Saturday, May 30, 2009


The heading means to speak rubbish or nonsense. Probably originates from the English phrase “cock and bull”. “Sing Song” is added for emphasis. “Talk Cock” by itself also has the more benign meaning of “casual banter” or “chatting”.

And why might you ask I have used that as the heading? Well I intend to introduce a new weekly columm, it will be called Talking Cock. The reason being many of our sports personalities have been Talking Cock of late and this has to be highlighted.

I draw inspiration to have this columm as I was a keen follower of a columm in the NST in the 80's, by former National Coach and Pahang Coach Frank Lord. It was called Frank Talk by Frank Lord.

So we will start this weekly columm today and it is for you to judge is these people really are Talking Cock.

The below article appeared in the NST on May 28.

"GO and file a case with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS)."

This is the advice from the FA of Malaysia (FAM) to the Kelantan FA (Kafa) regarding their plea to allow their homes matches to be played at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium.

Kelantan have lost a huge income from gate collection since having to play their home matches at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil following FAM's April 11 decision to ban them from playing in the stadium in Kota Baru due to crowd trouble.

And Kafa, who is facing financial problems, can't do anything about it as it has exhausted all avenues in accordance with FAM's constitution, to get the ban lifted.

FAM stressed that the national body's constitution has no provision which allows teams to appeal for a second time.

FAM's constitution is in accordance with Fifa's rules and regulations and the national body cannot by-pass it to help Kelantan
The next course of action is to go to the Court of Arbitration for Sports through the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

And this appeared in THE STAR on May 30

Kelantan can play home matches at Sultan Mohd IV Stadium

PETALING JAYA: Kelantan are now free to play their home matches at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru following the FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) decision to lift the one-year ban on the use of the venue with immediate effect.

FAM’s disciplinary board, who meted out the one-year ban on April 10, said they decided to lift the ban “due to a misinterpretation of the rules of the sentence”.

Kelantan lost the use of the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium as their home venue after two incidents of violent fan behaviours on March 31 and April 7.

The Kelantan FA (Kafa) were also fined RM90,000 by the disciplinary board for the two incidents.

Kafa’s appeal against the ban was also overruled by FAM’s appeals committee earlier this month.

But Kafa never gave up and appealed to the board to review their decision to ban the use of the stadium.

And, on Thursday, Kafa’s perseverance paid off.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Below is a Q&A with the challenger Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad. Similiar questions were posed to incumbent Dato Dr. Jega, but he opted not to participate.

Dr. Jega had his reasons and I agree with his decision. " The delegates know who I am and what I have contributed towards Malaysian sports. The choice is theirs to make. Thus I see no reason to participate in this Q&A session. I hope for the best and welcome the opportunity to serve OCM if the national sports associations value my contributions," said Jega when contacted.

Creative people accept the challenge of creativity. When there is a situation that has not yielded to analytical thinking, the creative person is more willing to try new approaches and to suggest other ideas. There is a willingness to 'show off' creative skill.

So whatever is suggested has to be modified or changed. Just as a cat may mark its territory so a creative person may seek to leave his or her ego mark. This can mean that the original idea is weakened. The excitement of new ideas may mean that this becomes an end in itself, and the purpose of the idea is forgotten.

For Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, the challenger to the post of Olympic Council of Malaysia Deputy Presidency, there needs to be a change in mind set in running OCM. He takes some questions on why he is in the race for the number two job at OCM.

Question: School sports are in dire straits. What will it take to ensure more emphasis is given to sports at schools?

The reward system of the society itself. As long as parents and society see that not enough return is derived from sports, they are not going to pursue it seriously. Yes, schools are the nurseries, but those with sports credentials are going nowhere in society, thus parents are going to think twice before getting their children involved seriously in sports.

Question: We keep targeting to win gold at the Olympics and only look at badminton. Has our focus changed from getting more to qualify for the Olynpics to winning medals. How will this help sports?

