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Showing posts from June, 2012

Lee's Complicated 'Wei' to the Olympics

UPDATE July 1 12.30pm:Pandelela is young and has been excellent in her field of sport. I met with the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and we decided that she is the best candidate for the job,” said (Tun Ahmad) Sarji after visiting the Olympic-bound shuttlers at Stadium Juara in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
That was taken from The Star's report.
A quick phone call to OCM secretary Sieh Kok Chi revealed otherwise.
"As far as I can recall, the selection of the flag bearer was not discussed or approved during the OCM Board or Council meetings. 
"In the past, we will usually discuss such matters. Recommendations can be made but the  (OCM) members will decide on such matters," added Kok Chi.
It was a lunch session hosted by top national shuttler Lee Chong Wei at the Juara Stadium in Bukit Kiara on Thursday.

Chong Wei was at his candid self but drew a serious and determined look when asked about his Olympics preparation which has been surrounded by an injury and fami…

30 council members heading to London

UPDATE July 10:  As reported in The Star.

Twenty-seven out of the 30 Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) council members have won a free round-trip to London to support the shuttlers at the Olympic Games from the quarter-final stage onwards. 

Three of them have declined the trip.


Some 30 Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) council members will be heading to the London Olympics to lend their "support".

This will certainly receive flak as the same money spent on these "supporters" could be better invested on BAM's development programme.

For the record there will only be six shuttlers - Lee Chong Wei, Koo Kien Keat, Tan Boon Heong, Chan Peng Soon, Goh Liu Ying and Tee Jing Yee - who will represent the country in London.

Nevertheless, BAM secretary Ng Chin Chai (pic) defended of the trip adding the national body was "transparent about the whole matter."

"We're not hiding anything and we're being transparent about it. About 30 o…

Thank you Amin...

“I was again criticised in the tournament for being flat-footed. And I felt that it was best for me to quit now."

Having debuted with the national team in the 1999 Sea Games, national hockey player Amin Rahim (pic) has been a regular face with the national team since.

However, the penalty corner specialist believes he has been criticised for his recent unconvincing performance late and decided to hang his stick for good.

Read the full report by Aftar Singh here.

It is amazing how we can learn from athletes for they know when to quit unlike officials at the national and state levels - despite all the criticism - still stick around for decades.

How many states run a proper league in the country? Lack of turfs, is it really an excuse? How many states have developed hockey among the fairer sex? How many states are involved in grassroots?

Thank you for your services Amin. I bet we'd be seeing you on the other side of the pitch soon.

To the hockey officials who shamelessly continu…

An interesting morning...

I was called in as a witness for the on-going National Sports Council - Mesuma trial at the KL High Court in Jalan Duta earlier this morning.

Also called in as witnesses for the morning session were Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) vice president cum National Sports Council board member Low Beng Choo, OCM honorary secretary Sieh Kok Chi and National Sports Institute chief executive officer Dr Ramlan Aziz.

I just couldn't stop smiling...
HD says: I'm still smiling....

The fate of the President's Cup

It was once known as the Burnley Cup. Reforms and years later, it is now known as the President's Cup.

A youth tournament which is believed to unearth talents and as a stepping stone before the players graduate into the professional circle, the President's Cup does not get the attention it deserves.

In fact, it is hardly on the radar that makes it easier for bookies to approach the youngsters in a bid to fix matches. Sad but true.

Then we have teams who fail to pay their players' wages on time. It is not like these President Cup footballers are making millions.

Perak won this year's President Cup after edging NS Betaria 1-0 in the final. The solitary goal was courtesy of Perak skipper Muhd Nurridzuan Abu Hassan.

Read more in Sinar Harian and The Star.

It was disappointing to note that even the FA of Malaysia did not have any write up about the final. Instead, it was just a headline that read Perak Juara coupled with the score line as seen here.

Hopefully more attentio…

What is MyCEB?

Not many may know what the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) is all about.

But trust me, they have been quietly working on many projects in getting world events into Malaysia. Read more of MyCEB here.

I was part of a panelist for Astro Awani's Sports Industry programme at Berjaya Times Square on Friday. It was there I met MyCEB International Events general manager Tony Nagamiah.

