Showing posts from August, 2014

Historical ruin of ‘home alone’ Merdeka Stadium

As published in Malay Mail on Saturday. Article is by Frankie D' Cruz. Merdeka Stadium looks about 80. But she is not, she is 57. That is not old age, but it is not young either. She deserves to have pride of place in the altar of celebrations as the nation revels in 57 years of independence. But she is all alone, almost in embarrassing anonymity. That would explain why she looks aged and forgotten while Malaysia, her same age, looks the very opposite — riveting. My point? The absence of the very spot  — where Tunku Abdul Rahman stood on the morning Aug 31, 1957 to declare Malaya’s independence from the British — in the towering significance of Merdeka Day cheeriness. The joy, while muted by the twin airline disasters of MH370 and MH17, is further dampened by the stadium being a victim of historical amnesia. You must agree with me that in the current struggle for national recovery, the stadium which in recent decades fell into disuse, would have been a beneficial venue for inspi

Boys and girls, it’s time to get fit

Haresh Says, as published in Malay Mail today LET’S not kid ourselves. Doing 20 push-ups before eating chicken briyani is not going to turn us into hunks or lower our cholesterol.   But this is beyond push-ups or crunches for a free meal or to post such antics online to get the attention of fellow social media users.   Here is an initiative by the Youth and Sports Ministry to get people to sweat it out and maintain a healthy lifestyle.   It has been a while since the ministry had embarked on such an aggressive campaign on social media to get people active. Led by its minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the hashtag #FitMalaysia and informative tips by @FitMalaysians on Twitter have certainly caught the attention of many.   Khairy, had for several weeks, encouraged the masses to perform exercise routines. There is also a promotion where if one could do 20 push-ups at a restaurant in Publika, he or she would get either a chicken briyani or a tandoori wrap.  

Triple dare nets RM4,000

As published in Malay Mail today   PETALING JAYA — The heat was on three senior editorial staff members at Malay Mail yesterday when they took the ice bucket challenge to raise funds and awareness for Amyotrophic laterral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and research for prostate cancer.   Editor-in-chief Datuk Wong Sai Wan, who was nominated by The Star group managing director and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, took on the challenge with assistant editor Purwaiz Alam and editor (investigations and special projects) Haresh Deol.   Each of them went beyond what was required and took the challenge three times — a condition to get the donations.    “This is for a good cause and I hope no one goes through ALS.   “This is personal for me because my cousin died of it 10 years ago,” said Wong.    The RM4,000 collected will be split between the ALS Association and the Prostate Cancer Foundation in the UK, the US and

New law proposed to weed out rotten civil servants

As published in Malay Mail today   KUALA LUMPUR — A special legislation is needed to deal with government officials who flaunt regulations and act against the interest of the public.   This was one of the five recommendations mooted by the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (ACAB) as it focused on the misconduct of civil servants and the lack of action against them.   The board also noted refusals, delays and reluctance in taking disciplinary action by the disciplinary board of certain ministries or government departments “as well as the disproportionate sentences that were imposed on a public officer engaged in corruption”.   The statement was in conjunction with the submission of the board’s 2013 Reviews Report to the Special Committee on Corruption (SCC) on August 12.   ACAB and SCC are among the five entities which act as the check and balance mechanism to monitor Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) since 2009. The board said the recommendatio

They are home, no words to say farewell

Picture above from NST

Riding to raise runds for prostate cancer

Dear all, Globally more men are affected by prostate cancer than women are by breast cancer. Each year, one in nine men develop prostate cancer, and close to 500,000 men will die from the disease.  On Sunday the 28th of September, I am going to press my cravat, polish my brogues and motor along in the 2014 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to help find a cure for prostate cancer.  Why? Because over 1,300 men a day die of prostate cancer worldwide. And that’s just not cricket. Your donation will help The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride reach its goal of $US1 million to fund research into a cure for a disease that claims far too many gentlemen each and every year. So be a sport and sponsor my ride — thank you ever so much! For those intending to donate for the cause, please visit this link. If I am able to raise funds through my participation, that would be more meaningful. I have set a modest target of US$100 (RM317). If I can achieve that target, it will

Mirror, mirror on the Facebook wall ...