I believe there should be a dual prong approach, one is definitely to win something, the second should be to qualify and participate.

Question : The National Sports Associations are dependant on NSC for finance, at times even letting themselves be run by NSC. What will your advise by to the NSA's?

The job of the government is to develop sports, similarly the job of government is to develop this country physically. If the government builds bridges and roads, do they have control over them? If we let ourselves be controlled, then why blame others?

Question: Policies change with new Sports Ministers. Do you agree that the changes to the National Sports Policy be adopted and used as a guideline by future Ministers?

Policies don’t change, but the manner in which it is implemented can change. Ministers must be knowledgeable before they can ever think of change. Can you imagine if every Minister wants to change policies, what will happen to our Education, Agriculture policies?

Question : OCM is said to be the umbrella body for sports. But many a time it is not consulted on issues affecting National sports associations. How will you address this issue?

Nobody will consult you in anything if you don’t want to be consulted, or you are not good enough to be consulted or even if you think that you are “ high and mighty”. OCM is to lead and serve. You are to lead because that is what your mandate is and you have to serve because that is your job.

Question: Does the Sports Development Act 1997 serve its purpose or is it a tool by the government to control the NSA and giving NSC the impetus to control them?

Nobody can control anybody. When you allow yourself to be controlled, that is a sign of weakness. Lack of knowledge is one reason why you allow yourself to be controlled. We should not blame the NSC or any other organization if you allow yourself to be controlled.

Do you agree or disagree with the position of Royals in sports. Politicians have been told to stay out of heading sports bodies. Does this rule need to be extended to Royals given that the sports associations come under scrutiny hence the Royals image is being tarnished?

In this nation of ours, everybody can be anything he/she wants to be. Anyone can lead, whatever he wants to lead. A Chinese can lead a Malay association, a Sikh can lead a Chinese association, and so on. The problem is when we fail, we put blame on everything else except ourselves. A leader is born everywhere, in the palace, in an attap house, in bungalows, in new villages, in estates, in Felda schemes. As Malaysian we should be proud of the diversities.

Question: Do you honestly feel that you have what it takes to be the Deputy President?

What does it take to be a Deputy President? Do you have to come from the heavens? Anybody can be a Deputy President. He has to lead, to serve and to fight when necessary, to be there when needed, to make decisions when called upon, to be in office where he belongs. If I could not do all of this, I will not offer myself.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave

The key to controlling a game is having “the feeling in the fingertips” about how it is going. You want to be controlling it but not stifling it. As the famous man in black David Elleray said: It’s like conducting an orchestra.”

Relating this to the current affairs of Malaysian Hockey, likened to a theater of the absurd, I must increasingly we admire the Tengku Mahkota for his small conclave of sanity, for this efficiency and somewhat wooden gaits, despite several blunders by his fellow office bearers.

Hopefully as the referees keep note of infringements, hands gripping tiny pencils. when htey enter and exit the field as one, flags and other accoutrements tucked to the side, we hope that TM has taken into account all these blunders, some to the extent of bringing disreupte to the game.

One might expect those who created the mess to look self-conscious or embarrassed, but they carry a certain cachet for they feel that the sport cannot exist without them.

We have to accept the fact that the game has changed from a "sport" to a business. This has added a further dimension of pressure because of the livelihood factor of those taking part in the business. This, in turn puts further pressure on the TM.

If these people start thinking of "business" then why can't they run MHF in a business like atmosphere? Why do they have to resort to lies, contradicting themselves, taking the sports fraternity for a ride, but above all tarnish the good name of TM?

Let's just take the cancelled Under 14 as an example of the incompetency of these officials.

The decision to hold the tournament in late May was taken early this year despite some of the members voicing concern that the tournament was too close to the MSSM Championships. But MHF persisted and invites were sent out to the states who duly confirmed participation.

And sometime on May 6, MHF officials had a vision, they decided to call of the Under 14 and gave the excuse that it was too close to the MSSM meet. Slow thinkers or was it to cover up a blunder they made by agreeing to hold the Asia Cup in Kuantan, because the U14 too was slated for Kuantan.

