Sunday, August 29, 2010

A legend passes on

Soccer ace Isa Bakar, who represented the country from 1974 to 1979, died at the Penang Hospital due to illness Saturday at about 9.30am and was laid to rest at the Jalan Perak Muslim Cemetery after prayers at the Masjid Hashim Yahaya on the same day. The 58-year-old star is survived by wife Mazlina Md Ismail, 49, and four children aged between 16 and 22.

Isa was in the squad which won the bronze medal at the 1974 Teheran Asian Games, which was the only time ever that Malaysia had won a medal in soccer, and he was in the squad that won the gold medal at the 1977 Sea Games where Malaysia thrashed Burma (now known as Myanmar) 8-1.

The lanky players was also in the Penang team that last won the Malaysia Cup in 1974 and till now Penang has never won the cup. Former national skipper Datuk Soh Chin Aun, who paid his last respect at the late Isa's home, said Isa was a real role model for the 1Malaysia concept as he never cared for race or religion when it comes to befriending people.

He said Isa gave his best at every game and partnering the late Mokhtar Dahari, they made the  best combination in the five years Isa represented the country and added that the lanky Penangite was a very happy go lucky guy but once in the field he was serious in his game.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harimau Muda A ke Slovakia lagi

Pasukan Harimau Muda A yang dikendalikan oleh Ong Kim Swee akan menimba ilmu di Slovakia sekali lagi bagi mempersiapkan barisan muda negara ke arah mempertahankan pingat emas Sukan SEA 2011.

Keputusan dibuat oleh Presiden FAM, KDYMM Tuanku Sultan Ahmad Shah, selepas mengadakan perbincangan dengan Kim Swee pada 24 Ogos dan setelah mengkaji tiga pilihan yang ada.

Seramai 19 pemain dan empat pegawai akan berlepas ke Slovakia pada 1 September ini. Pegawai tersebut ialah ketua jurulatih Kim Swee, penolong jurulatih Hassan Sazali Mohd Waras, jurulatih penjaga gol Yong Wai Hwang dan ahli fisioterapi, Mohd Nasrul Ahmad Tajuddin.

Enam pemain yang kini menjalani latihan bersama skuad senior akan menyertai Harimau Muda A selepas menamatkan perlawanan persahabatan dengan Oman di Doha pada 3 September ini.

Enam pemain itu ialah K. Gurusamy, Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mahali Jasuli, Gary Steven Robbat, Izzaq Faris Ramlan dan Mohd Fadhli Shas.

FAM percaya langkah menghantar pasukan ini ke Slovakia adalah tepat, berlandaskan beberapa aspek:

# Pasukan Harimau Muda A akan didedahkan kepada 12 perlawanan menentang lawan Divisyen Satu Liga Slovak yang bersifat kompetitif.

# Ia tidak termasuk empat perlawanan persahabatan dengan empat pasukan – Bawah 21 Austria, Poland, Republik Czech dan Hungary – dalam tempoh tiga bulan yang juga satu tempoh singkat untuk mengatur mana-mana perlawanan persahabatan bertaraf tinggi.

# Hakikat Slovakia sebuah lokasi yang lazim buat pemain.

#FAM tidak perlu dibebani isu jadual dan siapa pasukan lawan disebabkan struktur liga dan jadual yang teratur di Slovakia.

Berasaskan perkara-perkara tersebut, FAM memutuskan untuk menghantar Kim Swee dan anak buahnya ke Slovakia yang juga pilihan pertama buat pasukan itu meningkatkan prestasi.

Pilihan kedua ialah menjalani kem latihan di Cardiff City, Wales, selama enam minggu berasaskan tawaran pihak pengurusan Cardiff manakala pilihan ketiga meneruskan latihan dalam negeri sebelum ke luar negara untuk latihan perlawanan persahabatan dari Ogos hingga Disember 2010.

