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Showing posts from 2021

It's no longer 'Malaysia Boleh' or 'Kita Juara'. Introducing #DemiMalaysia

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Demi Malaysia. It basically means For Malaysia. If you haven't notice, that is the latest catchphrase (and hashtag) used by the Youth and Sports Ministry and its agencies. The Demi Malaysia "war cry" was launched last month but those within Wisma KBS insist it is not to replace the likes the existing phrases. I remember during a recent (not sports related) discussion, several panelist had questioned if the term "Malaysia Boleh" is still relevant.  There was also "Kita Juara" which was widely used during the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur when Khairy Jamaluddin, or better known as KJ, was the youth and sports minister.  For the record, Kita Juara was also a programme for elite athletes that was launched in 2015 . "Demi Malaysia" seems to have a nice ring - at least to me. What are your thoughts?

In wanting to clarify K.Prabudass new national record, MAF president says 'I got no time'

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It is understood K. Prabudass had yesterday set a new national record of 1:07:00s set in Japan. I reached out to Malaysian Athletics Federation Datuk S.M. Muthu minutes ago to clarify if the national body recognises the timing set and if it is indeed a national record. His reply: "I'm driving, I got no time." He then hung up. Can someone confirm if a new national record has been set? Anyone? 

Another call for BAM to ditch Malaysia Open

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However, as Malaysia continues to record more than 3,000 new cases daily, the grim question is it practical to go ahead with the event? This was asked by sports journalist Fabian Peter as published in the New Straits Times today. Conversations are still being held if Malaysia should host the Malaysia Open. I had on Feb 10, said the BA of Malaysia should forget hosting the Malaysia Open this year .  But will Yonex be disturbed? The brand had recently invested millions of ringgit to be the BA of Malaysia's sponsor. Without a tournament and the lack of badminton coverage (no quotes from players, officials) in an English daily following an on-going legal dispute, will this satisfy Yonex? Perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic has taught brands that they can just rely on their online platforms to reach out to their fans. Many brands these days are airing their commercials on YouTube instead of television stations. So where does this leave the media? That aside, perhaps not having the Malaysia O

Rise in Covid-19 cases killing grassroots football?

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I had a conversation with City Youth Academy's Mohd Sulaiman Gerrard Abdullah yesterday. He said business has dropped tremendously as parents are being cautious following the rise in Covid-19 cases. "Some 90 per cent of trainees have pulled out from training. It's nothing to do with (fasting during the holy month of) Ramadan but due to (the rise in the number of) Covid-19 cases," said Sulaiman. Being a father to a 15-year-old, he understands how parents feel.  "It's frustrating. Business has been really bad and now this. I just wish people will stop going out for no reason and help curb the spread of Covid-19." Other youth academy owners, however, feel differently. They said business has not been affected as parents still send their children for football training. "Perhaps some of these academies rely on school football fields and when there is a case reported in school, the school shuts down and those renting the field aren't able to use it,&qu

Why hasn't a single Malaysian journalist been vaccinated? What about those covering major events?

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On March 9, Datuk Ahirudin Attan - who is the National Press Club of Malaysia president and Executive Advisor and the Executive Director at Petra News - wrote: We at the NPC don't make it a habit to ask the Government for handouts but, I told the press conference, it would be nice if YB Khairy Jamaluddin, our de facto vaccine minister, would recognise the role of journalists as frontliners in the war against Covid-19 and make us part of the priority group for vaccination.   His views were picked up by numerous news organisations, including Berita Harian  and Getaran .  On April 22, Getaran's Mastura Malak asked the government where is the Covid-19 vaccination for members of the press . She had quoted Ahirudin as saying:  “Pada ketika ini kerajaan dilihat seperti tidak mengambil endah dan sengaja melengah-lengahkan perkara ini menyebabkan para pengamal media masih lagi tidak mendapat vaksin awal, sedangkan kita memang terdedah dan berisiko untuk dijangkiti virus berkenaan. “Kami

Jegathesan was Malaysia's first Olympic semi finalist (200m) in 1964, not 1960

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Update 1pm: The tweet by the Youth and Sports Ministry has been deleted. --  The above was  tweeted by the Youth and Sports Ministry of Malaysia yesterday. The ministry said that Tan Sri Dr M. Jegathesan was the first Malaysian to compete in the Olympic semi finals in 1960 in the 100m event. The below appears on  Olympic Council of Malaysia's website: He (Jegathesan) became the first Malaysian to enter the semi-finals in an Athletics event at the Olympic in 1964 and 1968. In the Encyclopedia of Malaysia Sports and Recreation , there's a picture caption on page 96 (Track and Field) that reads: The centre stage in athletics in the 1960s belonged to three-time Olympian Dr M. Jegathesan. He won the gold medal in the 200-metre event at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta and became Malaysia's first ever Olympic semi-finalist in the men's 200 metres at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games . And this is Jegathesan's records according to World Athletics . As such, the tweet should r

'When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail ...'

