Wednesday, February 24, 2010


After being away for the most of February, it was the Malaysian Open Tennis Tournament that I headed for at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian & Country Club.

And one of the Journalists informed me about what the Sports Minister had remarked during his visit on Sunday, something to this effect, " Where is Satwant? He has not been fair to me."

Mr. Minister, I was away in London, hence I was unable to be there. Anyway I had given you ample time to respond to my earlier posting about your Everton trip.

Well I did my own checking while in London, not Everton sorry, but other options with regards to development programs as well as opportunites for our players who can be attached to clubs, once again I must clarify not Premier League but lower divisions.

And it was interesting to say the least Sir.

I even have a Malaysian who is willing to help you achieve your dream to have our team train in England and towards that he is willing to help invest into a British club Sir.

If I have been unfair to you Sir, then why not you have an eyeball to eyeball meeting.

I will be at the tennis tournament Thursday and Friday and feel free to get in touch with Dato Razak Latif of LTAM, Melvin of Carbon Media. I would have suggested Dato Zolkples, but he is too busy Sir to even reply my calls of late.

Thank you Sir and always remember that it is the interest of Malaysian Sports that I have in mind and soul.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hockey has the answer for Martin Samuel

by Martin Samuel, Daily Mail
Hockey has the answer for getting football up to speed
In January, hockey introduced a self-pass rule for free hits. Basically, in the event of a foul, when the play restarts (with the equivalent of a free-kick in football), the player does not have to pass to a team-mate but can choose to dribble the ball instead.

The penalised team must not be within five metres when he takes his first touch and off we go. I saw this experiment in action on Sunday and tried to find a reason why it is not used in football: so far, I have none.

I expected the self pass to make the game quicker and therefore more exciting, which it did — and hockey is substantially faster than football already — and I liked the idea of living additional advantage to the injured party.

The third benefit, which I had not considered, was that the self pass improves discipline by making it foolish in the extreme to argue with the referee. If the opposition can just put the ball down and play on, only an idiot would risk being out of position disputing the decision. There truly was no downside.
Unlike Arsene Wenger’s idea to turn throw-ins into kick-ins, here was an idea that improved the game as a spectacle and made it fairer, without altering the way it was played.
The match I watched was Reading versus Beeston, first versus third in the Men’s Premier Division of the England Hockey League, so it was of high quality.
As in football, teams at that level are too well organised to allow players to run with the ball uninterrupted, so the self-pass rule did not unleash a series of mazy dribbles around the pitch. Often a player took a couple of touches and laid it off, as he would in normal play.
What changed was the speed with which a team could get on with the game. When a foul occurred, the ball was placed — it has to be stationary — tapped and the attack began.
The five-metre rule says that an opponent should not be within that distance but, if he is, he cannot play the ball, so there is no question of failing to retreat to delay the restart.
Nobody waited for a whistle to be blown, either. Once the foul had been awarded it was up to the team with the free hit to begin the play and often this happened so quickly there appeared no break in the action.

Football could learn a lot from hockey, not least from the traffic light system of awarding cards.
Green cards are a warning; two green cards make a yellow card and a minimum of five minutes in the sin bin; a player can receive two yellow cards for different offences but the second sin bin punishment is substantially longer; two yellow cards for the same offence make a red card, expulsion from the game and a lengthy ban.

One umpire told me: ‘If I show a yellow card, your team won’t see you for a few minutes; if I show a red card they won’t see you for a few months.’

By having more wriggle room, hockey umpires can use more discretion than football referees. It is ludicrous that in football an ill-judged goal celebration carries the same penalty as a potentially leg-breaking tackle.

Strange, too, that football seems so resistant to change. Hockey’s self pass looked an excellent concept: sadly, all football innovations are money motivated.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Fairuz Fauzy admits he was honoured to become the first driver to run in the new Lotus F1 car ahead of its official launch in London last week.

The Malaysian driver, who will hold a test and reserve role this season, completed a private shakedown of the car at Silverstone with the team joining its rivals for a first test proper next week in Spain.

Despite the fact that he was unable to drive the car in anger, Fauzy said his early impressions of the car were positive; adding that he felt the team was in for a good debut year in 2010.