Keputusan juga harus dibuat dengan segera disebabkan pasukan negara akan mempertahankan pingat emas tidak sampai 15 bulan dari sekarang.

Dalam pertemuan itu, Sultan Ahmad Shah juga mendengar taklimat jurulatih pasukan kebangsaan, K. Rajagobal mengenai persiapan pasukannya menjelang Sukan Asia di Guangzhou dan Piala Suzuki.

Skuad Harimau Muda:
Penjaga gol: Muhammad Zamir Selamat, Mohd Izham Tarmizi Roslan, Mohd Farhan Abu Bakar.
Pertahanan:Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Mohd Affize Faisal Mamat, Mahali Jasuli, Muhammad Faizal Mohd, Mohd Fadhli Mohd Shas, Muhamad Nazri Ahmad, Nicholas Wee Shen Ming, Amer Saidin, Mohd Fandi Othman.
Pemain tengah: Gary Steven Robbat, Gurusamy Govandar Kandasamy,Abdul Shukor Jusoh, Muhammad Rafiuddin Roddin, Sivanesan Shanmugam, Irfan Fazail, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Noor, Saarvindran Devandran, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria.
Penyerang: Izzaq Faris Ramlan, Thamil Arasu Ambumanee, Muhammad Ferris Danial Mat Nasir, Syahrul Azwari Ibrahim.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Taekwondo back on track

After five long years in the wilderness, taekwondo, hopefully, will be back on it's feet on Friday when the innaugural Annual General Meeting of Taekwondo Malaysia (TM) take place.

Pro-term committee Chairman, Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar (picture) got the most nomination and is expected to be elected as the first President of TM. Datuk Seri Nazim Tun Abdul Razak is expected to be elected as the number two, if he decides to contest.

I have been told there are people who want to come in as one of the three Vice Presidents to advise Tunku Imran on how to run the association. I hope that does not happen and only those who love the sport and want to see the sport grow, should be elected. All personal agendas should be chucked out.

Hopefully with this AGM, all the taekwondos will be united. Hopefully, also, the new leadership can do something to catch up on the lost time, ever since the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) was deregistered in May 2005 over a dispute about clubs participation in decision making.

All the best to TM and may the best people be elected.

Friday, August 20, 2010

James is the man

Former national shuttler and coach Datuk James Selvaraj has been appointed Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) High Performance Director, announced BAM president Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh.

Mohd Nadzmi said Selvaraj, who is also Senior Manager of Bata Marketing Sdn Bhd, was the best candidate for the post, not only because of his background in the sport but also for his vast experience in management.

"Datuk James brings together with him a wealth of experience in the sport of badminton. He has represented the country as a player and coach. He also has vast experience in management and thus making him the most suitable candidate for this very important post," said Mohd Nadzmi in a statement Friday.

He said Selvaraj would begin his work on Sept 1, working with BAM Coaching and Training Committee, coaches and players, in all aspects of the national team's high performance programme, including national training and coaching programmes.

"In view of this, BAM hopes to produce success as demonstrated by podium performances at World Championship and Major Games and the development of a strong, sustainable feeder system through which the next generation of champions will be produced," he said.

Selvaraj was a former national shuttler during the late 1970s. Among his achievements were a bronze medal in the 1977 Sea Games in Kuala Lumpur, runner-up in the 1976 Thomas Cup in Bangkok and a bronze medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.

Loyalty pays

Its not just "Malaysia Boleh", but now we have "Loyalty Pays", a new term in Sports. I just heard the story of how "Loyalty Pays" became a new phrase in sports. According to many, a particular official wanted to reward an employee in his organization.

So he sees the President and recommends a raise - which is good - and the raise is a hugh jump by any standard. The employee, who used to receive RM3k plus, now gets RM7k plus, a RM4k jump. I have no problem with astrominal increases in salaries and allowance as long as it is done in good faith and those who really worked hard, should receive itu.

