Sunday, August 30, 2009

Antony Lee is now Vice President of WISPA

Antony Lee (picture), who failed in his bid to win the top post of Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) in 2006, has been elected as the Vice President of World International Squash Players Association (WISPA).

Antony, 40, son of the late Tan Sri Alex Lee, was elected during the WISPA Annual General Meeting which was held in Singapore on 8 August 2009.

At the meeting, Antony who is the CEO of AIG-Global Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, was also re-elected to serve as board member of WISPA, a recognition to his leadership qualities and also his contribution to squash. He was appointed to the board in May 2007.

AIG Global Services is MSC Status Company that was set up in 1998 as a joint venture between AIG and Software International. The company began by providing Information Technology services for AIG's worldewide operations from Kuala Lumpur.

Antony joined AIG-Software International in January 2004 and subsequently was made CEO in March 2005. Prior to this, Antony was a senior architecht at Llewenlyn-Davis, a large UK based practice, where he worked on major hospital and airport projects including University College London Hospital (UK) and BBC Headquarters Projects in London.

Antony graduated from University College London in UK with a Bachelor of Science degree. In, addition he holds a Diploma in Architecture from the same University.

He served as Vice President of SRAM from 2004-2006 as well as Chairman of Squash Racquets Association of Federal Territory from 2005-2006.

At the 2006 SRAM elections, affiliates who wanted to see a change in the national body, nominated Antony to challenge the incumbent President Dato' A. Sani Karim. Sani won, mostly with the backing of close friend and Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) President, Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar.

According to a source, Tunku Imran also covinced Sani to change his stand from wanting a change to maintaining status quo during the last OCM elections.

As a result of that, said the source again, Sani has been given an indication that he would be given the OCM Deputy President's post and eventually the number one position.

It surely is good to see another Malaysian contributing to sports at the world scene. Maybe someday Antony would consider contesting a post in OCM, to carry on his father's desire to improve the image of the olympic body.

Alex Lee was passionately involved in squash and when he was the President, Malaysia became of force in the sport with two world junior champions - Nicol Ann David and Ong Beng Hee.

Tan Sri Alex was Vice President of OCM. He died during a scuba diving accident in Papua New Guinea on 31 October 1999.

Meanwhile, board members of WISPA are elected each year at the WISPA Annual General Meeting and the members give their time on an honorary basis to oversee the affairs of the association.

The WISPA Board Members for 2009-2010 are:
Natalie Grainger (President)
Jaclyn Hawkes (Vice President)
Antony Lee (Vice President)
Ingrid Loftdahl-Bentze (Chairman)
Blair Keller
Line Hennsen
Suzie Pierrepont

Friday, August 28, 2009

Merdeka day jottings

On Monday we would be celebrating our 52nd Merdeka day and we have many reasons to be excited about it. In many areas the future looks good for our nation. Anyway, I just want to write something about sports.

During events like this one would obviously like to take a look at the past and try to hope for a better future. For sports to have a wonderful future, we have to take a hard look at some current issues and find solutions.

To find solutions, we need people capable of doing that, and for now, probably that would be an important matter to attend to. I believe we have enough "evidence" that show us there are big problems in sport but we do not have a method or people to solve it. To add to this, we have a culture of not disturbing the status quo.


Local badminton hero Dato' Lee Chong Wei lost in the World Championship held in Hyderabad, India recently. Many asked me how can some one who loses all the important events, but wins all the smaller ones continue to be number one ranked in the world.

Well, in badminton its actually a game of calculation, numbers and, of course, money. To be number one, a player has to win the most number of tournaments.

Therefore it does not matter if one wins Macau Open and all the lesser opens in the circuit and fails at World Championship, Olympic and All England. All he has to do it to make sure he gets into the quaterfinals of the major events to have the points needed.

The likes of Lin Dan (China) and Taufik Hidayat can be World, Olympic and All England champions but Chong Wei, who is sent to almost all the tournaments, will be world number one.
That is how the system works.

But why would any player be smilling even he loses the main events but holds on to the number one ranking? Well thanks to Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) he will smile all the way to the bank.

According to the rewards system in BAM, a player who maintains his world ranking will receive Rm45,000 every three months. Just be number one and be happy. So, it looks like an insentive to be number one, not to win big events like the World Championship.

Are you surprised? Well what do you expect from an organization that hires local players without proper qualification (certificates and so on) as coaches? Ex-starts like Datuk Misbun Sidek and his brother Rashid can be used effectively in other areas such as at grassroots, schools and districts.

Recently, some worries were expressed as to the state of squash in the country with no apparent talent that could take over from the likes of Dato' Nicol Ann David. Some even warned the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) to learn from the Singapore experience.

Many parents are complaning that council member's children are given priority and their sons and daughters left out. Some are planning to leave the sport. I just hope that Dato' A. Sani
Karim and the other businessmen in SRAM are aware of this problem.

Sani is a leader who expects perfection. In sports we need passion as well. While credit should be given to Sani for making the management more effective but, now more than ever, squash needs a passionate and hands-on person to take a deep look at the needs at schools, district and state level.

In football, for some time now critics have asked Sultan Ahmad Shah to step down as Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) President . There are those who blame Tuanku for the state of football in the country. Since no one has suggested who the replacement should be, I would not touch on that issue - for now.

But my "Merdeka wish" for FAM is - please get a foreign coach for the national team and another foreigner to be the Director of Coaching to oversee the other national age group teams.

FAM cannot select national coaches based on performances in the local league. This is because the standard is far different and many of the coaches lack proper international exposure.

FAM was upset when former national coach, B. Sathianathan criticised the standard of our league. Actually, in a way, he was right. The junior teams also need to be supervised by foreign experts so that when the move up to the senior team, they are matured players.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), as usual, puts up a all-is-well front and gives statements about Laos and other places. But, until now OCM cannot have its sub committees functioning although it three months and three board meetings have passed since the last AGM.

A new ruling requires all those interested to serve in committees to apply, and if approved, they will be put into a committee. Every one knows that this is a move to keep people like M.P. Haridas and Latifah Tan Sri Yaakob from being involved in any way.

Haridas has already applied. We will wait and see if he is selected.

This is happening in an organization that is supposed to spread the core values of Olympism. One of the core values is RESPECT. What kind of respect is this?

Many expected Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to make drastic changes when he took over as the President of Malaysia Hockey Federation (MHF). I believe Tuanku did not act fast enough to make changes and now the situation looks bad.

But, it is not too late. Tuanku can still remove the trouble makers and bring in passionate and experienced people to help in improving the image of hockey.

What can we do to improve sports in Malaysia? Well maybe its time for a Sports Commission to be responsible for the management of sports. This commission, probably under the PM himself, will have the powers to tackle all problems and bring the focus of the National association to doing what they are supposed to do in the first place - developing sport.

For so long some sports bodies are hiding behind some international provision that prevent any form of intervention in their affairs. I believe thiese rules are to protect sports from being manipulated for political gains, not to keep rotten officials in office.

Well, will we are celebrating our Independence anniversary day lets also give some thoughts as to how we can move on.