“After 15 years Lotus has returned to the track; in the past great names like [Ayrton] Senna and all those other drivers raced for Lotus, and for me to be part of the history is amazing,” Fauzy told “Some of the mechanics and other people in the team were very emotional.

“It's a big step for my career – Formula 1 is always a dream for any driver, and I have already been there once before in '07, when I was a Spyker test driver. Now there are more restrictions with no fuel stops, which will make the cars heavier to drive. I think it's going to be a good challenge – not just for me, but for everyone.

“I must say I was very impressed with the car; everything was positive. We had no problems at all the first time out on the track, and that's a good sign for us. Of course, we need to work a bit more to fine-tune the car, but from the beginning I had a good impression and feeling about it – and I hope we can build upon that and become even more competitive. Of course it will be a learning year for us, but I hope it will also be a good year for Lotus F1.”

Fauzy's earlier role with Spyker ultimately came to nothing and the Malaysian insisted that he was keen to ensure that his role with Lotus wouldn't just be a single-year deal.

“That is my aim,” he said. “To be a reserve is already good for me – I don't see why I should start straight off as a race driver, and at least in this position I can learn new things and learn from more experienced drivers in my first year and gain a bit more experience with the car.

“This year, I have a feeling that we will be the most complete of the new teams; hopefully we can beat our rivals to be the best of the new teams, and of course we're going to try to move up and beat the midfield – and from there we're going to work to be at the top. Of course, we need to have a programme to work from, but I think with that we can achieve what we want to.”

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Autosport managed to grab the first public picture of the all new Lotus F1 car at Silverstone this afternoon. Full article –

The first Lotus Formula 1 car for 15 years hit the race track on Tuesday as Fairuz Fauzy completed a secret shakedown for the team's 2010 challenger at Silverstone.

As AUTOSPORT's exclusive spy shot of the new car shows, the so-far unnamed machine was running in the historic green and yellow colours that were so synonymous with Lotus in the 1950s and 1960s.

It is not clear, however, whether the team will keep these colours for the season or they have just been used for the initial run.

The successful shakedown of the car marked an emotional moment for the Lotus team, which was only granted an entry for the 2010 season back in September.

Having undertaken the first engine fire-up of the car on Saturday, the team travelled to Silverstone to get some mileage on it before its official launch in London on Friday.

Lotus F1 are still on the look out for a main sponsor so it's likely the car will change colours before the season starts.

Team principal Tony Fernandes obviously found the running of the car very emotional as he wrote "Shakedown started. Quite a few tears." on his Twitter account,

While technical director Mike Gascoyne told BBC Sport "It was a big moment to see the car turn a wheel for the first time. We had no major issues or anything that gives us concern for the future." He went on, "To have done everything from scratch to a running car in 21 weeks is a fantastic achievement. It was a brief shakedown as we didn't get some of the last parts from our suppliers until 6am on Tuesday morning, but that was to be expected given the timescales."

He said that the conditions and time restraints didn't allow the team to get a full understanding of the car, but said there were no major issues.

"We only got to the track at lunchtime but it went pretty well, we were able to do a few laps, which was perfect and great reward for everyone for all the effort they've put in. The Stowe circuit is not much bigger than a go-kart track and on a cold February afternoon when it's snowing intermittently you are never going to learn much about the handling of the car. But we got a good number of laps on it and we did all the systems checks so we can run in anger in Jerez."

Next time we'll see the car is at the official launch in London on Friday evening

Friday, February 05, 2010


NSC's Chalet fiasco: It was supposed to be a secret

NSC wanted to avoid misuse by some 'high ranking officials'
Friday, February 5th, 2010 11:38:00

KUALA LUMPUR: The National Sports Council, apparently, wanted to keep the purchase of the two premium chalets in Port Dickson "a secret".

Sources told The Malay Mail that the council was forced to keep the purchase under wraps for fear of it being misused by “higher ranking officials within the Sports Ministry”.

The Malay Mail, in its report "NSC in the soup — again!" published yesterday, revealed that the council was ticked off by the Auditor-General after purchasing two units of the Legend Water Chalets in Port Dickson for RM850,000 in 2004.

