Monday, May 31, 2010

No way, says Indonesia

Indonesia has turned down the call from several Southeast Asian countries for Indonesia to host the 26th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in one city, citing a presidential decree that requires the biennial games be spread across four cities.

"We decided to host the SEA Games in four cities as stipulated by the presidential decree on the matter, although some delegations have called on us to hold the event in one city in order to minimize the cost of each contingent," chairperson of the National Olympic Committee Rita Subowo told reporters after the SEA Games council meeting at Hotel Mulia in Jakarta on Sunday.

The four provinces that have been appointed to host the Games are Greater Jakarta, South Sumatera, West Java and Central Java.

"Although we are hosting the Games in four different places, we will try to make it as efficient as possible," added Rita.

During the council meeting, the Olympic committee proposed six additional sports to be included in the next Games. The six games are paragliding, bouldering, roller skating, bridge, futsal and soft tennis.

Several other sports were proposed by other members of the council to be included in the Games, including Muay Thai, Arnis, field-hockey, netball, petanque, triathlon, vovinam and cricket. - JP

Now for SUKMA

After a successful 100PLUS National Junior Badminton Circuit Grand Finals, many of the players will now turn their attention to the XIII Sukan Malaysia in Malacca from June 10-19.

The XIII Sukan Malaysia will also be a venue for world junior champions Ow Yao Han-Yew Hong Kheng to redeem themselves, albeit with different partners, after being knocked out of the Boys' Under-18 doubles semi-finals.

Yao Han will represent Malacca at Sukan Malaysia while Hong Kheng will play for Penang. Doubles champions Heg Wei Kiat is likely to partner Yao Han while his regular partner Teo Ee Yi will turn out
for Johor.

However, Under-18 Boys' singles champion Goh Giap Chin of Penang is not sure of competing in Malacca as he may opt to play in the Jakarta International Open Under-18 competition.

This will pave the way for Negri Sembilan's beaten finalist Loh Wei Sheng, who was also runner-up at the Asian Junior Championship to stake his claim for the gold medal.

Another player seeking to redeem her battered pride is Negri Sembilan's Yan Jia Lin. The top seed failed to even reach the Girls' Under-18 singles semi-finals in Kuantan and she will be determined
to set the record straight in Malacca.

The title was won by Selangor's Yang Li Lian, who defeated Johor Lim Chiew Sin in the title decider. All in, 340 players took part in this year's 100PLUS National Junior Badminton Circuit Grand Finals, some of whom will surely don national colours one day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

No betting in Selangor

The Selangor government will not allow premises in the state to be used for football betting, Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said.

"Although the federal government had issued football betting licence, the state government, via local authorities has the power to stop it. The company has to apply for licence from local authorities to operate football betting," he said in a statement in Shah Alam, Sunday.

Finance Deputy Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung had said the ministry had issued a company licence to operate football betting during World Cup 2010.

Khalid warned local authorities against issuing licence for football betting adding the state government would close premises operating illegal gambling.

He said issuing such licence would not eradicate illegal gambling but would aggravate social problems as the poor would gamble away their hard earned wages. -- BERNAMA

Friday, May 28, 2010

Malaysians in the World Cup

When the world's greatest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup kicks of in June, Malaysians will be wondering when, if ever, would we see our national team playing at that level. But, for now at least, let's be proud that four Malaysians would be involved in South Africa.

Former FIFA Development Officer, Windsor John Paul (picture, left) has been appointed the Head of General Coordinators (Venues) for the World Cup and he will be based at the Headquaters of the Organizing Committee while former FAM General Secretary, Dato Dell Akhbar Khan will be the Head of Security for the Durban venue.

Referee, Subkhidin Mohd Salleh (picture, right)has already been shortlisted to officiate in the tournament while Dato Dr Gurucharan Singh would be part of the medical team in Pretoria.

Congratulations to all of you.Search for world cup 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who will replace Khairy?

Kelantan Football Association (KAFA) president Tan Sri Annuar Musa has yet to decide whether to offer himself as a candidate for the post of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president.

Annuar said he did not want to make a statement with regard to the matter yet since it may be misconstrued or raise a controversy.

"I do not want politicking in a sport like this. Let the affiliates in FAM make a decision when picking their leaders," he told Bernama when asked on reports that he would contest the deputy president's post currently held by Khairy Jamaluddin and Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad.

Speculations are also rife in the football fraternity and FAM corridors that former Perlis Menteri Besar and Perlis FA president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim was interested in filling the post vacated by Khairy.

Shahidan was reported to be keen to join forces with Annuar to inject new blood into the country's ailing football fortunes.

Annuar said normally a month before the congress, the FAM would send a letter of confirmation to candidates who have been nominated by affiliates, for their consent.

"Right now I cannot make any comments and people must also stop speculating," he said.

Its about IQ and EQ

The Malaysian badminton team's failure to make the final of the Thomas Cup was due to a poor mental training method said a leading sports science expert in the country Sheikh Kamaruddin Sheikh Ahmad.

The Universiti Putera Malaysia's (UPM) sports science lecturer with about 30 years experience, said based on his observation, mental training incorporated in the national squad's training was more focused on physical activities to beef up their mental strength.

"The method of exposing players under the hot sun for a lengthy period, purportedly to strengthen their mental, is more suited for army training only.

"For badminton players, we cannot inculcate strenuous physical training to beef up their mental strength. The approach towards athletes is different," said Sheikh Kamaruddin, the former Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union's coaching chairman.

The vastly experienced sports science expert said to beef up the mental strength of shuttlers, a different approach was needed, namely Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and Emotional Quotient (EQ), he said.

The Malaysian Thomas Cup squad lost to Japan in the preliminary stages but beat Denmark to make the semifinals but lost tamely 0-3 to China who eventually beat Indonesia to lift the cup for the fourth consecutive time.

He added that IQ and EQ trainings were to measure the intelligence of an individual as well as train the athlete to focus their mind on their opponents when on the court.

Sheikh Kamaruddin said without consistently 'sharpening' the mind to be active, the physical reflexes of a player would be slow and his or her reaction when under pressure or when attacked by the opponent, would not be effective because the main factor of IQ and EQ is the players emotion.

"Various forms of IQ and EQ can be practiced by players. The objective is to continue sharpening their intelligence and train the mind to be focused. For example, reading the opponents strategy and where he was going to place the shuttle, will give them an edge to react quickly to make the 'kill' to earn points," he said.

Sheikh Kamaruddin said when world number one Datuk Lee Chong Wei and 2008 Beijing Olympics winner, Lin Dan met, it was clear that the Malaysian failed to control his mindset, resulting in the Chinese player easily taking charge of the situation.

"Maybe Chong Wei was cautious and uncertain whether he would be able to beat Lin Dan whom he had not played for about six months, and maintain his status as the world number one in front of the home crowd.

