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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sayonara 2011, Game On 2012


Happy New Year!

2011 was a year that went too fast with may memorable moment, both pleasant and unpleasant ones.

It was a year that had many good moments in sports. My favourites were Malaysia conquering Bung Karno twice at the Sea Games, Some 90,000 (or more) Malaysians rallying our Harimau Muda against Singapore, The Project 2013 squad wining the Sultan of Johor Cup, and of course seeing Manchester United win their record breaking 19th English Premier League title.

Anyway Sayonara 2011 - I certainly will remember you but won't miss you.

2012 will be an interesting year - The Thomas Cup, Euro 2012, and Olympics . And also not forgotten General Elections and finally the uncertainty if the Mayans had actually got it right. 

2012, I say bring it on!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Finally a proper format..... but

FA of Malaysia has released the format of the M-league for the 2013 - 2016. In short teams will not be left wondering whether they are relegated.

All seems good except one thing....see for yourself.


 M-League 2013-2016
- Super League and Premier League will comprise of 12 teams each.
- Super League : top nine teams, LionsXII, champion of Premier League while final spot will be decided in a play off between the Premier League runners-up and the remaining Super League teams.


At the expense of a local team, LionsXII cannot be relegated. So if they play badly and finish bottom, they will still have a spot in the Super League.

Of course perhaps our Harimau Muda A is getting the same treatment in the S-League but this is just not right. Teams have to play in the respective leagues on merit not some arrangement made between two FAs.

Many might disagree with me but well that should be the nature of a league.

Of course it is unlikely they'll finish bottom - even our Harimau Muda A finished fifth last season, that of course considering LionsXII is equallly strong.

Anyway format and arrangements have already been done. For the sake of being professional, let's all hope FAM does not move the goal post at some point of the season.

Check out Foul! for all the decisions made by the FAM Competitions Committee yesterday.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Leave me out of this, I've got my battle with injuries to focus on

Quite rightly national high jumper Lee Hup Wei refuses to be dragged into the ever on-going spat between the national athletic body (MAU) and National Sports Council (NSC)

pic taken from bharian.com.my

Instead he wants to concentrate on staying injury free in 2012. This is after having bad luck - forced to sit in the sidelines for most of the year.

Yet he won the Sea Games gold in Indonesia last month but he does not want to get carried away...

He tells Mailsport that he will need at least another four to five months to be back in the business. Hopefully when London Olympics come, he'll be at his best. Not that a gold medal is expected but it's always good seeing our athletes do well.

Meanwhile please do read NST's MAU going nowhere fast! for a an understanding how the year has been for Malaysian athletics. 

In short, it falls short of the expectations.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Feliz Navidad!


Soak in the Christmas mood everyone. :)

Santa, where are you?.... Do you have my gift?

Here's a song for all....


Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's time to move... maybe

Safiq Rahim is a man on a mission - he wants one more season at Selangor before moving abroad.


However, it may not be Cardiff City, the club he had trials with last month.

The national skipper - who many got 'excited' of the prospect of him plying his trade in English football - never in fact had intentions of making a move to England. Instead he is eyeing a move to either Indonesia or Japan.

Scored this freekick when the Reds were down in KL

He needs to move abroad to improve. J- League would be the perfect platform. It is after all the best league in Asia. 

But lets not get carried away. Safiq still has a lot to do to warrant a move abroad but he certainly has the ablility to do so.. Help Selangor to a good season and continue his performance with the national team - and soon suitor will follow.

Read today's Mailsport for more.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lack of proper planning..... again!

What's new? - Nothing!

This year athletes had to choose between representing state at SUKMA or at the national schools meet (MSSM).

This didn't go too well with some parties as some opted for the MSSM instead. But of course there are two sides to a coin.

Read all about it here.

Things are unlikely to change but this time athletes will have to choose between representing state or country at school level.

Oh wait even NSC is not sure when SUKMA is going to be but the recently launched website states it will be July 5-14, 2012.

Even MoE is left in the dark over this.
If the two events clash, the ministry will enforce the ‘Students competing in tournaments organised by associations or national bodies’ circular dated Oct 11, 1995. Paragraph 3.2 of the circular states: “If a competition organised by an association or national body clashed with an MSSM competition, preference will be given for the MSSM as the student is required to represent his State at the MSSM and beyond (Asean, Asia etc),” said Education Ministry sports unit director Ee Hoong.
Haresh Deol has the story here.

