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Showing posts from August, 2011

Happy Birthday Malaysia

I still remember the 29th Merdeka celebrations at Dataran Merdeka.

My late dad placed me on his shoulders as we joined thousands to witness the march-past accompanied by the fighter jets that flew above us.

Staying at Pekeliling Flats then, I was used to seeing fighter jets practicing prior the Merdeka celebrations.

But that was the first time I saw them flying majestically at Dataran Merdeka.

My dad and I were pleasantly surprised when we saw our faces in Utusan Malaysia the next day (Sept 1, 1986 - pic). My dad kept the page in his diary since.

I stumbled upon the picture recently. It reminded me of the good times I had with my dad.

Merdeka is not only about Malaysia celebrating its independence. Merdeka is also a celebration of the good times I had with my dad.

Happy 54th birthday Malaysia. Let's Cheers, Rihanna's way.

HD says: Merdeka, merdeka, merdeka!

Selamat Hari Raya

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all.

May you have a blessed Raya.

Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

HD says: Can't wait for the ketupat and lemang feast tonight!

Usain Bolt-ed out

And many of his peers came to his rescue.

Olympic champion Usain Bolt fell victim to the International Amateur Athletics Federation's false starting ruling at the World Championships.

Among those who lambasted the ruling include Walter Dix and Kim Collins. Read what they say here. They hope the ruling will not be seen at the London Olympics next year.

Watch how Usain takes off his shirt in frustration here.

If only athletes were more vocal and liberal in Malaysia.

Opps, athletes in Malaysia are penalised for speaking against organisations but get away by skipping anti-doping tests. Silly me.

HD says: It's a shame we couldn't see Usain run.

Satia's next stop...

Myanmar or Indonesia?

That could be the possible destination for Kelantan's B.Satianathan (pic).

Satianathan is a man who prefers to be on the field with the lads than watching from the stands.

This was evident as he was feeling 'uncomfortable' sitting at the VIP box during the KL v Kelantan friendly match at the Selayang Stadium two weeks ago.

Satianathan served his 6 month long suspension handed by the FA of Malaysia late last year.

He didn't head-butt anyone or performed a flying kick on any official - although he would love to if given the chance.

All he did was question the Super League fixture between two teams last year.

Now that's in the past, as reported by Utusan Malaysia today.

HD says: I doubt Satianathan will coach an M-League team. Anyone wanna bet? Loser gets to buy lemang and rendang ayam.

Still a universe away

Harsh it may sound, that's the reality.

And sadly, it's us journalists who have to play 'Mr Negative' as certain quarters often get carried away too quickly.

NST's sports editor Vijesh Rai speaks about national skipper Safiq Rahim (pic) enjoying a possible stint with Cardiff City as seen here.

Our fans should stop having false hopes when a Malaysian tycoon buys over a giant club in Europe. It is purely for business and nothing else.

Some question why such high flying individuals cannot invest in our local teams.

But let's ponder - what is the return of investment for pumping in millions into our local clubs or state teams?

HD says: Fan base hampeh, website yilek, akaun tak tau balance tapi kuat bising bila tak dapat sponsor. Ish ish ish.

Rexy v NSI-BAM

Based on scientific findings by the National Sports Institute (NSI), the BA of Malaysia (BAM) blamed national doubles coach Rexy Mainaky's (pic) training programme for the failure of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong at the recently concluded World Championships in London.

This was reported by The Star yesterday.

Today, Rexy took a shot at his critics as he defended the training programme he drew up for the duo.
“I would prefer the NSI to focus on weight training for the players at the gymnasium and let me focus on the agility training for the players on the court,” said Rexy.“I am an Olympic and world champion and I know what is needed by a player. During my time, I used to do skipping and shadow training.“These traditional methods saw me winning major titles. It all goes back to how much one pushes himself on the court.Read more here.
Food for thought; What about the players? No fault of theirs?
HD says: Officials only talk, coaches only coach but it is the players who make o…

Early Raya treat for KL lads

KL FA, through funding from the FT Ministry, settled the overdue wages of KL players as they prepare for the Malaysia Cup which starts early September.

This is a timely Raya gift for the players who have not been paid since mid-May. This was revealed after FT Minister Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin visited the Cheras Stadium this morning.

