Sunday, September 30, 2012


The run up to the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Association saw a high campaign intensity as the two camps made calls and sought out delegates from the 35 affiliated clubs.

And when the dust settled after the BGM today, there was no clear winner as it was what one would consider as a hung Parliament, with the camp headed by Dato Mohamad Norza Zakaria, the incumbent who retained his position, winning six seats while the challemgers led by businessman Datuk Ng Thin Huatt won five positions.

Norza staved off the challenge of Datuk Ng with a vote count of 46-33 with one spoilt vote, and that was the last position that was announced by the returning officer.

Besides the win by Norza, the only other comprehensive win was recorded by Treasurer Mohd taufik Haju Hussain who garnered 47 votes over his opponent Tirunavukarasu.

Former sectretary Mohamad Abdullah made a triumphant return albeit winning the position by one vote (41-40) over K. Gopal Krishnan as did newly elected deputy president A. Subramaniam who edged incumbent K.Samarasam by the same marging of victory.

The contest for the three vice presidents position saw four candidates Ismail majid, Ganesan, P. Arunachalam and Saliman Zainal all tied with 40 votes each while Dato Jahaberdeen Mohamed Yunoos had 39 and incumbent Hon. Secretary Seluarize@Rajoo with 38.

In the end a ballot was done with the agreement of the floor and it saw Ismail dropping out of the list of Vice Presidents.

For the position of Council Members, the four voted in were K.Kanagaraja (44), Muthamil Maran ( 43) Neducheralathan (41) and Mohammad Iqbal (40). Goh Kaw Chin who also polled 40 votes gave way to Iqbal to avoid a revote.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Many a time I wonder if politicians know what they are talking about or even if they think they do, who actually provides them with wrong facts.

For example the badminton fraternity is suddenly all abuzz with the announcement of allocation for a badminton academy in Bukit Kiara.

The truth of the matter is that having an academy is an old story, not a new idea mooted by the current regime in charge at BAM.

Malaysia had an academy at Taman Maluri Cheras and that was closed down for no apparent reason, and to top it all it was a collaboration with Seri Garden, an international school.

Then in 1996 land was allocated behind the Police Training Centre in Cheras for a national training centre cum academy and this was at one time moved to the current sports centre in Kampung Pandan.

Next thing you know is land was allocated along the Kesas Highway and BAM started making all kind of statements about what it will contain and so forth.

Today BAM officials have stated how enthusiastic they are that the goverment has approved their request for the academy to be built in Bukit Kiara.

The moral of the story - it is an old idea, an old suggestion and its obvious that BAN does not have any inkling how to go about having an academy.

The same as how they have no inkling of building the next generation of players nor netting an Olympic gold or even winning a world championship title as lesser countries in badminton like USA and England have in their ranks world champions at one time or another.

So stop claiming credit and just vacate the positions if unable to produce results for the sport is not a family heirloom to be passed from one corporate figure to another as there is such a thing as clean and fail elections.

Unless of course some can be bought by a mere junket.....

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Next year will see a new competition for ASEAN Clubs, in the form of a league.

In revealing this, FAM Deputy President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said that both clubs and state teams from Malaysia could apply to join the league.

Hence the issue of signing on more foreign players should not arise. Tengku Abdullah said this when met after the launch of the Sultan Johor Cup Hockey Tournament in response to a question as to any changes to the current limit of two foreign players in the M-League.

"The AFF will be introducing an ASEAN League for clubs next year and I believe that they will be more open towards foreign players," said Tengku Abdullah.

"Actually it's a question of affordability and proper management as some of our teams can afford to sign more then two.

"Perhaps we ought to have a re-look at our regulations and increase the quota accordingly."

Talking about a re-look, Tengku Abdullah said that in Malaysia there is a tendency to resort to punishing rather then looking to resolve issues through discussions and understanding.

He said this when asked on the impasse between the Terengganu FA and their coach Peter Butler who has seen his contract terminated after being suspended for 6 months on frivolous charges.