The chalets have not been used since their completion in 2006. According to the 2008 Auditor-General’s Report, the transaction between NSC and developer KL Metropolitan (M) Sdn Bhd was done without the approval of the council’s board of directors.

Apparently, the then director-general Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad had “verbally instructed” his officials to buy the property but no proper documentation of the transaction was done by the council.

Mazlan served as NSC director-general from 1993-2005.

The report pointed out that the purchase of the chalets, installed with jacuzzi and see-through floor paneling with a view of the sea, was not in compliance with the Government Contracts Act 1949 (revised 1979) and the NSC Act 1971.

The report even suggested that "disciplinary action" be taken against the officials involved for their failure to adhere to the procedures as stipulated by the governing law.

NSC director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong, who was involved in the transaction during Mazlan’s tenure as DG, admitted that the council has taken adequate measures to ensure all future transactions were recorded and done in an orderly fashion.

“We should have recorded it then but it didn’t happen. It was an oversight and it will never happen again,” said Zolkples.

“There wasn't any hanky-panky involved. It was a clean deal for the benefit of the NSC community.”

Zolkples kept mum when asked if the council had purposely kept the purchase in the dark from certain quarters.

“We’ve been pre-occupied and had no time to use the chalets.”

Zolkples was summoned to face the disciplinary board, chaired by the Sports Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Yasin Salleh, last year.

“I presented the matter to the board last year (August) and they were receptive to the idea. I’ve replied to (Sports Ministry secretary general) Yasin’s letter explaining the whole transaction. I’ve also explained to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission."

When pressed if the chalets will ever be used, Zolkples said: “I’m just waiting for the clearance from the ministry and hopefully once everything is sorted out, we will be able to use the chalets.”

“In fact, I’ve yet to step into the chalets,” Zolkples added.

The council was also ticked off for hiring a consulting architect firm which was already de-registered by the Architect’s Board of Malaysia and the delay in the upgrading works for the Gymnasium 3 training centre in Bukit Jalil, national sailing training centre in Langkawi, athletes’ training centre in Gua Musang, the Community Sports Complex in Kepala Batas and the Saujana Asahan Complex in Malacca.

Zolkples stressed that he was only involved in two major projects — resurfacing of the NSC running tracks and the upgrading works for the gymnastics centre — since the start of his tenure as DG in 2007.

“When I took over, we were already on a tight budget. The upgrading works for the tracks is long overdue and a tender has been issued. As for the gymnastics centre, we have asked for a re-tender and hope the work will be done in no time.”

Efforts to contact Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek proved futile.

This is not the first time the NSC has received the rap from the auditor-general.

On April 29, 2008, The Paper That Cares published an article headlined “NSC’s RM22 million bill raises eyebrows”, where the council was found to have spent some RM22,335,867 for "professional services, celebrations and hospitality" throughout 2006.

NSC also recorded an excessive spending of RM86.55 million under the National Sports Trust Account, exceeding its budget of RM45 million, in 2006.


KELAB-KELAB dalam saingan Liga Divisyen Dua Slovakia, Liga 1 mungkin menganggap perlawanan menentang skuad bawah 21 tahun (B-21) negara atau Harimau Muda A seka- dar aksi pemanas badan.

Ini kerana, skuad Harimau Muda A hanya menyertai Liga 1 untuk baki 14 perlawanan tatkala baki 11 pasukan lain masing-masing sudah beraksi sama ada 17 atau 18 perlawanan dalam saingan liga tiga pusingan itu yang sudah pun bermula sejak 11 Julai lalu.

Namun, bagi Setiausaha Agung Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM), Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad, status skuad Harimau Muda A yang tampil beraksi pada pertengahan saingan Liga 1 itu tidak harus diperle- kehkan kerana apa yang penting mereka mendapat perlawanan kompeti- tif serta pendedahan terbaik.

"Kita sebenarnya masih dapat beraksi untuk baki 14 perlawanan. Walaupun kita mungkin tidak dikira bersaing untuk kutipan mata tetapi seku- rang-kurangnya pemain muda kita dapat bermain di sana dan mendapat pendedahan.

"Saya akan ke Slovakia untuk membincangkan hal-hal teknikal pada 9 Februari ini dan mungkin pada 14 Februari, saya akan buat sidang media untuk memberi gambaran lebih jelas mengenai perkara ini," katanya kepada pemberita di Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya semalam.