Haresh Says, as published in Malay Mail today.   LET’S go back to at least 25 years ago when the Internet was still in its infancy.   The term “social media” was unheard of then. The only thing social was when one attended a relative’s birthday party or hung out with friends at a nearby coffeeshop.   Conversations revolved around investors who cursed a political party’s supposed economic vehicle to boost the income of a particular race but failed to produce returns and had instead turned into a farce.   Parents complained about the merit system, claiming their children were unable to secure places in local universities despite scoring straight As.   Friends made fun of how politicians talked as jokes about leaders and their bizarre antics would leave many in stitches. It was a sure way to keep the night alive.   But such talk was either within the four walls of a living room or a coffeeshop.   Today, such social engagement is done through a dif

When everyone else has a national jersey but the athletes

Haresh Says, as published in Mailsport today. HERE’S a country that builds skyscrapers, has some of the finest facilities in the world and home to some of best fashion designers.   But there are flaws. And one of them is the inability to equip our national athletes with proper attire. There have been numerous occasions in the past where our national athletes have been spotted dressed shabbily. Prior the World Championship in Guangzhou, China last year, the national shuttlers left for Hong Kong for a training stint. Led by world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei, they were all dressed like they were about to catch a movie.   The manner in which they were in irked Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who took the BA of Malaysia to task for its failure to ensure the players had donned the right outfit.   Even the newly designed national Malaysian Heroes tracksuit by Melinda Looi failed to reach the Commonwealth Games athletes in time last month as they were forc

MACC ‘slighted’ over lack of action; Kedah exco in the dark over probe on state sec

As published in Malay Mail today.   PETALING JAYA — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday maintained that a top civil servant had broken the Kedah Public Officers (Conduct and Discipline) Regulations 2007. It said it will request a written explanation as to why he was let off the hook. Following Malay Mail’s front page expose headlined “ Probed by MACC, made state secretary ”, the MACC confirmed that a letter and report were sent to the Kedah state secretary on May 13 last year pertaining to an investigation on Datuk Wira Mohd Puat Mohd Ali. Investigations by the commission revealed that Mohd Puat, who was then the state financial officer, had awarded three roadworks contracts worth RM980,000 each to three companies without referring them to the state secretary or during the state council meetings. MACC also deemed Mohd Puat’s actions to be a “conflict of interest” as one of the contractors used another firm to carry out renovations to his br

Anwar made "rookie mistake"

As published in Malay Mail today  Palace officials are unimpressed with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after he had written a letter seeking a meeting between his wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. The palace rejected the request, further denting Pakatan Rakyat’s plans of replacing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with Dr Wan Azizah as the Mentri Besar. “It is as though someone ill-advised him (Anwar) on the purpose. We seriously cannot believe he made that mistake. Protokol pun tak faham (He doesn’t even understand protocol),” the source close to the palace said. “With regards to the letter, it’s as though Anwar doesn’t want to meet Tuanku but must show he is trying to do so. But he knows he can’t be meeting Tuanku by making such a rookie mistake.” The Selangor palace received the letter on Sunday. Sultan Sharafuddin’s private secretary, Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani, said in a press statement yesterday the sultan had declined to meet A

Probed by MACC, made state secretary; state sec says MACC report had 'loopholes'

As published in Malay Mail today. PETALING JAYA, Aug 13 — The spotlight is on Kedah State Secretary Datuk Wira Mohd Puat Mohd Ali following a report by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on irregularities in awarding contracts for three roadworks worth almost RM3 million. Mohd Puat was state financial officer when he awarded the projects without following procedures, said the report. MACC deemed Mohd Puat’s actions as “a conflict of interest” as one of the contractors used another firm to carry out renovations to his brother-in-law’s house which he later moved into. MACC investigations revealed Mohd Puat had on October 18, 2011 awarded contracts for three road works to three companies, worth RM980,000 each, without referring  them to the state secretary or during the state council meetings. MACC forwarded its findings to then state secretary Datuk Wira Rasli Basir on May 13, 2013, and advised that disciplinary action be taken against Mohd Puat under the Kedah Public Offi

State FAs mightier than FAM?

Haresh Says as published in Mailsport today. Jeremy Matthew Danker started his career with Public Bank FC in 2003 and made his break with the now defunct UPB-MyTeam in 2007. He donned KL’s colours for a brief period before featuring for Sabah FA and Johor United. He returned to Kuala Lumpur in 2012 but that marked the end of his career. Jeremy and four others — Khairul Anuar, Hafizi Roslee, Fadhulah Yunsiar and Phoo Kai Lun — were slapped with life bans by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) last year following allegations of match-fixing. He left the sport for good and now works as a personal trainer. But Jeremy is a “victim” too. He is owed wages amounting to RM50,000 by Sabah FA. After numerous phone calls and letters to Sabah FA and FAM, the national body’s players’ status committee made a decision requiring Sabah FA to pay him the monies owed within 14 days of a letter dated January 24, 2014. It has been almost eight months since the letter was issued. Yet, Jeremy has not

PKR: Who said palace not in favour of Wan Azizah?