Harian Metro were quick to break the story today.

But the question remains - Why must the government bail out a team every bloody time?

If teams have no means of participating in the M-League, then please withdraw and only compete when you have the resources.

The same money could be better spent properly constructed path-ways or bus stands in the city.

HD says: It's a shame to see people spending like mad only to realise they are cash-strapped at the end of the day.

Sail Ahoy!

FORMER world champion Peter Gilmour will retire from sailing after the 2012 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) season.

That was taken from today's NST. Read more here.

But let's study the Monsoon Cup.

During former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad's tenure, he saw Langkawi as a sailing destination.

His successor Abdullah Badawi didn't want to be left out and saw Pulau Duyong as an ideal destination.

With businessman Patrick Lim on board, they developed the whole area turning it from a sleepy coastal kampung to a luxurious resort style concept - but not as luxurious as YTL's Pangkor Laut Resort or The Datai in Langkawi.

The excuse, Monsoon Cup.

Millions were spent. The return of investment was supposed to be the mileage the nation got from the international recognition from viewership and money spent by the rich and famous while in Terengganu.

For the locals - till today they don't know where is the start or finish line. Or even if there is a start of finish line to begin…

Only MAAU got power

I received a phone call from a national athlete earlier this morning.

The national athlete is amused and baffled to how two fellow athletes, who skipped the anti-doping test at the National Sports Institute (NSI) in May, were the wild card entrants to the up-coming World Track and Field championships.

Apparently the national athlete isn't alone. Many others are disgruntled too.

I reminded the athlete that;

1. The Malaysia Amateur Athletics Union remain as the authoritative body for athletics in the country.

2. Other agencies including the NSI and especially the National Sports Council are simply "power-less". NSI can only make recommendations to the world agencies while NSC is merely a funding arm of the Sports Ministry so buang air liur hang la cakap dgn diorang.

3. Athletes should walk out from MAAU and train on their own. State AAA should shed their puppet-like status and use their brains when electing the right individuals for the national body. (Unless state AAA are…

Don't blame BAM...

...blame all sports organisations.

Why?

They have resulted in a system which is just dumb-founding if not ridiculous.

Flashback during the KL v Kelantan match at Selayang Stadium last week. Several KL FA officials were lamented they do not get any support from the current KL Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail. They used to get RM1 million from Ahmad Fuad's predecessors.

Let's be reminded then city mayor Elyas Omar gave KLFA money and land.

So KLFA has been pampered. They only want handouts. No initiative to run a website, or a blog which is free. No effort. In fact, NST's Devinder Singh has more records on KL for the past two decades than KLFA.

What is the return of investment? Oh wait, do they know what is return of investment?

It's no different with the BA of Malaysia (BAM).

Doubles specialists Fairuzizuan Tazari and Zakry Abdul Latif (pic L-R) have left the national badminton team, as reported here.

Bernama reported Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek as saying; "...if mo…

M-League lockout?

The National Basketball Association (NBA) in the USA is facing a lockout as legal suits are being filed in the courts.

For the uninitiated, this article by Bettor.com states:

The lockout began on July 1st due to the expiration of the old Collective Bargaining Agreement or CBA. NBA owners and NBA Commissioner David Stern want to make sweeping changes in the new CBA, but the players are vehemently opposing them.

The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) filed a complaint against the league on the charge of negotiating in bad faith and the league itself recently sued the union in a federal court.

Professional set ups include players having the right to voice out. It also mean athletes have the right to decide on the terms and agreements of their contracts. There is a union.

In Malaysia, it's totally different. Athletes behave naively and allow officials - who are merely administrators - to dictate their lives.

So if such a situation did happen, let's say in our M-Le…

No Moh, Keen Ho?

