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TM to pull out from M-League?

2018 will end in about two weeks.

The conversations have been consistently about "bad economy" (or to some the 3Rs - rights, race and religion) since May 9 happened.

And now there are talks of Telekom Malaysia pulling out as the title sponsor of the M-League. This despite having signed a lucrative deal with the guardians of the Malaysian football league - dubbed as the "biggest agreement in Malaysian sports history worth RM480 million (RM60 million over eight years).

On Feb 1, NST reported:

Telekom Malaysia's (TM) Unifi brand is the new title sponsor for the Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup in a collaboration with Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) until 2025.

TM’s premier convergence brand Unifi will also co-sponsor the FA Cup as the eight-year agreement, beginning this season, marks TM’s continued support towards local football development and uplifting the standard of sports in the country.

With the sponsorship, the league is now known as “Unifi Liga Super Malays…

Overcrowded stadium at AFF final joins series of Whys

In about two weeks 2018 will come to an end.

Yet, it seems the year will leave us with more questions than answers.

Why...

1. Why were fans seen sitting and standing at the stairways during the AFF Cup final (1st leg) between Malaysia and Vietnam at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday? What if there was a fire or emergency? Who will then be held responsible? This has happened before and it is still happening again. Haven't we learnt (anything)? And to even suggest a viewing party within the stadium complex ...

2. Why is it still difficult to accept how the ticketing system for the final left many fuming? Below is the statement by the ticketing agency. Acceptable?


3. Why do we behave like we have never organised major events? Hiccups are expected but to get the basics wrong (as pointed out above)?
Remember the result system of the 2017 KL SEA Games where the outcome of certain matches were flashed out hours after the competition ended?

4. Speaking of the 2017 SEA Games, …

Time to wake up ... and smell the snowy cranberry latte

And the common remark I receive when meeting those within the sports fraternity these days is ... the "boy is clueless".

I hope this article will not be the "garbage that sets the tone for the remaining sports media lowlifes to emulate in their so-called news", as recently remarked by a supposed educated man within the industry.

Observations:

1. The minister has a major "perception" problem. Period. Perception is defined as "a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem". He is surrounded by those with very little insights about the fraternity, thus making things worse for him. It could, however, work to his benefit as he will not have a biased view when tackling issues.

2. The minister and his deputy have repeatedly acknowledged they are not well-versed with sports. They can choose to rely on the several experienced hands within the ministry - namely secretary general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali and National Sports Coun…

Kinrara Oval closure - who is to blame?

Efforts are being made to save the Kinrara Oval.

A petition is out. Many are quick to blame the land owners for "killing cricket".

However, the announcement of the Kinrara Oval in Puchong has somewhat opened a can of worms.

More questions are now begging for answers.

1. Why hasn't the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) paid the premium to the land owners?
2. The Oval used to be a public park (a green space) before the venue was built. Will Puchong folks get back their green space?
3. Why didn't MCA inform the Youth and Sports Ministry that it failed to pay the premium to the land owners?
4. Was wasn't this matter addressed when the stadium was built? Didn't anyone foresee such a thing could happen especially in Puchong where development has been overwhelming in recent years?

Here's a fun fact: The government spent money renovating the venue ahead of the 2017 SEA Games. And now the stadium will be closed. Sheer waste isn't it?

Let's simplify this…

How much is Oltmans and Walsh costing Malaysia?

Here's a message I received today:

With Roelant Oltmans in and Terry Walsh still retained, how much is it costing us?

Oltmans, 64, signed a two-year contract with the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) recently. He replaced Stephen Van Huizen, who is now the national assistant coach. The other coaching line-ups have not changed, including technical director Terry Walsh.

The Malaysian government has, since May 9, repeatedly said it lacks funds.

With the recent (debatable and questionable) revealtion of Lim Teong Kim's RM175,000 per month salary and claims that sports associations have not received funding, it is only natural for certain quarters to question the financial impact of Oltmans and Walsh's positions.

Oltmans was Pakistan's head coach prior his Malaysian stint.

In a letter addressed to the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) the Dutchman said:

“I’m responsible for the performance and the results of the team, but I feel that the circumstances at present don’t c…

Yakeb AGM: 'Facts don't lie'

The National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) will begin shortly. It's chairman Azlan Iskandar is expected to address several queries raised in recent days - mainly about funds within the organisation.

So expect some slide shows detailing Yakeb's expenditure over the years. 

Perhaps something like these cost cutting initiatives:




And Yakeb's 2018 expenditure:

Since there has been zero funds from government this year, expect a certain Datuk Seri Megat to play white knight and raise RM500,000 from GLCs and MNCs.
There are also plans to ensure former athletes get job placements.
What about former national squash player Azlan? 
He could very well use this opportunity to set the record straight before leaving the top seat.
As Bone Thugs-N-Harmony sang, Facts Don't Lie. 