"I view the development with concern as this could turn ugly and is not conducive for Malaysian football. We have regulations in place and have to look more deeply," said Tengku Abdullah.

"Butler has options available to him by taking this matter to international level and FAM has to view this matter seriously."

With regards to reports of Dato K. Rajagobal willing to make way should Malaysia fail to qualify for the Asia Cup in 2015, Tengku Abdullah quipped;

"Let us looks at how the team performs in the AFF Cup rather then talk about something that is years away. It is the current situation that we should look at and achieve results."

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Has Karim Ibrahim been exonerated from being accused of having a hand in doping athletes?

There have been conflicting news on this as a senior sports official said that Karim has been singled out in the report by the inquiry led by Tan Sri VC George.

The report was made available to MAU President Dato Seri Shahidan Kassim, OCM President Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar and Karim himself this evening.

However Karim sounded relieved when he was contacted by this blog.

"I have handed the copy of the report to my lawyers and he will study to report in detail," Karim told this blog exclusively.

"I will now concentrate on the MAU elections and am relieved that all this is over.

"I am not able to say anything more except for the fact that my lawyer advised me I have nothing to be concerned about."

While not having access to the report, it is learnt that the panel had not made sufficient suggestions to improve towards non occurrence of such incidents.

It is also learnt that the written reports submitted by NSC Director General Dato Seri Zolkples Embong and Shahidan were not considered as the duo were unable to attend the inquiry in person thus not giving Karim an opportunity to cross examine them.

More details tomorrow as the saga is Karim guilty or not continues.

Will there be a closure? Only time will tell as all parties should move on towards the betterment of athletics in the country.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


The only thing that has seen changes as so far as the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) is concerned is the newly paved road leading up to their headquarters at Bukit Kiara.

Gone is the bumpy ride but that was soon replaced with goose bumps when the BAM Exco meeting was over.

For the past week I have avoided commentating on BAM, leaving it to the wisdom of the main stream media. But I was startled when I heard that some members of the main stream media were threatened with legal action by two senior officials on what they had written.

Several media personalities I spoke to confirmed the threats, but I admire their guts for standing up to these personalities, letting their opinions be the judge of what reality is. I have always advocated that national associations should engage the media, but alas a threat is not the way.

Coming back to the Exco Meeting, as revealed by this blog two weeks ago, Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong will not be split, and that was the case as the Exco has now decided to keep the pair together until the World Championships next year, thats one year longer that the pair will play together.

I wonder what happened to the heart to heart talk and the outcome that the duo were agreeable to be split for the interest of badminton.

Mind you BAM President, as can be seen from the video above has made it clear that the pair remains as its their wish to stick together. And BAM has set a place in the final of World Champs as a pre-condition. Another silly target given that the duo were finalists in the 2010 World Championships.

There was tension in the air when the issue of the Ng sisters - Hui Lin/Hui Ern was brought up as to why being fulltime students they were still in the national team, enjoying the benefits when other professional players were left to fend for themselves.

Senator V. Subramanian, the Selangor BA President and a member of the EXCO admitted that it was a mistake of the part of BAM and the Exco assumed responsibility and such practices will be put to a stop right away. A bold statement indeed but then again will it be executed?

Dato Nadzmi also clarified that he never said that World Junior Champion Zulfadli Zulkifli was out of the 2016 Project Squad, but once again stopped short of saying that the youngster was in.

A Project Manager, to oversee three special Olympic projects, namely the 2016,2020 and 2024 will be appointed but when asked the time frame as to when, it was once again met with a stony silence and all those at the main table could not come out with an answer that made sense. 
Only one thing was certain, that it will be a Malaysian- no advertising but head hunting is what BAM will do, and importantly the person needs strong administrative skills - perhaps BAM is admitting that their current administration is not up to expectations.

Then we have three head coaches appointed - Rashid Sidek ( mens singles ), Wong Tat Meng ( women singles) and Tan Kim Her ( overall doubles ) thus making Rosman Razak the shortest ever Women Doubles head coach.