There's Team A headed by Melvin Chia. Then there's Team B that features Prof WY Chin.
Both are at loggerheads and it's been more than eight months.
End result? Former Asian Junior champion and 2007 Korat Sea Games gold medalist Moh Keen Ho (pic) may not see action at the upcoming Sea Games in Indonesia.
Keen Ho said he has given up playing for the country. He's been busy with work. But we know in snooker those who quit return to the green baize.
But if WY Chin is still around, then I doubt Keen Ho will ever represent Malaysia.
The Olympic Council of Malaysia seem to favour WY Chin's pursuit. The Sports Commissioner's Office acknowledges Melvin and Co as the executive board members.
Now there could be an arbitration before the closing date for the Sea Games next month.
Read more in today's Mailsport.
HD says: Your egos are causing the sport to suffer. Bah!

Takraw can win at least one gold medal...

...sure or not?

Sepaktakraw Association of Malaysia (PSM) president Ahmad Ismail remains confident Malaysia can win at least a gold medal in the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.

That was reported by Bernama as published in The Star today.

Thailand has and will always be the favourites. I just don't know why.

Read Rizal Hashim's short take on the sport here with a link to www.bolarotan.com.

So can win at least one gold medal in Indonesia?

Your guess is as good as mine.
HD says: Still remembers the sepak takraw fiasco at the 2007 Korat Sea Games. Drama, drama.

PFAM...who?

That's the reaction I get from most of the footballers, I kid you not.

Two years since the launch of the Professional Footballers' Association of Malaysia (PFAM) and no one knows what its' real functions are.

I bet former Mailsport editor Tony Mariadass, who wrote a skeptical piece on PFAM back then, is having the last laugh.


But it's no laughing matter for the players. They do not have a single entity representing them, safeguarding their interest.

All this and more in today's From the Sidelines.

HD says: Sigh.

Sports Commissioner's Office still clueless

It's been more than a month.

But the Sports Commissioner's Office is still in the dark over the RM4 million channeled from the Malaysian Paralympics Council to Paralimpik Ventures Sdn Bhd.

Sports Commissioner Yassin Salleh (pic) assured they are still keeping tabs on the matter. I really hope so.

Otherwise, it would just go to show that anyone can get away with anything in Malaysian sports.

HD says: RM4 million is a LOT of money.

Safee's German stint; KL's dilemma

I know this was first reported last week.
But I'm equally amazed with the interest it has created as seen on blogs and forums.
Safee told Astro Arena about the deal last week. Over the weekend, the Pelita Jaya player insisted the deal was still in the early stages and it is private and confidential, as reported in today's Mailsport.
This video shows Safee speaking about the possible German stint while this posting reveals how Safee's jersey would look like (pic).
Meanwhile, KL could be losing more players. The city lads have not received their wages for the past three months as reported by Harian Metro not too long ago.
After the KL-Kelantan friendly match last night, several players revealed they have been approached by Kelantan, Johor FC and Perak and could ply their trade elsewhere next year.
But KL FA are adamant they are not at fault. They are now pinning the blame on current KL mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail as they only received RM250,000 from KL City Hall this year.
"Durin…

Chong Wei v Lin Dan

UPDATE: Olympic badminton champion Lin Dan had an ideal preparation for his title defence when he won his fourth world title on Sunday in the Wembley arena to be used for the 2012 Games.

Read more here.
----
Who will win the World Championships in London later today?
World No 1 Lee Chong Wei hungers for the title - a title that would finally justify his world ranking.
Lin Dan, meanwhile, has won it all. It boils down to pride and ego.
So who would you bet on?
Catch the match live on Astro.
HD says: Chong Wei could finally net the world title.

When a jersey is too expensive...

...you get a tongue lashing in public.

But that only happens in New Zealand.

Sports giant adidas has come under fire as they are selling the All-Blacks jersey for NZ$ 220 (RM 549.60).

However, the same rugby jersey can be bought in the USA for US$ 79.99 (RM 231.51).

According to this article, the cost of making a jersey is estimated at NZ$ 8 (RM 19.98).

Watch how broadcast journalist John Campbell grills adidas New Zealand’s country manager David Huggett and adidas Australia’s managing director Greg Kerr about the price of its replica jersey - as seen here.

So should we also settle for overly priced jerseys which are made in some factory in Kepong?

Note: Special mention to former Mailsport journo Graig Nunis for the video.

HD says: Malaysian officials are lucky they are not subjected to such grilling. It'd be interesting to see how they react to such a situation eh.