Azzuddin turut memberitahu bahawa barisan 25 pemain skuad Hari- mau Muda A bersama tiga jurulatih- nya akan berlepas ke Slovakia pada 19 Februari ini dan mempunyai kira-kira seminggu persiapan sebelum aksi sulung bertemu Slovan Duslo Sala pada 27 Februari.

"Lima pemain Harimau Muda B (skuad B-19 negara bimbingan Ong Kim Swee) akan diserapkan ke dalam skuad ini untuk melengkapkan jumlah 25 pemain.

"Tiga pegawai yang akan ke Slova- kia pula ialah Azraai Khor Abdullah (ketua jurulatih), Azman Eusoff (penolong jurulatih) dan P. Mohana Sundram (jurulatih penjaga gol)," jelas Azzuddin.

Ditanya adakah barisan pemain Harimau Muda A akan dilepaskan untuk menyertai Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) 2010 di Melaka dari 10 hingga 19 Jun depan, Azzuddin berkata: "Buat masa ini tidak. Mereka ini akan bersama sebagai satu pasukan dan mempunyai program berterusan sepanjang tahun."

Skuad Harimau Muda A akan beraksi dalam Liga 1 dari 27 Februari ini hingga 29 Mei depan.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Purchase of water chalets irks Auditor-General
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 10:51:00


CONTROVERSIAL: The Legend Water Chalets in Port Dickson — Pic: Hussein Shaharuddin

PUTRAJAYA: Two premium chalets for RM850,000 — and they were never used since 2006!

The Malay Mail learnt that the National Sports Council (NSC) purchased two units of the Legend Water Chalets in Port Dickson without the approval of the council's board of directors.

This was revealed in the 2008 Auditor-General's Report. The report suggested "disciplinary action" be taken against officials involved in the transaction.

The purchase of the chalets, installed with jacuzzis and see-through floor panelling with a view of the sea, was not in compliance with the Government Contracts Act 1949 (revised 1973) and NSC Act 1971. The NSC comes under the ambit of the Ministry of Sports.

Section 2 of the Government Contracts Act states:


FLASHBACK: Our report in 2008

"All contracts made on behalf of the government shall, if reduced to writing, be made in the name of the government of Malaysia and may be signed by a minister or by any public officer authorised in writing by a minister."

Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad was NSC director-general from 1993-2005. He was succeeded by Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz. Mazlan admitted to having purchased the chalets during his tenure.

“I had no ill intentions in buying the chalets. It was for the benefit of the NSC community…from the officials to the athletes,” said Mazlan.

When asked why the Board had no knowledge of the acquisition, Mazlan added: "I had the power (to purchase anything below RM3 million) as vested by the Board to facilitate my day-to-day operations.

"I explained this to the Auditor General’s department and even the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. I’ve nothing to hide. The only ‘mistake’ in this whole transaction was that the management didn’t record it properly.”

The Sports Ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Mohd Yassin Salleh, also confirmed the purchases and added that they “were not done in a proper manner”.

While not wanting to mention the names of the individuals involved, Yassin said:

“You and I know who were involved and they have been referred to the disciplinary board. Through the mandate of the Minister (Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek), I have been appointed as the disciplinary board chairman for this particular case. Letters were issued to the said individuals several months ago to explain the purchase. I’m still waiting for their reply,” Yassin added.

Meanwhile, Section 4(2)(g) of the NSC Act reads that the council is only able to "acquire or purchase or dispose of any movable or immovable property dealt upon such terms as the board deems fit".

Also in consideration is Section 4(2)(e) of the Act whereby the council can only act "with the approval of the sports minister in consultation with the minister of finance, to enter into equity participation in the development of sporting enterprises, and the provision of sports facilities and attractions".

It was revealed that the then director-general of the council gave a "verbal" directive to the management director to buy the chalets.

The sale and purchase agreement between NSC and the developers, KL Metropolitan (M) Sdn Bhd, was signed on Feb 6, 2004.

However, there is no evidence showing that the board approved the acquisition. The chalets have not been used since 2006.

Even if the council sold the said property without the knowledge of the board, it would still be deemed "illegal" based on the said Acts.