Sadly, time didn't permit us to dwell further about MyCEB's future initiatives after the show. But I do know that MyCEB is working closely with the BA of Malaysia (BAM) not only to host the 2013 Sudirman Cup but also other events.

The Star had published an article on MyCEB yesterday.

"For Malaysia, sports tourism accounted for RM5bil last year, a growing segment in its overall tourism revenue of RM58.3bil. Malaysia holds great potential in growing this sector and it is for this reason that it aims to become a major sports tourism destination in the region."

Read more her…

Tiger stripes hearing begins.

"We thought no company would take what rightfully belonged to the government. We didn't expect this to happen."

Those were the words of Sports Ministry secretary-general Mohid Mohamed during the trial over the ownership of the design, between NSC and Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd, at the Intellectual Property High Court, on Thursday.

Read the full story 'NSC claims ignorance over jersey ownership' published in The Malay Mail here.

And it looks like the trial got a little too 'cold' for Mohid - as seen here.

For those unaware of the issue, refer here, here and here.

L-R: Mohid and NSC lawyerMohamad Bustaman Abdullah - pic by Razak Ghazali, The Malay Mail. 

HD says: Oh well...

NSI CEO saga: "I've not exhauted all options"

National Sports Institute chief executive officer Dr Ramlan Aziz has been asked to leave the hot seat - yet again.

Apparently he was supposed to be the Sports Medicine Division Director on June 15.

The letter was said to be signed by Sports Ministry's secretary-general Mohid Mohamed (pic), who apparently felt a little "cold" when he was called as a witness in the first day of the National Sports Council-Mesuma case (tiger-stripe issue) at the Jalan Duta courtroom yesterday.

It is learnt that Dr Yeo Wee Kian has been asked to stand in as the temporary CEO.

Ramlan confirmed the re-designation on Astro Awani's (501) 1pm bulletin yesterday but declined to speak further.

He believes he is still the CEO until he receives a direction from the Sports Minister, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, as stated in the NSI Act 2011.

However, Ramlan believes he has "not exhausted all options."

It remains unclear to why Ramlan is being ask to vacate the seat for there has not been any me…

Teknologi garisan gol untuk bola sepak Malaysia?

"Well it is about time. I strongly agree. We should implement it as soon as possible. It's a matter of winning and losing." - jurulatih Harimau Muda Ong Kim Swee.

"I think it is time that it's introduced as the 5th referee behind the goal ain't working (but) I don't think Malaysia is ready because they would need time once its introduced." - pemain KL Stanley Bernard

"Saya bersetuju dengan penggunaan goalline technology dan berharap Malaysia dapat gunakan teknologi tersebut kerana ianya cukup penting dalam bolasepak sekarang." - pemain Perak Akmal Rizal Rakhli.

Presiden Fifa Sepp Blatter kini akui penggunaan teknologi garisan gol amat penting dalam bola sepak moden. Kenyataan Blatter pada Euro2012 berbeza dengan apa yang berlaku dua tahun lalu dimana Fifa menepikan teknologi tersebut di Piala Dunia.

Liga Perdana Inggeris pula akan menggunakan teknologi tersebut pada musim barunya seperti dilaporkan oleh Daily Mail.

Akan tetapi penulis Guar…

What's the story Bosko, FAS?

A not so little bird alerted me that Selangor's Croatian striker Bosko Balaban (pic) is an unhappy man.

Apparently, the former Aston Villa and Dynamo Zagreb forward was supposed to take a "pay cut" due to his "unconvincing performance".
It is unclear if the FA of Selangor initiated or proceeded with such an action.
However, such talks have not disturbed the professional player as he continue to score for the Red Giants including against T-Team recently. He has eight goals thus far under his belt in the Super League.
It's also surprising that those close to Bosko or FAS have not touched on the issue. And I wonder why?
Perhaps someone could shed some light over this episode.
Also, Sabah FA had a meeting yesterday morning and named a handful of players who they "suspect" are on the take. Interestingly, no evidence was produced.