People aware of the situation say that the President did not actually know the figure and the jump involved. He was told of a recommentation for a loyal employee. I do not know if the President asked if there were other hard working and sincere people in the organization.

"Loyalty Pays," was what some officials are saying about the big jump and raise. Well from now, instead of screaming "Malaysia Boleh" lets not forget to say "Loyalty Pays". But, loyalty to - nation, organization, sport or individual.

If this story is true, then I congratulate the employee concern for the raise. I also would like to congratulate the official concerned for "doing it again". To the President, I say, Sir, its time for you to vacate your seat.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Good bye Sry

Sry Angreni Mohd Zet (picture), my former colleague at the Sports Desk in Utusan passed away late Thursday night. Friends in Utusan said that Sry fell at her office in the afternoon and was rushed to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital. She died because of internal bleeding in the head.

My condolence to her husband Zainuddin Yatim and three children. She was 42.

I have known Sry ever since the first time she came to Utusan sometime in 1994 to send some press release on water sports. Since that day she wanted to be a journalist and, to make the story short, she truly was a hard working journalist.She started her career in 1995 and resigned in 2005.

Monday, August 16, 2010

What a pity

Some concerned parents informed me of an incident where a junior player came to the airport to join a group of players going for an overseas stint. However, at the airport she was told that another girl has been selected to go and she had to go back home.

If this is true than something must be done to punish those who are guilty of these kind of stuffs because it will be a big discouragement to the youngster and prevent other youngsters from taking part in the particular sport, and other sports also.

If you have details please write in and let that organization know that Malaysians don't like such things in sports. Another informed me that he also heard about it and the replacement was a daughter of an official. Hope to get some details and more facts before writing the whole story.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Koh's death a big loss

The death of former Malaysian FIFA referee and current Football Association of Selangor (FAS) Referees Board Chairman Koh Guan Kiat was a great loss to the Malaysian football fraternity.

Selangor FA secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin who is also the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) vice president said Koh was a dedicated and meticulous official, both as a referee or as the referees board chairman.

According to Hamidin, Koh loved football and had always worked and contributed towards the betterment of football in Selangor, especially refereeing.

Koh, 74, who passed away at his son's house in Vista Komanwel, Bukti Jalil at 8.05pm on Friday leaves behind his wife Chiew Soo Duoi and four children, a boy and three girls.

During his days as a referee in the 70s and 80s, he had officiated many international matches and was a much respected official who did not compromise on the quality of play and was always alert and on his toes.

Meanwhile, Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh who was among a selected few who were picked as referees for the World Cup in South Africa recently said, Koh was like a father among referees.

"He was always available for guidance and advise. He was always ready to teach the trade that he had mastered, to young aspiring referees and never blamed referees whenever something went wrong.

"Even when I was selected as a referee for the World Cup, I sought his advise and though he was very weak during that time, he was inspired by my presence, he hugged me and told me to go out there and prove that Malaysian referees were as good as any referee in the world.

"I did not realise it would be our last meeting," said Subkhiddin who referred to Koh as 'Papa'.

He added that Koh's name was still popular among senior referees in Japan and South Korea. Other referees during his era were S. Karthrivale, Steven Ovinis, Datuk George Joseph and Nik Ahmad Yaakub.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not correct

Dear Friends & Colleagues,
PRESS RELEASE – August 14, 2010
I draw your attention to an article published on a National English daily today (August 14, 2010) with the title of Hong Kong replaces Malaysia.
This article relates to the World Women Tenpin Bowling Championship 2011 which was awarded to Malaysia as host.
We like to point out that the report published is not true.
The statement  in the article “ A source said the contract was not signed by MTBC before the deadline “ is totally  untrue .
The truth is MTBC was given the contract on the last day of the deadline making it impossible to sign within the deadline.
The writer should have referred to us before going to the press, putting MTBC in a bad light.
Presently MTBC is in the process of appealing to CAS.
The matter is therefore subjudice.
On behalf of MTBC

Friday, August 13, 2010

Not expensive

The national badminton squad's training at the High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) at University of Bath, United Kingdom will cost only RM78,000.