If there is one significant change, then it has to be that the Coaching and Training Committee wields more power then the Exco.

God help our badminton.

Man arrested over AFC 'theft' - lawyer

A man has been arrested over the alleged theft of documents from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, a lawyer told AFP early on Wednesday.

A man has been arrested over the alleged theft of documents from the Asian Football Confederation headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, a lawyer told AFP.

Tony Kang, husband of the body's former finance director Amelia Gan, surrendered himself to police, the AFC's legal counsel Mohamad Bustaman Abdullah said. Kang is expected to be charged in court in the Malaysian capital later.

Bustaman did not detail the documents' contents but he said he believed they were "quite relevant". He was also not sure what evidence linked Kang to the alleged theft.

The AFC lodged a complaint with police over missing documents which reportedly relate to a large payment made to Mohamed bin Hammam, the AFC's suspended president who is fighting corruption allegations, in 2008.

Hammam has also complained that documents detailing "personal payments" were stolen from his office, and were included in an internal AFC audit carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The audit tracks the "negotiation and execution of certain contracts and... the financial transactions made in and out of AFC bank accounts and his personal account during the tenure of Mr. Bin Hammam's presidency", according to the AFC.

British media said Hammam, who was provisionally suspended from the AFC on the basis of the audit, met AFC-appointed investigators in London this week and offered a detailed explanation of the payments.

The 63-year-old Qatari remains provisionally suspended by both FIFA and the AFC pending investigations into the regional body's finances.

In July, his lifetime ban from football was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Bin Hammam was handed the ban last year after being found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of bribery during his campaign to replace Sepp Blatter as the world body's president. He says the accusations are politically motivated.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Fascinating is just one word to describe the ongoings in Terengganu as word has it that the spat between the FA and the coach Peter Butler will now head to the court of law.

And while all this is happening MACC has just announced that they have cleared the goalkeeper by virtue of a polygraph test conducted.

While not condoning the action of coaches/officials shooting off the cuff and claim bribery each time their team loses, in reality for the media its a sensational story. So I guess Terengganu FA too has some similiar "Article 88" hidden somewhere in their constitution to say that the Butler did it, in this case tarnishing their image, or whatever was left of it.

Butler should have long realised that fighting the mob culture will get him no where, and its now obvious to him that any attempt to raise the bar, in terms of discipline will be his folly.

So what next for Terengganu and Butler?

Since its a suspension, Butler has to resort to appealing the decision before moving in from the legal aspects. As for the FA, they have to honour their contract and pay Butler his dues based on the contract that runs till the end of 2013.

Now if any of your teams do badly, there is a way out, just blame it on the Butler...

Sunday, September 09, 2012


There is more then what meets the eye as so far as the Coaching and Training Committee Meeting decided then what was revealed to journalists at the post meeting press conference that was held yesterday.

One thing is certain, a senior official of BAM stated " the third world mentality" of players within the BAM stable as a main reason as to why he objected to having a foreign supremo to handle matters pertaining to coaching and technical aspects of the players.

Perhaps if BAM feels that players have adopted a third world mentality, they ought to take a hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask just who made them such. And since they cannot churn out champions, maybe its time to vacate your seats.

It is indeed shocking that the BAM opted to keep secrets rather then being honest about things after having kept the Journalists waiting for well over six hours.

A secret because within an hour after the Press Conference, I managed to find out some startling facts and decisions that were made. And here goes.

- Zulfadli Zulkifli has been left out of the 2016 program by BAM. His name was initially included in the list by Ng Chin Chai but objections by the Peanag and Kedah representatives saw Zulfadli being dropped and only Iskandar Zulkarnain and Misbun Ramdhan being included to join the seniors. This I believe was to save face of BAM President who had revealed the list a week prior to the meeting. And its pertinent to note that NSC Director General dato seri Zolkples Embong had stated that Zulfadli should be included. This shows that the views of NSC have no impact as far as BAM is considered.