Rest In Peace Kapten Halim

Halim in charge at the centre. Picture from Loose Cannon.

Last night I received an sms informing about the sudden demise of Kapten (B) Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, one of the nations prominent referee. He was 47.

The former FIFA referee, who was also the Sports Officer at UNIMAP University passed away at 9.25pm at the Kangar Hospital in Perlis. He was admitted to the hospital about a month ago. Halim was an assistant referee at the FIFA World Cup in France'98.

He leaves behind wife Wan Manirah Wan Mustafa and four children, Nur Alya Haifa, Mohd Shah Iskandar, Nurul Aisya and Hani Hilmi.

According to fellow blogger Rizal Hashim, Halim was the assistant referee when Kim Milton Nielsen sent David Beckham off after the incident with Diego Simeone in the famous England-Argentina clash in St Etienne. Simeone later admitted he conned the referee into the decision.

Our deepest condolences to the family of Kapten Halim.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vietnam preparing well

Vietnam will begin their preparation for the SEA Games in Laos at the end of the year with a trip to China from 14-24 Sept 2009.

While there, the Vietnam Under-23 team will be playing two friendly matches against local teams as part of head coach Henrique Calisto’s effort to shortlist the squad of 30 players that he has currently.

Following their return from China, the U23 squad will then head to Laos in mid-October for the pre-SEA Games football tournament against hosts Laos, Thailand’s U23 and Malaysia U23.

After the pre-SEA Games, the team will then return to Vietnam where they have lined up a match against South Korea’s Chunnam Dragons on 21 October.

And just prior to their departure to Laos on 28 November, the team will be taking part in the VFF Cup in Hanoi on 3-7 November against Olympic China, Singapore U23 and Thailand U23.

For the SEA Games, Calisto, from Portugal, will be assisted by Tran Van Khanh, Nguyen Duc Thang, Phan Thanh Hung and Ngo Le Bang. _ AFF.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sultan Selangor Penaung Kriket Melayu

DYMM Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah telah menerima warkah pelantikan sebagai Penaung Persatuan Kriket Melayu Malaysia daripada presiden baru persatuan, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid di Istana Alam Shah, Klang pada 25 Ogos 2009.

Turut hadir dalam majlis ringkas penyerahan warkah berkenaan ialah dua Naib Presiden Kriket Melayu, Datuk Ar. Mir Shahariman Shaharuddin dan Tan Sri Mohd. Zahid Noordin serta setiausaha agung, Rosmanizam Abdullah.

Majlis Kriket Melayu telah memutuskan pelantikan DYMM Sultan Selangor itu dalam mesyuarat majlis 31 Mac 2009 di Bayuemas Oval, Klang berpandukan peraturan 23 perlembagaan persatuan.

Sedikit perubahan jawatan berlaku dalam kepemimpinan Kriket Melayu selepas kemangkatan
DYMM Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman 27 Disember 2008 yang memegang jawatan presiden sejak tahun 1994.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Rugby in Olympics: The Malaysian Connection

With the inclusion of Rugby into the Olympic programme, the sport seems to have gain a new standing in some parts of the world.

Already many national rugby associations have put up long term plans with the hope that their team will be among the history-makers in the 2016 games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently announced that Rugby 7s and Golf would be part of the 2016 games programme.

Rugby's inclusion is surely a victory for the International Rugby Board (IRB) which worked very hard to convince IOC that their sport deserves to be in the games.

The IRB's plan was to get all the regional bodies involved and among the hardest working group was the Asian Rugby Football Union (ARFU) of which, Malaysia's Ramesh Lachmanan (picture) was actively involved. Looks like there was a Malaysian connection in Rugby's victory.

Ramesh is the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysia Rugby Union (MRU) and also the council member of ARFU, in addition to being a member of the committee entrusted to create awareness about Rugby's plans to be in the Olympic Games.

"The ARFU committee compiled data from all 26 member countries and passed it on to IRB and the world body came up with an excellent document that was submitted to IOC," said Ramesh, an ex-international who started playing Rugby in 1984 in Klang High School.

Besides the push to get the sport into the Olympics, Ramesh, 38, was also involved in lobbying for the World Cup to be held in Asia. In July 2009, the IRB officially accepted the bid by Japan to host the 2019 World Cup, thanks to the support by ARFU.

"Now Asia is getting the attention and we believe it will go a long way in making Rugby, especially the 7s, a popular sport in the continent,"said Ramesh who now has a close relationship with IRB Regional Development Director, Jarrad Gallagher and the Secretary General of ARFU, Ross Mitchell.

Because of his contribution to ARFU and also his close ties with the top officials, Ramesh has been appointed Judicial Officer for ARFU Tournaments, the first non expat to be given the honor.

Malaysia also is expected to gain with the new status of Rugby as an Olympic sport. For a start the ARFU has recognised the Borneo 7s that will be held in Kota Kinabalu (31 Oct-1 Nov) as a Asian 7s Circuit Event. The top 12 teams in Asia will participate in this tournament.

"We are working towards getting the Borneo 7s to be given Satelite event status, just like the Hong Kong 7s. Once that happens, we will see great things happening in our local Rugby secene," said Ramesh, a lawyer.

Ramesh has one ambition - to have Rugby played professionally in Malaysia. "It is not impossible. Now we have over 200 clubs all over the country and many are already having foreign players and at their own expenses. The leagues are also active.

"I believe the foundation is already there and Rugby is a popular sport in schools and most districts. I am sure Malaysia will have a pro league in the near future," added Ramesh who represented the country from 1990-2005.

"We in MRU will surely work hard to improve Rugby. Our President (Datuk Muhiddin Abdullah) is a very committed leader."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Malay Cricket to MCA: Accept out candidates

The Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia (MCAM) wants to know why their candidates were never selected to attend Curators' courses organized by Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and other organizations.

MCAM Secretary General, Rosmanizam Abdullah (picture), in his letter to the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA), asked why this is so even though their venue, Bayueman Oval has always hosted international events.

"There was even an Advance Curators course held in Bayuemas. I do not know why candidates from Malay Cricket have never been given an opportunity to attend any of the courses," said Rosmanizam in his letter to MCA Honorary Secretary, S, Sivanandan, Saturday.

"I therefore appeal to MCA to consider two of our trainee curator at Bayuemas Oval to attend c ourses by the Asian Cricket Council or any other organizations," said Rosmanizam.
According to Rosmanizam, both the trainee curators are former Under 19 players who are still playing but have chosen a career which they understand. They are Hafiz Zaman Huri and Fauzi Ariffin.

"Since the opening of Bayuemas Oval on 21 October 2004, Malay Cricket have asked for support for these courses but yet to get a favourable response. MCA should stop sending foreigners who work in Malaysia to attend these courses because it does not bring any long term gain for cricket," added Rosmanizam.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Another velodrome. For whom?

Azizulhasni (left) receiving his reward from Ahmad Shabery at a ceremony yesterday.

The Youth and Sports Ministry wants an Olympic-standard indoor velodrome to be built under the 10th Malaysian Plan (2011-2105).

Its minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said cost and location had not been determined yet but the ministry was seriously pursuing the matter and, if given the nod, construction could begin in 2011.