The Malay Mail visited the resort on Monday but were told to contact NSC in KL for further information on the chalets.

The Paper That Cares also spoke to several sports officials who were, however, in the dark about the chalets.

The Thomas Cup badminton team is expected to begin team building in Port Dickson in April but will be staying at a nearby hotel instead.

"Even if NSC sold the chalets, they had no right to buy it in the first place,” said an official.

“The NSC are fearful of ghosts terrorising athletes in the hostels but the real ‘ghosts’ are those sitting in the offices,” added another official, alluding to a supernatural incident that allegedly took place there recently.

This is not the first time NSC had been ticked off by the Auditor-General. On April 29, 2008, The Malay Mail published an article headlined "NSC’s RM22 million bill raises eyebrows".

NSC was found to have spent a whopping RM22,335,867 for "professional services, celebrations and hospitality" throughout 2006.

NSC also recorded excessive spending of RM86.55 million under the National Sports Trust Account, exceeding its budget of RM45 million in 2006.

Other issues highlighted by the Auditor-General

The 2008 Auditor-General's Report also touched on non-completion of upgrading works at the Gymnasium 3 training centre in Bukit Jalil, the national sailing centre in Langkawi, the athletes’ training centre in Gua Musang, the Community Sports Complex in Kepala Batas and upgrading works at the Saujana Asahan Complex in Malacca.

The National Sports Council (NSC) received an approved budget of RM92.80 million for these projects but had spent only RM50.31 million since November 2008.

Also in question is the proposed construction of a bowling alley in Gymnasium 3 which is estimated at RM6.42 million. Sources claim that despite the allocation, NSC “somehow do not have enough funds to carry on with the project”.

The Malay Mail learnt that the bowling alley project was scrapped after a study showed that it was ‘cheaper’ to rent lanes instead of constructing and maintaining an in-house alley.

Rental costs are estimated at RM25,000 a month.

Nevertheless, there are efforts to obtain additional funds from the forthcoming 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).Also questioned was the consulting architect hired.

The report revealed that Arkitek Juarareka was hired as the main consultants for the Gymnasium 3 project through a memorandum of understanding signed on Oct 11, 2004.

However, Arkitek Juarareka was deregistered by the Architects Board of Malaysia on Jan 1, 2004!

Later, one of the firm’s partners initiated his own firm known as Ismail Hashim Architect.

After the dissolution of Arkitek Juarareka, Ismail Hashim Architect took over the consultancy role under the name of the former and continued to render services with a consultation fee amounting to RM1.88 million.

NSC had paid RM1.33 million to Arkitek Juarareka up to Nov 2008.

The report said:

“The Auditor-General believes that Arkitek Juarareka cannot render its services as consultant after the date of its deregistration as it is no longer legal. Ismail Hashim Architect, meanwhile, is not bound by any formal contract and this raises the risk of NSC in the form of liabilities."

NSC should have signed a new deal with Ismail Hashim Architect and apparently this was only done on June 16, 2009.

The Auditor-General's suggestions include the following:

• NSC must plan and scrutinise construction works from the start to ensure there is no repetition of failures or defects, if any.

• NSC must play a proactive role in scrutinising services rendered by the consulting firms to ensure works adhere to required specification, quality and completed within the projected time.

• NSC must check its buildings in detail after construction works to ensure that any damage or works that do not adhere to the required specification will be corrected by the contractor.

• Disciplinary action and surcharge to be taken against officials who are ignorant in fulfilling their duties, including the signing of the sales and purchase agreement of the chalets without the approval of the board of directors, and their failure in adhering to the workings of a contract as stipulated by the government.


Not many would want to be in the position of national tennis coach S. Selvarajoo as he ponders his line up for the crucial Fed Cup match against India at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta tomorrow.

Foremost on the mind of the soft spoken coach is who shall he play against Sania Mirza as even Selvarajoo knows that no matter who plays in that singles match, it will be tough to upstage the Indian number one.

On the top of that is the fact that Selvarajoo is under pressure from certain quarters to field selected players in the Fed Cup matches.

But the coach will not let the pressure get to him as he ponders on the best options.

" We have to get one singles and I admit whoever we decide to field against ania will have a tough time,"conceded Selvarajoo.

