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Man Utd most searched club in Malaysia

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To reveal the world’s most searched teams, the television and broadband experts at Uswitch analysed Google search data to discover which football teams people are Googling the most in (almost) every country around the world. Manchester United is the most searched club in Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Malaysia.  It may come as no surprise that the club is among the most popular in Asia, as “the Red Devils” have had some great moments in recent times and even won two Fifa tournaments in Japan, attracting the attention of many fans in Asia. Real Madrid is the most popular football team in the world when each country’s local teams aren’t included. The research shows it is the most searched foreign football team in an impressive 75 countries, the most of any football team, including the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Sweden and Austria. Click on the link to read the full report.

No diving for girls in Sukma catches Pandelela Rinong's attention

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That was a tweet by Malaysia's diving star Datuk Pandelela Rinong. As I wrote last month (June 22, 2022), Pandelela, Datuk Leong Mun Yee, and Nur Dhabitah Sabri are world-class women divers, who are Olympians and household names in Malaysia. Yet, states are struggling to field divers, especially in the women’s event, for the upcoming Malaysia Games (Sukma) The Sukma, scheduled to begin on Malaysia Day (Sept 16), will be held in various locations in the Klang Valley. It is organised by the National Sports Council (NSC). It is learnt that there is also a lack of participation in the women’s gymnastics events. It boils down to the lack of facilities, proper support system and bragging rights. Read the full article on Kuala Lumpur-based news website, Twentytwo13.

#JanganAntiMedia

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1. Saya telah berkecimpung dalam dunia kewartawanan sejak tahun 2000. Saya bermula sebagai seorang wartawan sukan.  2. Ramai yang telah saya temuramah sepanjang karier saya. Saya pernah minum kopi bersama pemandu teksi, lepak sama Pak Guard, berborak pasal PS2 dengan pemain tennis terkemuka Rafael Nadal, duduk sebelah bekas pemandu F1 Mika Hakkinen dalam Mercedes AMG SLS yang dipandunya, serta duduk semeja dengan tokoh korporat dan menteri dari dalam dan luar negara. 3. Saya juga mempunyai blog. Ada yang meninggalkan komen di blog, apa pula yang emel. Ada pula yang DM saya di laman media sosial saya. Sesetangah komen-komen tersebut agak pedas, tetapi sebagai 'Anon' atau menggunakan akaun "private". Saya hanya gelak kerana mereka ini pandai komen but tak berani nak letak nama sebenar. Tetapi saya tidak pernah tergerak untuk membuat tanda pagar (hashtag) bagi individu-individu sebegini. 4. Ada pula atlet dan pegawai yang tidak berpuas hati dengan hasil penulisan atau ko

Will grading of sports facilities be a reality?

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  I think sports facilities in the country should be graded. It's only fair to the users / consumers. I've seen poorly maintained sports facilities - both government- and privately-owned. Patrons should not pay ridiculous fees for substandard facilities. Period. So when I was informed of plans to grade sporting facilities in Malaysia, I was obviously excited. On July 5, I wrote that discussions are being held over the possibility of grading sporting facilities in Malaysia. This is similar to the evaluation and grading of food premises by local councils, nationwide. Following the article, venue operators and owners told news website Twentytwo13 that having a set of evaluation and grading criteria for sports centres in Malaysia is certainly the way forward. But they had their concerns too. “Ultimately, the elephant in the room is deciding who will be in charge of the grading process, and how it will benefit the community.” -  National Sports & Fitness Venue Owners and Opera

Will SEA Games Federation and Malaysia be open to transgender athletes?

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The world swimming body has taken a bold decision to restrict transgender athletes in elite women's swimming. The decision was made after Fina revealed it had sufficient evidence to back its decision, adding male swimmers as young as 14 were posting times that would win the Olympic gold medal in the women's events.  Fina will instead create an 'open category' for transgender swimmers to compete in. The president of the world body, Husain Al-Musallam was quoted as saying in his address at the Budapest congress : "I do not want any athlete to be told they cannot compete at the highest level. I understand why transgender athletes want to compete in the gender of their choice ... but we should not favour one athlete over another." “We will be the first international federation to start this work.”  Caitlyn Jenner, a transgender who was once known as Olympic gold medallist Bruce Jenner, supported the move .  "I think it's very good. I have been on this is

