Thursday, November 25, 2010

Malaysia achieve 9-gold target

GUANGZHOU - Malaysian Chef-de- Mission (CDM) Datuk Zolkples Embong who has been under tremendous pressure since the Asian Games started, breathed a sigh of relief after the Malaysian contingent achieved the 9-gold target Thursday.

Malaysia achieved the 9-gold medal target for the Games when the women's squash team comprising Nicol Ann David, Low Wee Wern, Delia Arnold and Sharon Wee beat Hong Kong 2-0 in the women's team final.

Zolkples said he had been under tremendous pressure, wondering whether the athletes would be able to deliver the targeted gold medals.

"The pressure has been mounting as the Games started drawing to a close. I was really concerned with the outcome of today's women squash final as it was going to decide whether we can achieve the target or not," he told reporters at the Sport City Gymnasium after watching the final here.

Zolkples who thanked all those who helped achieve the target said it was the third gold medal from squash while karate (2), tenpin bowling (2) and one each from wushu and cycling contributed the other gold medals.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tickets touts spoils Asian Games image

Groups of ticket touts are indeed spoiling Guangzhou Asian Games 2010 image by systematically hoarding venue tickets,thus denying passionate,keen and patriotic supporters and parents of athletes from Malaysia, from enjoying the Games.This scenario also applies to supporters from other Asian nations as well.
Kelab Penyokong Sukan Malaysia or Kelab Famemas Malaysia is currently in Guangzhou for 8 days from 20-28 Nov to give fervent support and uplift the morale of  our Malaysian athletes to ensure that the 9 gold medals target are met.
However, they have not been able to gain access to the sports venues and games that involve Malaysian athletes, from the date and time of arrival, up to this time of press release.

An example is the price of tickets for the Lin Dan - Dato' Lee Chong Wei final was priced by touts of up to RMB3500 (RM1750) whereas the original ticket price was only RMB50 (RM25) only.  Athletics price tickets shot up to RMB50 whereas counter price is RMB10...the ticket touts are having a field day with the exhorbitant prices up to a point of paralysiong the attendance at venues where it remains empty and only a handful of spectators were able to attend albeit local people getting free ticket through government lottery type allocation.

The Olympic COuncil of Asia (OCA) and OCM (Malaysia) shoul allocate reasonable accreditation passes to deserving people to ensure that the attendance of these people are truly menaningful and contribute to the sports success of the nation.

This is a shamble and an utter disgrace to the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (GAGOC) and the very people who are supposed to cheer on our team were denied the opportunity.

Most stadiums were not full and yet ticket counters display notices that tickets are sold out eg hockey and diving venues.  We suggest that a selected number of tickets be made available on the day of events prior to the start of the games and to foreigners,should audience attendance be not forthcoming.

We call upon our Malaysian sport authorities to take up this matter with the relevant Organising Committee seriously to ensure this fiasco is not repeated.

Attached pictures show Malaysian supporters idling by roadside upon hearing that access to the venues are not available and tickets touts freely mingling with public offering exorbitant ticket prices for sale.

For further information,please call Lee Hui Seng at Guangzhou local number 0086-13247687357 or 6012-329 3378 and Hafidz Zihim (Secretary) on 0086- 13794341134

Sent on behalf of Kelab Famemas Kuala Lumpur and Selangor
(Kelab Penyokong Sukan Malaysia)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Historic win for hockey team

GUANGZHOU - A golden goal by Muhammad Amin Rahim five minutes into extra time saw Malaysia beat India 4-3 and march into their first ever men's hockey Asian Games final since 1958.

The historic win against the former World champion and the recent Commonwealth Games gold medallist, sent the Malaysian camp into a frenzy and opened a new chapter in Malaysian hockey.

Malaysia came from behind twice against the Indians to tie the match at 3-3 in regulation play, forcing the match into sudden-death extra-time.

With the win, the Malaysians who failed to win a medal in Doha four years ago, avenged the 2-3 defeat to India at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games last month.

"The boy's played very well and we did a great job in defence and the penalty corner conversion. The win was a result of solid teamwork...from the goalkeeper S. Kumar to our forwards," said national coach Stephen Van Huizen.

The thrilling match was also witnessed by Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, Malaysian Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Malaysian chef-de-mission Datuk Zolkples Embong.

Both teams started the match on a cautious note, playing defensively before the Malaysian's drew first blood through Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Tengku Abdul Jalil's 32nd minute strike.

India however, equalized just seconds before the first half when Sandeep Singh's 35th minute penalty corner strike pierced through a stout Malaysian defence.