KL v Kelantan

Watch KL play Kelantan in a friendly football match at the Selayang Stadium ahead of their Malaysia Cup campaign tomorrow (Sunday).

Kick off is at 9.30pm and tickets are priced at RM 10 each (free for children under-12). It’s an opportunity not to be missed.

HD says: Someone needs to get rid of the insects flying all over the stands at the Selayang Stadium once the floodlights are on.

Should NSAs train athletes?

This was sparked through a conversation with several senior officials not too long ago.

"BA of Malaysia should do away with training athletes. Only the best should play for the country."

What business the National Sports Council has in training athletes? They are merely the funding arm," another official said.

I posed this question to a man who has been in sports longer than the rest, Olympic Council of Malaysia's Sieh Kok Chi (pic).

Read it in today's Mailsport.

HD says: I tend to agree to a certain extent.

OCM steps in

The alternative dispute resolution could solve the episode involving Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen and the BA of Malaysia (BAM).

And it looks the national body have no qualms sorting it out with the Olympic Council of Malaysia as reported here.

Meanwhile, BAM admitted the registration of independent players for tournaments ought to be reviewed. Read more here.

HD says: Here's hoping for a fairy tale ending.

Sports Industry Year? Oh please!

That was the first sentence of my column From the Sidelines published today.

But I was told to "go easy" as Redberry, the group that manages The Malay Mail, are the media partners of the Sports Industry Year.

Oh well.

I was just pushing the envelope anyway.

I have been skeptical all this while - as standing individuals were sidelined from speaking at the forums as they are noy in-sync with the concept of the Sports Industry Year (note I mentioned SIY twice - now isn't that branding?)

But with plans of turning the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex into a Sports City? Now that's something worth looking into.

After all, Malaysians only appreciate things better when they are forced to fork out money.

HD says: Let's concentrate on maintaining facilities as well.

Another shuttle cock-up?

It seems so.

Former BA of Malaysia (BAM) shuttler K.Yogendran (pic) claims his name is missing from the list of the upcoming Vietnam Open later this month.

And he claims this is not the first time.

Yogendran was a bitter man when he found out the Selangor BA failed to register his name for the Malaysia Open last year. He then found comfort with the KL BA.

However, he now faces the same problem.

Yogendran maintains he doesn't want to play the blame game. He just wants an easier way for independent players to register for tournaments.

Perhaps it is time to address such a matter.

Read more of Yogendran's predicament in today's Mailsport.

HD says: All players should be treated fairly.

FAM risks sactions?

There is a possibility the FA of Malaysia (FAM) could face sanctions for breaches seen at the World Cup qualifying (round 2 return leg) match between Malaysia and Singapore at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last month.

Prima facie, FAM may have breached Articles 7, 8, 18 and 19 of the FifaSafety Regulations. This has to be complimented with Article 73 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code.

Why?

1. This is a World Cup qualifying match - grouped as one of the top three major events by Fifa that must adhere to strict regulations.

2. A fan was blinded (pic).

3. Fans stood at the stairs, observers believed there was an over-print of tickets.

4. Stalls set up too close to the gates of the stadium.

Fifa security and venue officer Dell Akbar Khan was both diplomatic and polite but agrees with my findings - as published in today's Mailsport.

I hope FAM will NOT be penalised. But if they do, then it would be a bitter lesson to be learnt. Things need to be done professionally.

HD says: As it was once sa…

Malaysia Cup: Kelantan, Selangor all smiles

Malaysia Cup 2011 draw

Group A
Kedah, Perak, Sabah, Johor

Group B
Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, PKNS, Sime Darby

Group C
Kelantan, Johor FC, Felda United, Sarawak

Group D
Selangor, T-Team, KL, Police

I'm sure Kelantan and Selangor were all smiles after the Malaysia Cup 2011 draw was conducted yesterday.

Read Tuah Cabutan Buat Kelantan, Selangor, Good draw for seeded teams and Laluan mudah buat pasukan pilihan.

So who will win the Malaysia Cup this year?

HD says: May the best team win.

"In the interest of the nation"

Here are the facts:

1. The first paragraph of my story lacked the sting compared to my what I had originally written - thanks to I wonder who. Everyone knows Gan Teik Chai (pic) and Tan Bin Shen will not compete in the World Championships.