Lee Hup Wei turns 35 today. His gift to athletes - voicing their frustration

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Lee Hup Wei had recently retired as a national athlete. As he turns 35 today, he decided to be the voice of athletes in the national athletics scene, as he takes issue with the debacle involving the Selangor Athletics Association and the Sports Commissioner's Office. Here's his plea , as posted on his Facebook account, minutes ago: "Lebih kurang satu minggu lagi, Sukan Sea Hanoi akan bermula. Sukan Sea amat bermakna untuk saya kerana saya sudah mewakili negara di dalam kejohanan itu sejak 2005 di Manila dan membawa pulang 4 pingat emas. Tahun ini saya tidak mengambil bahagian. Banyak rakan-rakan atlet dan jurulatih yang menghubungi saya. Mereka kecewa kerana tidak dapat mewakili negara dalam Sukan Sea Hanoi. Mereka tidak dipilih bukan kerana tidak layak tetapi atas faktor-faktor dalaman persatuan sukan. Sebagai senior dalam bidang olahraga, saya perlu bersuara bagi pihak semua atlet. Sepanjang 18 tahun sebagai atlet olahraga, konflik dalaman persatuan sukan selalu berlaku.

Klang residents: We want to take govt to court

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Klang residents want to explore the possibility of a law suit against the Malaysian government for dereliction of duty during the December floods.  This is one of the calls at the seminar 'The Impact of Climate Change on Coastal Areas Like Klang' held at Wyndham Acmar Klang hotel yesterday. Klang MP Charles Santiago said Selangor has a responsibility to protect and promote the rights and interests of its citizens.  "However, during the floods, there was hardly an early warning system or efficient flood relief efforts to help vulnerable individuals and communities," said Santiago. "In fact, government officials were missing in the first three to four days, and people took it upon themselves to organise food distributions and rescue missions." The participants, during floor discussions, also raised the possibility of the formulation of a new drainage and irrigation system for Klang.  This would involve interphasing the movement of water through rivers.  "

Ex-Foreign Minister Anifah Aman blames then caretaker Sabah CM over Sulu Sultanate heirs' claim, adds former AG should 'learn language of diplomatic relations'

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Datuk Seri Anifah Aman ( pic ) weighs in on the recent claims regarding by the heir of the so-called Sulu Sultanate on Sabah. In his statement tonight, the former Malaysian Foreign Minister, shares the historical background of the episode.  He goes on to blame the Sabah Caretaker Chief Minister’s at the time as being "lack of experience" in handling the matter and adds that ex-Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas should "learn the language of diplomatic relations and how to handle international relations to avoid further blunders in future with regards to Malaysia's sovereignty".  Here is Anifah's statement, in full: Historical background • Sabah, which was known as North Borneo, before it joined the Malaysian Federation in 1963, was part of the Sultanate of Brunei in the 15th century. In 1704, the Sultan of Brunei ceded the lands east of Marudu Bay to the Sultan of Sulu, while the west coast remained under his rule. • On Jan 22, 1878, the Paduca Majasa

Reezal Merican: Penentuan tarikh PRU haruslah strategik

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Kenyataan Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican - Ahli Majlis Kerja Tertinggi Umno 1. Kita tahu ada suara yang telah meminta YAB Perdana Menteri membubarkan Parlimen. 2. Bahkan, kita boleh tanya sesiapa sahaja pun, baik ahli UMNO atau MKT atau barisan Jemaah Menteri hatta rakyat di luar sana pun, mereka juga mahukan satu Pilihanraya Umum (PRU) diadakan bagi membolehkan Parlimen mendapat mandat baharu. 3. Pertama, saya tak perlu berselindung yang kita, pada ketika ini, benar-benar mahu satu mandat yang dapat menzahirkan aspirasi rakyat secara jelas selepas naratif politik negara kita berubah 360 darjah pasca PRU-14. Sebagai ahli sebuah parti yang rebah selepas 60 tahun mentadbir, sudah pasti saya mahu UMNO dan Barisan Nasional yang kini kembali kukuh, terus menjadi teras pentadbiran Kerajaan di peringkat Pusat dan juga negeri. 4. Saya yakin, selepas apa sahaja yang berlaku pasca PRU-14, UMNO dan Barisan Nasional sudah mula adapt and adopt perubahan-perubahan yang berlaku. Seba

BAM's multi-million ringgit sponsorship with Petronas is a big deal

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1. The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) netted a multi-million ringgit sponsorship with Petronas and its subsidiary Petronas Dagangan Bhd yesterday. 2. The sponsorship - over the next three years - also sees the Akademi Badminton Malaysia (ABM) changing its name to Petronas ABM and the national oil company being the title sponsor of the Malaysia Open. 3. The amount of the sponsorship was not revealed, but judging by the commitment, it's safe to say Petronas will be pumping some RM15 million to RM20 million a year (so about RM45 million to RM60 million over the next three years). 4. This is presumably more than Celcom's sponsorship with the national body which was RM24 million over three years (RM8 million a year) and that of Maybank's RM41 million deal. 5. The agreement inked yesterday is indeed a big deal - for BAM and other sports bodies in the country. 6. The sponsorship comes amidst the BAM-Lee Zii Jia-Goh Jin Wei saga that saw massive public outcry in January.