Two minutes after the breather, Khandker Tushar put India in the lead when he flicked home but it was cancelled out by Azlan Misron, 12 minutes later.

Indian skipper Raj Pal Singh put India ahead once again in the 54th minute by converting a penalty corner but with just three minutes left, Muhamad Amin struck a superb penalty corner to force extra time.

Malaysia's best achievement in the Asian Games was bronze medal win in Busan, South Korea in 2002.

In the final on Thursday, Malaysia will meet Pakistan, who defeated defending champion South Korea 4-3 after a penalty shootout.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Let the show begin

The drama should begin soon. Who will blame whom for the performances at the Asian Games? Would be interesting to see who will start the blame game. The normal standard operation procedure for Malaysian sport would be to blame someone of an organization before anyone blames you.
And of course there will be those who will put up an academic front to state the obvious that are not right. Why state now when all those sitting or rather holding on to positions know these things existed long time ago?
Let the drama begin. Or maybe people don't know what we were supposed to win and what we got?
You can be sure no one will resign and take responsibility. That's for sure.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 best goals

The race to determine the winner of the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year” has started today, 16 November 2010, on Fans from across the world will decide which of the ten goals selected by FIFA’s football experts will be the winner of this award.

The FIFA Puskás Award, created in honour and in memory of Ferenc Puskás, the captain and star of the Hungarian national team during the 1950s, will be presented for the second time at the FIFA Ballon d’Or gala 2010, which will be held at the Kongresshaus in Zurich on 10 January 2011.

During this televised ceremony, the winner of the FIFA Ballon d’Or for the best player of 2010 as well as the FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year 2010 will also be revealed. Meanwhile, the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men’s Football award and the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Women’s Football award will be presented for the first time, while the FIFA/FIFPro World XI will be announced for the second year running. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Paul I knew

By Subramaniam Alagasundram
(Former Senior Sportswriter)

I was one of those quite shocked and distressed to see no write-up on the passing of Datuk T. Paul Murugasu in the main stream media. Perhaps, this was because, none of the current crop of reporters knew the man.

Still, the sports editors could have asked a former colleague to write a few lines, recalling his contribution to Malaysian football.Datuk Paul was never an easy man to deal with if you were meeting him for the first time.

With him, you had to win his confidence. Having done that, you had to make sure, you worked hard at staying on the right side of him.

As a young reporter, I faced this peculiar predicament often. He was always suspicious of reporters and ordered his staff to keep a close watch on documents whenever there were any of us around. Those days, reporters did their leg work and were often "mooching" around FAM House in Jalan Maharalela.

To me, it was always fun to try and pick up some useful info and then confront him - just to see the look on his face. He would growl from behind his desk and very reluctantly volunteer to confirm or deny the info. It happened so often with the Merdeka Tournament.

But Datuk Paul also had a king heart beating inside him and when he was in one of his better moods, would actualy sit you down and have a chat. Unfortunately, it was not often. I remembered calling him a few years ago and his first question was, " what do you want? You fellows only call when you want something".

That was Datuk Paul for you! Looking back, I wish had called him more often just to say hello. He was to me, a good friend, who helped mould my career as a sportswriter.

May God grant his soul rest.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daud Ibrahim dies in a car accident

Daud Ibrahim
Former national cyclist Daud Ibrahim was killed when the car he was travelling in collided with a container lorry at Km232.6 of the North-South Expressway near Rembau, Thursday.

A police spokesman said Daud, 63, of Muar, Johor, was killed on the spot due to serious head injuries in the 1am incident. He said both vehicles were heading towards the south when the container lorry rammed into the rear of the car driven by Daud.

Recalling the incident, lorry driver Ja’afar Abu Bakar, 44, said a car on the emergency lane had swerved into the lane in front of him and collided with the lorry. Six fire and rescue personnel were called in to extricate Daud’s body from his wrecked car.

Daud was given the honour to light torch at the 21st SEA Games at the National Stadium in 2001.
He represented the country for the first time at the 1969 SEAP Games in Rangoon.
He won the gold in the 1,600m at the 1970 Asian Games.

A year later he won five gold medals at the SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur.