"His own confusion saw Chong Wei losing his focus while his pre-match strategy and game plan were shattered. When a player is confused and overcome by emotion, his game plan will also suffer a similar fate," he said.

The best way for shuttlers to beef up their mental strength was to have a clear focus and free the mind for any outside influence but stick to the coach's strategy for the match.

He added that psychology experts engaged to beef up the mental strength f players must also be a person with authority to have an influence over the players.

For the record, national shuttlers had undergone a three-day team building and motivational camp in Port Dickson, as part of their preparation for the Thomas and Uber Cup final. - Bernama.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Please intervene

PAS handed a memorandum to the Council of Rulers urging them to intervene in the government’s decision to legalise sports betting.

PAS vice president Datuk Mahfuz Omar (picture) presented the memorandum to the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Engku Ibrahim Engku Ngah, at his office in Istana Negara, Wednesday.

“We urge that the meeting [of the Council of Rulers on June 26] be expedited because the government’s decision to issue this licence dishonours the Rulers as heads of Islam,” he said in a telephone interview with The Malaysian Insider.

In particular, he urged the current Raja of Perlis, Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail, to follow in the footsteps of his late father, whom Mahfuz said put up a strong fight against the legalisation of lotteries in the 1950s.

He added that sports-betting also went against Islam as the official religion of Malaysia and was contrary to the values of other religions as well.

Mahfuz said Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s plans to use Sports Toto branches to conduct sports betting during the 2010 World Cup would give ample opportunity for the people to gamble, and joked that this was, “1 Malaysia, semua berjudi” (1 Malaysia, everyone betting).

“People of all ages will gamble... because everyone is a fan of football. Supporters of a particular team will bet on their team,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had earlier issued a sports betting licence to Tan’s Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd, which Berjaya Group — also controlled by Tan — is expected to take a 70 per cent stake in.

The move has been widely seen as an attempt to replenish state coffers, already suffering from a wide deficit, ahead of the 2010 World Cup in June.

According to one Reuters report, the sports betting business in Malaysia could be worth between RM612 million and RM8 billion a year.

Last Friday, PAS organised demonstrations in various parts of the country to protest the move and are planning to hold a rally on July 3 to urge the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to intervene in the matter. - MalaysianInsider.

Asia's Prince of speed

His hero is Usain Bolt. The Jamaican superstar's magical performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when he won golds in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, is seared in the memory of Jirapong Meenapra, 17 (picture).Besides the talent, Bolt's showmanship is also a draw for Jirapong.

The Thai speedster tried his best to put on a show for the 500-odd spectators yesterday at the Asian Area Qualification for the Youth Olympic Games at Bishan Stadium.

In the heat and humidity, Jirapong finished first in the boys' 100m with a time of 10.72sec. Less than two hours later, he returned to the track and helped Thailand win the boys' medley relay.

"I'm not so happy with my time as I could have gone faster if not for the false start," said Jirapong.

"I want to be able to do 10.50 next, which is below my personal best of 10.51."

The blue-riband event was what everyone was waiting for yesterday. Iranian Hassan Taftian had set the pace in the morning heats, posting the fastest time of 10.71.

Jirapong qualified second fastest (10.76), with Asian Youth Games gold medallist Masaki Nashimoto third quickest (10.83).

A false start by Saudi Arabia's Mohammad Ibrahim increased the tension in the final. When the sprinters did get away, Jirapong bolted home to claim a spot in the boys' 100m event at the inaugural Youth Olympics.

Taiwan's Chen Jen-chieh and Masaki claimed the remaining two spots, after finishing second (10.82) and third (10.85), respectively.

As Japan's Masaki ripped off his vest in frustration, Jirapong flashed his megawatt smile, and delivered his idol's signature lightning bolt pose to cheers from the crowd.

"I'm very happy to win and I want to come back and qualify for the final at the Youth Olympic Games," he vowed.

Added the cheeky youngster: "The sprinters from Jamaica, United States and United Kingdom are very good, and I need to do better."

The Youth Olympic Games will see around 3,600 athletes aged between 14 to 18 from 205 countries competing in the 26 Olympic sports.

Less than two hours after his individual race, Jirapong was back on track to compete in the boys' medley relay. Team-mate Pongskorn ?Sopakorn ran the first 100m followed by Jirapong (200m), Sarawut Rattanaphan (300m) and Nitaporn Thongpoon (400m).

The Thai quartet never let up on the pace, setting a blistering time of 1:53.81, easily beating Saudi Arabia (1:54.69) and China (1:54.93).

The relay events at the Youth Olympics will see teams representing five continents - Africa, Americas, Europe, Oceania and Asia. Each team will be made up of the fastest runners for each sprint distance.

That means Thailand's Jirapong will run the 100m leg for Asia.

Co-organised by the Asian Athletics Association and Singapore Athletic Association (SAA), the Asian Area Qualification saw around 300 athletes from the continent competing in 36 events over the weekend. After the final race on Sunday, a total of 80 athletes have booked their spots for the Youth Olympics, with China dominant, winning 19 events in all.

The SAA will decide over the next week who to nominate for the Games (see other story), and the Singapore National Olympic Council will make the final decision. - TodayOnline.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

AFF Cup draw in Hanoi

The official draw for the AFF Cup 2010 and the qualifying round will be held on 15 Sept in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi.This was announced at the 14th meeting of the AFF Council for Session 2007-2011 at the Hilton Petaling Jaya, Saturday.

The qualifying round of the AFF Cup will be held in Laos with the tentative date being 22-30 October 2010 while the main competition will be held on 1-29 Dec 2010.

Preliminary competition will be held in two countries – Indonesia and Vietnam – where they will hosts Group A and Group B depending on the outcome of the draw.

The AFF Under-19 Championship 2010 will be held in Vietnam on 24-30 July is being used as a preparatory tournament for the AFC U19 Championship.This year, the four teams taking part in the meet are Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and Korea Republic.

The AFF Under-16 Championship which is being used as a preparatory tournament for the AFC U16 Championship will be held in Indonesia on 18-28 September.The four teams are Indonesia, Timor Leste, Vietnam and China PR.

Development activities will see several Member Associations organizing courses this year with the tentative dates being Thailand (5-9 July 2010), Malaysia (19-23 July 2010), Indonesia (2-6 August 2010), Singapore (20-24 Nov 2010) and Vietnam (10-14 Sept 2010).The Futuro III A&M Regional Course will be held in Yangon, Myanmar on 4-9 Oct 2010.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jangan salahkan media

Persatuan Penulis-penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM) menyifatkan tindakan menyalahkan wartawan sukan dan media tempatan antara punca utama kegagalan skuad badminton negara ketika pusingan akhir Piala Thomas dan Uber, baru-baru ini, sebagai tindakan terburu-buru dan jalan mudah untuk melepaskan tanggungjawab di bahu.