Going by the ranking, Malaysia should field Jawairiah Noordin against Sania, but the number one Malaysian was a bundle of nerves against Singapore's Stefanie Tan on Wednesday.

There is no doubt that Khoo Chin Bee will play the second singles and will be up against Poojashree Venkatesha. The inclusion of Chin Bee, though questioned by certain quarters has however been justified as she contributed in the 2-1win over Singapore, thus keeping the Malaysian hopes alive to make the pllayoff to determine who moves up to Group 1.

Selvarajoo has enough on his plate and could do with co-operation from all quarters as Malaysia take on India tomorrow.


Japan 3 New Zealand 0
Ayumi Morita def Marina Erakovic 2-6; 7-6 (5); 6-1
Kimiko Date-Krumm def Sacha Jones 6-2; 6-4
Kimiko Date-Krumm/Rika Fujiwara def Marina Erakovic/ Sacha Jones 6-3; 6-4

Thailand 1 Kazakhstan 2
Suchanun Viratprasert lost to Sessil Karatancheva 4-6; 2-6
Tamarine Tanasugarn def Yaroslava Shvedova 6-3; 6-3
Nudnida Luangnam/ Varatchaya Wongteanchai lost to Shvedova/Galina Voskobeova 3-6; 4-6

Indonesia 1 Korea 2
Sandy Gumulya lost to Jin A Lee 3-6; 3-6
Ayu Fani Damayanti def So-Jung Kim 6-2; 6-1
Nudnida Luangnam/Lavinia Tanata lost to Yaroslava Shvedova/Jin A Lee 5-7; 2-6
Uzbekistan 0 Chinese Taipei 3
Albina Khabibulina lost to Kai-chen Chang 2-6; 2-6
Akgul Amanmuradova lost to Yung-Jan Chan 6-2; 6-2
Akgul Amanmuradova/Albina Khabibulina lost to Su-wei Hsieh/Chia Jung Chuan 3-6; 2-6

Syria 0 Kyrgsztan 0
Kim Sadi lost to Bermet Duvanaeva 0-6; 0-6
Kett Sadi lost to Ksenia Palkina 1-6; 1-6
Diala Jamaleddine/Kim Sadi lost to Nelli Buyuklianova/Ksenia Palkina 0-6; 4-6

India 3 Singapore 0
Poojashree Venkatesha def Si Ying Julienne Keong 6-1; 6-1
Sania Mirza def Li Yun Tan 'Stephanie' 6-2; 6-3
Saana Bhambri/Rushmi Chakravati def Clare Fong/Stefanie Tan 6-0; 6-2

Hong Kong 2 Philippines 1
Zi Jun Yang lost to Michelle Pang 6-4; 0-6; 1-6
Ling Zhang def Anna Christine Patrimonio 6-2; 6-0
Ho Ching Wu/Po Kuaen Lam def Anna Christine Patrimonio/Marinel Rudas 6-0; 6-2


151Sri Lanka Sri Lanka1150Equal0
152Nepal Nepal1120Equal0
153Liechtenstein Liechtenstein1101Up0
154Vanuatu Vanuatu1081Up0
155St. Kitts and Nevis St. Kitts and Nevis1061Up0
156Pakistan Pakistan1050Equal-1
156Madagascar Madagascar1052Up0
158Kyrgyzstan Kyrgyzstan1031Up0
159Malaysia Malaysia1001Up-2
160Liberia Liberia981Up
161Mauritania Mauritania938Up23

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


It is time for Malaysia's number one player Jawairiah Noordin to take stock of her situation and decide where her tennis career is heading.

The 19 year old was a pale shadow of herself on court when she faced a virtua unknown in the likes of Singapore's Stefanie Tan in the Federation Cup tie at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta.

It was obvious that Jawairiah was in a different world or maybe even planet as she succumbed to a shocking 2-6,3-6 defeat to the resilient Stefanie who potrayed a never say die atitude and was brimming in confidence right from the time she stepped onto the court despite Singapore being a match down after veteran Khoo chin Bee had given Julienne Keong a lesson in tennis, winning 6-1,6-0 in under an hour.

