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Showing posts from May, 2014

Ping pong diplomacy goes a long way

As published in Malay Mail today - special focus on Malaysia-China celebrating 40 years of diplomatic ties. It was an experience Soong Poh Wah will never forget.
In early 1971, the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia announced it would be holding trials as the best players would compete in the Afro-Asian Friendship Invitational tournament in Beijing in November the same year.
The meet was China's way of reaching out to the world as it had then struggled to communicate with other countries due to its communist ideology.
For Soong, who was then a 21-year-old student pursuing his Bachelor of Science in University of Malaya, it was an opportunity to visit the mainland.
"We were excited as we were able to compete in China and visit the country for the first time. We didn't really, at that time, give much thought about the importance of the tournament," recalled Soong, who turns 64 on October 18.
"But we soon realised it was China's way of opening its doors to the w…

Chief justice: Sultan Azlan Shah was a patient judge

As published in Malay Mail (print) today.

Sultan Azlan Shah (pic) was a patient judge and the post suited him, said Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Arifin said during his tenure as Judge and Chief Justice, Sultan Azlan wrote many landmark rulings especially on constitutional and administrative law.

“We (judges) still read and referred to his many judgments and still look at his decisions,” said Arifin, adding he was saddened by the death.

Arifin, who had vast experience working with Sultan Azlan since he was a registrar at the High Court in 1976, described Sultan Azlan as a patient judge.

“When Tuanku was appointed Sultan of Perak, I was also Perak state legal advisor and I served about five years and when Tuanku became The Yang diPertuan Agong, I got my appointment letter from him as a High Court Judge.

“All judges and lawyers will agree he was a patient judge and suited for the post (judge). I am proud to have worked with him,” said Arifin, adding he also appeared before Sultan Azlan wh…

FAM Congress, Thomas Cup bigger than Bukit Gelugor race

HARESH SAYS as published in Mailsport today IT was a weekend filled with plenty of expectations.  Footie fans had been pushing for changes in FA of Malaysia (FAM) through its #RombakFAM (revamp FAM) campaign.  The much awaited 50th congress was held on Sunday morning and it was the first time in three decades former president Sultan Ahmad Shah was challenged by two others — his son Tengku Abdullah and the Crown Prince of Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim. As many had expected, and I had said on air during Astro Arena’s Kafe Sukan last month, Tengku Abdullah was voted the new president.  But I had also on the same programme, through my previous writings and during Nadi Arena on Saturday, stressed Malaysia football is beyond FAM. It is only right to thank Sultan Ahmad for his three decades of services and to congratulate Tengku Abdullah for taking up the role — which he was destined to assume. Tengku Abdullah is also the Malaysia Hockey Confederation president. Many were critical…

Look them in the eye, beat them, says ex-BAM boss; RTM to air final live

As published in Sunday Mail today

Malaysian badminton fans have been left disappointed for far too long and only by winning the Thomas Cup would renew their faith into the sport, says Tan Sri Elyas Omar.

Elyas, who was the Badminton Association of Malaysia president when the nation last won the prestigious tournament in 1992, hoped the national shuttlers would remain composed as they take on Japan in the final at the Siri Fort Stadium in New Delhi, India, at 3pm local time (5.30pm in Malaysia).


“Yes, of course (fans have been left disappointed) ... for the past 22 years,” said Elyas, who was also former mayor of Kuala Lumpur.

“This is the best chance and I believe they did not even expect to play in the final given the line-up but let’s not put pressure on them, let’s motivate them instead.”

Elyas said the players must overcome the pressure and maintain their fighting spirit instead of being jittery on the court.

He recalled the motivational words he uttered to former singles player R…

Man's best friend not loved by everyone

As published in The Malay Mail today.

It appears that a blind person with a guide dog cannot use public transportation. Worse, in an exercise by Malay Mail to test public response to man and guide dog, Stevens Chan and Lashawn — Malaysia's first and only guide dog — were chased out of a mall. We relate the experiences of our reporters and visually impaired Chan.


Being visually impaired and going for a walk in the mall isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do. However, with guide dog Lashawn leading his master Stevens Chan, navigation becomes much less of a problem.
I (KC Tan) was assigned to observe my blindfolded colleague Calvin Khong who was led around at an apartment complex in a Malay Mail exercise to promote Chan's Dogs for Sight campaign.

As Malaysia’s only guide dog for the blind, the sight of Lashawn leading his master is not the most common thing one experiences.

However, residents of the Desa Saujana apartment in Seri Kembangan have taken notice of Lashawn more t…

Too much football and badminton, athletics takes a back seat

HARESH SAYS, as published in Mailsport today.
NAREN was excellent in athletics. Having recorded his achievements a decade ago, I believed he would have easily excelled at the national and international levels.

Sadly, the Gombak lad threw away his spikes the minute he left school.
“Cannot-lah bro, someone must work to pay the bills,” he said, when we bumped into each other recently.
“There is no support system. There are many road races and marathons, but not short distance races. It’s difficult. So I decided to work and give up sprinting for good.” Naren is not alone.
While the attention seems to be on the FA of Malaysia’s 50th congress this Sunday and the national shuttlers’ participation in the on-going Thomas Cup in New Delhi, athletics have taken a back seat.
It does not help that the sport is still dominated by records set decades ago.
Olympian Tan Sri M. Jegathesan’s 200m time of 20.9 seconds, set at the 1968 Mexico Olympic Games semifi nals, remains till today.
There is no pi…

Doctorless clinic sells postdated sick leave chits like bus tickets

UPDATE May 18, 2014:The MC-selling clinic was raided, as published in the Sunday Mail today.

The Selangor Health Department sprung into action yesterday as they raided a clinic in Taman Selayang Jaya following Malay Mail’s expose over the sales of sick leave chits (MC) on Saturday.
The raid also took a twist as the man who had sold the MCs to both our reporters turned out to be the doctor running Klinik Rakyat. The department’s private medical practice control unit confiscated several exercise books which is believed to have details of those who had bought the MCs and stacks of sick leave chits from the clinic before lodging a police report at the Selayang police station.  Unit director Dr Faizal Mat Arifin, who led the raiding team, said the doctor who operated the clinic, Dr Saidul Islam, had abused his authority in issuing MCs. “It is a serious case as it breaches the Medical Act. We have interrogated Dr Saidul and taken his statement. We will submit our findings to the Malay…

Pos Malaysia's statement on flares, smoke bombs sold online and sent via PosLaju

Above is the statement released by Pos Malaysia regarding the Malay Mail's expose on how easy it is to purchase flares and smoke bombs online and sent to one's doorstep, as seen here.

UPDATED: Flares, smoke bombs available online, sent via PosLaju

UPDATE May 16, 2014 (11.49am): 

As published in Malay Mail today

Pos Malaysia to probe flare, smoke bomb parcel

Pos Malaysia is conducting an investigation following Malay Mail’s expose that a flare and smoke bomb were couriered via PosLaju from Kulaijaya to the daily’s office in Redberry City here.

The national postal and courier service provider had, in a statement yesterday, said it was mandatory for senders to declare the items to be delivered to ensure they were not hazardous or prohibited.

Among the prohibited items listed in Postlaju’s Consignment Notes are firearms, combustible materials and drugs.

“These measures are consistent with the international best practices of postal and courier operators,” said the statement.

“Pos Malaysia always endeavours to exercise due care in its operations. In this instance, such care has been observed, implemented and complied with by Pos Malaysia/PosLaju. There was no reasonable ground for PosLaju to suspect the package would pose any physical …

Forget about racist bigots, concentrate on bigger issues

Haresh Says as published in the Malay Mail today.