Thursday, December 30, 2010

Holiday on 31 Dec

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has declared Friday, Dec 31 as a public holiday to celebrate the success by the Malaysian football squad in winning the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, Wednesday night.

Najib also congratulated the Malaysian squad for beating the Indonesian team in the final on a 4-2 aggregate, describing it as "the greatest night in Malaysian football".

"The young team had done us proud and we must build this success to propel Malaysian football to greater heights," he said in a statement to Bernama.

Monday, December 27, 2010

PM: Seluruh negara amat berbangga

Kejayaan Malaysia menumpaskan Indonesia 3-0 pada perlawanan akhir pertama Piala Suzuki AFF di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil, Ahad, membuktikan mutu permainan skuad bola sepak negara semakin meningkat, dan kejayaan itu amat membanggakan negara, kata Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Saya amat gembira dengan kemenangan itu. Pasukan negara menunjukkan persembahan baik malam ini, dan seluruh negara amat berbangga dengan pasukan kita,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan kepada Bernama di Kuala Lumpur.

Perdana Menteri bagaimanapun mengingatkan pasukan negara supaya tidak terlalu selesa dengan kemenangan malam ini kerana mereka masih mempunyai satu lagi tugas penting di perlawanan timbal balik akhir di Jakarta, Rabu ini.

“Mereka perlu menampilkan satu lagi persembahan mantap di Indonesia,” katanya.

Gol-gol Malaysia yang dijaringkan oleh Mohd Safee Mohd Sali pada minit ke-59 serta 71, dan Mohamad Ashari Samsudin pada minit ke-67, membolehkan Malaysia membawa bekalan selesa untuk bertandang ke Stadium Gelora Bung Karno di Jakarta pada perlawanan akhir kedua Rabu ini.

Seramai 85,000 penonton membanjiri Stadium Nasional di Bukit Jalil malam ini, bukti jelas penyokong tempatan kini kembali memberi sokongan padu kepada kebangkitan skuad kebangsaan.

Sokongan dan minat Perdana Menteri kepada bola sepak negara terutama dalam saingan Piala Suzuki AFF terserlah apabila beliau sanggup duduk bersama penonton di atas jalanraya di kawasan Bukit Bintang, untuk menyaksikan perlawanan separuh akhir kedua antara Malaysia dan Vietnam, melalui skrin besar di kawasan itu pada 19 Disember lepas.

Malaysia menewaskan Vietnam 2-0 pada perlawanan di Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil dan mengikat lawan tanpa sebarang jaringan pada perlawanan di Stadium My Dinh di Hanoi untuk melangkah ke perlawanan akhir.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Olympism Amazing Race

All those who were involved in OAR

An "Olympism" Amazing Race was organized by the Penggerak Belia Tempatan (PeBT) Zon 10 MPKj and the Pierre de Coubertin Society of Malaysia (PCSM) last Sunday at Bandar Damai Perdana. 

The program was organized for the youth of the Bandar Damai Perdana community and was aimed for them to have a fun day out in the sun and at the same time educating them about Olympism and sports.

This is the first time that an "Olympism Amazing Race" has been organized, thanks to PeBT, PCSM and Pilot Pen Sdn. Bhd for sponsoring the prizes.

(For more information, please do not hesitate to call Ms. Tay Li Neo, PCSM Secretary at 016-2798127 or Mr. Sebastian Chan, PeBT President at 0129111619).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tough for Indonesia

Indonesia may have thumped Malaysia 5-1 in the opening group stage game of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, but that was a long time ago. Malaysia has proven its quality with results — and blank sheets — against regional powerhouses Vietnam and Thailand.

The Philippines may have put in some sterling defensive performances during their surprise run to the semifinals but Malaysia has more in its locker. The Malaysians have potent scorers, such as Norshahrul Idlan and Safee Sali. Both are very intelligent players and very mobile, electing to play the whole width of the pitch rather than ploughing a furrow down the middle.

Given the estimated two million Indonesian guest workers in Malaysia at any one time, it is fair to say the Merah Putih won’t be friendless at Bukit Jalil Stadium on Sunday night when it steps on the field and it’s expected a fair few Indonesians, attracted by a first ever AFF Cup triumph, will be making the two-hour flight to catch the game.