"If it can be ready by the London Olympics of 2012, it will be source of pride for us and serve as an inspiration to Malaysian cyclists to strive for the country's first Olympic gold at the London Games," he said.

While it is good to have a world class facility for cycling, the ministry must also look into the development aspect of cycling, an area that needs a major re-thinking.

Most states are having second thoughts about producing track cyclist because once a rider achieves a certain standard, he would be roped in by the National Sports Council (NSC) under the elite or junior programmes.

These riders, who are well taken care by the NSC, would be almost fully involved in international competitions and overseas trainning stints. That leaves the states without their top riders for most of the season.

An understanding has to be worked out with the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) and its affiliates whereby the NSC can take the riders, but allow them to represent the states in domestic as well as international meets.

Although having world-class cyclists, Malaysia now only have two open-air velodromes, in Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh, Perak.

Ahmad Shabery had earlier presented cash rewards on behalf of the ministry to national cyclists for winning two gold, two silver and two bronze at the 29th Asian Cycling Championship held in Kalimantan, Indonesia last week.

Terengganu-born Mohd Azizulhasni Awang received a total of RM13,333 for winning two gold at the meet, in the individual 200m sprint and team sprint.

Others who received the incentives were Mohd Rizal Tisin (RM8,333), Fatehah Mustapha (RM6,000), Mohamad Hafiz Mohamed Sufian (RM5,000) and Muhammad Edrus Md Yunos (RM3333).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Future OCM President

Any talk about transition is normally brushed aside because many of those who hold positions in sports bodies cannot accept the fact that there are others who can do a better job than them. Maybe some can, but most cannot.

But the fact of the matter is that people are now fed up with the state of sports in the country. Change is needed and now its the time to talk and discuss about it - transparently and sincerely. I know I am asking to much by mentioning those two important elements.

However, as these changes are slowly begining to take place a different associations, I see that there are also hints about future leaders of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), which has the responsibility to spread the core values of Olympic Movement - Excellence, Friendship and Respect.

You may be wondering why this story and why at this time. Well, I will write about that later. But for now, let see who are those who would make a good President for OCM. Presently Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar holds the post.

Many officials feel that Ms Low Beng Choo (picture, left) is a good choice as a presidential candidate in the future. The 51 year old Consultant of a Legal Firm, has plenty of experience as an athlete, administrator and also involvement at the highest level of sport.

Ms Low, who was actively involved in netball, hockey, track and field and softball at school level, is currently the Vice President of OCM and in charge of the Women and Sport Committee. She is also the President of Softball Association of Malaysia (SAM) and the Deputy Secretary General of the international body.

She is well accepted by Goverment and is an active member of the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) to the Minister of Youth and Sports since 2004.

She is also a familiar figure at the international scene holding influential positions at Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), International Softball Association (ISA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC).

Many feel that she would be the best choice to be an IOC Member in future. But, above all that she would really bring the change that many are hoping would take place, a change in attitude, more transparent, having respect for people and so on.

Also, it is the IOC desire to see more women leaders in the Olympic movement. In fact at its last meeting the IOC insisted that womens boxing be included in the Olympics.

Indonesia already has a women, Madam Rita Subowo as its president. Maybe its time for that to take place in Malaysia also.

If Ms Low is a presidential candidate, then how about the Honorary Secretary's post? Who would be the one to bring that post to greater heights? Well, many names are being mentioned but the rising star who is said to capable of running OCM well is Rosmanizam Abdullah (picture, right).

Rosmanizam, 49, is currently the Assistant Treasurer of OCM and the General Secretary of the Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia (MCAM), one of the few sports bodies in Malaysia which has strong finances.

Rosmanizam has been involved in many oragnizations such as trade unions and cooperatives also cycling for more than tow decades. Soon, he is expected to be involved in another sport, which wanted his expertise in developing it.

Well, even if the past has been messy, the future looks good.

Isu PBKL semakin panas

Pengasas Persatuan Berbasikal Kuala Lumpur (PBKL) Daud Abu Kassim (gambar) menegaskan bahawa Haji Jaafar Sidek, yang mempengerusikan mesyuarat agung 25 Julai lalu, bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya jika Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia (PPSM) mendapati dokumen-dokumen yang dikemukakan telah diselewengkan.

"Mesyuarat Agung Tiga Tahun Sekali itu sudah selesai tetapi tidak bererti ianya sah, apatah lagi ia melanggar peraturan-peraturan perlembagaan yang berkuatkuasa. Saudara bertanggungjawab jika dokumen yang dikemukakan kepada PPSM diselewengkan," kata Daud dalam suratnya kepada Haji Jaafar Sidek, bertarikh 20 Ogos.

Daud menyifatkan status PBKL kini seperti "gantung tidak bertali dan seterusnya mencabar Haji Jaafar kerana tidak mempersoalkan kenapa Pemangku Setiausaha, Haji Fazin Saad mengeluarkan notis mesyuarat agung bertarikh 10 Julai 2009 tanpa mendapat persetujuan majlis terlebih dahulu.

"Selain itu, saya tetap mencabar saudara (Haji Jaafar) berlandaskan Fasal 7.1, 7.2, Fasal 8, Fasal 14.2 dan 14.3 peruntukkan perlembagaan," tegas Daud yang mendakwa Haji Jaafar tidak mempunyai komitmen yang baik terhadap PBKL selama ini.

Daud seterusnya membidas kumpulan yang telah memutarbelit dan memanipulasi perlembagaan bagi kepentingan diri semata-mata.

"Saya difahamkan mengenai usaha-usaha pihak saudara dan beberapa orang lagi yang mempengaruhi pegawai-pegawai kanan DBKL untuk menerima tawaran jawatan tetapi, tawaran itu sendiri melanggar perlembagaan PBKL dari sudut legalitinya.

"Ini adalah undang-undang Akta Pembangunan Sukan 1997 yang harus dipatuhi, bukan dipolitikkan," kata beliau lagi.

Menurut Daud, politikking dalam PBKL amat serius hingga seorang pegawai lama, Adnan Abdullah yang hadir pada mesyuarat agung tidak dipedulikan atau dicalonkan sedangkan tujuh orang yang tidak hadir diberi keistimewaan.

"Ini memalukan seorang kawan yang telah sekian lama berjuang bersama PBKL."

Sementara itu, Daud menasihat Haji Jaafar, selaku pesara DBKL, untuk memastikan DBKL tidak membatalkan Perjanjian Mengurus dan Mentadbir Velodrom Kuala Lumpur, setelah ambil kira sejarah bagaimana DBKL tauliahkan PBKL untuk mengurus dan mentadbir gelanggang itu.

"DBKL telahpun menyatakan bahawa pergolakkan yang berlaku ini sedang dalam perhatian. Melihat segala hal ini, saya selaku pengasas sejak 1979, labelkan saudara (Haji Jaafar), Haji Fazin Saad. Firdaus Arshad, Musairi Musa, Umar Ibrahim dan Ramlan Mohd Said sebagai perosak PBKL," tambah Daud lagi.