Director-general of National Sports Institute (ISN) Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz said the 10-day training was in preparation for the World Championships in Paris from Aug 23-28.

"The HPTC at University of Bath will help our players to acclimatise to the weather and also use the sports science facilities. This followed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Malaysia and the University of Bath in May," he told reporters, Thursday.

Dr Ramlan said it allowed the 20 players and coach to enjoy cheaper lodging, transportation and food just like the undergraduates.

On the decision by single coach Datuk Misbun Sidek to train world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei at home, he said that it was his choice.

"Misbun had asked for exemption from training at University of Bath for personal reasons and ISN respect him for that. Latest I heard that Misbun has agreed to a short training stint before going on to Paris."

Dr Ramlan said HPTC at University of Bath was not only for badminton but also other sports for training for championships in Europe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Serious allegations

A senior Malaysian journalist hired by the Indian Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (OC) has claimed there was serious discrimination and racial bias in the administration, reported the Hindustan Times Wednesday.

Five Malaysians were employed by the OC in various capacities -- media officers to venue managers, but one of them had quit the job last month.

In an article titled "Now, Racism Charges Hits Games OC", the newspaper reported, quoting Tony Mariadass, former Malay Mail sports editor, that Malaysians received unpalatable treatment from the Indian officials.

He added that unlike officials hired from Australia, England and New Zealand who enjoyed cozy treatment, he was subject to impoverished treatment.

"I felt ashamed being here as a Malaysian. His (foreign official) apartment is about five or six times the size of my flat. Do we have to endure this discrimination.

"The 'whites' have bigger apartments, some with four rooms! Working conditions have been very poor with no respect for us Malaysians," lashed out Tony in an email to OC top officials, which was obtained by the Hindustan Times.

Malaysians, the newspaper claimed, were lodged at inferior apartments while other foreigner officials were allotted luxury houses in up market areas. But Lalit Bhanot, the OC's secretary general, rebutted such claims, saying there was no racism.

"Now that there are stories circulating in the media, everyone wants to put in their version. There's been no racism whatsoever," he was quoted as saying.

Tony, who was put in charge of press operations, had also mentioned that his superior had verbally abused him.

"He (the boss) further abused me to go back to Malaysia and said I am a cranky old man who does not do any work. I will not stand this kind of abuse, especially when I am hired here for my experience," said Tony. -- BERNAMA

Can the wrong be corrected?

The problems between National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Institute (NSI) seems to be getting worse with many getting trapped in between. Latest, as reported by some media, was when some badminton people decided not to go for a NSI sponsored stint at Bath University in England.Apparently, the decision was made after a meeting with NSC.

Was it a mistake to split NSC into two in the first place? Can that be corrected? No matter how many meetings are held to "improve the communications" between the two organization, this problem will always be there. I just hope somebody won't come up with a Majlis Tertinggi Sukan and put NSC and NSI under it, creating more heads and, of course, tails.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Suzuki renews sponsorship

ASEAN football received a further boost Friday as Japanese car giant Suzuki Motor Corporation renewed its title sponsorship of the AFF Suzuki Cup for 2010.

The AFF Suzuki Cup is Southeast Asia’s biggest football event and ratings leader.This year’s competition, featuring the region’s top eight teams, will be co-hosted by Indonesia and Vietnam from December 1 to 29.

Suzuki has been a title-sponsor of the AFF Cup since 2008.

“It is an honor for us, Suzuki Motor Corporation, to support the AFF Cup, an event which we have proudly title-sponsored since 2008. The AFF Suzuki Cup is the biggest, most exciting event in ASEAN, uniting its people through a common passion - football. We believe that through our sponsorship of this event, fans will have the opportunity to feel and experience a unique connection with Suzuki automobiles, motorcycles and outboards; products which are very much part of households in the region,” said, Mr. Toshihiro Suzuki, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, and Chief Director of Overseas Sales.