If that is not enough, then some of these officials had the audicity to inform the media last week that they had to call of the U14 due to the MSSM meet. If you want to lie, then please do it properly.

MHF has time and again blamed their affiliates for not supporting their events. So who is to blame now given the fact that some states started centralised training for the U14 early this month?


Below is a profile of Dato Dr. Ibrahim Saad when he was at University Kuala Lumpur, prior to being appointed as FAM General Secretary in August 2005.

His unwavering determination in pursuing excellence in various areas of interest has opened up a cornucopia of career options. An educationist, a politician and sports manager all rolled into one. And now he assumes responsibility as the President (Vice Chancellor) of Universiti Kuala Lumpur. Yang Berbahagia Professor Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad is the man at the helm.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad is a post-war baby whose destiny is to wear different hats as he lives his life to serve society. His contribution has been acknowledged in three distinct fields namely education, politics and sports.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim’s has gone through the works in education. He started off his career as a teacher in Kuala Lumpur Technical Institute and the Royal Military College of Malaysia. He moved on to become a lecturer at the Sultan Idris Teachers’ Training College. Shortly after that, he upgraded his career by joining the Department of Education at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, a place in which he spent a decade of his professional life. Not one to rest on his laurels, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim indulged in academic research activities which includes pursuing two Masters degree in Education Policy and also Political Science, followed by a Doctorate degree in Education. He is an internationally acclaimed academic who has been honoured with various professional awards such as the Honorary Professorship in Political Science conferred by the Bangalore University of India, and the Distinguished International Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin. He is also the first recipient of the coveted Lee Kuan Yew Fellowship Award from the Lee Kuan Yew Foundation, Singapore.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim is a prolific writer. He has written numerous books on education and politics. Being proficient in both Bahasa Melayu and English, he has also translated various books into Malay including “The Malay Dilemma” by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He was also for a number of years, the Country Editor for the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. Having presented numerous papers nationally and internationally, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim is a seasoned speaker and a much sought after consultant. He has been an examiner for local and foreign universities and a consultant for The Commonwealth Institute of London and UNESCO, Paris. On top of that, he sits as Chairman on various educational and business organizations.

Being a self-professed social activist, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim’s switch in career from education to politics is a natural progression. Motivated by the strong desire to serve his society, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim assumed political positions at the state and federal levels. He started his illustrious career in politics as a Political Secretary to the then Minister of Youth, Culture & Sports in 1983. Then, he stood for election and became an Exco member and was chosen to become the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang before becoming a Member of the Parliament. Due to his outstanding performance in serving the people and nation, he was appointed as the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and his last political profile was as the Deputy Minister of Transport.

Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim is a good example of a well-balanced individual. Aside from academic, he is also inclined towards sports. Having been born a little too soon at the time when sports was more recreational rather than professional, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim has been the Vice President of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for several years and the Team Manager for the Malaysian Olympic & National team. He is also the Deputy President of the World Pencak Silat Federation. Recently, Prof. Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim had been appointed as the Chairman, Sports Advisory Panel under purview of the Minister of Youth & Sports. He is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the upcoming Commonwealth Games Melbourne and Asia Games Doha 2006.

With his appointment as the President (Vice Chancellor) of Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad has come full cycle. From his initial beginning as a teacher, then a Political Secretary at the Ministry of Education, he is now heading a University which aspires to be ‘the’ technical university of Malaysia. The choice is apt. With his strong credentials and conviction in the need to upgrade the status of technical education in Malaysia, Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim is the right candidate for the job. His manifesto is to change the minds of Malaysians regarding technical education. He aspires to situate technical education at par with other education systems. He aims to ensure that technical education will be the choice for the crème de la crème so that the level of technological advancement in the country is comparable to that of fully developed countries. As one whom champions’ good cause, this father of five has a big task ahead of him as Prof. Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim is set to propel UniKL to the heights it aims for. God willing, he will make his feat. He has more than enough human spirit and perseverance to succeed. The man at the helm will definitely make his mark.