Dalam perkembangan lain, difahamkan pihak PPSM sedang menunggu dokumen-dokumen Maklumat Yang Kena Beri (MYKB) sebelum memutuskan kesahihan mesyuarat agung tiga tahun sekali PBKL.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lets have a National Sports Hall of Fame

A Hall of Fame is a museum where potraits, memorabilla or belongings of people who have excelled in a particular sphere are kept. To be inducted into a Hall of Fame means one is given recognition for his or her contribution in a particular field.

For Malaysia, a Sports Hall of fame would be an institution that appreciates the high achievements of athletes and excellent contributions of officials at all levels.

Obviously, a certain standard must be attained before a person can be inducted in any hall of fame. The natural standard would be an involvement in sports for more than 20 years, and winning medals at the highest level possible.

Presently, there is a Sports Museum and Hall of Fame at Wisma OCM in Jalan Hang Jebat in Kuala Lumpur. Many athletes, officials and pertsonalities have been inducted into it. Well done.

But many names are not there and I had asked why former soccer administrators like Koe Ewee Teik and Dato' Teoh Chye Hin were not in the Hall of Fame. I was told it was because they have passed away. But one look at the names there, one would notice many names of people who are also not around now.

I suggested that Datuk T. Paul Murugasu should be inducted and after some thoughts, the former FAM Honorary Secretary was included. Former Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretsary, Datuk Peter Velappan has also been inducted.

I also inquired why people like Teh Jin Swee and Shuaib Kassa (badminton), Ahmad Tajuddin (sepaktakraw) were not inducted and I was told that because nobody knows where they are and some other strange reasons.

Ms Vivian Soars (picture: from Level Field) who passed away last week has not been inducted even though her name was proposed before. The others from women's hockey who should also be considered are the late Dorothy Sibert Bailey and Mrs Teh Jin Swee.

Some one asked why are people like K.Rasalingam and S. Anthonysamy not included and the answer given was they were active at state level. Everyone who know something about sports is asking that grassroots be given priority because the achievements of athletes and teams at international level depends alot on the contributions of those at grassroots.

I believe a school teacher like A. Trappadi who worked tirelessly at his level to produce on medal winning athlete like B. Rajlkumar, should be given due recognition. He should be above those who only win elections to stay in office.

Anyway, its a waste of time talking, arguing and listening to excuses which change seasonaly. It is a total waste of time.

Therefore, I feel the time has come for the Youth and Sports Ministry, together with organizations like Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) to put up a National Sports Hall of Fame that will truly appreciate all these great people people.

This Hall of Fame must be managed by a group of people who follow sports with passion.

We must know to differentiate between the levels of sports. In some sports we can excell to a high level mainly because only 50 countries play the sport. But in sports like athletics, football and cycling, which is actively participated by almost the whole world, the standard is different.

The same goes for boxing where SEA Games is almost world standard with countries like Indonesia and Philippines having world champions in different weight divisions.

We cannot expect a boxer to win silver medal at the Olympics before he can qualify to be with some badminton players.

I hope that a Hall of Fame that appreciates all these facts would become a reality soon.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The new Mr. SAM

Berita Harian's Ahmad Khawari Isa is the new President of the Sports Writers Association of Malaysia (SAM).

At the EGM held Saturday, Ahmad Khawari (picture, courtesy of ahmadkhawari.blogspot.com) took over from TV3 Head of Sports, Bakar Atan who did not contest.

The EGM was chaired by Olympic Council of Malaysia's Assistant Treasurer, Rosmanizam Abdullah.

The new line-up:
President - Ahmad Khawari Isa; Deputy- Ibrahim Abu Bakar; Vice Presidents - Eric Samuel, Asan Ahmad; Secretary - Abdul Rahim Lajis; Treasurer - Mohd Ali Majid.

All the best to you guys.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

R.I.P. Vivian Soars

Ms. Vivian Soars, who was actively involved in hockey and athletics for almost three decades, passed away Friday morning. She was 74 years.

Soars played an active role in the development of women's hockey and she had served the Malaysian Womens Hockey Association (MHWA) as its Secretary, Vice-President and also Deputy President for a short while.

She was also the Vice President of Malaysian Amatuer Athletics Union (MAAU).
Vivian together with Dorothy Sibert Bailey played an important role in organizing the Women's Hockey World Cup and Inter-Continental Cup held in Kuala Lumpur in 1983.

"Vivian was truly larger than life. She contributed immensely to ladies hockey and athletics at national, state, college and school levels," said M.P.Haridas, former General Manager of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

I just hope that some day the Sports and Youth Ministry or any other organization will put up a hall of fame that would appreciate contributions from officials like Soars.

Her interest in sports would surely have come from her father, the late Alex Soars, who was a former sports writer and Editor of The Malay Mail.

The memorial service would be held at St. Paul's Church at Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya, Monday at 9.30am.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Door closed for Squash, Karate

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) proposed today the list of 26 core sports and 2 additional sports, golf and rugby, to be included in the 2016 Olympic Programme.

The proposal will be submitted to the full IOC for a final decision at its Session in Copenhagen in October, where golf and rugby will have the opportunity to present. Seven sports — baseball, golf, karate, roller sports, rugby, softball and squash — were seeking to enter the Olympic programme.

The secret ballot vote by the EB followed an extensive evaluation by the Olympic Programme Commission of the potential added value to the Games from each of the seven sports.

“All seven sports made a strong case for inclusion, and the EB carefully evaluated them in a transparent and fair process. In the end, the decision came down to which two would add the most value,” said IOC President Jacques Rogge, who elected not to take part in the vote. “Golf and rugby will be a great addition to the Games.”

The key factors in determining a sport’s suitability for the Olympic programme include youth appeal, universality, popularity, good governance, respect for athletes and respect for the Olympic values.
“Golf and rugby scored high on all the criteria,” Rogge said. “They have global appeal, a geographically diverse line-up of top iconic athletes and an ethic that stresses fair play.”

During the 119th Session in Guatemala in 2007, the IOC approved a simplified voting process for new sport to enter the programme. The IOC members also requested guidance from the EB in the selection of the new sports, and entrusted it to make a proposal based on the work of the Olympic Programme Commission.

All seven sports had a chance to make their case to the Olympic Programme Commission in November 2008 and to the IOC EB in June 2009. Federations were also able to review their section of the report submitted to the EB._ IOC MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FAM must help the states

Anthonysamy (left) having a discussion with Santokh, Mokhtar, Ong Yu Tiang and R. Arumugam during the "jersey war" match .



These days he spends most of his time at home and ocassionally with friends but he keeps in touch with the happenings in the local football scene.

Former Secretary of the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) S. Anthonysamy (picture) laments at the state of soccer in the country and, mostly, in the state he served for 25 years.

From 1976 till 1993 Anthonysamy served as Secretary under four different Menteri Besars - Dato' Haji Harun Idris, Dato' Hormat Rafei, Dato Haji Ahmad Razali Mohd Ali and Tan Sri Mohammad Muhammad Taib.

"FAM should play a role in assisting the states set up proper leagues because it is from this leagues we get players for the state teams and the national team selects from the state, therefore they cannot say its not their problem," says Anthonysamy who resigned on 1st July 1993.