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  I must thank Olympian Maninderjit Singh, aka Mike, for diligently providing me with daily updates of the international friendly hockey matches happening in Kuala Lumpur. I do, however, find it odd that I'm getting such updates from a former international and not from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation. 😒 Back to Maninderjit, he paid tribute to New Straits Times' senior hockey writer Jugjet Singh's article that was published earlier today. The Malaysian hockey team has lost all their games in the triangular involving Japan and Great Britain thus far.  Jugjet wrote:  Malaysia, despite their home ground advantage, have been disappointing. Covid-19 may have made field training difficult, but it's the same situation for Japan and Britain. So, no excuses here too. Today is Malaysia's last chance to avoid a "100 per cent losses" in the triangular. Arul's men really need to be great against Britain. All the best to the Malaysian team when they take on Grea

As Malaysian sprinters return to local coach, was foreign hiring a bad call?

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"Dengan itu, mengambil kira untuk kebaikan atlet, KOM dan wakil MSN (Majlis Sukan Negara) memberi kebenaran untuk mereka pulang ke Johor berlatih di bawah Poad. "Bagaimanapun, kedua-dua atlet ini perlu pulang ke MSN untuk latihan bagi acara 4x100 meter pada masa yang ditetapkan. KOM dan MSN akan terus membantu kedua-dua atlet ini untuk mencapai prestasi terbaik mereka." Read the full article in Berita Harian . We've seen similar situations happen in the past.   Obviously we want the best for our athletes.  But consider this. You stay in your parents' house. Your parents provide you a monthly allowance. And they don't ask a single sen from you when you (eventually) earn some money.  Yet, you dictate what you want to eat, who you want to meet and who you want to mix around with because you believe it's your birth right. If I had pulled the same "birth right" stunt, my late dad would pack my bags and ask me to leave his house. He used to say: "

'99 peratus tak pasti layak atau tidak, tapi kita kena bagi vaksin kat pemain bola sepak'

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"Tular pada hari ini pasukan bola sepak kita dapat vaksin. Ada yang tanya adakah pasukan bola sepak kita golongan OKU, warga emas ataupun komorbid?  Tidak. Sebab mereka terlibat dalam pertandingan kelayakkan Piala Dunia. 99 peratus tak pasti layak atau tidak tetapi kita kena bagi vaksin kepada mereka kerana mereka dalam proses untuk pergi ke UAE, kalau tak silap saya, untuk perlawanan kelayakkan Piala Dunia. Itu sebab kita bagi kepada atlet." Ini kata-kata Khairy Jamaluddin ketika sidangmedia Perkembangan Program Imunisasi COVID-19 Kebangsaan hari ini. Kata Khairy, 99 peratus tak pasti layak atau tidak tapi kena bagi vaksin.  Kalau tak main dalam perlawanan kelayakkan Piala Dunia dan ranking negara merosot, orang akan kritik pasukan negara pula. Layak atau tidak, kenalah bagi vaksin. Betul tak?  Kalau belum daftar untuk mendapatkan vaksin Covid-19, sila daftar sekarang.  Daftar untuk vaksinasi melalui salah satu daripada 3 kaedah ini. #LindungDiriLindungSemua pic.twitter.com

Apakah tindakan segera yang telah diambil terhadap sekolah Johor yang tetapkan aktiviti sukan ikut kaum?

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" ... tindakan ini adalah bertentangan dengan matlamat dan asas pelaksanaan program sukan di sekolah. Tindakan segera dan sewajarnya telah diambil oleh KPM." Ini merupakan hasil tulisan Menteri Pendidikan Datuk Radzi Jidin  di laman Facebooknya berkaitan sekolah di Johor yang menetapkan aktiviti sukan and kokorikulum ikut kaum. Semalam saya menulis di blog ini bahawa alasan yang digunapakai oleh pengetua sekolah tersebut dalam menetapkan panduan yang agak rasis adalah alasan yang mengarut  dan tak masuk akal. Soalan saya kepada pihak kementerian - apakah tindakan segera dan sewajarnya yang telah diambil? 