He took part in the Christchurch Commonwealth Games in New Zealand in 1974 and Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, in 1972.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

An evening with Finnegan

The 41st edition of the Tournament will feature a fundraising dinner - An Evening with Rugby Legends - featuring one of the undoubted legends of the game, former World Champion Wallaby Owen Finnegan.
The event which will be held on the 10th November 2010 at PJ Hilton at 7.00 will present exciting opportunities for corporate sponsor to contribute towards rugby development in Malaysia.
Owen Finnegan is one of the most decorated rugby players of his generation and was a member of the all-conquering Wallabies side of the last decade. His most enduring moment was scoring the winning try in the 1999 World Cup.
Owen is currently pursuing his second Masters degree while delivering corporate motivational seminars to large corporations, and undertakes business development roles for a number of high profile organisations. He will be accompanied by 3 other legends of the game, namely ex-All Blacks Duncan Robertson and Jeff Matheson, and ex-Wallaby Chris Roche. The Master-of-Ceremonies is former marathon champion and current sports commentator Paul Allison.
Part of the proceeds from the dinner will be donated to Rumah Nur Salam, through a charity auction by the Helping Hands Group. Rumah Nur Salam, is a 24–hour children’s crisis and Drop-In centre in Chow Kit. COBRA has initiated this CR initiative to help the children of Rumah Nur Salam by also introducing programmes that draw on the positive attributes of sports - emphasizing teamwork, physical health, perseverance and commitment.
For HSBC-COBRA Rugby 10s 2010 and An Evening with Rugby Legends tickets, please call:
COBRA Club              +603 7957 4045
Baldeep Singh            +6012 219 8162
Norman Dutton           +6016 946 7511

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Karim blames NSC

The Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) has denied responsibility for late registration of 400m hurdler Noraseela Khalid to Guangzhou Asian Games.

MAAU deputy president Karim Ibrahim instead blamed the National Sports Council (NSC) for the delay as MAAU had sent Noraseela's accreditation to the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) on June 20.

Newspapers reported that MAAU had failed to register Noraseela for Guangzhou Asian Games before the closing date on Nov 2.

"I am disappointed with NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong for blaming MAAU and not offering to help," he told Bernama at National Stadium, Bukit Jalil Monday.

Karim said he has confidence in Doha Asian Games bronze medalist Noraseela and five other athletes going to Guangzhou under category B. The names of five other athletes bound for Guangzhou under category B have yet to be announced.

Athletes under category A are Roslinda Samsu (pole vault) Lee Hup Wei (high jump) and the women's 4x100m quartet of Siti Zubaidah Adabi, Norjannah Hafiszah Jamaludin, Nurul Sarah Abdul Kadir and Yee Yi Ling.

Cobra 10s in PJ Stadium

HSBC-COBRA Rugby 10s 2010 will be held the coming weekend - 13 and 14 November, 2010 at Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kelana Jaya.

HSBC-COBRA 10s - as the tournament is popularly known – will return
to its familiar venue at the Petaling Jaya Stadium after a sojourn in its home ground in Padang Astaka, Petaling Jaya last year.

The ten-a-side, two-day tournament will see teams from various countries, including rugby powerhouses such as Australia,England, New Zealand, South Africa putting on a display of some of the best rugby ever seen in Malaysia.

It is a little known fact that rugby 10s was conceived by the Combined Old Boys’ Rugby Association (COBRA).

It was in Kuala Lumpur that the world’s first 10-a side rugby tournament was held in 1967. The tournament went international in 1992 and as the saying goes … the rest is history.

Throughout its 40-year history, the tournament has always been very competitive with the participation of top club teams such as Canterbury Rugby; Union of New Zealand (2007 Champions), Penguins International; RFC of England (1993-1994 and 2006 Champions), Marist St Joseph of Samoa (1996 and 2004 Champions); Red Rock of Fiji(2003 Champions) and Argentina’s Mendoza Rugby Association (2005 Plate Champions finalist).

Tournament regulars and COBRA supporters include South African teams such as Natal Duikers, SA Mustangs, Northlink College Rugby; and Ponsonby of New Zealand. They are joined by Malaysian club heavyweights Borneo Eagles, NS Wanderers as well as the host team COBRA.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Well done, PCSM

The participants
A three day Olympism Outreach Program was held in the Senior Methodist Girls School KL (MGSKL) for Form 4 students as an after exams activity by the Pierre de Coubertin Society of Malaysia (PCSM) in partnership with Pilot Pen Malaysia Sdn. Bhd from November 1-3, 2010 in the school itself.

A total of 105 students from four classes were involved in the program which was held during school hours. The program was filled with lectures, group discussions, presentations, games and even a cultural performance on the last day.

These activities were designed to introduce students to Olympic Education which focuses on positive values like fairplay, respect, excellence and teamwork by using sports in particular the Olympic Games and sporting personalities as examples.