Malaysia to host inaugural 'Awards for Asia'

PRESS RELEASE

The Asian Sports Press Union (AIPS Asia) created sporting history when they announced the introduction of the prestigious ‘Awards for Asia’ at their 21st edition of Congress in Saudi Arabia, yesterday.
The ‘Awards for Asia’ will be the perfect stage to recognise and celebrate the tremendous efforts of Asian athletes at the highest level of world sports.
The decision to introduce the annual Awards was unanimous from delegates representing countries at the close of the Congress. It was a perfect end to a fruitful gathering jointly organised with the Saudi Sports Media Federation (SSMF).
The first edition of ‘Awards for Asia’ is expected to be held in the first quarter of 2019 with Malaysia being given the honour of hosting the inaugural edition of the event.
The ‘Awards for Asia’ will honour Asia’s best in several categories, namely ‘Athlete of The Year’, ‘Asian Team of The Year’ besides several other awards, including recognition for achievements in the sports journalism …

Podium Programme post mortem a 'fait accompli'?

Fait accompli.

That was the message I received from an official who attended the two-day post mortem on the Podium Programme that ended today.

To the uninitiated, fait accompli means:


Another message I got during the two-day event was:

"Why is it even being called a post mortem? A post mortem is an investigation that is done following a death. Is the Podium Programme dead?"

Interpretations. Presumptions. Assumptions. It's amazing how the human mind works.

And the lack of clarity adds on to the suspense of the true reason why only the Podium Programme (a programme parked under the National Sports Institute), and not our whole sporting eco-system, is being scrutinised.

I believe my past articles are self-explanatory - evident that those responsible in elevating the standards of sporting excellence in Malaysia have failed to do so. They should all come under the microscope.

And the lack of proper communication by revealing facts and figures have only added on to the drama …

How much spent on Kita Juara? Has it failed too?

The focus seems to be on the Podium Programme for obvious reasons.
After all, those behind the programme had set high targets but have to date failed twice – failing to finish top ten in both the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
While the knives are out for those behind the Podium Programme, a programme under the National Sports Institute, let’s not forget another programme under the National Sports Council – Kita Juara.
On Sept 7, 2015, The Star (in its article ‘Kita Juara’programme launched in bid for SEA Games glory') quoted former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin as saying:
“The ‘Kita Juara’ programme will lay the foundation for future success ... it’s not short-sighted.
“There’s no point becoming overall winners at the 2017 SEA Games and then let it all go downhill once more.” 
Malaysia became the overall winners at last year’s SEA Games – winning 145 gold medals, 92 silver medals and 86 bronze medals (total 323 medals). 
It went downhill after the SEA Games as M…

'Reveal Podium Programme facts and figures'

Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, the former Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary, has written the second part of his mid-term review of the Podium Programme.
For the uninitiated, Kok Chi - a former engineer with the Irrigation and Drainage Department of Malaysia and represented the country in water polo - has served Malaysian sports for decades, mainly through OCM.
Here are his views, as emailed to Foul! minutes ago:

Mid term review of the Podium Programme - Part II
After publishing my review of the Podium Programme, I received many views, comments and requests for clarifications, which I feel I should respond. The main questions asked were as follows:
What was the actual budget and how much had been spent and on what?Why was Podium Program staff paid higher salaries than other the National Sports Institute (NSI) and National Sports Council (NSC) staff?With regards to the workshop on the Podium Programme scheduled Sept 13 and 14 2018, is it fair for NSI or NSC to be reviewing…

How much was really spent on Podium Programme?

Let's look at the newspaper reports since the Podium Programme was launched in 2016.


Feb 2, 2016

Podium Programme takes off with aim to win 2020 Olympics gold (The Star)


"The ambitious programme will involve 97 athletes and 36 coaches from 21 sports. All in, the Government will spend RM75mil this year."


Oct 22, 2016


RM1.2b for sports development (Daily Express)


"In addition, a sum of RM70 million has also been allocated for the Elite Sports Podium Development Programme to prepare athletes for international sports events."


Sept 5, 2018

Podium safe for now Minister says it would be an injustice to axe Podium Programme (The Star)


"In comparison, Malaysia only spent a total of RM170mil on the Podium Programme since it was launched in 2016.

The National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Dr Khairi Zawi chipped in and said: “The RM170mil is spent for training, competitions and training allowance for athletes and coaches.”


NOTE: Sept 12, 2018 (10.32am) - After …

Kok Chi: Malaysia achieving first Olympic gold medal at Tokyo 2020 Games rather bleak

Just got off the phone with former Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi regarding his commentary on his Facebook page. Reproducing it here after obtaining his approval.
Mid Term Review of the Podium Programme
I am sure most Malaysians are aware Malaysia has won 6 Olympic Games silver medals and 2 bronze medals in badminton, one silver and one bronze medal in diving and one bronze medal in track cycling, since the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Unfortunately, Malaysia has yet to win its first Olympic Games gold medal. On the other hand, Malaysia’s neighbours, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have already won Olympic Games gold medals. This, it has always been the top priority of Malaysia to win its first Olympic Games gold medal.
The former Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin made it his target to win Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. In November 2014, the minister commissioned a team of Australian experts to study an…