During his tenure as Secretary, FAS had the best league system in the country, in fact probably in South East Asia . Selangor had Division 1, 2 and 3, and also the Dunhill League, Premier League, a tournament fort government offices and also a business houses league.

"We had not less that 20 teams in each leaque," said Anthonysamy who will be celebrating his 75 birthday on 23rd December.

None can deny that Selangor had the tops clubs in the 70s, 80s and even in the early 90s. Some of the famous ones include Hong Chin, PKNS, TPCA, SIA, Umno, SCRC and Telesco.

"Players like Wong Choon Wah, Soh Chin Aun, Mokhtar Dahari, R. Arumugam and Ong Yu Tiang were products of the domestic leagues. Without district and state leagues how do you expect the football standard to improve.

"Now days selections are done in trials, not through performances in the league. We should select players from the league and then have trials," added Anthonysamy.

When one talks about the ills of football, many point the finger at the states, including FAM who should play a part in helping states organize leagues at district levels.

In Selangor, the office bearers who took over from Anthonysamy ammended the constitution to remove district associations. Only clubs can be affiliates, whether or not they have a team or are participating in a league.

Maybe they (the office bearers) want to stay on forever.

Anthonysamy, like many other veteran officials, feel the lack of playing field may also have resulted in teams not wanting to carry on.

However, many feel that this can be overcome if clubs and teams can seek cooperation with schools to use their padang for traning. But, this would depend on whether there is a league to participate in.

Anthonysamy keeps all the newspaper clipings from as far as the 70s. His favourite picture is one taken during the famous "jersey war" during the first leg semifinal 1983 Malaysia Cup match between Selangor and Kelantan at the Stadium Merdeka.

The picture, taken by famous sports photographer, Khalid Redza, shows Santokh Singh, Mokhtar Dahari, Ony Yu Tiang and R. Arumugam discussing the "jersey war" with Anthonysamy.

Mokhtar, Yu Tiang and Arumugam have since passed on.

The match was delayed for an hour after both the teams came in an all red attire and refused to change. After about 50 minutes, and a toss of coin, Selangor changed to yellow and Kelantan to white jerseys.

The match, played in front of a capacity crowd, ended in a 1-1 draw. Selangor's goal was scored by Mokhtar Dahari while Kelantan led by a Anizan Daud gol.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Golf and rugby likely for 2016 Summer Olympics

Golf and rugby appear the favorites to be the sports added to the 2016 Summer Olympics, with softball or baseball perhaps in the running, according to Olympic and international sports officials.

The Games will be awarded on Oct. 2 to Chicago, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro or Tokyo. Seven sports are vying to be included, the other three being roller sports, karate and squash.

On Thursday, the 15-member executive board of the International Olympic Committee will narrow the list to two proposed sports, which will be voted on by the entire 106-member IOC assembly in Copenhagen on Oct. 9. It has not been decided whether the two proposed sports would be accepted or rejected individually or as a pair.

Votes by the IOC’s executive board and general assembly can be unpredictable, but golf and rugby appear to be the leading candidates right now, with softball perhaps ranking third.

“That’s been floating around,” said Don Porter, the president of the International Softball Federation. “But in Olympic circles, you always hear something different in the last 10 minutes.”

Golf could offer a number of readily identifiable competitors, including the world’s top player, Tiger Woods (picture), who is perhaps the planet’s most visible athlete outside of football and the NBA.

Rugby, which is widening its international appeal, has proposed using a version with seven players on the field instead of the usual 15. This version offers shorter matches, faster-paced action and the ability to pack more games into the 16 available days of the Olympics.

Some feel that rugby may have an edge because it is a favorite sport of Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, who once played the game.

Women’s softball joined the Olympics at the 1996 Atlanta Games, but it and baseball were expelled after the Beijing Games. Many believe the IOC eliminated softball because the United States had dominated the sport, taking the first three gold medals.

But Japan won in Beijing, and some officials contend that the IOC now feels it made a mistake by shelving softball along with baseball.

Firefly lights up racing

The racing team (from left) Mohd Shazmie Ilyas, Mohd Izwan, Shamsul Nahar (Pennzoil Marketing Manager), Gunaseelan and Mohd Shazly Ilyas.


Firefly, the wholly owned subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines Bhd, is the latest co-sponsor to support the GSR-Pennzoil Racing Team which will be particdipating in the 3rd round of the Malaysian Rally Championship in Kota Tinggi, Johor this weekend.

The GSR Racing Team's main sponsor is Pennzoil and the other co-sponsors are Pyramid Saimira, Ralliart Malaysia, Dom Motorsports, Advanti Racing and Yokohama.

GSR team owner and rally driver, R. Gunaseelan disclosed that Firefly have officially come aboard and their logos will peominently be displayed in three of their cars this week - in the three categories they are competing.

Gunaseelan and his co-driver, Mohd Izwan will be driving in the P12 category while youngsters and brothers Mohd Shazly Ilias and Mohd Yazmie Ilias in the P 10 (junior category) and India's Lahit Urs will race under the N4 category.

This weekend, Gunaseelan and Mohd Izwan willo be leading the GSR-Pennzoil challenge. The MRC championship enters its third round and GSR-Pennzoil, the defending champions. are currently leading the table.

Fiery competition is expected on the course for GSR-Pennzoil with Felda Rally Team led by Saladin Mazlan aqnd India's champion, Lahit Urs breathing down their necks.

The remaining two round after Johor will be in Negeri Sembilan (October) and Selangor (December). Details of GSR-Pennzoil are available at www.gsr.com.my.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Badminton coaches down with H1N1

They were expecting terror attacks but it was the virus that came. Two coaches of the national badminton team participating in the World Badminton Championship in Hyderabad, India are undergoing treatment for Influenza A (H1N1).

According to Kompas.com, national singles coach Misbun Sidek has been put under quanratine after he complained of throat irritation. He is now undergoing treatment at the Chest Hospital in Erragadda, about 10km from Gawchibowli Stadium.

"Misbun complained of pain in the throat yesterday and we took him to the hospital because we do not want to take any risks," said member of the Organizing Committee, Pullela Gopichand.

Meanwhile television reports say that a doubles coach who was down with fever when he arrived in Hyderabad several days ago, and was also taken to hospital. However, he tested negative for the H1N1.

"He has gone again to hospital this morning, and we will only know the results later this afternoon," said the official. Unconfirmed reports say that the second coach is Jeremy Gan.

Over 850 people have been infected with the influenza in India, with eight having succumbed to the disease so far, including a medical doctor and a chemist.

Indian medial authorities are battling to contain the H1N1 flu strain, which is fast spreading in many states, especially after the end of the scorching summer season.

In some states, schools and even cinemas have been closed to avoid further spread of the disease. The flu has killed at least 800 people worldwide.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Politiking rosakkan imej PBKL- Badri

Bekas pemangku bendahari Persatuan Berbasikal Kuala Lumpur (PBKL), Haji Badri Mukri mendakwa pemangku setiausaha persatuan itu, Haji Fazin Saad mempunyai motif tersembunyi apabila mengemukakan laporannya semasa mesyuarat "pre-council" 20 Julai lalu.

