Showing posts from December, 2014

HARESH SAYS: Don’t blame deadly floods on God, you are at fault

Haresh Says, as published in Malay Mail today. IT is the wrath of the Man upstairs, so they say. The massive floods that hit most areas in the east coast is a real-life nightmare as the number of victims exceeds 200,000. The aftermath is unimaginable — an ugly sight to behold on the 10th anniversary of the deadly tsunami disaster.  Images of flattened homes and toppled vehicles greet villagers as some returned home on Monday.  Others are forced to remain at relief centres, unsure what their future holds once the waters subside. Perhaps watching innocent young children have fun in the water could put a smile on the faces of the elderly.  Fuel and clean water are sacred, not all automated teller machines are in working order and they are running out of cash. The kind-hearted, who have rallied to help those in need, can only do so much given the current circumstances. And to quote a leader who was elected to represent the people in Pasir Mas:

MALAY MAIL SAYS: It will be sunny again. Come out it will.

As published in Malay Mail today. Words by Frankie D’Cruz 2014 was dreadful. It was horrible. It stank. It epitomises the utter array of horror. We did not know how to solve problems. We had crises. We fixed some. We allowed some to fester. Perhaps, there were some upsides. I am trying to think of what they were. Always, the bad seemed to crowd out the good. Maybe the good news was that our eyes were opened, at least a little bit. But what we saw was downright depressing. We wanted 2014 to end soon enough. 2015 will surely have plenty of bad news in it. That 2014 could have been worse should offer some hope. ‘Smart’ people predicted a lot of even-more-terrible things in 2014 that never came to pass. That might feel like a low bar. But these ‘averted’ catastrophes point toward some interesting ways to be optimistic about 2015. Unless, of course, someone wants to carry the misfortune into 2015.

GOING NUTS: Love is all you need

Going Nuts by Graig Nunis, as published in Mailsport today. ONE of The Beatles’ most famous songs is All you need is love . In these trying times with another Malaysian affiliated plane mishap and over 200,000 people affected by the worst floods in living memory, we can all do with a little bit of love. Watching and reading how Malaysians from all walks of life Come together to help flood victims have restored faith we can indeed live up to the 1Malaysia slogan — hopefully we don’t need another tragedy to make us realise this. Another unifying force is sports. Remember how we all cheered for the national teams during the Thomas Cup final and more recently the AFF Cup? Yet, there are many individuals who strive to take advantage of sports. Here are some wishes for the year ahead and beyond which hopefully can help stop them. Keep race and politics out of sports It is disheartening there are still some idiots who use the race card. One such person who do

‘Football is the last thing on my mind’

As published in Malay Mail today. “I saw two people drown in front of me near my house several days ago. I wanted to help them so badly, but I couldn’t do anything due to the strong currents. I saw them drift away helplessly. The flood situation is at a critical stage. My previous residential area near Grand Riverview Hotel in Kota Baru was totally destroyed. My family members are all over the place ... some at evacuation centres, some staying with me. My friends are also suffering. One of them just lost five cars as a result of this tragedy. The entire Kota Baru town is submerged in water. It has not rained here, but heavy rain in places like Gua Musang and Kuala Krai have resulted in water gushing into our town. You can’t drive in Kota Baru any more, it is that bad. Even though it has always rained here during the monsoon season, it was never this critical. I have never experienced such a situation in all my 32 years living in Kelantan. I’m not even thinking about

Football: Ain't no sunshine

Going Nuts by Graig Nunis as published in Mailsport JOHN ROBERT COCKER or better known as Joe Cocker passed away on Monday after a long battle with lung cancer. Probably the only singer who could make a Beatles song better – as blasphemous as that sounds – his rendition of With a little help from my friends did receive the thumbs-up from the Fab Four. For those growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the song was synonymous with the wonderful television series The Wonder Years. Who could forget the bittersweet moments from the series as Kevin Arnold chased after Winnie Cooper but sadly, after coming so close, never got her in the end – a bit like Malaysia’s quest to win the AFF Cup on Saturday. Three goals up with nine minutes left, Harimau Malaya’s world collapsed when two Thai goals handed the War Elephants the trophy 4-3 on aggregate. You could just imagine Cocker’s other megahit You are so beautiful playing in the background as the Malaysian players collaps