Nothing went right for the Malaysian lass as she double faulted 10 times in the match and was clearly lacking in self confidence. Jawairiah was short on fitness as she was left struggling to retrieve shots from Stefanie, who cashed in on the pathetic performance of the Malaysian.

LTAM too should take the necessary steps to get players to toe the line as it is learnt that Jawairiah has been given the blessings by NSC to train under her own coach, although at one point last year she was under LTAM.

With the tie level at 1-1, Malaysia made a change for the doubles with Jawairiah paired with Chin Bee, and it resulted in a face saving 2-1 win for Malaysia who take on India on Friday.

Jawairiah should probably sit down with Japan's Kimiko Date Krumm and find out just what drives the 39 year old to give her best each time she takes to the court.

Kimiko, who last represented Japan in the Federation Cup in 1996 was full of zest and despite coming out of retirement, she went out and did her job professionally.

" After I played some exhibition matches in Japan against Maria Sharapova in March 2008, I realised I still had the zest for tennis,"said Kimiko who trained for six months for the exhibition matches.

"My husband encouraged me and here I am. The matches here will give me a chance to adapt to the weather here before the WTA event later this month.

"Seeing Kim Clisters and Justin Henin back on court has given me some confidence as all it takes is the desitre and discipline to excel and one can play tennis well."


Malaysia 2 Singapore 1
Khoo Chin Bee def Julienne Keong 6-1,6-0
Jawairiah Noordin lost to Stefanie Tan 2-6,3-6
Khoo Chin Bee/Jawairiah Noordin def Stefanie Tan/Clare Fong 6-4,6-2

Japan 3 Indonesia 0
Ayumi Morita def Lavinia Tanata 6-1,6-2
Kimiko Date Krumm def Ayu Fani Damayanti 6-2,6-0
Yurika Sema/Rika Fujiwara def Sandi Gumulya/Jessie Rompies 6-2,6-2

Thailand 3 Uzbekistan 0
Suchanun Viratprasert def Sabina Sharipova 6-2,6-2
Tamarine Tanasugarn def Akgul Amanmuradova 7-5,6-1
Nudnida Luangnam/Varatchaya Wongteanchai def Nigina Abduraimova/Albina Khabibulina 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

Korea 2 New Zealand 1
Jin A Lee def Marina Erakovic 6-1,6-3
So Jung Kim def Sacha Jones 6-1,6-0
Na Ri Kim/Min Hwa Yu lost to Marina Erakovic/Sacha Jones 4-6,4-6

Hong Kong 3 Syria 0
Zi Jun Yang def Kim Sadi 6-0,6-1
Ling Zhang def Diala Jamaleddine 6-0,6-1
Po Kuen Lam/Ho Ching Wu def Kett Sadi/Diana Makki 6-0,6-2

Kyrgyzstan 3 Philipinnes 0
Bermet Duvanaeva def Michelle Pang 6-2,6-1
Ksenia Palkina def Anne Chiristine Patrimonio 6-2,6-3
Bermet Duvanaeva/Ksenia Palkina def Anna Christine Patrimonio/Marinel Rudas 6-2,6-1

Match between Chinese Taipei and Kazakhstan affected by rain, tie is all square at 1-1

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


It was akin to being in Thailand during the draw for the Federation Cup Asia/Ocenia Group I and II at the Pan Pacific Hotel this afternoon.

For there were hordes of journalists, both from the print and electronic media, with 15 of them representing major Thai dailies as well as three television stations. Such was the passion of the Thais for tennis that they have sent such a large contingent to cover their team's participation in the Fed Cup that begins on Wednesday at the National Tennis Centre in Jalan Duta.

"We have done well in tennis and it has a big following back home. But looking at the draw does not make us happy as it is akin to the Group of Death as the three other teams, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei are really strong. So finishing on top will be a tall order," said one of the Thai journalists who could converse in English.

While the Thai's are in Group 1, Malaysia is silently hoping the luck of the draw wil give its team a chance to make it to the playoffs to determine who gets promoted to Group I. Malaysia is grouped together with Sania Mirza led India and Singapore.

And Malaysia's leading player, Jawariah Nordin is looking forward to her match against Sania when the two team play each other on Friday.

"I have never played her before and the experience is just going to be awesome," said Jawairiah.