Below is a profile of Datuk Dr. M. Jegathesan, the incumbent OCM Deputy President who does not need much introduction. I am re-producing this article that appeard in The star some two years ago for the benefit of those who need some background info on our Flying Doctor.

After dominating junior athletics for several years, Datuk Dr. M. Jegathesan burst onto the international scene in athletics in 1959 – just two years after Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman declared our independence.

It was on Merdeka Day that Jegathesan was inspired to make it big in sports as a 14-year-old. His dad was really into sports. In fact, he was the founder member of the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council (now the Olympic Council of Malaysia).

In fact, both Jegathesan’s father and brother M. Harichanda were members of Malaysia’s first-ever contingent to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

“My father was then the team manager of the first Malaysian squad to the Olympics and my brother took part in the 800m. That was when I became aware of the Olympics,” he said.

“Those days, we did not have television. I went to a cinema two months after the Melbourne Olympic Games. Usually, 15 minutes before the movie, they would begin with the news. On that day, they showed clips of the Games. I knew what it meant to be an Olympic winner.

“But it was on Independence Day that I was really inspired.

“I remember the national anthem was played for the first time and the Malaysian flag was raised. It was great to be part of that historic moment,” recalled Jegathesan.

“At that moment, I told myself that it would be great to hear the national anthem and see the Malaysian flag raised again when I win honours in sports for the country.

“It did not take me long to realise my dream,” he added.

Just four years later, the national flag was raised three times – just for him – at the 2nd SEAP Games in Rangoon.

The rest is history. M. Jegathesan remains probably the greatest sprinter the country has seen with his 100m and 200m records yet to be surpassed.

Athletics, however, was not his only forte.

While burning up the track, he also graduated as a medical doctor – earning him the famous nickname of “the Flying Doc”.

Later, he was involved in the country’s sports administration and is currently going strong as the Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) deputy-president, a medical adviser (including serving for two years with a UNDP-affiliated council on health and research in Geneva) and a lecturer at the age of 63.

His 32 years in the Health Ministry also culminated in Jegathesan serving as the deputy director-general (research and technical support) and also the director of the Health Ministry’s research programme.

“Malaysia has changed and we have to understand and accommodate the changes. We cannot treat changes in sports in isolation. The society has changed and, naturally, it affects sports. Nowadays, it is hard to find a volunteer. Even volunteers want to be paid,” he said.

“But Malaysian sports is not all that bad. In the world, we are top in squash, top four in badminton, top three in bowling and top 12 in hockey. The success in sports for Malaysia has shifted from the basic sports like athletics to the new sports like bowling and squash.”

While in a pursuit of sporting glory, Jegathesan hopes that today’s athletes will not neglect intellectual growth.

“I remember that during my running days, when there was a break between runs, I would take out my small notebook and revise. This habit does not die, you know,” he said, pointing to his small notebook filled with scribbles.

“I still jot things down. But I try to keep up with times. I carry a thumb drive around – it is so much easier than carrying all the documents,” he laughed aloud.

“Now, with the e-mails, the communication barrier is broken. It is so fast that I make sure I check my mails twice a day to stay abreast.

“Our full-time athletes have spare time. What do they do with it? Sometimes, athletes need intellectual distraction. They need diversion from daily training routines. Sporting pursuit is not enough; it must be in tandem with intellectual pursuit. Then, there is a balance.”

Over the 50 years, the most significant changes would probably be the way the athletes are showered with incentives for the excellence in sports. Sports has, in fact, become an area in which one can make a living.

Jegathesan, the first Malaysian to win an Asian Games gold in 1962, agreed that sports has become a money-making business. Asked about his thoughts on this, he quoted what Czech athlete Emil Zatopek, a three-time gold medallist at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, said:

“You do not win races with money in your pocket but you win it with courage in your heart and a dream in your head.”