Perak FC confirms 20 players for Premier League, plans to get more in second transfer window

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Perak Football Club (Perak FC) has signed up 20 players under its new management, Impact Media and Communications (IMC) ahead of the new Premier League season. IMC, in a press release today, said the club’s participation is in line with its transformation process, "with the overarching goal of establishing Perak FC as a self-sustaining and successful football club in Malaysia in the near future".  The starting line-up boasts players like Royizzat Daud, Khairul Asyraf, and Alif Zikri. “Ideally, we would like to field a more competitive roster as we believe that will further provide us with the edge in the Premier League but our starting line-up should not be taken lightly as we are hungry to compete," said Perak FC chief executive officer Muhammad Yunus Zakaria. "There is a plan in place to have register a full roster during the second transfer window in May.” An embargo was placed on Perak FC from registering any new players, domestic or international, or get player

'Malaysia can stop funding football, just fund the rest of the sports that’s world class'

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  I rest my case. Here's the original tweet that was posted yesterday: Malaysia can stop funding football, just fund the rest of the sports that’s world class. pic.twitter.com/3uVzGlFVvW — Rafique Muzhaffar (@rafiquemuzhaffa) February 19, 2022 By the way, has the Prime Minister or his team to justified why the FA of Malaysia got RM10 million instead of other more deserving sports organisations?

There's a new club in town - Lee Zii Jia Badminton Club. So who is funding it?

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Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker revealed there's a new badminton club in town. It's called the Lee Zii Jia Badminton Club. Ti, had in his Facebook posting, also revealed that Indra Wijaya, whose contract with the BA of Malaysia ending next month, will be Lee's coach. It's interesting to see an upcoming shuttler setting up his own badminton centre. Traditionally, such centres are basically retirement plans set up by players who have clocked plenty of time on the court. The other question that many have on their minds - who is funding Lee Zii Jia Badminton Club? I'm sure sponsors and investors are eager to know the business model and the monetisation plan to determine the sustainability of such an initiative. Going professional equals to a whole lot of money. There are coaches to pay, equipment to purchase, services to render and travel obligations which aren't cheap.  All the best to Lee Zii Jia and his new club!  P/S: It would be equally

BAM chief Norza Zakaria 'clears the air' over recent Lee Zii Jia saga

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  BA of Malaysia (BAM) president Tan Sri Norza Zakaria addressed the recent episode involving the national badminton scene via Sinar Harian this afternoon.  The national body, had on Jan 21 , slapped a two-year suspension, pending appeal, on Lee Zii Jia and Goh Jin Wei for going independent. Following public outcry and appeal letters by the duo, the suspensions were later revoked.  Here are some of Norza's views: 2:54s: "We (BAM) have processes and governance that have to be adhered to. Besides the processes, we look at past decisions (precedents). When the Council meet, there were discussions as Lee Zii Jia is an important asset produced by us (BAM)." 3:53s: "Our initial decision was based on the precedent (action taken) on other players, that is (suspended for) two years ... but we said there was an appeal process and when the appeal was made, we made a decision based on the facts that we got." 11:23s: "If you look at Akademi Badminton Malaysia, we have

Oh MCA Youth ... 三思而后行

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On Jan 6, MCA Youth tweeted the graphic above. It caught my attention and I made some phone calls to some friends in MCA, eager to find out if MCA Youth is well aware that MCA vice president Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker is the deputy president of the Youth and Sports Ministry. Below is what I tweeted minutes ago: Find it odd for @MCAHQ Youth to issue such a statement when MCA vice president @tilianker is @KBSMalaysia deputy minister. A phone call to their boss would have clarified the matter. Why don't MCA Youth ask PM why there's RM10m for FA of Malaysia and not for other athletes? https://t.co/7mYdp6yfll — Haresh Deol 🇲🇾 ‏ (@HareshDeol) January 23, 2022 In one of the those phone calls to my friends in MCA, I was informed by a senior member: "MCA Youth is always eager to find ways to stay relevant but they seem to be lost in their own world." Here's a pointer MCA Youth, it's best to check when you already have someone within your organisation who is part of th

Independent or not, shouldn't the best shuttlers represent Malaysia?