Johor school principal offers ridiculous excuse for sports/clubs-by-race

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  When contacted, the school’s principal Abdul Razak Hamid confirmed the note and claimed the “conditions” were necessary because of the lack of sporting facilities for the students. “We are a hockey school, so the existing field has to be used for the sport, so there is no other field that can be used for other sports. “So, we have to set conditions like that to attract Malay students who are not interested in sports to join the various clubs.” Read the full report on Free Malaysia Today . That has got to be the most ridiculous (and scary) excuse I've heard throughout my 21 years as a journalist. 1. ... the “conditions” were necessary because of the lack of sporting facilities for the students. There are many schools in Kuala Lumpur that lack sporting facilities. Take SMK Maxwell for example. The school does not have a field. Yet, you don't see the school imposing such conditions. 2.  “So, we have to set conditions like that to attract Malay students who are not interested in

Jangan main-main dengan pemain bola sepak

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"Jika tiada sifat-sifat kecintaan, ia boleh dianggap sebagai pembelot. Jangan main-main dengan saya ..." Ini kata-kata pemangku Presiden Persatuan Bolasepak Sabah (SAFA), Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, seperti dilaporkan di Berita Harian hari ini. Ini pula yang dilaporkan Harian Metro pada 9 April, 2021. Sumber dalaman Sabah FC berkata, Rawilson dan Azzizan antara pemain yang bersuara mengenai gaji yang sebelum ini tertunggak dua bulan. "Memang betul mereka (Rawilson dan Azzizan) ditinggalkan, ia ada kaitan dengan isu gaji tertunggak sebelum ini. "Mereka juga antara yang bersuara mengenainya (isu gaji) sehingga sesi latihan pasukan dibatalkan semalam," katanya kepada Arena Metro. ...  Beliau ( Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif Sabah Football Club Khairul Firdays Akbar)  juga menafikan gaji pemain dan pegawai pasukan tertunggak sehingga tiga bulan seperti yang tular di media sosial, semalam. "Memang diakui berlakunya beberapa kelewatan pembayaran gaji, namun ianya t

Bila beli pemain, ukur baju di badan sendiri

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Strategi atau pelan untuk sesebuah persatuan seharusnya berterusan dan bukan untuk semusim atau hanya ketika presiden persatuan dan ahli exconya berkhidmat. Dan kalau persatuan sukan mempunyai pelan yang kukuh dan mampu meletakkan harga yang "terlalu mahal" untuk pemainnya, ini mungkin kerana mereka telah mengambil kira aspek "return of investment" apabila membeli atlet tersebut. Pemain merupakan aset yang bukan hanya berharga di atas padang tetapi mampu memainkan peranan yang sama penting di luar padang dalam mengumpan penaja. Kolum saya di Getaran hari ini - Bila beli pemain, ukur baju di badan sendiri .

ITF gender equality report: Coverage of men's tennis more on sport, coverage on women more on life off court

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International Tennis Federation yesterday announced the results of a global research project examining sports gender equality across the media and social media. Conducted and delivered by Ipsos MORI, the research explored how the representation of male and female athletes varies, identifying key differences by market and media type, as well as any differences in consumer searches between male and female players. The report found that the conversation and coverage of men's tennis is more focused on the sport, with a strong combative narrative and a sense of history, elite competition and achievement.   Meanwhile, the conversation around women's tennis is less intense and relatively more focused on life off court, from health and age to family. Key findings: Women's tennis content is twice as likely to reference a player's age. Men's tennis content is twice as likely to refer to 'battle' terminology. Men's content is 70% more likely to mention a player'

Tahniah Norismadi, terima kasih Jasni

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Norismadi Abd Manap (RTM) dipilih sebagai Presiden baharu Persatuan Penulis-Penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM) untuk penggal 2020-2023 selepas meraih kemenangan dengan kelebihan satu undi ke atas penyandang jawatan, Datuk Jasni Shafie hari ini. Norismadi meraih 47 undi manakala Jasni mendapat 46 undi dan satu undi rosak. Sejumlah 106 ahli SAM layak mengundi pada proses pengundian semula itu yang berlangsung di dewan Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM), Bukit Kiara. Daripada jumlah tersebut hanya 94 ahli yang hadir untuk menjalankan amanah mereka. Pengundian semula itu diadakan selepas dua calon jawatan Presiden dan dua calon untuk mengisi satu jawatan Exco telah mendapat undi yang sama pada mesyuarat agung Tri-Tahunan SAM 2020-2023 di TH Hotel, Kelana Jaya, 3 April lalu. Dua calon Presiden iaitu Jasni dan Norismadi masing-masing terikat dengan 51 undi manakala dua calon untuk mengisi satu jawatan Exco, Ajitpal Singh Dhaliwal (New Strait Times) dan Vikneswaran Raman (Bernama) terikat dengan 57 u

