. Smooth journey to parking bay C at the National Stadium.

5.00pm - Bumped into several people, old friends and good friends.

5.11pm - Met Jakarta Globe columnist-cum-Jakarta Casual blogger Antony Sutton at the LRT station. There's an Indonesian invasion at Bkt Jalil.

5.30pm - More and more Indonesians seen at the std area. Beginning to wonder if there are more than 15,000 around.

5.45pm - After a burger ayam and some keropok lekor, masuk stadium through the Red Gate. Was asked by a Rela officer if I smoked and I said no. Was let off the hook without any touching session. Quite easy to sneak in stuff eh.

6.01pm - Hail Raja-nikanth! National coach K.Rajagobal inspects the pitch while receiving a standing ovation.

6.30pm - Look who's here. Hassan Sani and family. Sempat bergambaq lagi tu.

6.37pm - Is that Rod Stewart singing??!? Biar…

What's your prediction?

Astro Arena's managing editor Dez Corkhill and I met at the SAM-Astro futsal tournament earlier this morning.

We both agreed that the AFF Suzuki Cup first leg final between Malaysia and Indonesia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil could end up as a scoreless draw. Maybe, 1-1.

We could be wrong though.

Those wanting to watch the match better head down to the stadium early. Parking bays are limited no thanks to the temporary bus terminal opposite the National Hockey Stadium and the Rock the World concert which started at 10am and set to end at midnight.

HD says: I'll be at the stands watching with the fans. Semboyan telah berbunyi, menuju medan bakti...

Merry Xmas folks!

Have a Merry Xmas - bhangra style if you may.

Go easy on the drinks if you're driving.

Otherwise, enjoy the turkey and most importantly the company of your loved ones.

And to the fans of the Malaysian Tigers, our national team deserves your support.

Cheers!

HD says: On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a big fat Harley and enough petrol for me to ride all the way to Greece :)

Tickets habis dijual

As far as the RM50 tickets are concerned.

Got a phone call from a good friend and he confirmed that the RM50 tickets for the AFF Suzuki Cup final (first leg) between Malaysia and Indonesia were all snapped up within an hour right after the booths opened at 10am.

Apparently, there are about 2,500 RM50 tickets that were completely sold off.

Promising sign that it could be a jam packed fiesta at the National Stadium on Sunday.

HD says: Anthony, I'm trying to get a couple of tickets for you, so hang in there.

Of lasers and tickets...

Well the heat is on, as far as the Indonesian camp is concerned.

While the Republic will fly to KL for the first leg AFF Suzuki Cup final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday, they have already issued a warning - one laser beam and they walk out. Read it here.

Meanwhile, former Mailsports journalist Rizal Hashim, who is currently the resident blogger for Astro Arena's Kafe Sukan (Ch 801), mentioned on the show that the selling of tickets in KL should be monitored with a majority percentage restricted to Malaysians. Joining him on the show was former international Zainal Abidin Hassan - who skippered the national team at the 1996 AFF final which Malaysia lost to Thailand 1-0 - and yours truly.

But the Indonesians believe they can fill half of the stadium. Read here.

Pix taken without permission from Rizal Hashim's facebook - (L-R) Rizal reliving his school days as a class monitor, host Akhbar Sahari who is an ardent Land Rover enthusiast and drives a 17 year old monste…

The snooker song

The Prof has been cued out.

Raymond Lim takes over the Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation, replacing long time president Prof WY Chin.

To his defence, Chin was instrumental in the formation and early days of the national body. We had a string of world class players including Sam Chong.

Honestly, we still do have calibre cue artists on the green baize.

Among them are the Sabahan pool maestro Ibrahim Amir who stays in Taman Kosas, Ampang, former Asian Games junior Moh Keen Hoo who has just recently turned into daddy Hoo, my Kampung boy Lai Chee Wei (who hails nearby Aulong, Taiping) and the man with a few words who could pass off as a big timer from Klang but is actually a humble and nice young man from Penang Thor Chuan Leong.