Ahli-ahli Jawatankuasa Eksekutif SAM sebulat suara dengan pendirian bahawa Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) sepatutnya lebih teliti sebelum menuding jari sebegitu, tambahan pula kerana daripada analisis yang dilakukan, ianya tampak jauh tersasar daripada realiti.

SAM berbangga mempunyai ahli-ahli yang tahu peranan mereka sebagai wartawan sukan bertanggungjawab. Malah daripada penelitian sepanjang tempoh persiapan skuad negara, wartawan dan media tempatan memainkan peranan selaku ‘sahabat’ BAM menerusi penulisan dan pemaparan berita yang positif.

Tugas dan tanggungjawab media sukan tempatan adalah untuk sama-sama mendokong aspirasi sukan negara. Dengan pemain-pemain berstatus professional serta dilimpahi perhatian khusus - termasuk menerusi pendekatan sains sukan yang menyeluruh - mereka seharusnya tahu tanggungjawab perlu dipikul, tanpa perlu menyalahkan kehadiran media sebagai ‘pengacau’.

Amalan wartawan dan media tempatan menemubual pemain selepas sesi latihan adalah sesuatu yang sentiasa berlangsung. Malah ianya tidak pernah sebelum ini dianggap mengganggu dengan pemain-pemain negara sentiasa dapat juga menggapai kegemilangan di peringkat antarabangsa.

SAM berharap BAM akan dapat meneliti situasi ini dengan pendekatan rasional dan tidak bersikap terburu-buru hingga menjejaskan hubungan baik di antara BAM, SAM dan ahli-ahli sejak sekian lama.

SAM dan seluruh ahli-ahli sentiasa menikmati hubungan baik dengan semua Persatuan Sukan Kebangsaan dan berharap ianya mampu diteruskan berdasarkan kepada pendekatan saling menghormati tanggungjawab yang dipikul.

Sekian, terima kasih.
Persatuan Penulis-penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM)
21 MEI 2010

What else is new-la

An experienced and well connected sports official had this to say : "Do you know that there is nothing on any paper anywhere that states the shuttlers were being trained for Thomas and Uber Cup, All they had were trainings as usual and Thomas and Uber Cup were just another tournament for them."

Them here refers to Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), the guardians of the sport which saw Malaysia being humbled on home ground. Not only that the finalists, China and Indonesia also showed that they will be in charge for the next 10 years.

Now, I don't know of what papers there are in BAM or maybe all papers have been taken over by National Sports Council (NSC). All I can say is that I am not surprised. We won the cup in 1992 because of the Thomas-Uber-Olympics (TUO) program, the brain-child of the then BAM President, Tan Sri Elyas Omar and of course executed by P. Gunalan.

In Malaysian sports, what is not there can be made to be somewhere and what is somewhere, can be made to be no where and so on. So, I don't plan to ask anyone if there was a program gearing the players to peak at the Thomas Cup finals.

I was also not surprised to read that the players and coaches blamed everything and almost everyone, including the media, for the failure. I am not suprised that BAM noted all the excuses and made a press statement. By now I know not to expect the BAM officials to tell the players that "if you are good, the media, the weather and the stadium cannot cause you to fail miserably."

Nothing surprises in Malaysian sport. The story is the same everywhere. I was told of a decision by a certain organization to appoint a person as an assistant General Manager, but the staffs were told that he was appointed as GM. I was asked to write about the whole story in proper prespective, but what's the point of doing so?

These are the people running sports in the country and these are the people elected by those suppossedly wanting a change. Lying, cheating and blaming every thing is part of an unhealthy culture in Malaysian sport and, unfoutunately, no sign of changes coming soon.

In the meantime, maybe this would be a good time for the Government to insist that all coaches, including and especially badminton, have proper qualifications. At least, the standard set by the National Coaching Board. Then again, probably, its just wishful thinking on my part.

In the 1980s, P. Gunalan tried to sent people like Misbun Sidek to attend courses overseas. I remember writting the story but cannot remember the exact month or year. But they came back after a short while. Later many accuse Gunalan of not being interested in their welfare.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


the former honorary-secretary of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM), P. Ganga Rao (picture) wants the association to explain on his sacking. He claimed that until Monday, he had yet to receive any letter or to be informed officially of his dismissal.

"If I am sacked according to procedures, where is the official letter on my dismissal from BAM. I also need to know the reasons why I am sacked and I am prepared to face the board to explain, if asked to do so. i  want an explanation as to why I am sacked after 22 years with BAM," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur, Monday.

However, he denied rumours that he was involved in a conspiracy to topple BAM president Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Salleh when the latter was undergoing medical treatment in Germany.

Last April 13, Nadzmi announced Ganga Rao's dismissal from BAM with immediate effect.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Taufik calls for fresh blood

Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat grimacing during his No. 1 singles match against China’s Lin Dan in the finals of the Thomas Cup in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Lin won the match 21-7, 21-14. (AFP Photo/Saeed Khan)

Following Indonesia’s latest failure to win the Thomas Cup, former national team shuttler Taufik Hidayat  (picture) revealed his feelings of restlesness about the lack of player regeneration inside the squad.

Taufik, a gold medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, said the flow of new blood has slowed.

“It has always been Sony [Dwi Kuncoro], Simon [Santoso] and me filling in the men’s singles lineup since 2004. Now I’m the first singles in my sixth Thomas Cup. There must be something wrong with the young players’ development,” the 28-year-old told the Jakarta Globe.

Taufik first joined the Thomas Cup squad in the 2000 finals, which also took place in Kuala Lumpur, as the team’s No. 2 singles shuttler.

His presence helped Indonesia emerge as the winner, claiming the tie’s clinching third victory against Sydney Olympic champion Ji Xinpeng of China, and Taufik has been a fixture on the country’s Thomas Cup squad ever since.

Taufik said this year’s squad lacked the kind of quality the national team had in 2000, when it swept longtime rival China 3-0 to claim Indonesia’s 13th Thomas Cup title.

“We could hardly select the names to fill in the lineup because we had too many good players, but now we have no more choices. I really wish this could be my last Thomas Cup ,” the former world champion said.

That, he continued, was why he welcomed the Indonesian Badminton Association’s (PBSI) decision to name Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka as the fourth singles player and give him a chance to see the court this year.

Dionysius, filling in for the absent Sony, defeated Stuart Gomez of Australia 21-12, 21-10 during Group D play.

“Though I’m confident enough that the players will still be the same for the next Thomas Cup, at least the PBSI has started to let a young player like Hayom play in the team event,” he said.

“But it’s not enough because the PBSI must continously send Hayom to international tournaments to elevate his world ranking. The BWF [Badminton World Federation] will start the qualifying for London Olympic Games next year. I hope there will be more prominent young players to come.”

Former State Minister of Youth and Sport Adhyaksa Dault said the national government is ready to support badminton’s development in Indonesia through the Golden Indonesia Program, a national training program that was launched this year by the government and the Indonesia National Sports Committee.