Football: Professionalism down the drain

As published in Mailsport today.   Comment by Nicolas Anil OUT of a job, in despair, and struggling to make ends meet. The joyous Christmas season is a stark contrast to the plight suffered by the Perlis players, who haven’t been paid for the last six months. The Perlis FA, along with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) have so far played dumb to the pleas of the players voiced through the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM).  PFAM chief executive officer Izham Ismail said both Perlis FA and FAM have kept mum even though they have been urged to act through various means.  “It has been more than two months since we sent our first letter asking for an explanation from Perlis FA, but have yet to hear from them. The players are suffering because of this. They’ve had to quit playing football altogether to support their families. Some have even sold their homes and cars just to make ends meet.” “The last they were paid was for June, but even then their sa

BEING FRANK: What if foreign workers abandon Malaysia?

As published in Malay Mail today. Being Frank By Frankie D'Cruz THE eight-month torture of 23-year-old Indonesian house help, Meriance Kabu, who was starved, stomped on, had her teeth pulled out savagely and endured sharp objects struck in her private part by her lesbian employers continues to reveal attitudes of astounding ingratitude on our part. Every Malaysian has to take responsibility for such barbarism. If Meriance’s case was black-hearted, isn’t it similar to many of us trampling on foreign workers daily? The crime may not be the same, but isn’t it criminal of us to run over those who ease our domestic and service-oriented burdens? Meriance’s abuse comes amid a stalemate between Malaysia and Indonesia involving domestic help, whom we should rightly call extended family members. Again we have not convinced our neighbour that the safety of their citizens working here can be assured. Although Indonesia shares very much the same cultural multiplicity as ours, w

HARESH SAYS: Sports have no place for political ideologies

Haresh Says, as published in Malay Mail today. PERHAPS the biggest mistake politicians tend to make is trying to score points through sports. Sadly in Malaysia, sports and politics have always enjoyed an “incestuous” relationship. Presidents and top officials governing sporting associations mainly comprise of politicians and in some cases even menteri besar. The justification is that these leaders will be able to secure funds for the associations. A lame excuse to camouflage the lack of thought or work to lure in sponsors. The money pumped into these associations are from state government’s coffers — taxpayers’ money in short. Malaysian politicians have been affiliated with sports for a long time. Former prime ministers Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak led the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) during their eras . Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was infamously known for being president of several sports associations including Perlis FA, Amateur Swimming Union of Ma

Top MHC official tells Azmi to tone down as comments could hurt national body’s relationship with FIH

As published in Mailsport today By Nicolas Anil KUALA LUMPUR — A senior official has lambasted a fellow Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) top official over his “ridiculous” comments against the International Hockey Federation (FIH). MHC deputy president Raja Puan Sri Noor Ashikin Raja Abdullah was unimpressed with senior vice president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad who was quoted telling FIH “not to meddle with (MHC’s) internal matters” following a disagreement over the national body’s amended constitution. He was also quoted saying he was unperturbed over the possible problems that may arise if MHC did not obtain FIH’s approval on the amendments. Noor Ashikin, who is also Malaysia Women’s Hockey Association president, urged MHC members to adhere to the requirements drawn up by the world body in order for Malaysian hockey to move forward. “Azmi’s comments are outright blatant and has to be in his personal capacity ... not one of MHC. FIH is the w

Old broom sweeps clean. Shapawi returns to head NSC

As published in Mailsport today. By Nicolas Anil KUALA LUMPUR — A tough journey awaits Ahmad Shapawi Ismail. While his bosses see him as the “right” person to lead the National Sports Council (NSC), it is no secret Shapawi will face several envious colleagues as he starts work as the Council’s director-general today. Efforts to groom him into becoming NSC director-general started years ago, especially when he was NSC athletes training unit director in 2007. However, he did not fall in favour with certain high ranking officials which led him out of the Council. He was named National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer in 2012 and was there for a year before he was moved to the Sports Commissioner’s Office. But, Shapawi is enjoying the last laugh — replacing his former boss Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong in the hot seat. Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, in announcing Shapawi as the new director-general yesterday, said he will sta