Hockey Ireland cancels Malaysia trip due to travel, quarantine periods

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"At this point in our build up to Europeans and the Olympics, the health and wellbeing of our staff and players is paramount. Weighing up the potential performance benefit of heat and humidity versus the uncertainties we live with at this time globally, particularly with travel and quarantine periods, has been incredibly difficult." This was posted on Hockey Ireland's website yesterday. Travellers to Malaysia who have a negative RT-PCR Covid-19 test result will be  quarantined for seven days in Malaysia. Malaysian ministers, however, only require a three-day quarantine period - a move which has been slammed by health experts . As  Twentytwo13 's Graig Nunis pointed out in his weekly dairy published today, for the second week running, the number of  new cases exceeded recoveries  with 9,635 new infections taking the total number of Covid-19 cases to 357,607.  If the number of cases was recorded in Hockey Ireland's statement, then it would have made sense.  But to

Some things don't change - like salary woes in M-League

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Update (April 10, 9.52am): Sabah FA nafi kononnya berlaku kes tunggakkan gaji tiga bulan.  -- Sesi latihan skuad Sabah Football Club (FC), petang tadi, terbatal dipercayai ada kaitan dengan isu gaji pemain yang dikatakan tertunggak dua bulan. Sumber dalam pasukan berkata, latihan sepatutnya bermula jam 4 petang namun selepas perbincangan hangat di kalangan pemain dan barisan kejurulatihan, sesi berkenaan kemudian dibatalkan. Read Harian Metro's ' Gaji tertunggak, pemain Sabah FC boikot latihan '. Sabah Rhinos had tweeted this earlier yesterday: Update: Players boikot training. Jam 4pm start, lepak2 kejap lepas jam 4.40pm pulang. Ya la 3 BULAN GAJI BELUM MASUK LAGI. How???!! — SabahRhinos (@sabahrhinos) April 8, 2021 Some things occur every year in Malaysia - the very many festivities, floods in the east coast and footballers not being paid for months.  It's not a laughing matter as these footballers need to put food on their tables. It's their profession. If this ha

Canvassing ideas for Visi Sukan Negara

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“The national sports vision will include high-performance sports, grassroots development, focus on sports that have potential for glory in major tournaments, and the sports industry. The vision will be inclusive.” Those were the words of Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, November last year. Read Twentytwo13' s  New national sports vision to include women, grassroots and the industry . Since then, there have been engagements, sessions and meetings with stakeholders including yours truly. In Feb, I asked if the National Sports Vision will end up as political gimmick?  And on March 27, I hinted on this blog that VSN 2030 will be delayed instead of being launched this month. At 3pm today, the Kanvas Visi Sukan Negara 2030 was launched. Not the vision itself but a "canvassing" exercise to touch up an existing 'canvas'. Note the difference. I thank those who made it a point to organise a closed door session among members of the Press at

Guess the deputy minister who no ones seems to want to cover

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There's an event involving a deputy minister tomorrow and the deadline for media to register is at 6pm today. It's 6.17pm and not a single person has signed up. Guess who the deputy minister is ... Clue: He is a senator.  p/s: To the organiser, fret not. Mana tau last minute ada orang datang jugak. 

5 gold medals, 8 gold medals or breaking records - which is more important?

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"Jika bercakap mengenai sasaran, saya letakkan minimum lima dan maksimum lapan emas." So said Malaysia Athletics Federation president Datuk SM Muthu last month ahead of the year-end Vietnam SEA Games. Let's take a look at the five gold medals won by the athletics team at the 2019 SEA Games held in several cities the Philippines. Muhammad Haiqal Hanafi won the 100m event after clocking 10.35s. He surprised everyone including himself. It was a good surprise as he earned a SEA Games gold medal and inked his name in the history books.  However, the fact remains that his time is no where near the national record of 10.18s set by Khairul Hafiz Jantan. The other gold medalist were seasoned high jumpers Lee Hup Wei and Yap Sean Yee, triple jumper Hakimi Ismail and discus thrower Irfan Shamsuddin. Andre Anura Anuar won the silver medal in the men's long jump event in the regional Games. He broke the national record after recording a 8.02m jump. The previous record of 7.88m wa

Will badminton be more exciting with 5x11 scoring system?