“The government has allocated money to help boost sports development in Indonesia, including badminton as our favorite sport in international level competitions,” Adhyaksa said after the final.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

China wins and set to shine in Olympics

China white-washed Indonesia 3-0 in a smouldering yet fiery performance in the Thomas Cup finals at Putra Stadium, Sunday. The defending champions stamped its mark of supremacy to keep the coveted men's team trophy at home for the eight time, four in the row since 2004.

The top seeds sealed their victory through their third singles Chen Jin who defeated Simon Santoso after Lin Dan and Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng gave a comfortable 2-0 tie lead.

The much-anticipated epic battle between Beijing Olympic gold medallist Lin Dan and Athens Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat was an anti-climax as the Indonesian failed to match the Chinese's speed and net play.

World No. 2 Lin Dan took 60 minutes to tame world number five, Taufik, 21-7, 21-14. In the first set, Taufik just followed Lin Dan's tempo, trailing 1-5, 2-11, 7-20 and a drop shot by the Chinese concluded the set for 7-21. In the second set, Lin Dan was leading 9-6 and 14-11. Taufik tried to crawl back but it was too late. The Chinese sealed it with 21-14.

"Both of us were trying very hard to win our game, to open the path for others in the squad," said Lin Dan.

Taufik said he tried to open up the match but Lin Dan was simply too strong.

Lin Dan's victory was a shot-in-the-arm for the Chinese first doubles, Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng who edged Indonesia's top duo, Markis Kido/Hendra Setiawan 25-23, 16-21, 21-12 in 59 minutes.

The Chinese duo however, were given a run for the money when the Indonesian pairs managed to steal a set.

As the Chinese were leading comfortably in the first set, 5-1, 11-7, the Indonesian crawled back and managed to level the tie for 22-22 but their unforced errors caused Cai Yun/Fu Haifeng to seal a victory.

In the second set, the Indonesian duo were leading all the way and sealed it 21-16.

After a two-minute breather, the Chinese pair came back stronger in the rubber set, leading all the way to conclude the match at 21-12.

While Markis said both he and his partner lost steam, especially in the rubber match, Cai Yun said the Indonesian pair were hard to fight because both teams deployed similar tactics.

World number three singles, Chen Jin justified his seeding, beating world number 12, Simon Santoso 19-21, 21-17, 21-7 in 73 minutes. In the rubber-match, the Indonesian was out of steam, trailing 3-11, 5-15, 7-19 before Chen Jin added another two points to seal China's victory.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Bye bye Thomas Cup

Malaysia were outclassed by the defending champion China, losing out 0-3 in the Thomas Cup semifinal held at the Putra Stadium, Friday. China will face Indonesia in the final which will be held at 2pm on Sunday after Indonesia beat Japan 3-1 in the earlier match.

Malaysia, who were seeded third, now must wait for another two years to end their 18-year drought in winning the coveted trophy, having last won here in 1992.

World number one men's singles, Datuk Lee Chong Wei playing against Beijing Olympic gold medallist and three-time world champion, Lin Dan, lost 17-21, 8-21 in 47 minutes.

The last time Chong Wei played Lin Dan was in the semifinal of the China Masters Championship in September last year where the Malaysian lost in three sets, 20-22, 21-15, 7-21. Friday's loss widened the head to head record between Chong Wei and Lin Dan, to 6:14 in favour of the latter.

In the second tie, world number one pair, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong also failed to justify their ranking, losing out 15-21, 10-21 in 36 minutes to world number eight pair, Cai Yun/Fi Haifeng.

In the third tie, Malaysia's seasoned campaigner, Wong Choong Hann, failed to catch-up with the speed of China's second singles, Chen Jin, bowing out 16-21, 7-21 in 41 minutes. Choong Hann said he gave his best and tried to open-up the game but his opponent had the answer to all his tactics.

In 1992, when the Thomas Cup final was held at the Stadium Negara, Malaysia won the final by beating Indonesia 3-2. Since the Thomas Cup competition was introduced in 1948, Malaysia had won the tournament five times -- in 1949, 1952, 1955, 1967 and 1992.

Malaysia have also reached the final 13 times, the last being in 2002 in Guangzhou, China, where they lost to Indonesia 2-3. In the semi-final then, Malaysia had beaten China 3-1.

While China had won the coveted Cup seven times in 1982, 1986, 1988, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2008 and twice became the runners-up, in the 1984 and 2000 editions.

They know when to quit

Denmark’s 3-2 loss to Malaysia in the Thomas Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday was a painful farewell for two great Danes who have kept their team in the world men’s team championships.

Men’s singles shuttlers Kenneth Jonassen and Peter Hoeg Gade said this was their last Thomas Cup with Denmark. Jonassen said he planned to move to England to become a coach with the country’s national team.

“I thought it was going to be a very good experience. I’ve only known the Danish system. I’m very happy with that, but if I have to be involved as a coach, maybe I can add an outside view of things. It is very good for me and Denmark as well,” the 35-year-old Jonassen told the Jakarta Globe.

“So for me it’s not a goodbye to Denmark, but see you later. That’s why I left, a new experience for me and my family to live outside Denmark.”

Jonassen, who climbed as high as No. 2 in the world in April 2005, said Denmark was making good progress in bringing through youngsters to replace departing shuttlers.

He said Viktor Axelsen was a crowning achievement of Denmark’s junior development system. Axelsen won the World Junior Championship in Guadalajara, Mexico, last month, breaking Asia’s domination and becoming the first European to win the title.

In an effort to speed up his development, Denmark decided to bring him to Kuala Lumpur to gain experience in the prestigious team championship.

“We have a really good mix between young and experienced players this year. I think it’s really important for the lineup to keep coming,” Jonassen said.

“But of course, he can’t go directly this year to join the team, maybe in two years or three. Viktor has not joined the national team yet. He has to learn to be the best, has to learn more things out from the court. He is still 16, still too young to join the national team. He’s not ready to move away from home.”

For Gade, it was painful to accept his last Thomas Cup performance ended so early, after losing to Lee Chong Wei in the quarterfinals.

“I’m still going to continue for one, maybe one and a half years more. Maybe until the Olympics,” the 33-year-old said. “I think I’m going to be a coach. You never know. We’ll see.”

Gade also said he had faith Jan O Jorgensen would do well as his replacement at No. 1 singles in team competitions. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pemain badminton Malaysia sudah tua

Zaman kegemilangan badminton Malaysia sudah berlalu kerana negara ini terlalu bergantung kepada pemain tua, kata ketua jurulatih China, Li Yongbo.

Malah tegas Yongbo, Malaysia terlalu mengharapkan jaguh No. 1 dunia, Datuk Lee Chong Wei yang dilihat bersendirian memikul cabaran dan selalu bertindak one man show.

Beliau percaya, pasukannya adalah pilihan terbaik untuk mempertahankan kejuaraan Piala Thomas buat kali keempat berturut-turut, terutama selepas mempamer tiga perlawanan yang mantap.