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  There have been plenty of conversations about our national shuttlers going independent. There are those who don't see it as a problem. There are others who seem disturbed by it. But many of them seem to ignore the visions, missions and objectives of the BA of Malaysia (BAM). The image above, a screenshot from BAM's website , shows the objectives. Note: It does not read "owning players". The image below shows BAM's vision and mission. The mission states to have a big pool of world class players, bigger pool of back-up players and to implement development programmes. Once again, it does not say "to own players". As such, it comes to no surprise to why BAM has accommodated independent players as the leadership is simply keeping true to the national body's visions, missions and objectives. This is also reflected in the July 14, 2021 press statement below: And the statement by its president pubslihed in The Star  on July 24, 2021: BAM president Tan Sri

NSC says sorry, adds 'our doors are always open for Low Wee Wern'

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The National Sports Council (NSC) issued a clarification yesterday regarding several matters raised by national squash player Low Wee Wern ( pic ). Low was dropped from NSC's training programme due to budget cuts. For the record, the NSC is the funding arm of the Youth and Sports Ministry.  The Penangite made it clear that the procedure (in axing athletes) should have been done better. In case it is not clear, I am not talking about money or budget cuts. All I am saying is that the procedure of how it was done should have been better https://t.co/LoEhYluk5b — Wee Wern Low (@WeeWernLow) January 6, 2022 Below is the January 11 statement by NSC: National Sports Council (NSC) would like to clarify on few points raised by our national squash player,  Low Wee Wern, with regards to the issue of no new training contract offered to her for the 2022 season. Wee Wern’s contract as an athlete under the Podium Program ended on Dec 31, 2021, as with all the other athletes that were under the sa

Maba's bullish quest raises questions

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THE Malaysian Basketball Association (Maba) have big dreams under their new president, Datuk Lee Tian Hock. Not only are they targeting a Sea Games gold medal within six years, Maba are also going the FA of Malaysia's way by naturalising players in the hope of attaining success. Read the New Straits Times for the full report. It's good to have dreams. What is equally important is for the dreams to turn into reality. The bullish plans announced by Maba yesterday, however, raises two pertinent question: i. If they don't get the Sea Games gold medal in the next six years - will the new president and office bearers be held accountable? ii. Will Maba get the right naturalised players?  The FA of Malaysia's naturalisation recipe didn't quite work.  Also, the government must have a stricter vetting system in place when naturalising individuals who don the national jersey. There are many other individuals - born and bred in Malaysia - who are still waiting for their citize

'Kalau sejak dulu lagi persatuan memainkan peranan mereka, situasi seperti hari ini boleh dielakkan sebenarnya'

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1. When national hurdler Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian was quoted by Utusan Malaysia regarding the reduction in his allowance from RM2,000 (for gold medalist) to RM800 (for bronze medalist), I immediately reached out to him. He confirmed having said all that and stood by what he said. He also shared other details. 2.  Olympians, athletes, former Youth and Sports minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and former Youth and Sports deputy minister Steven Sim weighed in. In a nutshell, they hope the national athletes will be given the right amount of assistance.  3. The episode also turned political.   "Pemuda MCA berpendirian bahawa isu ini boleh diuruskan dengan lebih baik oleh pihak @MSNMALAYSIA , dan atlet-atlet ini wajar diberikan pembelaan sewajarnya." - Chua Hock Kuan ( @chuaLbhPantai ) Selanjutnya: https://t.co/6w22L0Ak3y pic.twitter.com/emMuAHKg3y — MCA (@MCAHQ) January 6, 2022 The tweet above raised eyebrows as the deputy youth and sports minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker i

Olympian: Vetting system will eradicate politicians, wayang kulit office bearers who use NSA positions for self glory

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Clearly frustrated over the Malaysian sports scene, especially football, an Olympian has revisited his suggestion that those intending to hold office in a sports organisation must fulfill a certain criteria. Former hockey international Maninderjit Singh, aka Mike, said the current practice sees an office bearer nominated before being elected in a national sports association (NSA),  "I suggest that an additional process - vetting  - be introduced before one is nominated," said Maninderjit this morning. "As an example, to be a president (of an NSA), one has played in the Malaysian Football League for five seasons, served at least five years at the state level, raised at least RM3 million of sponsorship at the state level, developed two or three national players and that the state obtained an A rating from the Sports Commissioner's Office. "The nomination will be automatically rejected if one does not fulfill the criteria set. "With that (criteria set), the el