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"I believe we cannot rush into making a decision, and when we do, it has to be an informed decision." Those were the words of BA of Malaysia secretary-general, Datuk Kenny Goh. The full article can be read in NST today. I remember playing badminton using the original scoring system - 15 points each match in a best of three games. The girls played until 11 points per game. The matches were long, and at times draggy, but it was during an era where we didn't really have any other distractions. There were other changes along the way. In 2002, the scoring system shortened the games to seven points and decided matches based on the best of five games. It didn't work. In 2006, the 21 point system (best of three sets) was introduced and is still being used till today. Next month, the Badminton World Federation is looking at introducing a new scoring system. The BWF Council has taken forward the proposal to amend the badminton scoring system and the members will vote during the

Historic AGM as race to SAM top post tied at 51

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It looks like I'm not the only one suffering from a splitting headache today. Perhaps it's the weather but the heat was certainly on during the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia's (SAM) annual general meeting cum election at Hotel TH in Kelana Jaya today. Long story short, incumbent Datuk Jasnie Shafie and challenger Norismadi Abd Manap were tied at 51 votes each. As such, SAM deputy president Ahmed Faisal Jamal will play acting president until fresh voting session for the president's post takes place within the next 14 days.  Only the 102 members who voted today will take part in the re-vote - a situation which has never been seen before since SAM was established in 1969. Congratulations to those who were elected and all the best to those contesting for the top post. p/s: I hope this continued "competition" will not create any friction among the SAM members. The build up was intense with lobbying, multiple forwarded messages and phone calls. A big thank y

Bantu Skuad Projek FAM-MSN: Beri sokongan ATAU tarik diri dari Liga Premier

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First view: "Jadi berilah andaian yang adil kepada pemain dan sokongan diperlukan untuk memajukan bola sepak. Pemain perlu disokong supaya mereka dapat kembali ke landasan sebenar. Jika peluang tidak diberikan kepada mereka, saya rasa kita akan kekurangan pemain." 'Beri sokongan, bantu mereka' - April 2, 2021 (Berita Harian) Second view: Rather than placing these ‘average’ young players, in whom we have invested so much, into a single team that will be plundered by teams from the second tier of Malaysian football competition (Premier League), it would be best if we have them join lower league teams (M3 and M4) or even better, a university or college team competing at the university football league. FAM-NSC project squad: An accident waiting to happen? - Dec 24, 2020 (Twentytwo13) This reminds me of my interview with Lim Teong Kim in 2019. He was then quoted as saying: "We need to create a pathway for them to play with Under-19 teams. Let’s be realistic, not all

Another 24-7 sports channel in Malaysia

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"People come together without the need for any speeches. The spirit of unity and patriotism (through) sports channels is very important."  These were the words of Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, as reported by Bernama. TV Sukan was launched today as RTM turns 75 today.  As news organisations continue to shrink with at least one "mainstream media" (which aggregates a lot these days and oddly slaps bylines of its writers on its unoriginal pieces) having closed its sports desk, a dedicate sports channel is certainly music to sports fans' ears. This is in addition to Astro Arena - another 24-7 channel that focuses on local sports and has certainly made an impact in the local sports scene. All the best to the crew at TV Sukan! p/s: I wonder who will eventually head the channel?

Journalists

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1. A journalist is supposed to ask questions. 2. There is no tough or easy question - a question is a question. 3. Questions are asked in a bid to seek clarification. If the article / content is unclear, the readers / viewers will not be able to understand and appreciate the narrative better. In short, it's best to be clear when communicating. 4. Here's an example: "Why is the Podium Programme Enhancement Committee's report, which was submitted last September, still kept under wraps?" 5. Here's an example of a possible answer to the question above: "We take note of the findings of the committee. In the spirit of fair play, we are in the midst of gathering feedback and/or information from the parties mentioned in the report before we make the report public. Rest assured, steps are already being taken to address the contents of the report and we will reveal it soon, together with the justification from the respective parties and our steps in moving forward.