Sadly, the association have been in shambles over the years. Perhaps the lack of proper management. The national squad has been 'coach-less' since Sam Chong quit after the disappointing outing at the 2005 Manila Sea Games. Its secretary Melvin Chia h…

Malaysia masuk final!

It's deja vu.

The hockey lads did the impossible after they managed a place in the final of the Asian Games before losing to Pakistan.

Just minutes earlier, the Malaysian football team defied all odds by booking a berth in the AFF Suzuki Cup final.

Malaysia held hosts Vietnam 0-0 in the return leg semi final in Hanoi after managing a 2-0 win in the first leg.

HD says: Well done lads. Semboyan, telah berbunyi. Menuju medan bakti.

ESPN no more?

Can someone please clarify this?

While waiting for the traffic to ease around Bukit Jalil, several journalist friends and I were catching up on the latest news in the industry.

One of them said; "ESPN's Sportscenter Malaysia will be airing its final slot this Friday."

I was surprised. I knew this day would come but didn't expect it out of the blue.

Is it really true?

UPDATE (Friday, Dec 17): Got confirmation that Sportcenter Malaysia will be on air for the last time today.

HD says: Hmm...

Round 1: Malaysia 2 Vietnam 0

The Malaysian Tigers were treated like heroes.

They now have a two goal lead in the first leg semi final clash against Vietnam. The team will leave for Hanoi about six hours from now (6.30am).

My good old friend Azriq and I were seated on the opposite ends of the stadium. It's sad that we didn't have time to bump into each other. But we shared one thing in common, as revealed through his message to me.

"They could have played better."

Well done to the Malaysian Tigers, but I too do feel you can do way better in the next leg.

HD says: Do not let the nightmare of 2004 haunt us.

Hockey and wrestling?

Some hockey junior players claim they were attacked by their seniors for training with a rival team.

I know we used to have former internationals who excelled in two different sports. Are the seniors trying to do the same by being hockey players and wrestlers?

A coin has two sides, so I'm pretty sure the seniors will have their 'reasons' for such actions.

Read all about it in today's The Malay Mail .

Nevertheless, violence can never be condoned - and sportsmen should know better. But before we jump the gun, let's allow the Police to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, there will be cheers for hockey enthusiasts as the PJ Stadium is here to stay.

HD says: There are better ways to solve a problem then bashing someone up.

Malaysia v Vietnam

My old primary school friend Azriq has been bugging me the whole day trying to find out where he can get tickets for the AFF Suzuki Cup Malaysia-Vietnam semi final (first leg) match.

We have been exchanging bbm-s while I try to finish off my work at the same time, it is folks like Ariq that brings the sprit of nationalism alive.

You see, Azriq can choose to watch the match in the comfort of his home and then go to work (as he works in the wee hours of the morning catering for the US market for a multinational company).

Nevertheless, he insists of heading to the stadium - which will be messed up by 5pm onwards no thanks to the temporary bus terminal opposite the National Hockey Stadium and the after-work rush.

Well Azriq, I'll be there early and hopefully we'll be able to bump into each other and speak more about the national team. And I also hope there will be a sea of yellow and blue (Malaysian fans) to outdo the possible sea of Red (Vietnam) that would invade the stands

As K.Raja…

Malaysia 2 KL 0

The national team had a good workout at the Cheras Stadium earlier.

They met Super League outfit KL in a friendly match and managed a 2-0 win.

KL coach Razip Ismail and Company are grateful for the opportunity for they were initially suppose to play Penang yesterday but that match didn't materialise.

National coach K.Rajagobal on the other hand admitted that work needs to be done on the team as they play Vietnam in the AFF Cup first leg semi final at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday (kickoff 8.00pm).

Vietnam, meanwhile, are already in the country as they had their first training session at the KL Plus ground this evening. Even the Vietnamese Press are already here.

Hopefully, Astro Awani's Fadzrie Haziz (501) and I will be able to speak more about the team's preparation ahead of the semi final clash later tonight (11.30pm).

HD says: Brace for a Vietnamese invasion at Bukit Jalil on Wednesday.

Sazali flexes his muscles...

...and won the gold medal!

My former boss Tony Mariadass sent out a press release from Muscat, Oman - venue of the on-going 2nd Asian Beach Games.