- There was a proposal from Tan Kim Her to split Koo Kien Keat/Tan Boon Heong and the new pairing was Goh V Shern/Tan Boon Heong. but not for Koo. That created a problem as the future of Koo was uncertain. The matter was discussed, the pro and cons but one of the issues was the fact that the restructuring of pairs could mean that KLRC's Mohd Zakry Latif/Mohd Fairuzizuan Tazari would take over the mantle of being the number one pair in the country. All this talk of having to discuss with Koo/tan was bullshit as BAM has had discussions with them. They will not be split till end of the year so as to ensure they remain in BAM.

- Three coaches, namely Cheah Soon Kit, Yap Kim Hock and Wong Tat Meng have been endorsed to join the coaching stablke and will be formally appointed at the Exco Meeting to be held later.

More disclosures soon....

Saturday, September 08, 2012


After a seven hour meeting, this is what BAM told journalists at the Press Conference, and I am merely repeating what was told to me by Journalists that were present:

- that they have yet to talk to Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong before deciding on splitting the pair.

- that they have decided priority is for the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and that the 12 year plan will be the baby of the Development Committee.

- that a decision on which coaches to be retained or sacked to be decided in December and as such status quo remains.

- that the High Performance Team is disbanded and that Dato James Selvaraj is a member of the Coaching and Training and no longer the High Performance Director.

Now there was much more discussed and decisions made that they did not want to share with the media.

I shall await what the main stream media writes before unveiling what actually transpired.

Suffice to say that one top official likened Malaysia badminton mentality as one of a third world country.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


That is a famous quote attributed to Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah who passed away yesterday at the age of 88.

This was in reference to the National Sports Council which was created in 1971 via the NSC Act when Hamzah was the Sports Minister.

It was something that Hamzah often uttered when I bumped into him during the early years of my foray into journalism.

My acquaintance with Hamzah was purely coincidental for the first time we met was in 1987, opposite the Station Padang in Seremban, where one of the best rojak and cendol stalls were located.

Hamzah was seated next to me and a mutual friend introduced us. I did not know then who Hamzah really was and over the years got to know him better.

The quote about NSC was Hamzah's way of saying that when the NSC was formed and it's function differed to what it has become since.

But the nice man he was, Hamzah never publicly devoured NSC as after all it was his creation.

Sports thrived with Hamzah at the helm as most of the associations he led showed remarkable achievements during his tenure.

Who can forget that day in Munich when the Malaysian football team competed in the 1972 Munich Olympics? Or when Malaysia defeated South Korea at the Merdeka Stadium to qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics that we eventually boycotted.

Hamzah was a gifted leader, someone who said things as he saw it, soft yet firm, and above all did not deem it necessary to rule with an iron fist.

One of the finest attributes of Hamzah was he knew when it was time to let go, and that is what many of the current seat warmers in the current age could learn from Hamzah.

Rest in peace sir for you have contributed significantly to Malaysian sports and we pray that you continue to look upon us from the heavens.

Saturday, September 01, 2012


Am wondering if Malaysia has a new striker or has an existing one had a change of name.

Read on the Bernama story, paying careful attention to the headline.

But at the same time was there not such a body set up by the son of a very important person in the football industry?

Professional Football Players Association Needed To Protect Players - Safee Sallehlp

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Sept 1 (Bernama) -- A professional football players association should be set up in the country to assist and protect the welfare and rights of players, said National striker and Pelita Jaya player Safee Sali.

He said Malaysian football was undergoing a transformation and that players facing repercussions needed an active and professional body to protect their interests.

"The situation currently being experienced by two Terengganu players is an example of how important it is for a professional football players association to be set up in the country.

"I sympathise with my friends involved in the controversy and having to put up with such a shameful situation," he told reporters when met at the "SYM Hari Raya Open House with Safee Sali" of a motoring company factory in Alma here Saturday.