Will there ever be proper planning?......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

No hope for Malaysian football

It seems Malaysia can dream about being a footballing nation. The standards of football here will not improve too.

Why? - simple, we lack the infrastructure.

Says who? - Lim Teong Kim (pic)


Some may ask who is this man?

He is arguably Malaysia's most accomplished man in football. Having played for Malacca, Selangor and KL in the M-League, he also enjoy a year stint at Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin. Today he is the assistant coach for Bayern Munich U-19.

Having been there and done that - who can better speak of the standards here than Teong Kim.

Understandably he is "sick and tired speaking of Malaysian football".

All this because "people here ask for advice but don't take whatever is given seriously". Sigh.

Teong Kim is every ready to lend a helping hand to our football scene but "no one seems to want it seriously"

Read what Teong Kim had to say in the Q&A session I had with him on Sunday where he laments lack of infrastructure - even the condition of the field at Victoria Institution was not spared.

Meanwhile it's interesting to note how times have changed.

Three decades ago, several Japan FA officials made a trip to Malaysia to learn more about our semi-pro league. 
Last weekend, three officials from FAM left for Japan to look at their professional league. 
Such is the irony.
Haresh Deol has the story on this here. Btw the way I love Karate Kid!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Put Emotions aside


Former karate exponent R. Puvaneswaran urges the current batch of athletes to put aside their emotions and concentrate on Karate for themselves and not their masters.

Exponents had previously threatened to walk out from the national stable if head coach P. Arivalagan was not retained. Puvanesvaran, ironically, was one of them.

But now, perhaps in the capacity of a coach, he wants the exponents to stay on.

"It is their career. They have to leave emotions of the picture. Coaches will come and go," he said.

Arivalagan and Puvaneswaran are unsure of their future as Makaf have yet to inform them anything. While Puvanesvaran looks likely to be retained, a huge question remains on Arivalagan's future....

Read what Puvanesvaran had to say here

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Rewards, Incentives... but save up for the future!


Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar believes that athletes are just given too much money as said here

Instead he wants athletes to save up for their future as said here.

While all the 'moolah' is being handed out for their success - what happens to them if they don't save up for their future? after all they have a short span at their earning peak before it all drops.

Then it'll depend on decisions taken during they heydays.

as Tunku Imran said.... "we certainly appreciate and value the dedication, sacrifice and hard work of our athletes but at the same time, we wish to inculcate in them the need to be thrifty and to save"

Thursday, December 15, 2011

It's all about the $$$?

Not according to Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak.

pic taken from The Malay Mail

Would Michael Owen, then poster boy of English football, move to a lower tier club if bogged by injury when at 24? Highly unlikely - unless it's impossible to play the way he used to play.

Would any national player do so in their respective countries? - I doubt so. 

But not in Malaysia - as the saying goes #onlyinMalaysia or Malaysia Boleh.

I'm not critising the move of the Abdul Razak twins. It could be just what they needed after a frustrating injury-filled year.

But I just don't see this happening much elsewhere. Aidil says It's not about the money but really?...

Armed Forces are said to have spent big bucks for the 2012 Premier League, FA Cup, and Malaysia Cup assault. They have signed eight players from Super League sides. 

Defence Minister  Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did not help by refusing to comment on their budget - stopping short of a strong statement

"Let's leave out how much we have spent - it won't be nice on other teams... We don't have to go into their contract details," he said.

I just hope no public funds were used.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Armed to conquer

Armed Forces could win the Premier League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup - they certainly have the players to do it. And even coach B. Satianathan.

Well that's just optimistically speaking.

pic taken from The Malay Mail

Malaysia Cup success would only mean more clubs would want to poach Hairuddin Omar - he has taken the Cup with him for the last three years. 

FA Cup - in England, this cup provides fairy-tale stories once in a while.... maybe Armed Forces will have a tale to tell too.

Premier League - no team will come close to them. They will march like how PKNS did this year. Anything besides Champions will be a disappointment. 

Satianathan has been given full mandate for their 2012 assault. He has signed several of 'his' players though the former Kelantan coach insists he will not favour any one of them.

Read what Satianathan has to say here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Surprise! Surprise!

The press conference held by Dr. Iskandar Abudllah did not go as expected.

Why?

I would love to pose the question to National Sport Council director general Datuk Zolkples Embong. It was he who spoke on Iskandar's behalf here and it certainly backfired.

Read the following story to enlightened yourself. Please enlighten me as well.


by VIJHAY VICK


KUALA LUMPUR

It has all the ingredients of a political game - only that the setting is the national athletic scene.