The first two paragraphs read:

Sazali Abd Samad (pic), won Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Muscat 2010 2nd Asian Beach Games when he emerged tops in the bodybuilding lightweight 70kg category at the Qurum National Park Amphitheater last night.

The win was his latest addition to bodybuilding events he has been competing for the last two decades.

HD says: Well done Tuan Sarjan.

Bantai Laos, Malaysia ke semifinal

That was the online article from Indonesia's daily SoloPos.

The rain poured, the pitch was heavy and managing a 5-1 win over Laos was satisfying for Malaysia.

But the fact that Thailand lost 2-1 to Indonesia brought joy to the Malaysian camp as the Tigers join Indonesia to the semi finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Looking forward to an exciting top four clash.

HD says: Let's see what happens next.

The unofficial website

Now my question is, why doesn't the national hockey league have its own website?

While we continue to ponder over it, SS Dhaliwal has taken the liberty to initiate the unofficial Malaysian Hockey League website.

Division One started on Dec 3 while the Premier League will commence on Dec 17.

From my observation, unofficial websites generally provide more 'interesting news'.

In the meantime, Mailsports will be running a series of articles featuring teams participating in the Premier league.

HD says: It's going to be an interesting league.

Who will fight for them?

It's a sad scenario revolving in the M-League.

The national body claims that the league is a professional set-up. Yet, after all these years there are still allegations of teams not paying their players on time.

A group of Johor footballers spoke to Mailsports over the weekend, venting their frustration. Read it here.

The solution is simple - pay up or ship out.

HD says: One Johor footballer had to think twice before buying a fast food set meal for his child. Sigh.

It wasn't pretty...

...but it got the job done.

Malaysia held Thailand to a 0-0 draw in their second encounter of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

The field wasn't pretty and so was the game. A couple of friends even felt the jersey was not on.

Nevertheless, K.Rajagobal and Co still have a fighting chance of graduating beyond the group stage. Let's see what happens next.

While the national Tigers justify their Sea Games gold medal effort in Laos (2009), Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was justifying Malaysia's achievement at the Guangzhou Asian Games on Astro Arena (801) aired at the same time the Malaysia-Thailand match was played (813).

The debate on Malaysia's performance at the regional Games continues, as evident in Rizal Hashim's blog.

HD says: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Sani steps down

DATO' A.SANI KARIM STEPS DOWN AS 6th PRESIDENT OF SRAM

After more than sixteen years of involvement in Malaysian squash, the last six years as President of SRAM, Dato' Sani officially announced at SRAM's Management Committee Meeting on 6 November, 2010 that he would not be seeking re-election at SRAM's forthcoming AGM on 5 December, 2010. He also announced that he had nominated his very able Deputy for the last six years, Dato' Syed Mustaffa Syed Ali, as his replacement. He further announced this at a dinner function to honour Dato' Nicol David on her Gold medal win at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games and it took everyone there by surprise.

During the period of his involvement with Malaysian squash, Dato' has demonstrated exemplary leadership and keen insight across the full range of squash activities. We will miss him.

The above was the first three paragraphs of an email which I just received minutes ago. It confirmed Sani Karim stepping down as SRAM presiden…

Tigers mauled

I'm still waiting for my good friend Anthony Sutton of Jakarta Casual to write about the Indonesia-Malaysia curtain raiser of the AFF Suzuki Cup held last night.

The Malaysian Tigers lost 5-1.

Once again I am not able to travel to Indonesia for reasons best known to the company.

I missed the antics of the Indonesian supporters who apprently boo-ed during the Negaraku was played. I was not able to see the faces of the Indonesian fans when a Norshahrul Idlan Talaha scored the opening goal thanks to a brilliant pass by Safee Sali.

I also failed to see the post-match celebrations and how K.Rajagobal answered the questions posed by Indonesian journalists during the press conference.

I do enjoy good relationships with several Indonesian and Indian journalists but they can be very hard hitting in their articles. I'm sure Rajagobal and Co would know that by now.

But what surprised me the most is that Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand watching the match as reported here. Whoa...

And it l…