"Motif sebenar pihak tuan adalah mengambil kesempatan mengedarkan laporan pemangku setiausaha dengan tujuan menyakinkan ahli-ahli bahawa segala tindakan yang diambil adalah telus dan rasional. Tetapi, yang jelas, banyak isu dimanipulasikan dalam laporan itu," kata Badri dalam suratnya kepada Fazin, Isnin.

"Diperenggan pertama, tarikh mesyuarat majlis sebenar 17 Disember 2008 bukannya 12 Disember 2008 dan tuan dilantik berkuatkuasa mulai 1 Januari hingga 30 Jun 2009. Kenapa laporan itu hanya sebut dilantik pada 1 Januari 2009 sahaja?" tanya Badri yang hadir di mesyuarat "pre-council" iaitu mesyuarat sebelum mesyuarat agung 25 Julai lalu.

Badri seterusnya mendakwa Fazin cuba "menegakkan benang yang basah" apabila membawa Firdaus Haji Arshad dan Musairi Musa untuk berjumpa pegawai di Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan Malaysia (PPSM) dan bukannya salah seorang naib presiden atau timbalan presiden.

"Apa yang tercatat pada surat PPSM adalah meminta Maklumat Yang Kena Beri (MYKB) dan bukan arahan supaya mesyuarat agung diadakan sebelum 30 Julai 2009. Notis pihak tuan bertarikh 10 Julai 2009 membayangkan seolah-olah mesyuarat majlis pada 13 Julai telah setuju supaya mesyuarat agung diadakan pada 25 Julai. Bagaimana boleh setuju bila korum tidak cukup sama sekali," tegas Badri lagi.

Badri turut mempersoalkan mengenai ahli-ahli yang hadir pada mesyuarat agung dan sama ada mereka membayar yuran keahlian sebelum 1 Februari 2009 mengikut Fasal 7.1 dab 7.2 serta Fasal 8 Perlembagaan PBKL.

"Saya minta saudara buktikan adanya surat terima jawatan bagi mereka yang tidak hadir tetapi dipilih semasa mesyuarat agung tahunan itu."

Badri juga menyatakan rasa kesalnya apabila Fazin mendesaknya untuk menandatangani kertas kosong atas alasan untuk menyiapkan laporan kewangan.

"Pihak tuan bertanggungjawab sepenuhnya dalam isu sah atau sebaliknya mesyuarat agung 25 Julai lalu. Saya berdoa semoga PBKL tidak terkubur akibat perbuatan-perbuatan politiking ini, sebaliknya terus maju demi menegakkan imej dan perpaduan di kalangan ahli-ahli majlis," tambah Badri.

The excellent sports leaders

There are many good and able leaders in Malaysia sports. Their leadership administrative skills have impacted sports and in some cases still doing so. These are the people who have earned the respects of many by their qualities - transparent, excellent skills and truthful.

They did not and do not need to use disgusting tactics to stay in power. Sports people just wanted them there.

These are people who served sports genuinely and did not let race, religion or others divisive matters influence their views. They served with humility.

Here are some of the excellent leaders, whom I call the Gentlemen of Sports. Its a list of the present times, because there surely would have been great men of sports 50 or 100 years ago.

The first leader which I have on my list is the Sultan of Pahang. I have followed his Highness leadership of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) since the time he became the President in 1984. He had a vision for sucess and he got the right people to work towards the goals he set.

He managed to get football on the right track at national level but at state level, they just could not keep up with him and this caused developments programmes to face some problems.

Under Sultan Ahmad Shah's leadership, FAM began to have strong sponsorship support and football also moved from an amateur to semi-pro and now professional. I believe there is already a strong foundation for future growth.

The Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah contributed strong leadership to Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF). There are those who felt that Tuanku only chairs meetings and was not hands-on in most matters.

But I know for sure it was His Highness strong leadership that kept MHF united because infightings in hockey can sometimes be terrible. Sultan Azlan continues to promote hockey through the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF).

Tan Sri Elyas Omar is another who left his mark in sports through his far sighted thinking and planning. He started the BAM House in Jalan Tun Razak (close to the Indonesian Embassy) where all national players were required.

He started the Thomas-Uber-Olimpik (TUO) Project in 1990 and it resulted in Malaysia winning the Thomas Cup. Under his presidency, badminton grew tremendously.

Cycling also benefitted from Elyas leadership. During that period, cycling was financially sound and road and track teams were given maximum exposures.

He also had great vision for KL FA, When he brough in Czech coach Josef Venglos some reporters asked him what plans he had for Venglos since KL was already a successful team at that time. He answered, " we are looking to win overseas also." He had the vision to lead.

Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad is another excellent leader who lead the Nasional Sports Council (NSC) through some tough times but managed to build the agency into a respected organization. He also planned and executed the Jaya'98 programme which saw Malaysian athletes doing well during the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

He is expected to play an interesting role in sports in the months to come.

Datuk Seri Paul Mony Samuel played an important and crucial role in FAM in the 1980s and 1990s. He practically revamped and reorganized an organization which was not functioning as it should.

He was a player, a coach and an excellent adminstrator. He wrote mannuals which were used by teachers in Kedah to coah their school sides. He is well known internationally.

One leader who many are hoping will play a prominent role in sports is Prof Datuk Zakaria Ahmad, the President of Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) and also Vice President of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

Zakaria (picture) was recently given an award by the International Gymnastics Federation (IGF) for his contribution in the promotion of the sport at different levels.

Another leader who is fast making a name for himself is Rosmanizam Abdullah, the secretary of Malay Cricket Association of Malaysia (MCAM). Right now, MCAM is of the few sports body who have a strong financial standing.

Malay Cricket also has a ground of its own and an academy. Rosmanizam has showed excellent skills in the area of development. He, like Zakaria, is expected to feature prominently in the national sports scene in the near future.

These are the officials who are excellent leaders, the Gentlemen of Malaysian Sports. We need more people like them and less of those who "talk through their nose" (empty talk) and "lie through their false teeths" (saying one thing in front, another behind and two other versions at the sides).

We also do not need officials or leaders who say the same thing every two or three years. Finally, we are tired of people who are in sports for their own benefit, thus unwilling to speak up when things are not right.

I hope and pray there are many more excellent leaders out there who should be considered for a list like this. Unfortunately, I have not met them,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Terror threats disturbs players

Terror threats have become a new hurdle to overcome for players taking part in the World Badminton Championship, which begins Monday in Hyderabad, India.

Even as the Badminton World Federation (BWF) continued to allay fears of security risks to players, Malaysian shuttlers are a little disturbed about recent talk of potential terror threats.

World's top singles player Datuk Lee Chong Wei admitted that a newspaper report on Saturday had upset the team.

"It is disturbing to hear about the news (terror threats) in the paper, some of our players are also disturbed but we leave it to the team managers and the government to decide (if the team will stay)," said Chong Wei.

On Saturday, the Times of India reported in its front page that India's Intelligence Bureau (IB) suspected terrorists could target the badminton championship, where about 330 players from 43 countries would participate.