While Malaysia will pose a far greater attacking threat than the Philippines, Indonesia will be confident enough in its own form and strength in depth. For example, against the Philippines in the second leg, coach Alfred Riedl had to do without poster boy Irfan Bachdim. No problem though. In came the hugely promising Yongki Aribowo and his performance would have given Riedl just the sort of headache a coach loves.

The flanks are the key area in Riedl’s strategy. Through the middle there isn’t a lot of pace, and striker Christian Gonzales likes the ball played to feet. That’s why the role of the wide players has been so important.

Oktovianus Maniani has had the fans on the edge of their seats ever since he joined the national team. Certainly there’s a big roar around the stadium when the 20-year-old gets the ball as fans sense he is always likely to make things happen.

Mohammad Nasuha and Muhammad Ridwan have also done their bit in spreading the play and getting to the bye line. Indeed Ridwan, a teammate of Oktovianus at Sriwijaya, has also chipped in with two goals. Nasuha, with his bandaged head, has become a defining image of this team built on flair but grounded in self-belief and hard work.

On the bench, Riedl has a couple of options to keep pulling wide. Arif Suyono, yet another Sriwijaya player, has been in and around the national team for a number of years now and made a strong impression in Myanmar back in 2008 ahead of the AFF Cup that year. Interestingly, Riedl has been using Arif as an impact player, coming on to replace Oktovianus with some fresh legs and providing yet more cutting edge to the Indonesian front line. With two goals scored and a couple of assists, Arif has done more than enough to hold down a regular first-choice slot on his own.

At the heart of the midfield, again Riedl has like-for-like options on the bench. Firman Utina is finally showing the talent we all know he possesses. There’s a touch of Roy Keane about the midfield dynamo. He tackles, he creates, he scores and he leads. All in one tiny little package.

And if Firman is for some reason unavailable then there would be no qualms in throwing Eka Ramdani into the mix. A younger Firman but no less inspirational and a folk hero down on the Persib Bandung terraces.

If Indonesia does have a weakness then it is at the back where defenders and keepers are prone to the occasional blooper. This makes Ahmad Bustomi’s job just in front of the back four doubly important. The Arema Indonesia midfielder is another player for whom international football seemed to pass by, but his consistent performances during the AFF Cup have impressed fans and critics alike.

It’s been a long time since Indonesia has boasted such strength in depth and cover for every position, just another contributing piece to the current feel-good factor among fans.

But for all their 15 goals scored and two conceded, Indonesia remains very much untested in one key area. Under Riedl they have played nine games and won eight, just that 7-1 reverse against Uruguay blotting the record book. But all the games have been played in front of passionate home crowds. They have yet to be tested in a hostile arena, unlike the Malaysians who have played two group games in Jakarta, where Malaysians tend not to be too popular, and that famous draw in Hanoi which secured their spot in the final. - The Jakarta Globe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

W.Y.Chin steps down

City-based businessman Raymond Lim is the new Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation (MSBF) president, representing a change of leadership after over 20 years.

At the MSBF biennial general meeting (BGM) in Kuala Lumpur on Friday night, incumbent Datuk W. Y. Chin, who has served as president since the early eighties, stepped down on condition that Lim be given the reins of the federation. Lim has been Chin's loyal deputy for the past 15 years.

Affiliates at the BGM unanimously supported the move by the 73-year old Chin, an architect by profession and also vice-president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia, and gave the greenlight to his 59-year-old successor.

"It was a smooth handover of power and we thank Datuk Chin for his past services.

"I guess he (Chin) felt that it was time to hand over the federation to a younger man. He has taken the association this far, and now maybe, there is a need for change.

"Raymond (Lim) knows the ins and outs of snooker and has also served the MSBF for a good many years. We are confident he will lead the association to even better days ahead," said MSBF secretary Melvin Chia.

In fact, there has been speculation that Chin would be challenged at the federation's BGM, with certain affiliates clamouring for change. The lack of success at the international level and the dearth of talents coming through the ranks are the reasons why.

But, out of respect for the 'Grand Old Man of Malaysian Snooker', as Chin is affectionately referred, the campaign to oust him never really got off the ground.

That was until Friday evening, when a few senior leaders within the MSBF sat down together to take a long hard look at the situation and decided it was time to act.

Lately, the MSBF has gone through some tough times in the international arena, and Moh Keen Ho's gold medal in the Korat Sea Games in 2007 and Ibrahim Amir's silver medal in the eight-ball at the Guangzhou Asian Games recently, are about the only notable achivements.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Goodbye my friend

My dear friend Daud Abu Kassim (picture) passed away around 4am this morning after sufferering a heart attack at his home in Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya.