Yesterday, it was Malaysian Athletic Union's (MAU) out-going general manager Dr. Iskandar Abdullah's turn to jump into the arena. However, it did not go down as speculated to.

It was expected that Iskandar would reveal some insight information on the workings in MAU as National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolklpes Embong had told the press so a day earlier.

However, Iskandar denied the allegations by Zolkples and strongly stated that there is no office politics in his removal as general manager.

"Everthing was done is good faith and there is no bad blood between me and MAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim," said Iskandar.

Zolkples had told a Malay tabloid that Iskandar had called him regarding the matter and informed him that Karim had asked to cheat on several occasions and often took decisions against decision taken by the MAU council.

"Nothing of such happened. When I was asked to resign I was sad but accepted it with full gratitude. It was Karim who offered me this job as we had previously worked together," said the 55-year-old.

Iskandar begun work at MAU on August 1 this year after Karim convinced him to leave the government service.

However, there is suspicion as to his role in MAU despite being acknowledged as the new MAU  general manager by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

Despite being appointed by MAU, many were not aware of this. Infact the supposedly former general manager M. Latchumanam was still around.

It was Latchumanan who sent Karim's press statement to the media last week - in the capacity of MAU general manager.

"He was supposed to leave but was always around. I don't know what's the situation with him," said Iskandar.

Monday, December 12, 2011

No disrespect... but errr... and who is Dr. Iskandar?

I mean no disrespect to anyone with this post. Just my take or rather how I see things to appear. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Okay now that the formalities have been done, let's start.

Let's all admit, our national athletics scene is in a pathetic state. Forget the never ending drama between National Sports Council (NSC) and Malaysian Athletics Union (MAU). Results produced has been deteriorating. Perhaps partly due to the the on-going feud.

One thing is that MAU president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim and deputy president Karim Ibrahim have always been on the same page and both command each other's respect - just that one is more aggressive than the other. No prize in guessing who.

Karim did send out an Press Statement announcing a proposal to severe ties with NSC while Shahidan said MAU can't ditch NSC for National Sports Institute (ISN). I don't think both are saying the total opposite.

Some have got the whole idea of the proposal wrong.

Of course ISN cannot fund MAU and only NSC can do that. But what it probably meant was that for MAU to work directly with ISN who then liaises with NSC for funding. NSC should merely facilitate the channeling of funds.

Since NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong can't work with Karim, who is elected, this proposal should be given a go. Anyway more on this in time to come I hope.

Meanwhile something else has started within MAU - I see it as just politics and probably instigated by a third party - no reason for Zolkples to speak on someone's behalf.

Read here.

Was having a conversation with a fellow journalist, whose main bid is athletics, and we both were questioning who Dr. Iskandar Abdullah was. The MAU general manager? but what is the position of Latchumanan Manickam? - it was he who sent the Karim's press statement on Thursday - in the capacity of GM as stated in the email.

We were confused!

Anyway Iskandar is having a press conference later at 11.30am at the Commonwealth Hall in NSC.

I'm so 'excited' to know more that I can't sleep :p

Friday, December 09, 2011

Let's have a debate (continuation)

pic taken from The Malay Mail

So the national athletic body (MAU) wants the Sports Ministry to do away with the National Sports Council (NSC) and only work with National Sports Institute (ISN) and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

Karim does have valid points that ISN know better of the athletes' need. But with task of conducting medical research and etc already on their hands, won't it an extra burden on their shoulders.

Anyway OCM can help out too perhaps - that's the opinion of MAU.

Read here to know more of what Karim told me on Tuesday and here for the Press Statement sent by MAU last night.

Press Statement - MAU wants to get rid of NSC

Date: 08.12.2011

PRESS STATEMENT BY
DEPUTY PRESIDENT MALAYSIA AMATEUR ATHLETIC UNION
MR. KARIM IBRAHIM


PROPOSAL TO MAAU COUNCIL MEMBERS


JOINT VENTURE OF MALAYSIA AMATEUR ATHLETIC UNION / NATIONAL SPORTS INSTITUTE (ISN) TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF BOTH JUNIOR AND ELITE ATHLETES TOWARDS PREPARATION FOR MAJOR COMPETITIONS


It has been clearly indicated openly by YBhg Dato Zolkples Embong the Director General of National Sports Council of Malaysia that he cannot work with MAAU in particular with Mr. Karim Ibrahim the Deputy President, citing various reasons in the local electronic and written media continuously. 