Meanwhile, BWF tried to assuage the alleged threats and assured that adequate safety measures were being taken to protect the teams in Hyderabad, but admitted they could not convince the English team to stay.

"BWF respects the decision by the English team, its unfortunate that they made their decision before we had an opportunity to properly brief them. There is no specific threat coming from any group," BWF chief operating officer Thomas Lund told the media today.

BWF will not impose a fine on the English team but instead England need to pay a withdrawal fee of US$250 per player. The nine-member England team departed from India, Sunday morning.

Plenty of talk, now let see some action

Many nice-to-hear things were said at the two-day Malaysia Sports Industry Convention 2009 (Kismas 09) which ended Saturday.

That itself is a major problem in Malaysian sports. We like to hear good things and we have "experts" who are good at telling good stories in convincing style. And, we have heard so many good stuffs over the years.

But it has been all talk and little action, and most of the action would be in the compiling of the records of conventions and sending out hugh volumes of report which we hope somebody somewhere will read.

On Saturday, we had some foreign experts tell us some good things about the sports industry in Malaysia.

Australian Sports Commission's Commercial and Facilities Director, Steve Jones (picture) said Malaysia needs to diversify its sports industry as there is a vast potential of untapped market worth millions of Ringgit waiting for grabs.

He said the Australia Institute of Sports (AIS), one of the established sports institute in the region, for example had diversified its involvement in the sports industry instead of being limited to the traditional sports businesses.

"AIS has its own business strings related to sports industries such as tours for tourists, merchandise shop, cafe, catering, accommodation, conference, holiday programmes and childcare centres which generate income for the institute," he told the delegates at Kismas 09 in Kuala Lumpur.

The convention which concluded today was organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry with the objective of promoting the sports industry in the country.

Meanwhile Datuk Peter Gilmour, event director for the Monsoon Cup sailing tournament, said sports events should be evaluated from its tangible and intangible benefits.

Gilmour said the tangible benefits could be measured by the spending of the participants and spectators during the event or from the wider media coverage while non-tangible benefits were things like vehicle branding, ticket branding and marketing strategy.

"For instance, during the Monsoon Cup tournament which was held in Kuala Terengganu for the past four years, the television package was distributed to more than 500 million homes via live and delayed broadcasts," he said.

He said during the 2008 Monsoon Cup, the gross media value worth for local viewers amounted to RM155,689,500 and the figure was expected to increase every year.

The executive chairman of Carbon Worldwide, Keld Kristiansen revealed a lucrative figure when the company handled the Malaysia A1 GP last year.

He said the company invested about US$5.4 million (RM18 million) to organise the event.

"And what we got the 22 teams paying US$2.5 million (RM7 million) for hotels, food and beverage (F&B), the local supporting teams spent about RM1 million, the international TV coverage was valued at US$10 million (RM35 million)," he said.

He said the figure excluded the broadcast to 150 countries that could reach up to 700 million viewers.

"So it's a lucrative industry but still untapped by Malaysians who are involved in the sports industry," he said.

Meanwhile, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar urged Malaysians to change their mindset if they wanted to see the potentials of the sports industry in the country being realised.

"Malaysians, particularly its sports community, have not fully embraced the sports culture as what is happening in the United States of America, Australia and other sporting nations globally," he said in his paper "Optimising Private Enterprise in Sports Development".

He said in the United States and Australia, sports were part of the national culture, and they were very passionate about sports and willing to sacrifice time and money for it.

For example his billionaire American friend, whom Tunku Imran did not name, often flew home overnight in his private jet from conferences and meetings to ensure that he could coach his daughter's soccer team every Saturday morning.

Tunku Imran said unlike Malaysia, this phenomenon is rarely happened since sports is not part of the national culture.

Thus, concerted efforts from the government and private sector to build up and cultivate deep sporting interest among Malaysians from all walks of lives was much needed, he said.

Touching on private sector's sponsorship, Tunku Imran, who is also a member of the International Olympic Committee, hoped the profit-driven enterprises would proactively be involved in funding sports activities as what was happening in other sporting nations.

"Sponsorship is not easy to find in Malaysia and even if there is sponsorship, it is often not adequate. In fact, the government is the biggest sponsor and any major events often cannot survives without government support," he said.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Learn from Indonesia

While its rivals struggle with the issue of giving exposure to young players, Indonesia has selected nine first-timers to play in the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad, India from 10-16 August.

The nine first timers, include doubles pair Mohamed Ahsan (picture, left) and Bona Septano (right).

This is a bold move by Indonesia and this investment is going to bring huge dividends for Indonesia - in the form of trophies - in the near future.

Many countries, including Malaysia, struggle with the issue of giving exposure to young shuttlers. There is always the question of which tournament to sent juniors for exposure and which not to sent.

For this World Championship, Malaysia has included some back-up team players while Indonesia is giving its young junior a chance to play at the highest level.

For Bona and Ahsan, the call-up is an opportunity to prove their worth after illness forced world No. 1 pair and defending world champions Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan to withdraw.

“I’m so amused and wary at the same time because this is my very first World Championship. Markis and Hendra’s withdrawal won’t change anything, but we feel the burden because now we are Indonesia’s men’s doubles best chance in the championship,” said Bona, Markis’s younger brother, in Cipayung, Jakarta, Friday.

The seventh-seeded duo meets China’s Xu Chen and Guo Zhendong in the first round.

Fortunately for the Indonesians, Markis was well enough to share his experience and scout reports on potential opponents with his little brother.

One problem advance intelligence will not fix is the pair’s lingering ankle injuries. Bona suffered his injury during the All England in March, while Ahsan went down during the Indonesia Open in June.

“We’re fully recovered now. I guarantee that,” Ahsan said. “We’re in fit condition and ready to fight.”

Like the top men’s pair, Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii will be thrust into the spotlight in women’s doubles.

Nitya said the World Championship might be too much too soon for her and was thankful to have an experienced partner in Greysia, who has two worlds appearances.

“Well, I never expected it would come this soon, but here I am,” Nitya said. “[Greysia] has helped me a lot in motivating and developing my skills for the championship.

“We are underestimated because we haven’t won anything in previous tournaments. But I’m ready to change that, because nothing is impossible. I just have to play my best.”

The other shuttlers making their worlds debuts are Ryan Sukmawan and Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki (men’s doubles), Meiliana Jauhari and Shendy Puspa Irawati (women’s doubles), Devin Lahardi Fitriawan and Lita Nurlita (mixed doubles).

Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) chief Djoko Santoso said he did not expect too much from the debutantes.

“They are still too young, but let’s hope they can win something from the World Championship,” he said.

Former player Alan Budikusumah said now was the time for the youngsters to prove they were Indonesia’s next big things.

“I think Bona and Ahsan are ready to replace Markis and Hendra soon,” he said.