According to his daugher, Norsyeena, he was brought to the Assunta Hospital after he fell uncouncious at his home. He died on the way to the hospital. He was 62 year old.

Daud leaves behind wife, Normah Mohamed and three daughters - Noreen (31), Nordiana (28) and Norsyeena (26). Noreen is married with two children.

His remains will be taken to his late mother's house at 32, Jalan Hamzah in Kampung Baru. According to Norsyeena, he is expected to be buried in Kampung Baru later in the day.

(For details, please call Norsyeena at 0123181060)

"He fell sick after coming back from Bandung on 4 Dec. And this morning he fell uncouncious and we rushed him to the hospital.."

I have known Daud since 1982. He is very, very passionate about cycling and would speak out againts anyone whom he felt was damaging the sport. He and a few friend were instrumental in forming the Federal Territory Cycling Association, which is undoubtly the most active and financially strong cycling association.

Although he did not hold any position at national level, he had much influence in cycling. Most state associations seek his advise on practically every matter. Daud knew the rules and regulations of cycling - national and international - and no one could take him for a ride.

He also had a good relationship with cycling associations and clubs in Indonesia and the Philippines. Daud also had a cordial relationship with the media, not just the sportswriters, but also the top editors, who often visit him at his office in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur.

His office, was not a place where he ran his businesses, but also a centre of activity for cycling matters. I have personally seen how he got jobs for cyclist, saw to it that they got good promotions and salary. I also know of the many people he helped put in top posts, through his connections with the people in power.

Daud has plenty of friends from all walks of life. It was very common to see a high ranking civil servant, a politician or senior police officers in his office. And, those who vist him include the normal man in the street, including journalists.

I have known Daud be firm in his stand, a man who never walked away from a fight. He loved sport, he loved his friends and most of all he loved his family dearly.

As a rookie reporter, it was Daud who taught me about cycling, a highly technical sport.

Of late, Daud had one major complain. Many ex-cyclists and officials have bicycle shops or businesses related to cycling. And they jostle with each other to be appointed as coach or manager of teams. He was not happy with their motives in wanting to be part of any team.

On 11 Nov, the other Daud in cycling, former national cyclist, Daud Ibrahim passed away after being involved in a road accident.   

My condolence to his family. Sports, especially cycling, has lost an influential and passionate official. I have lost a good and dear friend. May his soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Malaysia in semis

PALEMBANG - Host Indonesia did Malaysia a big favour by beating Thailand 2-1, a result that helped Malaysia who beat Laos 5-1, move into the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup when both the group matches ended in Jakarta and Palembang respectively Tuesday night.

Malaysia who lost to Indonesia and drew with Thailand in their first two matches, needed a win over Laos in Palembang to keep their hopes alive and depend on the outcome of the match between Indonesia and Thailand which was held simultaneously in Jakarta.

If Thailand had beaten Indonesia tonight, Malaysia's win would not been academic and coach K. Rajagobal's boys would have started packing for home.

Indonesia who were trailing Thailand 0-1 until the 70th minute, however scored twice from the penalty spot, incidentally through Bambang Pamungkus, a player who needs no introduction to Malaysian fans as he had made his mark with Selangor in the M-League a few years ago.

Malaysia on the other hand took an early lead through Amri Yahya in the 4th minute but Laos who had held Thailand to a 2-2 draw, hit back in the 8th minute through Lamnao Singto to cancel the advantage but Amri was on cue again in the 40th minute to restore the lead before half time.

With news that Indonesia and Thailand were still scoreless, the Malaysian boys trooped out of the rest room with renewed vigour and determination while the injection of K. Gurusamy for two goal hero Amri, also proved timely.

Mohd Amrulhadi Zainal (73rd) and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (76th) took advantage of some poor defending by Laos to put Malaysia in a comfortable position while an own goal by Kitsada sealed a much deserved 5-1 win for the Malaysians in pouring rain.

With the outcome, Malaysia advanced to the semifinals as Group A runner-up behind Indonesia and meet Vietnam, Singapore or the Philippines who decide on the outcome Wednesday.

In Wednesday's matches, Philippines, the surprise package of the tournament who lead Group B after beating defending champion Vietnam and holding Singapore to a draw, take on Myanmar in their final match while Vietnam and Singapore meet each other in a do-or-die encounter.