Numerous forms of approaches had been made indirectly through the MAAU President YB Dato Seri’ Shahidan Kassim as well as sports enthusiast to amicably solve this ongoing fiasco, but unfortunately all the efforts turned futile.  Since it is realized that we are already at a dead end in seeking a solution on this matter, and that MAAU being the Association partly responsible for the development of athletics in this country, is committed to keep athletics alive.  On this perspective,


MAAU is seriously considering to joint venture with the more appropriate government agency i.e the National Sports Institute of Malaysia to ensure the implementation of a continuous development program without any unwarranted hindrance. 

One has to know that, this sort of unnecessary hindrance were not in existence before.  Way back in the late 70’s, where there was only a medical unit at the TPCA Kuala Lumpur, where NSA will use their expertise towards preparation for any major games.  During that time, there was not even a shadow of existence of the MSN until the early 80’s and ultimately providing financial assistance to NSA’s in the late 90’s.

Today athletics has grown far more advanced, with world records being shattered at almost every other major competition.  This is made possible through research and development in the field of Sports Science and Sports Medicine. Thus, today, it is globally accepted and proven after their respective countries achieved eye propping results in major competitions namely the Olympic Games. 

One has to realize that the following 3 major components that need to be linked to ensure the desired target or vision is achieved, namely:-

a.       Need to have the best potential athletes;
b.      Need to have the best knowledgeable an experienced coaches;
c.       Need to have the best sports medicine and sports science unit.

If all the above 3 components can unite and work hand in hand added with the government spending huge amount of money, be self assured that there is no way sports will fail in this country.

On this aspect, we have to admit that the National Sports Institute are well equipped with their technical and scientific knowledge, which will be of utmost assistance in terms of preparation to oversee the training program, treatment of injury, rehabilitation and immediate remedial measures towards the said preparation, which obviously the National Sports Council will certainly be unable to contribute.

Having said this, a proposal will be tabled to the MAAU Council, and MAAU will be the first Association to detach itself from the National Sports Council and adopt a new approach by working closely with the National Sports Institute Malaysia.  All proposals for the preparation of major games will be channeled through the NSI to the government.  To enhance more effective results, the Olympic Council of Malaysia will be appointed as a member of the committee to be set up by the NSI if it is agreeable by the Ministry of Sports Malaysia,

Thank you
Signed,

KARIM IBRAHIM
Deputy President
Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union
Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

c.c       i.          President MAAU

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Let's have a debate


When Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) - yes they have taken out the 'Amateur' - and National Sports Council (NSC) go to 'war' they often talk about different matters.

Like MAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim once told me - "I'm talking about apple, he's talking about pineapple"

Anyway that aside - an SMS where sent out regarding a supposed 'live debate' between NSC director general Datuk Zolkples Embong and Karim on a radio channel. That didn't materialise and Karim wasn't too happy with what the DG told 'Kerusi Panas' on Radio 24. SMS' were then sent out attacking Zolkples.

Well shall we get to the bottom of this? - and put an end to all the drama.

Why not you two have a debate? - have a go at each other and then let a third party come and play the mediator role.

Because as my colleague Haresh Deol puts it on Foul!, It's not funny anymore.

I did have a conversation with Karim yesterday, he is welcoming a debate. Zolkples, the ball is your court.

Meanwhile MAU is considering endorsing a proposal on how sports should be run in the country. If it's for the better then why not?

Sorry I can't say anything more as I'm waiting for The Malay Mail to carry it. And/Or maybe it will be up on Bottom Line soon.

It has some connection with a column carried by Utusan today - "persatuan sukan dan MOM boleh hidup and berdiri secara sendiri tanpa MSN tetapi MSN tidak boleh hidup tanpa persatuan sukan dan MOM"

In the meantime I hope there is a debate between Karim and Zolkples. I'll go grab popcorn and hope to get the best seats for the drama. Care to join me?

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Show us the hunger!

 pic taken from tenniselbowroom.files.wordpress.com

"Local tennis players will have to act as professionals if they want to play in the professional circuit,' said national tennis body's (LTAM) president Tan Sri Abdul Razak Latiff.

After facing criticism for only using one qualifying wildcard at the 2011 WTA Malaysian Open - reason being only one player (S. Theiviya) came forward and requested to play.