Then again, he is from a different era.

With his courage and dream, Jegathesan has become a successful Malaysian personality in sports and in medicine – he has won both the National Sportsman award and the National Scientist award.

Now, 50 years on, it is for other 14-year-olds to be inspired by him.

Tabula rasa — A clean slate

Top administrators have never lost their fondness for declaring that people are the 'greatest asset' that their corporations possess. Like other popular maxims, this one doesn't survive close analysis.

The constant difficulty faced by the would-be change-masters was the refusal or reluctance of the people whose readiness to accept personal change was essential for the wider change of the organisation. Considered as an asset, indeed, people have notable drawbacks.

The language of management development - dominated by words like leadership, motivation and teamwork - is hardly peculiar to management. Every type of organised activity demands these qualities from people, none more obviously than sport.

The qualities of leadership to ten key processes - five inward and the rest outward. The inward set are vision, self-belief, results focus, courage and integrity. None is dispensable, and all need to be combined with the outward five: team-work, visibility, communication, attention and commitment.

Hopefully this is what we will see in the aftermath of the OCM elections this Saturday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Water floats a ship. Water sinks a ship.

You may wonder why I use that as the heading for this article. Well it has to do with the fact that in Malaysian Hockey, everything is so dependant on the National Sports Council, so much so I must add that they are the peopkle who decide what happens in MHF. Well, just consider this situation.

The U16 team were not allowed to participate in an invitational tournament in Germany, on the advise of NSC (who are the financers of the trip to Germany). And just three weeks ago FAM says its not safe for teams to come to Malaysia...all of this due to the H1N1 virus. But the NSC it seems have told the hockey team that they will arrange for an invitational tournament in Malaysia sometime in the near future. Mind you these boys are preparing for their exams (SPM) and will therefore have to concentrate on their studies from next month onwards.

The young players had trained hard, looking forward to this trip and when I spoke to coach K. Dharmaraj during the Asia Cup, he stressed the importance of exposure for the youngsters. I am sure that many of them will feel shortchanged.

If NSC had the interest of the players at heart, then why did they not stop the National Futsal team from going to Uzbekistan. And why not they tell FAM not to participate in the AFF Futsal Championships in Vietnam next month as there is a cholera outbreak there.

The bottom line is that NSC finances hockey, hence they have complete control over the association. See how only the Deputy President makes the statements about the team's withdrawal from the 4 Nation event.

This gets better with the cancellation of the U14 Championships, postponed to a later date says the Deputy President due to too many events held by MHF. Hey, isn't it the MHC that ran those tournaments?

Just a week ago I was told that the German HA had wrote three emails to MHF asking about ticket prices for the Junior World Cup. Want to know something, they never replied, cos all were too busy in Kuantan. And for the info off all, the entry I am told is free.

Laboratory-confirmed cases of new influenza A(H1N1) as officially reported to WHO by States Parties to the International Health Regulations (2005) Mexico topped the list with 3,103 laboratory-confirmed case of infection, including 68 deaths. The US reported 4,714 laboratory-confirmed cases, including four deaths. Canada has 496 laboratory-confirmed cases, including one death. Japan has 125 laboratory- confirmed cases, with no deaths. Costa Rica has nine laboratory- confirmed cases, including one death.

The following countries have reported laboratory-confirmed cases with no deaths: Argentina (1), Australia (1), Austria (1), Belgium (5), Brazil (8), Chile (1) China (6), Colombia (11), Cuba (3) Denmark (1), Ecuador (1), El Salvador (4), Finland (2), France (14), Germany (14), Guatemala (3), India (1), Ireland (1), Israel (7), Italy (9), Japan (4), the Netherlands (3), New Zealand (9), Norway (2), Panama (54), Panama (1), Peru (1) Poland (1), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (3), Spain (103), Sweden (3), Switzerland (1), Thailand (2), Turkey (2) and the UK (101).

For the record, Malaysia has two confirmed cases.