As published in Malay Mail today. PETALING JAYA — PKR dispelled talk that the Selangor palace was not in favour of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to run the state. “What evidence does anyone have to claim Tuanku is not in favour of Dr Wan Azizah?” asked PKR supreme council member R. Sivaras. Sivarasa refused to be drawn into any speculation whether Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had not agreed to Dr Wan Azizah being menteri besar.  Pakatan would have to propose another candidate if that occurred. “We will cross the bridge when we get there. But let’s be clear about the duties of the Sultan as per the Selangor constitution. Tuanku has discretionary powers regarding the appointment of the menteri besar and agreeing or disagreeing to dissolving the state assembly,” he said. The Subang MP, a lawyer by profession who is in the thick of the Selangor episode, clarified there was no need for any state executive council member to step down as they would

Sarjit to replace Dharmaraj? Who runs Malaysian hockey?

As pubslihed in Mailsport today.     Former national skipper Sarjit Singh (pic) could assume his previous role as national coach as efforts to rid K. Dharmaraj continues.    Sarjit was the national coach from January 2007 to December 2008. Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice president Manjit Majid Abdullah was quoted as saying Dharmaraj “should be sacked” as he was not good enough to lead the team ahead of the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea next month.    The national team is also in a disarray as the team management, MHC and the National Sports Council (NSC) do not see eye-to-eye. The MHC World Cup review panel submits its report to the body’s president Tengku Abdullah Shah today, and it could well decide Dharmaraj’s fate.    Datuk R. Yogesweran heads the panel which also comprises National Sports Institute CEO Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz, NSC director general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong, Datuk Poon Fook Loke, Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, R. Ramakrishnan, M.P.

Just a bunch of losers

A commentary by Mailsport team, as published on the back page today. PETALING JAYA — Many sports associations in the country are ready to hand over the keys to their kingdom to the National Sports Council (NSC) as they are afraid of losing funding if they were to go against the government agency. NSC yesterday called for the council to be given more power to determine the list of athletes for the Asian Games following a dismal outing at the just concluded Commonwealth Games. For the record, Malaysia returned with six gold medals, one short of their modest target and half of what they won at the last Games in New Delhi four years ago. High ranking officials from several national sports associations (NSA) said they are willing to allow NSC to take the lead in selection since it is their “paymaster.” If that is the case, then we might as well do away with sports associations. Since these bunch of losers are so desperate for handouts, they don’t deserve to be run

'Semua kaki kipas, tu pasal sukan tak kemana'

This was taken from Malik Tobias' Facebook page Says a lot doesn't it?

'A failure is a failure (gagal tetap gagal)'

This was taken from Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin's Facebook posting . Saya telah mengambil sedikit masa untuk mengkaji keputusan keseluruhan Sukan Komanwel 2014 sebelum memberi apa-apa reaksi. Sejak sehari dua ini memang banyak komen diberi oleh peminat-peminat sukan tanahair. Semua komen tersebut saya terima dengan baik. Pertama sekali saya mengakui kita telah gagal. Tidak perlu saya bagi komen atau alasan yang lain. Bila Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) mengumumkan sasaran 7 pingat emas dan apa yang dicapai hanya 6, itu adalah kegagalan. Tidak perlu saya kata "sasaran hampir tercapai" atau "sebenarnya prestasi atlet kita baik, cuma tak menang". A failure is a failure, full stop. Kedua, tidak perlu juga saya menuding jari merata tempat. Saya menteri dan walaupun saya tidak berada di atas padang perlawanan sendiri, saya mesti bertanggungjawab. Yang lain - samada para atlet sendiri, jurulatih, pegawai, Majlis Olimpik, Majlis Sukan Negara (

Selangor palace not amused

As published in Malay Mail today SHAH ALAM — The Selangor palace has yet to receive any request for a change in menteri besar and other potential candidates including Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, revealed sources close to the palace.   “The palace is not amused with certain individuals dropping names, claiming to have received Tuanku’s consent (to replace Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with Wan Azizah).    “In fact, there has not been any official request to the palace for a new menteri besar.”   Another source said PKR was unable to name any other candidate besides Wan Azizah for the hot seat.   The sources revealed Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was “unhappy” with the turmoil in the state as PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail yesterday revealed Khalid was allegedly involved in dubious   business dealings.   Khalid immediately responded by challenging Saifuddin and the party to lodge reports and provide evidence of any wrongdoing to the

Will sports officials ever be accountable?

Haresh Says, as published in Mailsport today. A SERIES of tweets followed by interesting conversations with several former athletes.   They surrounded the performance of our athletes at the recently concluded Glasgow Commonwealth Games which saw the national contingent returning with six gold medals — one shy from the initial modest target.   Sports reporters, observers and fans demanded for accountability while others sighed, adding nothing has changed over the years, as evident in a series of tweets over the weekend. This was hours before our national women’s and men’s doubles pairs Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei and Tan Wee Kiong-Goh V Shem bagged the nation’s fifth and sixth gold medals respectively on the final day of the Games. Earlier, fans cringed after witnessing the men’s singles shuttlers failed to carry on the tradition of retaining the gold medal since 1990. Chong Wei Feng lost a keenly-fought contest against RV Gurusaidutt of India in the quarterfin

Song remains the same