Jawariah Noordin (pic), arguably Malaysia's best women tennis player, was no where to be seen. It's long established that Jawariah and LTAM don't see eye-to-eye but let's not dwell too much into that.

Abdul Razak insist the selection process will be the same for the 2012 edition, only that this time national coach Deen Heesham will be selecting the national representative.

However there is a catch, those not under the national stable - like Jawariah - will have to come forward and approach LTAM. If not Deen will pick as he sees fit - surely those under LTAM will get the nod.

Step up Jawariah - let's have two national reps and quality ones too.

While the intentions of LTAM may be good - this concept or rather mindset has not been instilled in local athletes. Perhaps it's time to stop spoon feeding athletes.

In a way I agree with Abdul Razak - players must show hunger to play. 

Read all about it here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

"Thank you Kim Swee!"

pic taken from The Malay Mail

Klang-born D. Saarvindran vows to make the most of his contract extension with Harimau Muda.

After going for stints with Kim Swee's boys in 2010, he was told to lead Harimau Muda B in the Premier League instead of the A team in Super League - much to his disappointment.

Having already been HMB's best player in 2011, it was rumoured he was on his way out of the Young Tigers stable. A loan spell at Felda United in the Malaysia Cup did him good and found his way back in the Harimau Muda set-up - with the A squad.

This time he is where he wants to be and thanks Ong Kim Swee here.

Read on the 19-year-old midfield cum attacker here and here

Note. before going to Felda on loan he had signed for Selangor but a goalkeeping crisis meant they had to cancel his loan to make way for a keeper. Personally I feel it was a blessing in disguise. 

Sunday, December 04, 2011

".....as i see fit"

pic taken from The Malay Mail

You can find as much fault with Khairul Fahmi Che Mat as you want but the national custodian is having none it. It doesn't bother him when he steps onto the field.

At least that's the impression he gave the other day.

Some jumped at him over this. Well he performed exceptionally well at the Sea Games and WC qualifiers. Black Label to be made an official drink by his critics? - or shall we open a Blue Label?

Anyhow some may worry that Fahmi may suffer a burnout after a hectic year - with Kelantan, Raja's boys and Kim Swee's boys. But the Kelantanese is having none of it here.

I hope he has had sufficient rest as he says. Malaysia needs Fahmi, easily the best Malaysian goalkeeper in recent years

Thursday, December 01, 2011

National Football Awards - a small affair.

pic taken using BlackBerry

There were more empty seats than people at Holiday Inn, Glenmarie yesterday. Why?

There were more media personnel than players and club/state officials put together.

I'm beginning to think if the event was for 100plus or the players. Only four of the five award winning players turned up. Same was the case for last year's awards at Hilton.

Even K. Rajagopal and Ong Kim Swee were not around.

FAM deputy president is understandably disappointed with this.

Read The Malay Mail for more on the shambolic awards and what Tan Sri Annuar Musa had to say.

Maybe for next year's awards it should 
1.  be Held at night
2. in a more accessible venue
3. Get all the nominees to attend.
4. Each state FA/clubs to send representatives

Re-branding is definitely needed but will those involved willing to do so?
Also we cannot keep re-branding but nothing really changes.

Haresh Deol has his views here while NST carried it here

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

World class diving platforms???

Certainly not - but at least our national divers can jump off safer platforms from now on.

Pic taken from The Malay Mail

We have world class divers but it's a pity that for months they had to practice in dangerous conditions - one slip and they could have said goodbye to their careers...

Thankfully all that are now matters of the past but there remains one thing. The diving platforms do not meet the international standard for syncronised diving set by world aquatic body FINA.

pic taken from cheguabbas.blogspot.com

Follow the series of stories carried by The Malay Mail here, here, and here.

Merdeka Board Stadium (MSB) chairman Wan Nor Azninah Zaniby Wan Hashim, who previously was ever willing to talk, doesn't want to talk. 

Among her lines which humoured me before were - "Our government has no money" and "If The Malay Mail gives us money, we'll start work immediately".... hmmmm....

Anyway here's the latest from this episode. 

I wonder when will our synchonised divers be able to practice on international standard platforms - locally!

Bare in mind with the current situation, yet, Pandalela Rinong and Leong Mun Yee are already world class acts. Maybe they can be better... Maybe. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Air Asia dumbfounded (full version)

Here's what never made print.


by VIJHAY VICK
KUALA LUMPUR
IT is not the national team that will represent Malaysia at the FHE Cup in Perth later this week. Hence there is nothing wrong in entering a team as ‘Malaysia Air Asia’.