Don't rush kids to play matches

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I had a quick chat with Youth Football Academy Red Star technical director N. Rada Krishnan recently and we spoke about children and football. During our conversation, he informed me that right after the Movement Control Order was relaxed earlier this month, he received phone calls from other teams wanting to play friendly matches with his trainees. Rada replied: “I’ve told my coaches that our trainees will not commit to any friendly matches or tournaments for the next two months. We’ve just been letting our young footballers kick the ball around and have not been going hard on the drills because they have not been playing competitively over the past year.” Read the full article on Twentytwo13 today . I'm glad we have thinking coaches like Rada who believes that children must have fun and not be pushed into playing competitively especially after a year of non-competitive football. And I hope more coaches will have this in mind. They must be reminded that they are dealing with chil

Saman

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1. Pada Ogos 15, 2012, saya disaman oleh Allahyarham Datuk Mohamad Bustaman Abdullah. 2. Beliau berpendapat hasil tulisan saya di blog ini "defamatory". Hakikatnya, saya hanya muat naik artikel Malay Mail, artikel The Star dan satu klip YouTube. 3. Beliau sama saya - bukan syarikat tetapi saya sebagai individu.  4. Pada Sept 2014, Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur telah membuang kes tersebut (struck out) kerana ianya merupakan penyalahgunaan proses kehakiman .  5. Sejak berkecimpung dalam dunia kewartawanan 21 tahun yang lalu, saya akui ada yang tidak suka dengan apa saya tulis.  6. Tapi tak suka dan "defamatory" dua benda berbeza. Mungkin sebagai seorang graduan undang-undang atau kerana saya dilatih oleh pengarang-pengarang veteran, saya memahami konsep fitnah. In short, bila tulis kena berdasarkan fakta. 7. Saya akui adakalanya terdapat artikel oleh penulis-penulis lain yang lari dari fakta. Oleh yang demikian, pihak yang terkesan mempunyai hak untuk menyaman. 8. Tapi

Former journalist makes waves with historic solo marathon swim

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While many grumbled and moaned about the many Movement Control Order (MCO) and Emergency restrictions, Ridzwan A. Rahim did not let that stop him from completing a historic swim last Sunday. The former journalist is the first person to swim across the Perhentian Channel from Pulau Perhentian Kecil to Besut in Terengganu. He completed the 19.087km swim in 8’56:30s. This was published in Twentytwo13 yesterday. It's indeed an amazing feat, what more by a man who had once served the newsroom. This is a fine example of where there's a will there's a way. Well done, Ridzwan! Your feat will surely inspire many out there.

I got a 'vision' that Visi Sukan Negara will not be launched next month ...

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KBS dalam rangka mempersiapkan satu 'blueprint' VSN 2030 yang bakal diperkenalkan pada hujung suku pertama tahun ini. This was published in Harian Metro on Feb 10, 2021 . So I got this vision that the Visi Sukan Negara will not be launched within the first quarter of the year (which is basically next month).  Instead, those working on it realise that they need to consult more stakeholders and as such there will be a start of a series of discussions regarding the 10-year blueprint. Perhaps the work that was carried out over the past two-odd months or so, was insufficient - despite engagement sessions with stakeholders behind closed doors - and the presentation was "unattractive". Or perhaps one could view it as the Youth and Sports Ministry wanting to ensure it covers all grounds and to get this right - even if it means postponing the launch date.  And in my vision, I was informed that an individual within Wisma KBS was transferred to another department because of this

Forget about Visi Sukan Negara. What is Malaysia's sport philosophy?

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On March 24, I revealed the contents of the report submitted by the Podium Programme Enhancement Committee. Read news website  Twentytwo13 for the highlights . Yesterday, I wrote that the committee, had among others, recommended that a forensic audit be carried out on the multi-million ringgit elite athlete programme. While writing my article yesterday, I was informed that a group of individuals had gathered at Taman Perindustrian Puchong earlier in the morning to get their thoughts about the soon-to-be-launched National Sports Vision (Visi Sukan Negara). And I was informed that the one thing that was highlighted - what is the guarantee that the sports vision will be followed through over the next 10 years, especially when a new minister (or two) comes in? I had also raised this in the past.  And I doubt anyone can guarantee that the government officials in Wisma KBS will follow through with the vision. After all, they will be forced to serve the wants and needs of the new minister.

Semoga 'pengamal media sukan' terbaik menerajui SAM. All the best!