“ASEAN is a key market for our stylish and reliable cars and motorcycles, and we believe that our sponsorship of the AFF Suzuki Cup will continue to reinforce our brand values and provide an important platform to generate tremendous visibility and exposure for our brand and its products across this region. We also wish to thank the AFF for continuing to grow this event from strength to strength,” added Suzuki.

“We are delighted that the ASEAN Football Federation will be continuing to work together with Suzuki as our title sponsor for the AFF Cup 2010. We welcome Suzuki’s continued commitment to ASEAN’s best national team football competition and with their support we can continue to develop the beautiful game in the region,” said HE Tengku Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Ahmad Rithaudeen, President of the ASEAN Football Federation.

“The popularity and strength of the AFF Suzuki Cup has continued to grow since its conception and we will be making sure that this edition of the tournament will be the best yet,” he added.

The agreement was sealed by the Singapore-based World Sport Group, the exclusive marketing partners of the ASEAN Football Federation and organizers of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

“Suzuki’s partnership will be a key driving force behind the continued growth and success of this competition. We are also confident that in turn, this event will deliver the brand’s broader marketing and sponsorship goals in the region,” said Ian Mathie, Senior Vice-President, Football – South Asia, ASEAN and Australia.

The top two teams from a qualifying round to be held from October 22 to 30 this year in Vientiane, Laos will join the top six seeded ASEAN nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - to make up the final field of eight nations.

The official draw will be held in Hanoi on September 15. The semi-final and final matches will be played on a home and away format.All games will be broadcast on ESPN Star Sports and on terrestrial stations across the region.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Players shun event

THE name of the tournament sounds grand but many did not show up.
The SportExcel Masters Tennis Championships was supposed to have featured the top 16-ranked play ers from each age-group for quality tennis at the National Tennis Centre in Kuala Lumpur last weekend but it never happened.
Instead, the event was snubbed by many elite junior players in the country.
Only the boys' Under-16 managed to attract the top-16 ranked players but the other categories did not meet the required quota.
The girls' Under-12 and Under-16 categories each attracted only five players while there were too few entries to organise the boys' and girls' Under-18 events.
Only a few national junior players turned up for the tournament. Among those who played were Syed Aqil Syed Naguib, S.Theiviya and Alyssa Boey.
It is disappointing that most of the country's elite did not turn up.
The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) must take pro-active measures to ensure this tournament does not rot.
According to some parents, many players stayed away because it offered no ranking points.
"It does not offer anything except a medal and a certificate.
Why should our children waste their time playing in this tournament?" said a disappointed parent yesterday.
Another parent said the tournament's timing did not suit some players as they were either busy with upcoming exams or playing in Asian-level events.
LTAM executive secretary Ibrahim Abu Bakar said many players withdrew after confirming their entries a day before the Masters event.
"We had no choice but to continue with the available players. However, we need to brainstorm to make this event better next time," said Ibrahim. - NST.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seminar Sains Sukan MSNJ

Institut Sukan Negara dengan kerjasama Majlis Sukan Negeri Johor (MSNJ) dan Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) telah menganjurkan Seminar Sains Sukan Bersama MSNJ-ISN-UTM pada 29 Julai 2010 bertempat di Dewan Gemilang, MSNJ. Seminar ini telah di rasmikan oleh Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negeri Johor, Tn. Hj. Ismail Abd. Rahman.

Seminar ini bertujuan untuk menyampaikan seberapa banyak maklumat dan input selain memperlengkapkan jurulatih dan pegawai dengan pengetahuan mengenai aspek sains sukan dan kejurulatihan.

Seramai 65 orang peserta terdiri daripada jurulatih sukan, pegawai sukan dari pelbagai jabatan dan institusi serta wakil dari universiti tempatan telah menghadiri seminar ini.  Selain itu, seminar ini juga telah di hadiri oleh pegawai dari Pusat Satelit ISN-Johor dan SSBP, MSNJ dan USPTN Johor.