"It will be tough but I aim to give it my best shot and enjoy the experience as I have nothing to lose. Who knows what will happen but I am not going to let her walk all over me."

Jawairiah can get some tips on how to play Sania from her team mate Khoo Chin Bee who is making a return to the national team after a hiatus of a few years. Chin Bee played Sania in the final of the Hyderabad Open in 2003 but lost to the Indian youngster.

"Sania is one of the more exciting players and Jawairiah could do with the experience of playing against such a high ranked player," said Chin Bee.

"I have not played against the other Indian players yet but we will try our best to upstage them. But first we have to get past Singapore before taking on India."

Malaysia could do with fan support and hopefully the efforts of LTAM in hosting the event will be appreciated by the public. Make your way to Jalan Duta and cheer Malaysia on.

Following is the groupings following the draw for the Asia/Oceania Zone Group I and II.

Group 1

Pool A
Japan, New Zealand, Indonesia, Korea

Pool B
Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Kazakhstan

Group II

Pool A
India, Singapore, Malaysia

Pool B
Hong Kong, Philippines, Syria, Kyrgyzstan

Fixtures (Wednesday)

All Matches Commence At 10.00am at National Tennis Centre Jalan Duta

Japan v Indonesia, New Zealand v Korea, Uzbekistan v Thailand, Chinese Taiei v Kazakhstan, Singapore v Malaysia, Hong Kong v Syria, Philippines v Kyrgyzstan

Monday, February 01, 2010


The 24 players that have confirmed their participation in the Malaysian Open are as below:



Following FAM's announcement of the Harimau Muda participation in the Slovakian League, I opted to wait before blogging on the issue as I wanted to check on details before writing or commenting about it.

While I applaud the decision by the FAM Exco, it is somewhat peculiar that certain details have been omitted by either the main stream media or by FAM big wigs themselves at the press conference held to make this announcement.

So here are the details and from then on it is for you to figure out if the participation was an after thought or was it another of the now infamous FAM methods of salvaging one of their major blunders.

There are 12 teams in this First Division League that commenced on 11th of July 2009. However one team, ŽP Šport Podbrezová, withdrew and did not play any match so far. The team that heads the standings is FK Púchov.

The teams play each other three times, and as of the break in the league on November 28 last year, some of the teams have played between 17 to 18 matches. Hence each team will be required to play another 12 to 14 matches I was informed through my source in Slovakia.

That means effectively, Harimau Muda is taking the place of ŽP Šport Podbrezová, who withdrew from the begining, rendering it to be a 11 team league. But the Slovakian FA continued the league as the fixtures were already drawn up.

So now Harimau Muda are expected to fill in the gaps left by ŽP Šport Podbrezová in the fixtures nd going by what is listed in the Slovakian FA website, it is believed the fixtures for Harimau Muda, the 14 matches that they are to play will be as follows:

27th February v FK Mesto Prievidza
6th March v Slovan Duslo Šaľa
13th March v MFK Ružomberok B
20th March v MFK Zemplín Michalovce
27th March v MFK Tatran AOS L. Mikuláš
3rd April v MFK Dolný Kubín
10th April v FC ViOn Z. Moravce
17th April v AS Trenčín
24th April v FK Púchov
1st May v LAFC Lučenec
8th May v MŠK R. Sobota
15th May v FK Mesto Prievidza
22nd May v Slovan Duslo Šaľa
29th May v MFK Ružomberok B

So effectively it is not a true case of participation in a league as the team will merely fill up the void created by the club that withdrew and cannot possibly catch up with the 11th ranked team at the moment, that is Slovan Duslo Šaľa who have 15 points thus far.

It is now down to just how much it will cost for te team to be based there in Slovakia, and if my memory serves me right it is something between the range of USD45 to USD55 per person per day.

So if a squad of 30 are sent to be based in Slovakia, it will cost somewhat in the region of USD40,500 toUSD49,500 ( RM137,000 to RM168,000) per month with a total of USD121,500 to USD148,500 ( RM RM413,000 to RM504,000) for the three months.

And this does not include the allowances plus flights and other costs such as training venues, internal travel and hosting of home matches.

A big price to pay for leaving the team out of the Super League?