Nevertheless, it was baffling to note the players the management had apparently named did not play in the 9-0 thrashing aga…

FAM dragged into TorTor battle

TorTor Dance Belongs to Indonesia


The FA of Malaysia's (FAM) website was hacked but it had nothing to do with football this time around.

Indonesians are angry over claims that "the TorTor dance and Gordang Sambilan drums would be added to the Malaysian National Heritage Law."

The issue took center stage on the internet, mainly on Twitter, yesterday as Malaysians and Indonesians were involved in a heated exchange although there were many who …

"It was sold for $1"

...but it was supposed to be for a good cause.

However, if one visits the Putra World Trade Center and the area surrounding the Umno building, it is quite impossible to find a parking complex which is open to the public for free.

In a letter dated Feb 15, 1982, then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad and former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had agreed to "melepaskan" two lots which were registered under the Pesuruhjaya Tanah Persekutuan but was then being used by the Education Ministry - as it was home to SMK Maxwell's field.

The letter stated;

"Mesyuarat tersebut memutuskan bahawa tanah tersebut adalah digunakan untuk tempat meletak kereta di bawah kelolaan Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

Tempat letak kereta ini adalah untuk kegunaan orang ramai tanpa mencari sebarang keuntungan. Komplek meletak kereta sedemikian akan membantu dalam mengurangkan kesesakan, selaras dengan kehendak "Traffic Dispersal". Pihak Bandaraya akan mentadbir komplek leta…

LionsXII 9 Sabah 0

Singapore's LionsXII thrashed Sabah 9-0 in a Super League match last night.

Is there so much of difference in the standard of play among the Super League teams? Are the Singaporeans that strong? Is Sabah that weak?

I didn't watch the match so I rather not comment.

But to lose 9-0? You tell me what is wrong with that scoreline.

Read here and here for the match reports.


HD says: .....

"...fixers and officials in the MSL...."

UPDATE 10.01pm:LionsXII annihilated Sabah 9-0 in a Super League match that ended minutes ago. Wouldn't such a scoreline raise any suspicion? Anyone? No one?


Three Malaysian League teams are under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in relation to match fixing this season, said the Chairman of the Vetting, Monitoring and Transparency Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat announced.

The announcement was made on Feb 13, 2012 as posted on the FA of Malaysia website.

On Feb 15, I confronted a Pos Malaysia coached who admitted having met MACC officials, as reported here.

On the same day, my article on Osman Bakar being named as the boss for the new coordination and integrity unit was published, as seen here.

And in my final column in Mailsport earlier this week I asked what is the outcome of the investigation by MACC as seen here.

Nothing I presume.

It remains unclear if the investigations on the teams have ended or if there were any investigations to begin with as claim…

Fifa seeks documentary evidence from Pahang FA

It looks like the case of "terminated" Pahang FA's Russian import Eduard Sakhnevich has reached Fifa's desk.

The world body wrote to the FA of Malaysia (FAM) three days ago seeking for Pahang FA to provide "documented evidence which will be deemed useful" not later than June 27, 2012.

If Pahang FA does not reply by then, "a decision shall be taken upon the basis of the documents already on file..."

The letter by Fifa bore the signature of the players' status legal counsel Jan Kleiner.

It remains unclear if FAM have forwarded the letter to Pahang FA.

          Eduard lodged a formal complaint to FIFA and FAM after his services were "terminated" by Pahang FA on April 10, 2012.

Eduard insisted there was no mutual agreement to terminate the contract. Eduard's claims was reported by the author in April as seen here.

Former Sabah player Jeremy Danker is still waiting for his wages owed despite having lodged a complaint with FAM as s…

"I never ever gave to any athletes any banned substance"

Yunus and several coaches and athletes said in a sworn statement that MAU deputy president Datuk Karim Ibrahim had arranged for a Bulgarian doctor to provide him with “pills that could help me win gold at the SEA Games".
That was taken from The Star in February.
The Bulgarian doctor, Gueorgui Ananiev Baldjiysky, had in a sworn translated letter dated March 23, 2012 refuted the claims by relay runner Mohd Yunus Lasaleh, who failed a dope test after winning gold at the Indonesia SEA Games.
Below is the translated letter by Gueorgui as produced to the investigation panel headed by former Court of Appeal judge VC George.
Dear sir,
Allegations Made Against Dato' Karim Ibrahim
I refer to your letter dated 20-2-2012 and thank you very much. I have read the allegation which you wrote in your letter and in the internet as well.
First I would like to say that I met the athletes and the team coach Harun (Rasheed) in Sliven, Bulgaria in May until August 2011. Mr Harun ask me to provide medical…

When politicians talk about sports...