Antara topik yang di bincangkan adalah Peranan Institut Sukan Negara sebagai Pemangkin Kecemerlangan Sukan di sampaikan oleh Tn. Hj. Md. Saadon A. Shukor, Pengarah Cawangan Pusat Satelit ISN.

‘The Role of UTM in Developing Sport Research Culture and Sport Exercise Towards Excellence In Coaching' di sampaikan oleh Prof. Madya Dr. Abdul Hafidz b. Omar dari Universiti Teknologi Malaysia dan ‘The Importance of Sports Science and Exercise Physiology in Enhancing Performance of The Athletes’ di sampaikan oleh Prof. Madya Dr. Ken Kazunori Nosaka dari Edith Cowan University.

Rata-rata peserta yang menghadiri seminar ini berpuas hati dengan apa yang telah di sampaikan.

Ramzol Muhammad dari Segamat menyambut baik penganjuran seminar ini. ‘Banyak ilmu yang dapat di pelajari dari pengisian seminar yang di sampaikan. Beberapa perkara baru dapat di ketahui dan mungkin seminar seperti ini perlu di adakan lagi di masa hadapan. Mungkin di buat seminar 2 hari’.

Seminar yang bermula pada pukul 9.30 pagi itu telah berakhir pada pukul 4.30 petang.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hope against hope

Former deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah returned to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in emphatic fashion, leading a major shake up, in the governing body for football in the country.

In what was regarded as sweeping changes made by the 38 delegates from 19 affiliates who voted in the FAM Congress yesterday, Tengku Abdullah garnered 29 votes while Tan Sri Annuar Musa polled 23 votes to become the two new deputy presidents from 2010 to 2014.

The duo defeated incumbent Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad and incumbent vice president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh together with Selangor FA deputy president Datuk Abdul Mokhtar Ahmad.

Incumbent president Sultan Ahmad Shah who is also the Sultan of Pahang was already retained as the President, unopposed, when nomination closed on July 18, paving the way for him to lead the association for another term since taking over the helm in 1984.

Another incumbent, deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin, did not seek re-election, citing his commitment to politics.

In another keenly contested race, Datuk Subahan Kamal pulled off a major upset by garnering the highest number of votes in the contest for four vice presidents, garnering 28 votes, while Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin (27), Datuk Affandi Hamzah (20) and Datuk Seri Abdullah Hishan Mohd Hashim (19) also walked in.

The big names that did not make it were Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar, Datuk S. Subramaniam, Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim and Datuk Lawrence Gimbang.

There was also an element of surprise in the battle for eight executive council members with Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan, Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz, Mejar Rani Abdul Rahim, S. Sivasundram, Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib, Datuk Osman Salleh, Rosmadi Ismail and Datuk Jeffery Low Han Chau making the grade from the 13 candidates.

Those who did not make it included Tan Sri Mohd Noor Abdul Rahim, Datuk Sri Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Datuk Ibrahim Shamsuddin and Wan Mohd Nizam Wan Omar.

Meanwhile, Tengku Abdullah told reporters after the Congress that he would discuss the mission and vision of FAM and the election of new office bearers, with his father, Sultan Ahmad Shah.

Tengku Abdullah who is also the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) President said he would not have any problems with dividing his time between hockey and football.

"Football is always close to my heart," he said.

The deputy president's post was however, not new to Tengku Abdullah since he was first elected to the post in 1992 but decided to resign a year later, but was re-elected to the post again in February 1994, and held on to the post until calling it quits in 2007.

Annuar, who is also the Kelantan FA president and former Sports Minister said he has a few ideas to elevate the standard of football in the country, but would first seek the consent of Sultan Ahmad Shah, and the FAM council.

"There will be new initiatives to uplift the status of football in the country," he said.