Haresh Says: Address real issues, manage perceptions

Haresh Says, as published in Malay Mail today. THEY were engrossed in conversations that revolved around daily lives, subjects that lit their faces. These young minds had plenty to say, so much to offer. They looked at a particular issue in a logical and reasonable manner, interesting coming from a bunch of 20-odd-year-olds. Most in their age would dream of love affairs, getting wasted or wanting to be millionaires by the age of 40 by shaking legs. The discussions ranged from remarks made during several political gatherings held over the weekend, the current state of the nation’s economy and feminism. Oh yes, they also joked about Kim Kardashian wanting a “flat butt”, saying it made more sense than remarks made by politicians these days. Here are excerpts of the subjects spoken about and their reactions — through Adam, Benny and Charline (to satisfy the curious minds, all three are from different ethnicity — not that it matters though). Politics Adam: The speeches

Shapawi, Salim or Yusof to run NSC

As published in Mailsport today KUALA LUMPUR — Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, Datuk Salim Parlan and Datuk Yusof Jantan are the frontrunners for the National Sports Council (NSC) director-general post which will be announced tomorrow.  Insiders say Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, while pleased with the trio, has yet to decide who will replace Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong. “It’s down to Shapawi, Salim and Yusof. It’s close,” said a top ministry official. Many feel Shapawi and former Sports Ministry deputy secretary-general (strategic) Salim are "well-versed" with the sports landscape and “best suited” for the job. Shapawi was formerly with NSC but in June 17, 2013, he replaced Datuk Yassin Salleh as Sports Commissioner. Yusof was once Malacca Mayor. Critics argue placing Shapawi in the equation is wrong due to “camps” that exist in NSC. It is an open secret Shapawi does not enjoy a cordial relationship with Zolkples and has close ties with former NSC director-general

As B.A. Baracus would say ... I pity the fools

Going Nuts by Graig Nunis, as published in Mailsport today. SOME Malaysians are going ga-ga over Astro’s new Hits channel which replays popular shows from the 1980s with many enjoying the campy, crappy, over-the-top and just plain silly The A-Team. The show is about a group of former American Special Forces who help the downtrodden and the oppressed (while eluding the long arm — or in this case, short arm of the law). Throughout the show’s four seasons, the heroes fired thousands of rounds of bullets without killing anyone — a little like Liverpool’s strikers who as the old joke goes, wouldn’t be able to score in a brothel! Campy, crappy, over-the-top and just plain silly could also best describe FA of Malaysia (FAM). Just when you thought things could not get any worse after the Malaysia Cup fiasco when the biggest local football match had to share the vicinity of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil with a Buddhist prayer event and a Sarawak carnival — making life and

Bet your last Dollah on Malaysia

As published in Mailsport today PETALING  JAYA — Call it tactical prowess or luck but Dollah Salleh has a knack of delivering when the odds are against him. Not many had given Malaysia a shot of reaching the AFF Cup final but Harimau Malaya stunned Vietnam 4-2 in the second leg semifinal in Hanoi last night to set up a mouth-watering two-legged clash against Thailand next week. Vietnam had won 2-1 at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday but Dollah’s five changes to the starting line-up ensured Malaysia prevailed 5-4 on aggregate. Malaysia cancelled Vietnam’s away goals advantage after 15 minutes. Safiq Rahim converted a penalty in the third minute, as he cemented his position at the top of the scoring charts with four goals — three from the spot. Norshahrul Idlan Talaha made the most of a long pass in the 15th minute but Vietnam pulled one back through skipper Le Cong Vinh just seven minutes later. But it wasn’t long before Malaysia increased their lead a