Those were the words of 1 MAS Project Director Lim Chiow Chuan when asked why such a team was entered.

“We are sending a development team and I don’t see any issue with this. We arranged participation for this tournament by ourselves (1 MAS),” said Chiow Chuan.

The matter was first brought to attention by former Mailsport reporter SS Dhaliwal in his blog. There it was revealed that the 1 MAS Programme still had to fork out approximately RM200 per ticket.

According to Chiow Chuan 1 MAS had wrote to Air Asia X, the long distance arm of low cost carrier Air Asia, requesting for sponsorship. The parties came to an understanding to enter a team as the above mentioned name in return for sponsorship of travel.

“They (Air Asia) wanted a return of investment and we agreed to use Air Asia in the team name. I don’t have to go into the details of the agreement,” added Chiow Chuan.

Entry into any foreign tournament comes under the purview of the Malaysian Hockey Federation. The Sports Development Act is clear on the usage of the wording Malaysia. One cannot commercialise the country’s name as they fit.

When pointed this fact, Chiow Chuan insisted that there is no issue with this and instead drew to the attention that such practice was common among club teams in Australia.

What he failed to realise is that such teams do not use the national flag of Australia. The team entered in the FHE Cup will use the Jalur Gemilang, as shown in the tournament’s official website.

This is not the first time such a situation had occurred. The national Under-18 team was entered as ‘Malaysia Air Asia’ for the Surjit Memorial Trophy in Punjab in 2009.

The ‘Malaysia Air Asia’ team will fly to Perth tonight (Tuesday) and will play a series of matches during the three-day tournament starting from Nov 25.


Air Asia’s response.

AIR Asia Commercial Director Jasmine Lee is in the dark over any deal to sponsor the 1 MAS Programme boys for the FHE Cup in Australia later this week.

When contacted, she was surprised that ‘Malaysia Air Asia’ been used for the tournament. She wasn’t aware that a deal with 1 MAS Programme had been struck.

“I can say officially that there is no such deal. This is the first time I’m hearing of it,” said Jasmine.

“All commercial matter involving sports have to go through my department. I’ve checked with the Air Asia X branch and Group CEO’s office. No one is in the know of any sponsorship with 1 MAS.”

Jasmine also added that it is not a norm for a company’s name to be used as the team name, more so one that is representing Malaysia.

“It is only when we (Air Asia) are title sponsors that our name appears, like the Air Asia Asean Basketball League (ABL). Otherwise it is usually just the logo on the attire,” she added.

“I will have to call the Malaysian Hockey Federation and clarify the matter.”

Jasmine highlighted the fact that Air Asia sponsors the Philippines Patriots in ABL but Air Asia’s branding in not on the team name. According to her, such a move is not part of the airlines’ policy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Air Asia dumbfounded

How is it that Air Asia's commercial department know nothing about 'Malaysia Air Asia' being entered into a Under-16 hockey tournament in Australia?

Here's a story that will probably never make print. Why? - go do the maths yourself.

pics taken from blog.airasia.com

It was first reported by SS Dhaliwal here. I merely got response from the low cost carrier and spoke to 1 Mas project director Lim Chiow Chuan. 

(pls read the link above before proceeding)

Malaysia Air Asia has been entered for the FHE Cup in Perth this weekend. Chiow Chuan insists this is not a national team. Then why use the national flag and create a misconception?

Anyway what puzzled me is the response from Air Asia. I had a pleasant conversation with their Commercial Director Jasmine Lee, who was very accommodating to me.



“I can say officially that there is no such deal. This is the first time I’m hearing of it,” she said
.
“All commercial matters involving sports have to go through my department. I’ve checked with the Air Asia X branch and Group CEO’s office. No one is in the know of any sponsorship with 1 MAS.”

Jasmine also added that it is not a norm for a company’s name to be used as the team name, more so one that is representing Malaysia.

“It is only when we (Air Asia) are title sponsors that our name appears, like the Air Asia Asean Basketball League (ABL). Otherwise it is usually just the logo on the attire,” she added.

Anyone care to explain what's going on with 1 Mas here?

Anyway why bother, we live in a world where money talks bullshit walks. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Malaysian 'fans' expect too much

pic taken from ecofrenone.files.wordpress.com

So it's already well reported that Malaysia lost in the Olympic Qualifiers group match last night.

Read here and here for that. Simply put, fatigue played a role too.