The program received positive feedback from the participating students. They expressed that it was very enjoyable and they learned how to work as a team and the activities encouraged them to interact and communicate more.

Some even said that they managed to make new friends. Unanimously, they all agreed that the program should be held every year and the knowledge be shared with other forms as well.

In an interview conducted after the program, a student said “I am very happy that such a program exists. "I learned a lot from it especially the Olympics that I never knew about before this; things like the Olympic Truce. I hope that this program will be conducted again next year because it is very good and helpful.”

Accolades about the program were also received by the Principle of MGSKL, Pn. Phoon Yoke Meng. She too agreed that the program was very beneficial to her students as it encouraged them to think out of the box, build confidence and promote values which are important to mould them into better human beings.

She recommends that this program be organized in other schools as well and would like the program to be held again next year in MGSKL.

Extra-Curricular Senior Assistant, Ms. Low Mai Keok said, “Sport and Physical Education has lost its importance in schools. This program proves that sport is more than just about competition. It is about ethics.Values like fairplay and respect are essential to a child’s character building.”

The closing ceremony was attended by Mr. MP Haridas, President of the Gymnastics Association of Kuala Lumpur who also is the advisor to PCSM and Ms. Tay Choon Neo, Deputy Executive Director of the Methodist Council of Education.

This is the first time that the Olympic Outreach Program was held in a school. Before this, the program was organized in Sunway College and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for undergraduates.

Up to now, PCSM has managed to light the Olympism flame in the lives of over 170 youths.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kelantan dominates awards

Newly crowned Malaysia Cup champions Kelantan dominated the 100PLUS-FAM National Awards 2010 in Petaling Jaya, Tuesday, when they swept to five wins out of 10 categories.

Norsharul Idlan Talaha, who was part of the Malaysia Cup winning squad on the weekend, grabbed the Best Striker award enroute to winning the top prize of the Most Valuable Player title.

On hand to give away the awards were Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the deputy president of the FA of Malaysia, James Teo, the Managing Director of F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn. Bhd, Dato’ Kamal Harun, the National Corporate Affairs Manager, F&N Beverages Marketing Sdn. Bhd and also FAM Exco members.  

“I would like to thank all those who have supported me throughout my career. I still feel like a newcomer although this 100PLUS-FAM award will propel me to work even harder,” said Norsharul who got married early last month.

For his effort, Norsharul earned two crystal trophies as well as RM3,500 in prize money.

Other than Norsharul, the other player who won two awards also came from Kelantan through Khairul Fahmi Che Mat who picked up the Best Goalkeeper and the Best Young Player categories.

“For a young player, it feels great to be recognised especially when I was up against the more experienced players (for the Best Goalkeeper), so winning it was a real surprise,” added Khairul.

“I hope that other up and coming young players do not get disheartened when they are faced with difficulties. With hard work, anything is possible.”

Kelantan wrapped up their domination on the day with coach B. Sathiananthan winning the Best Coach award for the first time in his career.

“It feels great to be recognised. There are some details to be worked out for next season and obviously, there’s still some work to be done yet. But its feels great to win,” added Sathiananthan.

Negeri Sembilan who lost the Malaysia Cup final to Kelantan last Saturday, won one award through Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak for the Best Defender while for the Best Midfielder, the title went to Kedah’s Baddrol Bakhtiar.

To make sure that only the best are considered for the annual 100PLUS-FAM National Football Awards, a selection panel which consisted of national coaches, members from the Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) and officials from FAM came up with a list of candidates.

The list was distributed to the coaches and captains of teams playing in the Super League and also the Premier League, who made their choice for the various individual awards and also the ultimate Most Valuable Player award.

Other than the seven awards given out by the panel, the FAM also gave due recognition to the Best Football Association which went to Selangor FA, Best Club (Johor FC) and also Best Fan Club (Kedah FA).

Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan)
Md Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak (Negeri Sembilan)
Baddrol Bakhtiar (Kedah)
Norsharul Idlan Talaha (Kelantan)
Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (Kelantan goalkeeper - 21 years)
B. Sathianathan (Kelantan)
FA of Kedah
Johor FC

Monday, November 1, 2010

R.I.P Paul Murugasu

Veteran soccer administrator, Datuk Thanapalan Paul Murugasu (picture) passed away Monday morning at the Universiti Hospital in Petaling Jaya. He was 85.

Datuk Murugasu who served as the Honorary Secretary of FA of Malaysia secretary from 1980 to 1987, has been bed ridden since three years ago.