...most of the time they just sound darn silly.

I do not know Tan Keng Liang (pic) personally. He is the Kedah Gerakan Youth Chief who is also apparently a lawyer. A quick Google search on him will lead you to articles such as this and this.

However, Keng Liang's tweet on the Malaysia-Singapore football match certainly caught my attention. For the record Malaysia defeated Singapore 2-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium.

It read; "pasukan mana agaknya disokong org DAP bila Malaysia lawan Singapura dlm perlawanan bola sepak sebentar tadi?"

Was the statement warranted and on what basis was the statement made? What was Keng Liang trying to prove? Why the need to bring in political parties for an international friendly match?

By the way, I'm sure our Prime Minister Najib Razak would be pleased with how Keng Liang brought in the #1Malaysia slogan in his tweet on the match. Also, I bet Najib would be even happier if Keng Liang had spelt 'loose' as lose. 

My sincere advice t…

KLFA to be banned?

UPDATE June 14: A letter by the players was handed to the committee during yesterday's meeting. KLFA president Astaman Abdul Aziz had apparently promised to settle all dues by the end of the month.


UPDATE June 13: KLFA's council meeting is scheduled to start at 8.30pm at the KLFA Stadium in Bandar Tun Razak.


Earlier this year, I quoted FA of Malaysia deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as saying;

One of the reasons for matchfixing lies with the inability of State FAs and clubs to pay the wages of their players on time.

“We will issue them a yellow card (first warning) if they lapse the first month followed by another warning if they fail to pay the players’ wages within two months. If they continue to lapse in payment, we will issue them a red card which could mean the team being banned from the league for the season.”

The full report can be viewed here.

Judging from the above statement, would bottom placed Super League team KL be banned from the lea…

Thank you and goodbye....for now

It was just slightly over a year ago when I met Al-Amin Majid at his office in Damansara. To some Al-Amin is the deputy president of the BA of Malaysia. To me, he is also the director of The Malay Mail.

The meeting was supposed to be about the front page story I had written on a former national sprinter that was being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission but we ended talking about other things naturally.

One thing I remember clearly from that discussion was when Al-Amin said;

"If you have nothing nice to say about somebody, it's best not to say anything."

With that in mind, I shall leave you with my final column in The Malay Mail - for now.

For the record, my final day as Senior Journalist with The Malay Mail is on June 13, 2012. I was forced to rethink my position within the company and leave with a heavy heart.

My sincere appreciation to Johnson Fernandez and Chan Wai Kong who interviewed me and gave me a break in 2000 and to the clan; Fariq Rahman, …

Another headache for LCW?

UPDATE June 11, 11.14am:  "It's all just a misunderstanding. I'll look after myself as I want to live to a ripe old age." Read more in today's The Star.


UPDATE 9.00pm: World No 1 shuttler Lee Chong Wei pleads for space to sort out family issues as posted in Malaysian Sports.


According to NTV7's Mandarin news, Lee Chong Wei's father had apparently tried to commit suicide only to be stopped by the police.

The news can be viewed here.

Bernama had earlier reported;

Police on Sunday foiled two attempts at suicide by the father of a national athlete.

The 59-year-old man is said to have tried to have taken his life near the Queensbay shopping mall in Bayan Lepas early Sunday but police who coaxed him out of it. 

Read the full report here.

If true, this is another blow to his Olympic preparation as the Penangite is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the recent Thomas Cup.

Chong Wei remains the nation's best bet to net the elu…

Danish Delight

Former West Ham, Everton and Selangor player Tony Cottee, former Perak coach Steve Darby and I were at the 'lounge' at Astro Arena as we briefly discussed about the Netherlands-Denmark Euro 2012 clash that ended earlier this morning.