However, some fans are just waiting to criticise the team for this and that - mind you these are fans who had just jumped onto the bandwagon, and before the SEA Games probably only knew Safee Sali and Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.

Had a conversation with one yesterday. One who watched the entire match, while I only saw bits of it due to other commitments.

Anyway this one is for you!

I was told Malaysia played badly, couldn't string passes together, couldn't hold the ball at all... in short a disappointment. All this I was told in comparison to how they played against Indonesia at the SEA Games final.

When i tried to explained things, there wasn't a healthy debate. Instead, I was told I couldn't talk because I didn't see the full game. Well now I have. Ready? - anyway my side remains unchanged.

Don't get me wrong please, I'm not defending Ong Kim Swee or Harimau Malaya. Just stating facts and opinion.

First of all we shouldn't be expecting instant success - to which i was told at least we should be able to pass the ball well. Granted Harimau Malaya do not have the best of passing.

Since Malaysia won the Asean Cup last year, interest in the national team has been peaking. Sadly, people want the Tigers to suddenly have fluid moves and be entertaining. Cannot la!

Against Indonesia, it was a regional battle. It is a much easier battle compared to Syria. We have moved from competing in SEA to the Asian stage. We cannot be expecting too much. Progress has to be step by step.

Btw FIFA World Rankings put Syria at 115 while Malaysia is at 151. Ok that's for senior sides but at least it can serve as an indicator.

The boys were tired. You can't play your best barely 48hours after playing a final that went into extra time and then penalties. Even European clubs and nations don't do that. But yet you expect Malaysia to play the same level in both matches, and against stronger opponents?

Okay one last thing. Since you at the very least expect the same type of passing? Think of this - when Manchested United played Chelsea they dominated the match with excellent passing. Yet when they played Barcelona in the Champions League final, I hate to admit this but they were totally outclassed, couldn't get their passes right, etc.

Same difference!

Yet, even with all the above said words I doubt it will be accepted by some. Well I'm not interested in a debate anymore. Have said what I wanted to say.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In the shadows

It seems that after Malaysia won the SEA Games football final - everything else during the Games didn't matter

No one cared about the other gold medals won. Why? The football medal was the mother of all gold medals.

While many 'worship' the team, it must be noted that the 11 men on the field was merely another contributor to Malaysia's gold medal tally. Btw anyone took interest in medals tally after 'that' gold medal? Nope! I for one didn't hear anyone talk about it.

 Here's the medal tally 

I feel for the other 58 medals contributor. Suddenly their achievement didn't matter to most outside their respective sports. 

One athlete contacted me asking if it was true the footballers were getting RM30,000 each for their effort, while the rest are only getting RM 10,000.

Yes, they are getting RM30,000 for each member of the team. However, it is from the FA of Malaysia itself and not the Government or National Sport Council (NSC). I hope the players don't get spoilt though.

I long for the day Malaysian football reach greater heights. The SEA Games to me is just a stepping stone - not goal itself. Being best in the region should be nothing great - considering we have more resources than most countries in South East Asia. 

Because our football has been in the dumps before 2009, this SEA Games is a big achievement. 

Because so the plight of our 4x400m relay team is quickly forgotten. I hope sincerely hope the culprits for their medal bungle are made known.

Pic taken from NST

Food for thought : Why is that winning the football gold medal in Olympics seen as just another gold medal and not much hype? but for the SEA Games it is everything.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Indonesia v Malaysia - the ugly truth


I'll have to admit I never gave Malaysia a chance of defending their SEA Games title. Not often am I glad to be proven wrong but this time I'm more than DELIGHTED...

However, this victory has been marred by the death of two Indonesian fans with several others injured. While our papers will be filled with the young Tigers' moments of glory, it must not be forgotten that as much as football is a beautiful game it can be an ugly game too. Those two did not have to lose their lives.

Read here on the death of Reno and an unidentified victim.

It's has been said that keys to the ambulance were lost. The Jakarta Globe reported the ambulance, carrying both the bodies, could not get out of the stadium due to the crowd and cars. I hope the Indonesian press highlight and get a response to this.

Read here for Mazidul Akmal Sidik's version of what's going on in Indonesia.

For the Malaysian team, all work begins from here. Where do we go next? 
We have proven that we are the best football side in the region at this level yet again. Now we need to build on this and dominate the region. The Tigers had won the Asean Cup last year but Singapore raised questions to our strength - Let's go and defend the Cup next year. 