Datuk Murugasu took over as the honorary secretary from another respected administrator, Datuk Kwok Kin Heng. Datuk Paul Mony Samuel replaced Datuk Murugasu in 1987.

Datuk Murugasu was among the first few officials whom I met when I started reporting and after the first meeting, he called my office to enquire if I really was from the organization I was representing. He was a careful administrator who worked well with his boss, Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah.

During the period Datuk Murugasu was the Honorary Secretary, football was going through its glory days and was enjoyed by almost everyone in Malaysia. Datuk Murugasu was born on 8 September 1924 in Kuala Lipis in Pahang. He has his primary education in Kampar, Perak and completed his Senior Cambridge at Anglo Chinese School in Ipoh.

He worked as a teacher from 1948 to 1959, beginning at Trade School in Kuala Lumpur an later at the Kajang High School before moving to the Pasar Road English School.

He joined the Election Commission in 1959 and served as the State Election Officer in Kota Bahru (1961-1965), Seremban (1965-1970) and Kuala Lumpur from 1970 until his retirement in 1974.

Datuk Murugasu joined FAM in 1973. He served his “apprenticeship” with the dynamic Datuk Kwok Kin Keng in FAM taking over in 1980. He held the post for seven years and served under two presidents – Tan Sri Dato’ Setia Raja Haji Hamzah bin Abu Samah and HRH Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah.

He was honoured by the HRH Sultan of Pahang in 1983 and conferred a Datukship 

List of FA Malaysia Secretaries:
Datuk Kwok Kin Keng (Honorary Secretary)
Datuk T. Paul Murugasu
Datuk Paul Mony Samuel (Executive Secretary, later General Secretary)
Datuk Syed Ahmad Kuning (HS)
Datuk Dell Akhbar Khan Hyder Khan (GS)
Datuk Seri Ibrahim Saad (GS)
Lt. Jen (B) Datuk Azuddin Ahmad (GS)

Time to work hard, MHF

Everytime the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) elections are held, there would be plenty of speculation ats to how it will effect the future of the sport. The situation has always been the same since I first started writting about hockey in early 1980s.

Sure enough, a few days before the elections, some hockey personalities gave me a list of names and said that if they win, hockey would be doomed.

Well, some of the name actually won but I am not sure if that means hockey is doomed.

I feel that hockey has reached a point where some serious thought has to be given to its directions because the signs are not too good and at this point any investment without proper planning would be a total wastage.

With the office bearers already in place, the appointment of the Secretary would also give an indication as to how serious is MHF in wanting to move forward and ahead. The wrong choice would mean, moving backwards.

In the elections held Saturday, Nur Azmi Ahmad (picture) from Melaka retained his deputy president’s post by three votes. He received 14 votes, while his challengers Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar got 11, Datuk Dr S.S. Chema 10 and Abdul Hadi.

In the vice-presidents’ race, three incumbents retained their seats with Datuk Seri Che Khalib Noh receiving 29 votes, Datuk Rahim Mohamed Ariff 26, and M. Gobinathan 25. The newcomer is former national coach, Majid Manjit Abdullah who received 18 votes.

The total number of votes should have been 42, but Perlis HA (two votes) did not attend as it has been deregistered, while the secretary and treasurer were also not allowed to vote as their posts are now appointed and not elected.

That left 38 votes, but Sabah vice-president Ramlee Marahaban did not turn up, while MHF president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah abstained, leaving the ballot with only 36 votes.

“I hope everyone accepts the outcome of today’s (yesterday’s) voting and we close ranks because there is much work to be done over the next four years,” said Tengku Abdullah.

“And I would like to warn the affiliates and those who have just been voted in that if there is disharmony in MHF after this, I can always use my exit option and leave.”

Tengku Abdullah then touched on the 1Mas Hoki Programme and said that the prime minister has given MHF RM2 million and he wants to see accountability.

“Every ringgit must be spent on developing players and buying equipment, nothing must be wasted,” he said.

“The prime minister will launch the 1Mas Hoki Programme, which took off in the middle of the year, on Dec 13 and he had said that he wants to see the project become a success and not die off prematurely,” added Tengku Abdullah who was returned unopposed..

“And since the PM and also the TM (Tengku Mahkota) are involved to make it a success, I want full commitment from the states so that in future we can have a bigger pool of talent to select from.”

And the immediate goal, said Tengku Abdullah, is to break into the world’s top 10 and this can be achieved if Malaysia qualify for the next World Cup.

Well Tengku, Its good to set goals, but you need the right people to make it happen.