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Update 6.03pm: The image above was sent to me. This is regarding the membership (keahlian) as stated in the SAM constitution. The sender said: "jadi exco mestilah jadi ahli" when asked if there is no clause or section regarding who is entitled be an office bearer in the constitution.  I was also informed some agreed with what I wrote and some didn't. I'm glad there's some form of conversation about this matter. All I'm asking is - who should be the voice of sportswriters in this country? Just look at the list of presidents since SAM was established in 1969 ... -- SATU lawan satu bagi kerusi No. 1 dan 2 – begitulah senario menjelang mesyuarat agung tritahunan pemilihan Jawatakuasa Eksekutif (Exco) Persatuan Penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM) pada 3 April ini. Datuk Jasni Shafie yang baru sepenggal menyandang Presiden SAM sejak 9 Jun 2018, menghadapi tentangan Naib Presiden sekarang, Norismadi Abd. Manap dari Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) dalam pemilihan penggal 202

Kenapa tak cakap?

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"Perkara ini berlaku walaupun JDT membuat kesalahan, kita menghantar (surat tunjuk sebab) dan menunggu jawapan. JDT pun pernah didenda juga tetapi kita tak cakap." - Malaysian Football League CEO Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan This appeared in Berita Harian .  Communication is important. There is a constant need to engage and educate the stakeholders (fans included) regarding the role and functions of the MFL. As such, it is important that if a club has been penalised, then you should "cakap" (say).  Why do you need to "cakap?" - to eliminate any form of presumption (of biasness) that may arise. In today's world, silence is no longer golden.  During my talks, I always remind brands and decision makers to be mindful with what is happening and not to ignore questions - no matter how small they may seem to be. Let's start communicating.  Peace!

Bazly gets AIPS special mention, Wan Muiz and Avineshwaran among top 5 winners

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The International Sports Press Association (AIPS) Sport Media Awards jury decided to dedicate a special mention to the best submissions related to the impact of Covid-19 in the world of sports.  Astro Arena journalist Wan Nor Bazly Wan Azmi's 'The Stranded Champion' was among the four who received the special mention in the Short Feature category . He was among 28 individuals who were honoured for their coverage of sports during the Covid-19 pandemic. Wan Abdul Muiz Wan Abdul Aziz, also from Astro Arena, was placed among the Top 3 in the Young Reporter Broadcasting category. The winner was Clarisse Sih from Cameroon Radio Television ( Karate Tai Sabaki, more than meets the eyes ). The Star's T. Avineshwaran's 'Kick out the racists in football' was among the Top 5 in the Writing (Best Column) category. The category was won by Dina Asher-Smith of The Telegraph ( Think racism hasn’t affected me? It’s there almost every day ). It was a great effort by the Malay

Is there a sports cartel in the making?

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I had a conversation with several sports administrators who expressed concern over what seems to be a formation of a sports cartel. It seems key individuals are aligning themselves to create a giant force. Wow! I wouldn't lose sleep over it, seriously. I'm sure it's just sheer coincidence that a group of ambitious men seem to be aligned over certain matters. What shouldn't be tolerated is when staff of certain associations behave like decision makers and become the gate keepers to their beloved bosses. That's for another day ... 

Thanks Lee Zii Jia! Politics and everything else finally take a break

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Finally conversations over dinner and in Whatsapp groups are no longer about politics. Phew! It took Malaysian badminton player Lee Zii Jia to make that happen. That's the power of sports. Regardless the result of the All-England final tonight, I bet people will still be talking about Zii Jia's exploits tomorrow and perhaps the day after.  It's the kind of distraction and entertainment Malaysians need right now - not discussions about the nation's nauseating politics or depressing economic situation.  Thus it saddened me that when Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had launched the National Blueprint for Unity last month, only Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah saw the need to speak about sports as a unifying agent.  That too he made in passing, perhaps not wanting to offend the Youth and Sports Minister. Earlier this month, Singapore unleashed plans to push its football to greater heights . Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community a

'What NSAs do, whose interests they serve?'

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  I was tagged in Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming's tweet this morning. I have strong views about national sports associations (NSAs). Nevertheless, I felt the MP, who is a quite a sports enthusiast, had to be educated about the national sports system. This was my reply to him: Good morning, YB  1. The athletes mentioned were nurtured by the respective state/NSAs, esp during early days. Eg. Lee Chong Wei was part of the BA of Malaysia's system until he retired. 2. The athletes receive(d) monthly allowances from the government via the National Sports Council.  3. Can NSAs do more? YES! 4. Elite athletes/teams should rightfully secure their own funding via sponsorships. That's professionalism. Govt RM (money) should be used for infra(structure), schools. (It's) Wrong for state govts to spend so much on state football teams.  5. NSAs must evolve, monetise assets. They rely too much on NSC. Yes, I strongly believe NSAs rely too much on NSC and then whine that NSC lords over them. I