Back to the match, it was largely disappointing, unlike what Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told TV3. Ong Kim Swee's boys did good to create chances but finishing was lacking.

They must forget about this victory and concentrate for the 2012 Olympic qualifying group match against Syria on Wednesday. While qualifying  may be an arduous task, a good performance is needed to move forward.

Dear Kim Swee, please drop Ahmad Fakri Saarani for he could have cost Malaysia the SEA Games gold medal. Not only did he miss several sitters but also missed a penalty that added nerves to us Malaysians. Certainly the leading candidate for the worst player of the match 'award'.

On a side note it was good seeing Malaysians from all walks of life cheering on the young Tigers on. My twitter timeline was filled with updates of the match. Even to the penalty kicks. It's 3.53am now and I still see tweets regarding the match. Who says we no longer care of our local sports scene?

Anyone noticed the empty stands at the Gelora Bung Karno after the final whistle? At least no uncivillised lot was booing the national anthem of another country - like the Indonesian fans had done to Malaysia in various sports during the Games.

eh stop scratching your balls la. Not in public at least

Food for thought : Why is it that the very same people who claim there is no interest in local sports taking interest of it on social sites? 

I'm dumbfounded on this. Anyone?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Malaysia v Indonesia (Nov 21)

oh no it's Paul at his best. Eh wait didn't Paul die already?

Anyway lets all hope the above is not how the SEA Games football final ends up.

It promises to be a cracker - both on and off the field - for both good and bad reasons.

So Gelora Bung Karno will be hostile as usual - boing the Negaraku, insulting our players and fans, showing vulgar signs and perhaps also threatening the safety of Malaysians. 

Unruly lot? Yes. Are we any better? Nope!

This brings me back to the Pre-World Cup qualifiers we had not too long ago where we played Singapore. The return leg was at Bukit Jalil. While Singapore's national anthem was being played, Malaysian fans, not all i must say, booed and insulted Singapore.

After Singapore had progressed on aggregate, Singapore fans were held back for more than an hour fearing their safety may be compromised had they been allowed to leave early. In fact there we a certain group of fans throwing all sorts of insults and threatening to burn them as they walk out of the stadium. 

So why is it that many are talking about our national anthem being booed? Malaysia does it too. 

Btw I'm curious as to how the players will be transported to the stadium tomorrow. Amoured tankers again? - ala the Asean Cup 2010 final.

One thing for sure should Malaysia win, we'll all have a story to tell.

Go get em' Tigers

Saturday, November 19, 2011

.....and it can only get Worst

I just received a text from Mazidul Akmal Sidik, referring me to his blog.


Some 1300 SEA Games volunteers were told by SMS that their services were no longer required despite having a contract till Nov 22. - some400 took matters into their own hands and gathered in front of the media centre.

Now the entire SEA knows - unless of course they've been living in timbuktu and have no access to what's happening around.

This called for the presence of security forces around Media Centre to prevent any unruly behaviour. 

They now demand to be paid in full and for the Games committee to be transparent.... or else they will gather in front of the media centre again.

Despite many wanting to forget this Games, it will be the most remembered - for all the wrong reasons that is. 
Besides basic facilities, the fundamentals as host is missing. 

1. A Malaysian photographer not allowed into athletes area for aquatics - when it has not been an issue previusly. Read it here - there's more to it.
2. Mix up of flag as seen here.
3. Fans disrespecting our Negaraku. - well honestly we deserved this. Malaysian fans booed Singapore's national anthem during the pre-World Cup qualifying match in Bukit Jalil not too long ago.
4. Stadium emcee taking the mic to cheer on Indonesia against Malaysia - now that's a first. No class!

*all this are based on what I heard from my fellow members of the Media who are in either Palembang or Jakarta, frustrated and shocked.

My guess is Indonesia can dream of hosting a sport bigger then the SEA Games as they have failed to showcase capability during this regional games.

On a side note, cheer Malaysia on later at 5pm when we play Myanmar for a place in the SEA Games football final.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Blame Rajemah, NSC and OCM

MAAU

So Karim Ibrahim says he and MAAU are not to be blamed for the S. Kannathasan, P. Yuvaaraj, Schzuan Ahmad Rosely, Mohd Yunus Lasaleh being unable to collect their 4x400m men's relay.

Read what Karim told The Malay Mail here. Read this and that too. 

Yea right!

It's always easier pointing fingers at others. How convenient!

Dear MAAU, please clean-up - everyone, athletes included, are fed up with how the association is being run.