"Keseluruhannya pemain Malaysia (perseorangan) sudah tua, mereka terlalu mengharapkan Lee Chong Wei untuk memenangi semuanya. Pemain seperti Wong Choong Hann atau (Muhammad) Hafiz (Hashim) tidak boleh lagi diharap, manakala pemain muda mereka pula tidak mencapai standard yang meyakinkan," ujar Yongbo.

Jurulatih China itu yakin, negaranya memiliki opsyen pemain yang lebih banyak dan tidak terlalu bergantung kepada juara Olimpik dan dunia, Lin Dan, sekali gus tidak memberi beban melampau kepada hanya pemain.
Kata-kata Yongbo memang berasas, kerana selain Lin Dan, mereka juga mempunyai Chen Jin (pemain No. 3 dunia), Bao Chunlai (8) dan Chen Long untuk menggalas tanggungjawab dalam kejohanan utama, malah mereka juga memiliki pemain sedang meningkat naik seperti Du Pengyu.

Menurut Yongbo, beliau optimis China tetap akan melangkah ke final Piala Thomas tidak kira siapa lawan mereka pada separuh akhir, malah yakin pasukannya berada pada prestasi tertinggi untuk menjulang kejuaraan ketujuh keseluruhan.

Jika berjaya membawa pulang Piala Thomas dan Uber kali ini, ia bermakna ini kali keempat berturut-turut China itu merangkul kejuaraan berganda, sejak melakukannya pada 2004.

Yongbo yakin, misi bawa pulang gelaran berganda tidak mustahil, kerana pasukannya berada dalam keadaan paling mantap dan meyakinkan, meskipun Lin Dan tampak sedikit bergelut ketika mengalahkan Park Sung Hwan 21-16, 21-15 dalam aksi pembukaan.

"Prestasi pemain kami hari ini lebih baik berbanding ketika menentang lawan yang sama, di gelanggang yang sama semalam. Lin Dan mempamer aksi lebih baik, dengan taktik lebih kemas dan nampak lebih relaks. Saya rasa, permainan kami semalam lebih tegang tetapi tidak hari ini. Keseluruhannya, ada kelegaan ditunjukkan pemain kami selepas melepasi separuh akhir, mereka bermain tenang dan berada pada keyakinan tertinggi untuk mencari kejuaraan," ujar Yongbo.- Utusan.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Putrajaya Sailing Week

Its back!! Putrajaya Sailing Week 2010, to be held from 9th-11th of July in Putrajaya, Malaysia will be organized in a spectacular way.
Parents and Coaches, this is one regatta where the racing sailors can't totally argue with you, on what they did or did not on water! You are practically just less than 10metres from shore when they bear off at the mark! Not to mention the gusty and shifty winds year on year, testing even the best of performance sailors with their laylines.
A note for the first timers, the wind in Putrajaya averages at 9 knots, and between June and August, the city welcomes the Southerwesterly Wind which kicks in at midday and holds steady at 12-14 knots ~ gusty, shifty, flat water racing. For the record, it was 12-14 knots for all three days of racing last year! All classes will benefit from the planned course, especially the lighter divisions. As expected it will be tight racing again as the course is compact and commands shift reading and tactical ability.

Add some good fun (more side events this year), comfortable lodging, good food and city attractions, teams are encourage to bring along their families to this beautiful city.
Yes. If you wish, its free accomodation and transportation from Hotel-Race Venue daily for the INTERNATIONAL SAILORS & TEAMS, to be provided by the organiser. Register fast and let us know how many are in your team attending.
Pertaining to boat chartering, we will take bookings for Optimists, Lasers and International 470s from now on. We have limited amount of boats, hence early indication from the interested team/participant will ensure confirmation. The chartering costs will be as the following:

1. Optimist (Hull, Spars & Basic Foils) -  RM 150.00 (+ RM 100.00 Damage Deposit)
2. Lasers (Hull, Spars & Foils Only) - RM 250.00 (+ RM 100.00 Damage Deposit)
3. Int 470 - (Boat Complete - Some rigging maybe required) - RM 250.00 (+ RM 100.00 Damage Deposit)

So extend the NOR to your network, bring along your family and friends, and make plans to visit us at PSW2010 soon.

Should you need anything from our end, do no more but contact Megat Fairuz, Vice Commodore Putrajaya Sailing Week 2010. His numbers are: Mobile: (60) 017.628.1007; Kelab Tasik Tel: (60)3.8889.5008
Fax: (60)3.8889.5007.

Berjaya gets football betting license

Despite protests from civil society, religious groups and opposition figures, the government has gone ahead to legalise sports gambling.

According to Sin Chew Daily, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is also Finance Minister, yesterday issued a betting license to the Berjaya Group.

Meanwhile, the country's legendary footballer Datuk Abdul Ghani Minhat or popularly known as 'Raja Bola' feels the idea to legalise football betting for the World Cup would lead to the demise of local football later.

Ghani said issuing licence to operators of football betting centres during the World Cup would lead to similar requests for local competitions, especially the M-League, and that would spell the death of local football.

"I am worried that legalising football betting in countries where football is developing, will kill the sport. If you add fuel to a burning fire, it may in the end burn you," he told Bernama in Kuala Lumpur, Wednesday.

Ghani, a prolific goal scorer for the national team during his heydays as a player for Selangor and Malaysia during the 'Golden Era of the 60s' said legalising football may also lead to the bribery scandal that rocked the country in 1994 and 1995.

Recently, Deputy Finance Minister Senator Datuk Awang Adek Hussein had told the Dewan Negara that the government may consider application's for as a means of stopping illegal bookies, adding that the government viewed the threat of illegal gambling seriously as it generated other social problems such as illegal money lending, organised crime and money laundering.

The M-League was rocked by a bribery scandal in 1994 that led to 126 players, coaches and officials being hauled up for investigations by the police.

The scandal followed an extensive police investigation that games in the Malaysian Premier League, which included teams from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, had been rigged by bookmakers.

Subsequently, 58 players were suspended between one to four years by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), while police charged 27 leading players and three bookmakers for match fixing.

Some were banned for life and barred from playing in competitions organised by FAM while some were exiled to other districts or states for a specific period of time. That bribery scandal also saw the cream of the crop in Malaysia football, being erased from the playing fields.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Football Association President Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said he does not welcome any activities related to gambling or betting that involved sports.

"Football is a sport and should not be linked to gambling or betting. We cannot mix sports with gambling as the motive of winning in gambling has the vested interest of an individual while is in sports, especially football, it is a team effort," he said.

He added that legalising football betting would tarnish the sporting spirit of players and local football as a whole.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well done, Major

Former Malaysian national squash coach Major (Rtd) S. Maniam became the first person to be inducted into the Asian Squash Federation's Hall of Fame last week. He is currently the consultant coach for the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and also Asia Squash Federation's (ASF) director of coaching.