National independent doubles pair Gan Teik Chai and Tan Bin Shen are unhappy as they have been denied the opportunity to play in the world championships in London despite being the second ranked doubles pair in the country.

2. The BA of Malaysia or any particular individual in its office is not my MENTOR. BAM deputy president Datuk Al Amin Majid has a stake in The Malay Mail but it must be stressed that despite all SMS-es and instigation from various parties, he has NEVER interfered with the editorial content of the paper.

3. Gan Teik Chai-Tan Bin Shen wrote a letter, on their own, to BAM asking for clarification of their status to play in the World Championship on May 12, 2011.

4. BAM replied to them, with a copy sent to Kedah BA on May 13, 2011 addi…

MHF, NSC: We didn't make the arrangements.

That is what I gathered from the Malaysian Hockey Federation and the National Sports Council regarding the visa woes for Shukri Mutalib and Faisal Saari who are supposed to play in the knockout-stage of the Australian Hockey League.

Both Shukri (pic) and Faisal will return today and join their team mates for the test series against Japan which starts on Sunday.

Read more in today's Mailsport.

SS Dhaliwal was the first to highlight the matter as seen here.

The duo were required to apply for a sport visa and not a work permit - as stated in the Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Pic: From NST

HD says: If only more officials were like NSC hockey liaison officer Nurazlan Shah Adam. He was polite and accommodating - a rare trait among his peers.

Blind Justice

1. In 1991 Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar was slapped with a 3 year ban for questioning a referee's credibility.

2. In 2009 Reduan Abdullah was handed a 12 month ban for questioning the fitness levels of players in the M-League and hitting at FA of Malaysia.

3. In 2010, B.Satianathan was given a 6 month suspension for questioning the fixture involving T-Team and Perlis.

4. In 2010, Selangor defender Khairul Annuar Baharom heat-butts Haris Safwan of T-Team and walks away with a 3 game ban.

From the Sidelines today speaks about the predicament faced by five Perak players suspended after supposedly "menyerang" a referee during a game against Sabah in May.

It's called Blind Justice.

HD says: Justice may be blind, but it can see in the dark.

'Import' players

If all nations in world recruit players from other nations to represent them,then it defeats the purpose of sportsmanship and showmanship. Take Singapore as example. I have been to 4 SEA Games, 2 Asian Games, 1 Olympics..when Singapore did well in table tennis using 'China' players, where were the cheering support shown by their fans/citizens? Limited or none! U can spend money, but will it uplift ur citizens taste for glory?

I received that SMS from Lee Hui Seng. And I thank him for sharing it with me.

Apparently the same text was seen on his Facebook wall and it created quite a stir.

However, we also have 'imports' within us - Yuan Yufang and Irina Maharani (pic) to name a few.

For the record, Singapore's defender Daniel Bennett was born in England but lived in Singapore since the age of two. Does that make him more British or Singaporean?

But what say you?

HD says: Hmm...

We can play better football

Some are clearly pissed.

Others believe there is much hope with the national team.

Just as I've stated on Astro Awani Ekstra last night, I believe I've seen the national team play better football.

It's not the question of playing on different turf, fielding 'imports' or the target being the 2015 Asian Cup.

I believe only the best players should represent the country. You can be good today, but there's no assurance you can be good tomorrow.

As I said before, I believe our team can perform way, way better than what they did against Taiwan and Singapore.

It's time to move on.

HD says: One may have faith or practice positive thinking but it is important to conduct a reality check at the same time.

Walking to the $$

Should national walker Yuan Yufang be allowed to decide on the events she is suppose to participate?

Yufang skipped the recent National Closed Championship to partake in the BHP Orange run instead.

It's obvious the latter event had a better prize money.

But I don't blame Federal Territories (FT) contingent manager P. Sidamparam for being pissed.

"She (Yufang) did not inform me she was pulling out of the event but instead told (walkers) Teoh Boon Lim and B. Thirukumaran that she had heart problems and would not be competing," said an irate Sidamparam, who is also the Federal Territories Amateur Athletics Association (FTAAA) development chairman.

Read more in today's NST

HD says: Just tell the truth la. Easier right?