World Championship squad:
Men’s singles: Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Simon Santoso, Taufik Hidayat
Women’s singles: Maria Kristin Yulianti, Adriyanti Firdasari
Men’s doubles: Bona Septano/Muhammad Ahsan, Ryan Sukmawan/Yonathan Suryatama Dasuki
Women’s doubles: Greysia Polii/Nitya Krishinda Maheswari, Meiliana Jauhari/Shendy Puspa Irawati
Mixed doubles: Nova Widianto/Liliyana Natsir, Devin Lahardi Fitriawan/ Lita Nurlita.

Still no agency to monitor cash flow

Sports industry in this country is still considered as a young and emerging sector. And 10 years ago, sports contributed about RM10 million for the country but today, nobody knows about the exact figure of the young industry.

Some might say the sports industry today is worth millions of Ringgit but no government agency has statistics of the import, export or other business data related to the industry.

That's the finding of Malaysia Sports Industry Convention 2009 (Kismas 09) which was held at Berjaya Times Square Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Friday.

The 500 participants of the two-day convention which started today, were told that Malaysia -- as the favourite destination for international sports events -- has yet to set up a designated department or unit in related government agencies to monitor the cash flow of our Ringgit or foreign currencies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, when officiating the convention, admitted that Malaysia had yet to set up its own data base to collect all information related to the sports industry.

"We're still gathering all the facts. Only then will we know the contribution of the sports industry to our economy," he said.

One of the speakers at the convention, Universal Fitness Leisure Sdn Bhd (UFL) managing director Datuk Radha Krishnan, was quite vocal when questioning the fact that there was no agency to monitor the cash flow of the sports industry.

He cited Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) which was held every two years, in that RM30 to RM40 million was allocated per chapter, but how much money generated from the event was not documented.

He said the sports industry should not be limited to just sporting apparel or equipment but must also include a diversity of activities such as wholesale, retailing, sports tourism, construction and certain aspect of manufacturing.

"However, the problem with Malaysia is that our local producers do not see their role as the global manufacturer," he said in his paper, `Business Strategies in Sports Industry'.

The general manager for High Performance Centre in New Zealand, Martin Toomey, said the relevant authorities must have the right attitude when giving scholarships to athletes.

"When you give scholarships, you are not contributing but your are investing," he said when tabling a paper, `The Impact of the Sports Industry on a Nation's Performance'.

He said New Zealand, with just 4.3 million people, had three per cent or 37,500 of the population involved in the sport industry, and generated about US$75 billion (RM272 billion) annually from the sector.

Dr T. J. Rosandich of the United States Sports Academy said Malaysia was lucky to have a dedicated youth and sports ministry, National Sports Council and National Sports Institute.

He said that in the USA, there was no dedicated government department or agency to take care of sport.

Tabling his paper, 'Sports Education - Empowering the Industry', Rosandich said the six million school students and 22,000 high school students in the USA were monitored by their respective state sport bodies.

"And, the majority of the sport bodies are run on a voluntarily basis," he said.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Malaysia to bid for 2019 Asiad


Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek (picture) has confirmed that Malaysia will bid to host the 2019 Asian Games.

The Minister said that his ministry would inform the Cabinet about this and get its approval for the bid.

"Malaysia has the experience to host world-class games like when we hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998. I believe with that experience Malaysia can host the Asian Games," said Ahmad Shabery after attending the officiating of the Malaysian Sports Industry Convention 2009 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur, Friday.

Recently, Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) President Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar said he was informed that the government plans to bid for the 2019 Asiad. But he did not give details.

He said the various international standard sports facilities at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex will also be a basis for the bid process.

Ahmad Shabery said the Asian Games were more prestigious than the Commonwealth Games.

He hoped that all quarters would come together and cooperate with the government to ensure that Malaysia won the bid to bring the games to Kuala Lumpur.

The 2010 Asian Games will be held in Guangzhou, China and the 2014 games in Incheon, South Korea. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has decided that after Incheon, the following games would be in 2019, to avoid being in the same year as the FIFA World Cup.

On another development, Ahmad Shabery said the area around the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil will be developed into a one-stop centre for all sports activities including having stores that sold sports equipment.

"The ministry has appointed a consultant to study the proposal to make the sports complex area a sports city," he said.

Big win for Malaysia

Thamil Arasu (right) in action in the against Timor Leste di Ho Chi Minh City, Thursday. Malaysia won 7-1. (Picture from U-19 Web-site)


Thamil Arasu Ambumanee netted five goals as Malaysia defeated Timor Leste 7-1 im a day which saw host Vietnam defeat Myanmar to secure their place in the semi-finals of the AFF Under-19 Championship in Ho Chi Minh City, Thursday.

Both the venus saw top class action. A total of 18 goals were recorded on the score sheets which also saw six red cards being listed.

While Vietnam are comfortably through, Malaysia and Myanmar will have to battle it out for the other spot in Group B on Saturday.

In Group A, Thailand, Australia and Singapore all picked up points to remain on the run for the two semi-final slots.

At the Thanh Long Sports Complex this afternoon, striker Thamil Arasu Ambumanee was the toast of the Malaysian side when he blasted five goals – two of them from the spot – as his team whipped 8-man Timor Leste 7-1.

Thamil scored in the 18th (pen), 33rd, 73rd(pen), 84th and 87th minutes. Malaysia’s other goals came from Mohamad Fandi Othman(24th) and Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas (82nd).

Timor Leste meanwhile lost their first player in the 70th minute when goalkeeper Ramos Saozinho Ribeiro was sacked for punching a floored Thamil Arasu in the box.

Six minutes later, Lamberto Gama picked up a second booking and was sent off by referee Allan Martinez.

Timor were dealt a nasty blow when Jose Carlos Fonseca picked a bad leg injury in the 76th minute and could not continue playing.

Timor had by then used up all their substitutions which meant that they were down to only eight players for the last 14 minutes of the game.

In the other match at this venue, Singapore battled back from a goal down in the 17th minute from Prak Mony Udom to seal a crucial 3-1 win over Cambodia.

At the Thong Nhat Stadium, Myanmar have to blame themselves for their 3-1 loss to Vietnam. Four of their players were sent off and they completed the match with only 7 players on the pitch.

FIXTURES and RESULTS

4 August 2009
Thanh Long Centre –
AUSTRALIA 1 SINGAPORE 1/ MYANMAR 3 TIMOR LESTE 0
Thong Nhat Stadium –
CAMBODIA 0 THAILAND 3/ MALAYSIA 0 VIETNAM 2
6 August 2009
Thanh Long Centre –
TIMOR LESTE 1 MALAYSIA 7/ SINGAPORE 3 CAMBODIA 1
Thong Nhat Stadium –
THAILAND 1 AUSTRALIA 1/ VIETNAM 3 MYANMAR 1
8 August 2009
Thanh Long Centre –
Cambodia vs Australia (1530)/ Malaysia vs Myanmar (1745)
Thong Nhat Stadium –
Thailand vs Singapore (1530)/ Vietnam vs Timor Leste (1745)
10 August 2009
Thong Nhat Stadium –
Semi-finals 1 - Winner A vs Runner up B (1515)
Semi-finals 2 - Winner B vs Runner up A (1745)
12 August 2009
Thong Nhat Stadium –
3rd / 4th Placing - Loser SF1 vs Loser SF2 (1530)
Final - Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2 (1745)