Maniam is also director of coaching and development for the World Squash Federation.

"The award was for my contribution to the sport for Asia over the last 20 years. I am absolutely elated. It (coaching) is part and parcel of my job. I am enjoying my job very much and did not expect this (felicitation)," Maniam told Bernama in a telephone interview from Chennai Monday.

The 56-year-old coach, who once groomed the current world squash champion Nicol David, is based in Chennai and shaping up the Indian squash players.

Last Saturday, ASF director of referees Munir Shah of Singapore became the second person to be inducted into the hall of fame during a ceremony held at the Indian Sports Academy in Chennai.

Among Maniam's achievements was to successfully implement the National Junior Development Programme in Malaysia and India. He has been involved in the sport since 1976.

Match-fixing: Vietnam enlist Polis help

The Vietnam Police and the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) signed a co-operation agreement recently aimed at stamping out match-fixing in the national V-League.

The agreement follows a string of match-fixing scandals, in a country where gambling is widespread, despite being banned. The two sides agreed to keep a close watch on every V-League match for possible signs of match-fixing and continue efforts to ensure fair and safe football matches.

"In the past, the VFF have worked with the police to catch and penalise those responsible for match-fixing," said VFF chairman Nguyen Trong Hy.

"At the SEA Games in the Philippines in 2005, seven Vietnamese national players were jailed for match-fixing, and these arrests are a result of the co-operation between the VFF and police."

However Colonel Ho Sy Tien, the deputy head of the police investigation department, admitted that in order to effectively battle match-fixing and corruption in football, the Vietnam government may have to legalise some form of football betting.

"Legal betting would be an effective way to clear out the match-fixing and illegal betting problem in Vietnam," said Sy Tien. "We have taken measures to prevent match-fixing in football as well as in other sports.“

In 2006, police said the ‘clean hands' campaign resulted in 1,554 people being arrested in 348 cases of illegal betting uncovered by police in 39 of the country's 64 provinces and cities.

Authorities also seized VND3.5 billion (USD219,400) and USD31,762 in cash, 160 motorbikes, 13 cars, 382 cell phones and 54 computers. The new co-operation agreement between football and police authorities also notes concerns about safety at matches.

The national league, which began it's season in January, was hit with outbreak of violence on and off the field at several some matches.

Colonel Tien said police authorities always arrange riot forces to ensure security at stadiums during every V-League match. - AFF.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

LTAM's pilot project

The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) have embarked on a pilot project to send their young talents to train abroad.

Disturbed by the constant bickering among certain parties who have disrupted plans to set up a proper academy in the country, a group of junior players — Ariez Elyaas Deen Heshaam (pic), Assri Merzuki, Mohd Nazim Khan, Ahmed Deedat and Syed Agil Syed Naguib — will hone their skills at the Alberto Portas High Performance tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain, during a month-long stint.

Ariez has left earlier while Assri and Syed Agil left on Friday. Ahmed, meanwhile, will not be able to join his teammates as he has yet to fully recover from an ankle injury.

The academy was founded by former top-20 ATP player Albert Portas. He was formerly attached to the Sanchez Casal academy also in Spain.

"We need to move forward. It's disappointing we can't seem to set up a proper academy here as the players are distracted by outside influences," said LTAM president Datuk Abdul Razak Latiff.

"We will monitor the progress of our players and will send them to other academies as well to see where they best fit. We're looking at sending the girls too in the near future."

The boys will return in time to represent their respective States for the Sukma in Malacca next month.
"There they will know the meaning of discipline, eating the right food and adopting the right attitude. We want to mould tennis players and they have to play against stronger opponents."

When asked about national coach S. Selvarajoo's tenure in the national set up, Abdul Razak added. "Selvarajoo's key performance index will be the Davis Cup (in July). We will then sit down and evaluate his performance and that of the team." - LTAM website.

Malaysian connection in Australia

Australia may be one of the powerhouses in rugby but badminton is slowly becoming a popular sport in the Ocenia country, thanks to Malaysian-born siblings Raj and Renuga Veeran.

The duo helped Australia, for the first time ever, qualify for the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals this year.

Raj, 24, and Renuga, 23, might be the first brother-sister team to feature in the Thomas and Uber Cup Finals although Malaysians Billy Ng and his sister, Sylvia, played for the country before but were only involved in the qualifying rounds.

The Veeran siblings have notched several firsts for themselves and Australia in their badminton career and they are determined to take their game to another level by the end of the year. This is the first time Australia have qualified for either the Thomas Cup or Uber Cup Finals.

Raj and Renuga, who hail from Kepong, will also be the first Australian pair to feature in the mixed doubles in the World Championships in Paris in August.

"We qualified on merit, finishing among the top 48 pairs in the world. This is a plus point for us. It is a big breakthrough in our badminton career," said Raj.

Raj and Renuga will also carry their challenge in this year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in November.

"It has been a fantastic year for us. We will be playing in the badminton majors. It is a dream come true for us. It has always been our dream,'' said Renuga, who, with Raj, moved to Sydney in 2003 to pursue their badminton career and studies. Raj is now a qualified accountant in Melbourne while Renuga is pursuing her diploma in education.

"We are very excited with our progress. We may not be in the same class with the top players in the world but we have done our (badminton) career good. Our mission is to go as far as we can, in badminton,'' said Renuga, who played for Malaysia in the World Junior Championships in South Africa in 2002.

The Veerans have also won several local tournaments in Australia and in New Zealand, apart from winning the Under-19 Australasian mixed doubles titles. -- BERNAMA

Friday, May 7, 2010

Betting licence

The government is studying the possibility of issuing football betting licences in view of the 2010 World Cup to prevent illegal betting and gaming activities from becoming rampant in the country.

Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Hussein said if the licences were not issued to the applicants, such illegal activities would persist and become out of control.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Indonesia's quest for glory begins anew

Indonesia’s best shuttlers are on the road once again in search of long-lost silverware.

The Thomas and Uber Cup squads leave for Kuala Lumpur on Friday as they try to reclaim the world team championships. Indonesia’s men have not won the Thomas Cup since 2002, while the women’s last Uber Cup victory came in 1996.

Despite the extended drought, Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI) chairman Djoko Santoso said he had high hopes for both teams.

“We’ve done our best to help you [shuttlers] prepare for the Thomas and Uber Cups. Now it’s time for all of you to give us your best,” Djoko said on Tuesday at the PBSI’s 59th anniversary party, which also served as the teams’ sending-off ceremony. “Bringing home the two trophies, I think, is not an impossible target.”

Play begins on Sunday at the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex and runs through May 16.

Djoko declined to discuss possible win bonuses, saying, “We don’t want to pamper athletes with bonuses.”

Indonesia’s Uber Cup team took second place when Jakarta hosted the 2008 tournaments, losing 3-0 to China in the final, while the men bowed out in the Thomas Cup semifinals after a 3-0 loss to Korea.