Tony and Steve believed Netherlands were the better side prior the kick off but I insisted that Denmark could pull a surprise as the Dutch side were placing too much of pressure upon themselves - too much that even before the competition started Van der Wiel was speaking of defeating Spain 2-1 in the final as seen here.

The match ended as a Danish delight as Michael Krohn-Dehli (pic) scored the solitary goal in the 24th minute.

It has been an interesting start to the Euro 2012 as evident in the Poland-Greece curtain raiser which saw two red cards flashed and a match that ended in a 1-1 draw.

Catch the Euro 2012 discussions on the Astro channels - namely Bual Bola (5pm) on Astro Awani and watch the matches live on Astro Arena (801) and Astro SuperSpo…

Tukar venue?

Malaysia akan menjadi hos dalam perlawanan kedua permainan persahabatan antara Malaysia dan Singapura hari Selasa nanti.

Persatuan Bolasepak Malaysia (FAM) telah memutuskan perlawanan tersebut akan dilangsungkan di Stadium Shah Alam.

Dengar khabar FAM dengan tiba-tiba ingin menukar venue perlawanan ke Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil pula. Agaknya kerana Bukit Jalil lebih "easily accessible" daripada Shah Alam. Lagipun, sudah tentu ramai akan ke stadium untuk memberi sokongan apabila Malaysia sekadar seri 2-2 dengan rakan seperjuangan mereka di seberang Tebrau Johor.

Akan tetapi saya diberitahu stadium di Bukit Jalil tidak dapat "accommodate request FAM". Hmm...

Jika benar, persoalannya ialah kenapa perlu menukar venue pada saat-saat terakhir. Kerana ingin mengaut keuntungan semata-mata memandangkan Malaysia dan Singapura seri dan sudah tentu ini akan mendorong lebih ramai peminat ke stadium? Atau kerana mungkin FAM sedar Shah Alam agak jauh untuk peminat ibu kota?


Dany Bahar fired

Following a suspension last month amid an investigation into misconduct--likely related to his use of company funds to extensively refurbish his several houses--Lotus CEO Dany Bahar has been fired, effective immediately.

Read the Washington Post for the full story here. UK's This is money website called Bahar a man with film star looks and a lifestyle to match in its report on June 2 as seen here.

Note the words "extensively" and "several". Hmm...

So what's next for Lotus?

Pic of Dany Bahar's rented home as published in UK's 'This is money' on June 2.

HD says: Ouch!

Cardiff reactivates rebranding proposals.

On behalf of the board of directors and after constructive and positive discussions with our principal investors, Cardiff City Football Club are delighted to announce that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Dato Chan Tien Ghee (“our Investors”) have pledged their continuing commitment to enable the club to plan for the future.
Following a comprehensive review of wider supporter feedback via email, letters, media coverage and polls run via the official Supporters Club and Media Wales and as a consequence of the above commitment, Cardiff City Football Club will also reactivate rebranding proposals with a view to exploiting and maximising its brand and commercial revenues in international markets, which it is hoped in turn will bring success to the club locally, whilst also attracting new partners and investors.
As part of this commitment, funds have been earmarked to finally resolve the historical Langston debt issue which for …

Elections next three weeks?

I bumped into Deputy Sports Minister Razali Ibrahim on Tuesday as he visited Lee Chong Wei at the National Sports Institute jungle gym.

I was politely told that I could not take any snap shots of Razali speaking to Chong Wei while the latter was on the treadmill.

Instead, Razali came up to me as he was exiting the gym. We exchanged pleasantries. NSI's CEO Ramlan Aziz also said hello.

I was more interested to know when would the upcoming General Elections be, and this is what he said;

"If the Prime Minister doesn't make any announcement within the next three weeks, it might as well be done next year.

"There are no issues when the tabling of the budget will be done. 

"I've not heard of any dates yet but I know in Selangor and certain parts of Kedah it's getting quite interesting...with the poster and flags up and the ceramahs.

"Johor is still quite quiet. I was told PKR's Nurul Izzah turun to my place to give a ceramah and there were only about 250 p…