Salute to Mazlan, Kok Chi and Dr Ramlan

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  It was really nice to see pictures of Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad and Datuk Sieh Kok Chi posted on Olympic Council of Malaysia's (OCM) social media accounts. These two fine gentlemen need no introduction in the Malaysian sports scene.  Mazlan, who once served as the National Sports Council (NSC) director-general, was the driving force and the strategic thinker behind the Jaya'98 programme. He also played an instrumental role when Kuala Lumpur hosted the 2001 SEA Games.  Kok Chi on the other hand has been serving decades ago - representing the country in water polo and graduating to becoming OCM's long-serving secretary.  The respected duo are part of the selection committee for the upcoming 2021 SEA Games in Vietnam. Not too long ago, another former NSC director-general, Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz was tasked to lead the Podium Enhancement Task Force Panel. The musically-inclined Dr Ramlan was also the CEO of the National Sports Institute. While the report has been given to the Yout

Parents play an important role in building athletes

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It's been awhile since I last stepped foot at the Tun Razak Hockey Stadium.  I remember covering the schools hockey during my early days as a journalist and later reporting about the hockey league matches at the stadium. Over the weekend, I visited the stadium after learning that parents, Mohamad Zaharani Maulud, 54 and his wife, Morlizawati Ghazali, 44, have been training a group of school students hockey over the past few years. They have been doing it for the love of the sport, and to ensure their three children continue to be active. Zaharani and Morlizawati have not asked for a single sen from the trainees. They believe every child should be involved in some form of sporting activity as sports is the best place for children to learn life skills. Read all about the fabulous couple in Twentytwo13 . To Zaharani and Morlizawati - I salute the both of you.  I hope more parents will be inspired to do the same.

'Awek mana ntah'

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UPDATE (9.34pm): I was informed that FAM had reached out to the person from Challo FC and apologised.  - This was tweeted today. I don't know the people behind Challo Football Club but I would like to give the individual who tweeted the above the benefit of the doubt. I truly hope the FA of Malaysia (FAM) will look into this matter seriously.  Brands and companies must realise that their receptionists and call centre agents play a vital role in shaping their image. One mistake, and the brand suffers - especially in this social media era. This is where brands will also realise the importance of having a tracking system that records all calls and conversations so that it will not become a "he says, she says" fiasco.  I'm sure FAM will take note of this and not join the Malaysian Hockey Confederation in its bubble of "argh, no need to engage lah". It's just basic courtesy and respect. Separately, this 2020 article by The Guardian revealed two-thirds of w

`Orang bola' wajar jadi presiden MFL - ermm, nope

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Bekas Timbalan Presiden FAM, Datuk Seri Ridzuan Sheikh Ahmad berpandangan sebaliknya apabila melihat kerusi penting itu wajar diisi oleh 'orang bola' dengan satu daripada timbalan presiden FAM ketika ini sepatutnya menerajui organisasi itu. "Saya berpandangan eloklah jawatan Presiden MFL itu dipegang oleh satu daripada timbalan presiden sedia ada khususnya timbalan presiden yang senior. 'Kepala' mestilah dari FAM kerana badan induk itu pun memang berkait rapat dengan MFL. "Kepala' yang baru itu nanti bolehlah kalau mahu memilih mana-mana individu yang difikirkan boleh menyumbang untuk membantu, tiada masalah untuk ambil orang luar menyertai mereka dalam kabinet MFL selepas itu." This was part of an article that was published in Berita Harian today. My initial reaction to the statement - Nope! In an ideal world, a professional would be best suited to run Malaysia Football League (MFL). This is because a professional, with experience in finance and/or

There are Malaysians who support other English clubs besides Man Utd and Liverpool

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Most of the conversations regarding the Premier League will surely be about Manchester United and Liverpool. Nevermind if both the English teams are currently not even placed at the top of the standings.  Sometimes I wonder if deep down inside fans from the two teams actually love both clubs equally but are just darn shy to admit it. Here comes Twentytwo13's executive editor Graig Nunis - a Liverpool fan who has been hunting down fans from teams who support team other than Man United and Liverpool. His latest article was about Burnley fan  Izham Hassan . Yes, Malaysian has a Burnley fan! He has also spoken to Newcastle supporter,  Victor William , Leicester City fan Asraf Dahari , West Ham fan Hazrin Yeob Men Shah and Everton fan Izhar Shazly Pakhorarazi . So if you want to read about fans from other teams (besides Man Utd and Liverpool), do give Graig's weekly Premier League preview a read. It's published every Friday on Twentytwo13 .