The Uber Cup squad received a boost when Group B opponent Denmark announced European and All England champion Tine Rasmussen had withdrawn from the tournament with a leg injury. That left Denmark’s highest-ranked singles shuttler as world No. 52 Camilla Sorensen.

“Denmark is still a tough team to beat, and we must not underestimate its other players,” world No. 19 Maria Febe Kusumastuti said.

For Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, this year will be his first experience at the biennial world team championship.

However, his status as Indonesia’s No. 4 singles shuttler after Taufik Hidayat (picture), Sony Dwi Kuncoro and Simon Santoso could mean he will not even see the court in Malaysia.

“I understand the fact that probably I won’t even play, but I’ll be ready if the team needs me,” Dionysius said. “If I have my chance, I know that it will be important for me to prove myself as a national team player.”

Indonesia’s men were drawn with Australia and India in Group D. They will lean on Taufik, the only holdover from the country’s 2000 and 2002 championships, to show the way.

Taufik said he was up for the task. “I’m not as good as when I helped the team win in 2002,” the 28-year-old said. “But I’ll give my best to lift the trophy for a third time.”

If he needs inspiration, he can draw on previous memories from Kuala Lumpur. His victory over Ji Xinpeng in 2000 gave Indonesia a 3-0 sweep of China in the final. -JG.Dark Tide, The

Rosmah promises a reward

National badminton players competing in the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup tournaments beginning Sunday can expect a reward if they win the championships.

Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) patron Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is wife of the prime minister, promised a reward if they lift the trophies.

"God willing, there will be a reward for the players if they win. We will discuss this with the prime minister," she said after closing the Thomas-Uber Cup one million signatures campaign, in Kuala Lumpur, Thursday.

Rosmah said the players should not face any hindrance to playing well as the arrears in their payment had been settled with a RM2-million allocation from the government to the BAM.

"I was informed that they are in satisfactory health and I notice that they are in high spirits. I believe they have prepared themselves to play well," she said.

Earlier, Rosmah spent time chatting with the nation's Thomas Cup and Uber Cup teams who were present at the event. The prestigious championships are scheduled from Sunday to May 16 at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

Thailand in South Africa, Malaysia going to Turkey

Thailand will play a warm-up match with World Cup hosts South Africa in South Africa on May 31, Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi said yesterday.

The match will take place in Johannesburg or in Pretoria, 11 days before South Africa kick off the 2010 finals against Mexico at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg.

Worawi, who is also a Fifa executive, said South Africa invited Thailand to play a warm-up game there because he is close to their coach Carlos Alberto Perreira of Brazil.

He said he had known the Brazilian since he coached Saudi Arabia more than 10 years ago before he took Brazil to their fourth world title in the US in 1994.

Meanwhile Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are planning to send their national under-23 squad to Turkey and to participate in the Premier League in June as part of their preparation for the Asian Games.

The young squad are also scheduled to take part in the AFF Football Championship at the end of the year and have also arranged several matches in Malaysia against teams from the Middle East.

Under the guidance of head coach K. Rajagobal, matches against sides from Africa will also form part of their overall programme.

“We are always making an effort to hold talks with several countries in an effort to gain further exposure for this team,” said Datuk Azuddin Ahmad, the general secretary of the FA of Malaysia (FAM).

“We are still in the discussion stage and have not decided on the teams or the dates of these matches. Other than these two assignments, we are also planning to have a game against a team from the English Premier League in August. Which team that will be will be made known at a later

Deadline extended !

FIFA has extended the deadline for submission of entries for the preliminary competition of the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament to May 10, 2010.

In a letter to the Member Associations, AFC has informed that the men’s and women’s Asian qualifiers will be planned based on the total number of entries confirmed by FIFA.

Member Associations who wish to participate in the preliminary competition and have not yet confirmed their participation have been advised to contact FIFA directly before the above deadline.

Detailed information on the Asian qualifiers will be provided to the confirmed participating Member Associations in due time. - AFC.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tough Task for Riedl

Alfred Riedl already faces growing expectations as the newly appointed coach of the national football team.

Despite having yet to set foot in Indonesia as its national team coach, Alfred Riedl (picture) already faces growing expectations.

Riedl brings experience and success in Southeast Asian football to his new job, having led Vietnam and Laos to regional success, and his new employers want him to do the same with Indonesia’s national teams.

The Indonesian Football Association (PSSI) expects him to end the country’s gold-medal drought in the Southeast Asian Games. That is just the tip of the iceberg for the 60-year-old Austrian, though.

In addition to Indonesia hosting the SEA Games in 2011, qualifying for the 2014 World Cup begins on Oct. 8. The Under-23 team, which Riedl will also manage, begins 2012 Olympic Games qualifying on Feb. 23, 2011.

The PSSI wants the national training camp to begin in May, with Riedl likely making his debut during the Independence Cup in August. Following World Cup qualifying, Indonesia and Vietnam will co-host the AFF Suzuki Cup in December.

Riedl’s first concern, though, is filling out his coaching staff. He has previously stated he wants Wolfgang Pikal, the director and head coach of Canggu Club Football Academy in Bali, to be his assistant.

“It looks like I’ll be Alfred’s assistant, but I can’t confirm it now because I have yet to sign anything with the PSSI,” Pikal said on Tuesday.

Pikal said Riedl was still trying to find plane tickets to Jakarta and would likely arrive on Sunday or Monday.
He also said there would be at least two Indonesian assistants on the staff.

“There are names that come out such as Danurwindo, Jaya Hartono, Widodo Putra and Aji Santoso. But Alfred has made it clear he’s the one that will choose the assistants,” Pikal said.

That was news to Danurwindo, who has led Persija Jakarta and Persebaya Surabaya in recent years.

“I just heard it from you,” he said in a phone interview. “I don’t know Riedl personally, but I’m sure he has proper knowledge of Southeast Asian football as he managed to boost Vietnam and Laos’ performance.”

Danurwindo also said he would be ready if Riedl asked him to join his staff.

Yongki Aribowo has first-hand experience with Riedl’s football, having been part of the Indonesian U-23 team that lost 2-0 to eventual bronze medalist Laos during the last SEA Games. The Persik Kediri forward welcomed Riedl’s appointment.

“Laos had good teamwork and speed. I hope Riedl can also boost our performance,” he said. “I really want to be in his team.”

Bontang FC coach Fachri Husaini, who was an assistant to former national team boss Peter Withe, said the PSSI needed to put its priorities elsewhere.

“Riedl was successful in his spells with Vietnam and Laos, but it may be a different affair in Indonesia. We have different problems than Vietnam and Laos,” he said. “We’ve been through such experiences when the PSSI hired Peter Withe, who had a great spell in Thailand. He failed to boost Indonesia’s performance.

“I don’t think the current competition benefits us. You see ISL clubs have a five import quota. It leaves six locals in the line-up, and how many young players earn an opportunity to play?”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Kumpulan baru dalam MCA, pertukaran presiden dalam perancangan

TAHNIAH kepada Persatuan Kriket Malaysia (MCA) berikutan pelantikan baru terhadap kekosongan jawatan majlis eksekutifnya pada 1 Mei 2010. 

Kini jawatan timbalan presiden diisi oleh bekas Presiden Persatuan Kriket Kuala Lumpur, Wilfred Abraham. Dua kekosongan jawatan naib pula dipertanggungjawabkan kepada Asgari Mohd. Fuad Stephens; adik kepada pemegang jawatan terdahulu yang meninggal dunia tahun lepas, Affendi. Satu lagi jawatan itu  kepada Setiausaha Kriket Kuala Lumpur, Devindran Ramanathan. Bagi kekosongan ahli majlis eksekutif, V. Vijayalingam, Setiausaha Kriket Sarawak mengisinya.

Adalah menjadi harapan agar MCA bergerak lancar selepas ini apabila bermacam-macam pengerusi jawatankuasa kecil diwujudkan. Vijayalingam mungkin diberi tugas mengetuai jawatankuasa pembangunan remaja menggantikan Sham Jalil yang ingin berehat dengan hanya memegang jawatan anggota majlis eksekutif sahaja. Sham yang juga bekas pembuka pukulan kebangsaan sebelum ini telah menjalankan tugas dengan baik sejak lebih tiga tahun tetapi ada segelintir pihak yang 'berkepentingan' menganggap dia terlalu perkauman dalam pemilihan pemain.

Apa nak buat... terlalu ramai pemain yang dilahirkan merupakan kumpulan daripada program Persatuan Kriket Melayu Malaysia yang memiliki puluhan pusat pembangunan bawah 12 tahun sehinggalah ke skuad pembangunan dan pusat prestasi tinggi. Tanpa Kriket Melayu jangan nak harap - buat masa ini - skuad peringkat usia Malaysia dapat menonjol  lebih-lebih lagi barisan utama negara pun rata-rata sudah dikuasai oleh kumpulan daripada program Kriket Melayu.

Tanpa berlengah, walaupun MCA akan mengadakan mesyuarat agung pemilihan lagi awal tahun 2011, adalah diharapkan empat muka baru itu dapat berbuat sesuatu agar pelbagai cemuhan sebelum ini yang dikenakan ke atas presidennya, Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar tidak berlaku lagi. Janganlah menconteng arang ke muka sendiri. Setiausahanya, Sivanandan Chinnadurai yang dikatakan bijak berkata-kata diyakini dapat bekerjasama dengan kumpulan baru ini walaupun ada pihak mengatakan bekas naib presidennya, Mahinda Valipuram adalah 'watak utama' penyenaraian keempat-empatnya dalam majlis eksekutif MCA itu.

Janganlah pula kerana ingin mengekalkan jawatan, Sivanandan akan menjadi mangsa 'kumpulan' ini sekali gus akan bergelar sebagai 'pak turut' sahaja.

Tunku Imran buat masa ini mungkin lega kerana atas kertas empat 'orang baru' itu tidak akan mencetus masalah kepadanya. Tetapi awal tahun depan, apakah anak raja ini sanggup tidak bertanding mengekalkan jawatannya? Apabila dicabar oleh bekas wartawan, M. Hanafiah A. Samad pada pemilihan awal tahun 2009, Tunku Imran berjanji musim berkenaan adalah yang  terakhir baginya jika dipilih semula. Dengan penguasaan majlis MCA oleh orang-orang Mahinda sekarang, apakah Tunku Imran mungkin menukar pendirian? Tetapi Mahinda pasti inginkan bekas timbalan presiden, P. Krishnasamy kembali ke pangkuan MCA kerana mereka sependapat dan ingin menjadikan persatuan itu bermotifkan perniagaan. Krishnasamy diyakini dapat mengembangkan badan kriket itu dengan bermodalkan banyak wang. 

Inilah dikatakan muslihatnya. Takkanlah Wilfred, seorang pakar undang-undang ingin disingkirkan. Tentu Krishnasamy yang dikhabarkan mendapat sokongan kuat Majlis Kriket Asia (ACC) akan kembali dan jawatan PRESIDEN sudah pasti kedudukan tertinggi yang merupakan perancangan utama kumpulan baru ini.

Jadi, bagi Tunku Imran, kedudukannya untuk bertahan lama tidak lagi selamat. Lebih baik anak Almarhum Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman mengundurkan diri awal tahun depan daripada menerima penyingkiran. Tiada kawan baginya lagi. Perancangan besar sudah pun dibuat. Presiden Majlis Kriket Johor (JCC), Datuk Dr. Harjit Singh yang 'ditawarkan' jawatan timbalan presiden MCA baru-baru ini menerima malu besar apabila dipermainkan pada saat akhir. Sivanandan yang dikatakan mahukannya tetapi Dr. Harjit dapat menghidu permainan besar sudah digerakkan oleh kumpulan lain.

Jadi bersedialah, kebangkitan SUKAN atau perancangan untuk pemilihan tahun depan diutamakan?

Nampaknya, Kriket Melayu sahaja terpaksa terus mengutamakan pembangunan.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Rashid and daughter H1N1 positive

National singles coach Rashid Sidek and his daughter have been admitted to a private hospital Saturday after they were certified H1N1 positive.

National Sport Institute director Datuk Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz said this was confirmed by Tawakal Hospital.

"We have been informed by the hospital on the matter and follow-up action will be taken by the institute and the Health Ministry to prevent the spread of the disease," he said when contacted by Bernama.

Abdul Rashid and his five-year-old daughter were admitted to the hospital after they were found to have symptoms of being infected with the H1N1 virus.

Rashid is one of the national coaches who will be involved in the Thomas Cup and Uber Cup tournaments at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, from May 9 to May 11.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Badminton Association (BAM) general manager Kenny Goh said medical checks would be conducted on all national players on Monday as a safety measure to ensure they were not infected with the H1N1 virus

LTAM's target: 1,000 young players

The Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) has targeted producing more than 1,000 young and teenage players to develop tennis throughout the country and bring back the game to its glory and attain international status.

LTAM vice-president Cheng Joo Chong said via the state and districts programmes this will provide opportunities to elevate young talent to higher levels.

"We are confident of producing players of calibre as of before," he said after the launch of a tennis clinic under the development programme of the Deputy Manager II of the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada), Saturday.

120 persons comprising kids and teenagers of the island are part of the first series conducted by LTAM coaches and Taisto Sinkkonen of Finland. He said Langkawi was picked for the launch as it had adequate tennis facilities for training and competition.

Cheng said the Langkawi Lawn Tennis Association had shown commitment to promote the game. "We encourage Malaysians to play tennis as it is easy and does not involve high costs," he said