Sunday, July 31, 2016

And the candidates are...

Now that Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has made it loud and clear that he has no interest in leading FAM, the guessing game starts with regards to who can take over the hot seat of FAM.

This list is not exhaustive and it does not reflect any candidate and honestly only a complete overhaul will help Football, for merely changing the leader.

And one has to look at the FAM constitution which clearly spells out that a candidate must be within the system, meaning he must be a principal office bearer in the state affiliate.

That ruling alone will disqualify many of these candidates but then again this article is written to throw names into the hat, as they are mostly corporate personalities that have done well.

Let's start from within FAM and the first name that comes to mind is Dato Seri Norza Zakaria, the current Treasurer of FAM. He is also the Deputy President of OCM, BAM as well as Chairman of the National Sports Institute.

Next we haveTan Sri Anuar Musa who is the President of Kelantan FA and was once the Deputy President at FAM and was suspended as well.

The third and fourth candidates both have managed Football clubs experience - Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Tan Sri Vincent Tan, who own QPR and Cardiff respectively.

Tony runs Air Asia while Tan is the man behind Berjaya.

The fifth, sixth and seventh candidates come from the corporate world, heading some of the most successful corporate bodies in the country.

They are Tengku Dato Sri Zafrul Aziz the CEO of CIMB, an ardent Liverpool fan, Naza Group of Companies Joint Group Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, SM Nasaruddin SM Nasimuddin and Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad Group Managing Director Tan Sri Salim Fateh Din .

Of the three, Salim has the most involvement in Football as his former company Gapura supported Selangor and he was also the Treasurer of KLFA at one time.

Then of course we have the Sports Minister himself Khairy Jamaluddin who was once FAM Deputy President and he could seek an exemption from Prime Minister on the rule that Ministers cannot hold positions in sports bodies.

There you have it, personalities that can help reshape Football in Malaysia provided they are given a free hand and not be bound by granting favours to whoever puts them there.

These personalities have one thing in common - they are all passionate about their daily work and that is what Football needs to re-invent itself.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

AFC monitory developments in Malaysia

The Asian Football Confederation is monitoring closely the developments with regards to Football in Malaysia.

There has been growing concerns that the role played by Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin could be construed as government interference, something the international Football federation (FIFA) deplores and could risk Malaysia facing sanctions.

Khairy has said that he is playing the role of mediator in the conflict surrounding Malaysian Football and has held discussions with both the FAM President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and JDT owner Tengku Ibrahim Sultan Ibrahim.

And KJ is also seeking a meeting with the FAM Exco to brief them of his solution formula next week.

This has raised eyebrows as it is seen as direct intervention by the Minister especially after it was revealed that FAM Treasurer Dato Seri Norza Zakaria and FAM Head of Finance Dato V. Ampega has provided Tengku Isnail a brief of the financial situation in FAM upon instructions from Khairy.

Both the FAM Deputy President Dato Affandi Hamzah and General Secretary Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin later said they were unaware of the briefing.

AFC General Secretary Dato Windsor John when contacted said , " We are monitoring closely the developments in Malaysia. As to government interference we will act should there be an official complaint from FAM. "

Thus all parties concerned should thread carefully in this matter lest see Malaysia being suspended as was the case of Indonesia

The issue gets more complicated as Tengku Abdullah is a member of the FIFA Executive Board and Malaysia will host the FIFA Congress next year.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Only Congress Can Decide New President

Should a vacancy exist in the presidents position of the Football Association of Malaysia,the procedures as laid out by the constitution must be adhered to.

And only the FAM Congress can fill up the vacant position.

FAM General Secretary Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin provided the process in FAM should there be a vacancy in the higher heir achy of the national body.

In expressing surprise at the media reports  that quoted the current President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as saying he was on his way out, Hamidin said he was unaware of the decision.

" Tengku Abdullah had expressed his desire to step down last November but the Executive Board rejected it and appealed to him to see out his term which is till 2018," said Hamidin when contacted.

"This new development comes as a complete surprise and the Exco that meets on August 15 will have to decide on the next step.

" Should Tengku Abdullah stick to his decision, the vacancy can only be filled up at the next Congress meeting.

" Although we have a Congress meeting scheduled for September 15, the constitution requires for a 90 day notice period.

" But let the Exco decide first "

Hamidin also said that he was not aware of the briefing provided by FAM Treasurer Dato Seri Norza Zakaria and Head of FAM Finance Department Dato V. Ampega to HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the owner of JDT.

" I only came to know about it via the press reports," clarified Hamidin.

" What was briefed should be directed at the duo."

On the desire of Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to brief the FAM Exco with regards to the formula to address the issues raised of late regarding FAM, Hamidin said that he was informed of it by Deputy President Dato Seri Affandi Hamzah .

" We have an Exco meeting scheduled for August 15," he added.

" However Khairy wants to meet the Exco next week and we will make the arrangements." 

Hamidin is currently on leave and will return to work on August 8. 

TMP hints at exit as solution

" I am on my way out and have nothing to do with Football. It is up to those who are looking to solve it to do what they want."

That was the stand of Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah when asked on his meeting with Sports Minister Khairy Janaluddin.

And if one was to deduce anything from this reaction, really nothing can be expected in terms of solution but a vacancy at the upper hierarchy of the Football Association of Malaysia.

There is no denying that Tengku Abdullah is utterly disgusted with the ongoings of late and has more often then not refused to talk about Football.

The 36 seconds outburst to the members of the media clearly showed that he had enough and all this talk of a solution was merely talk.

The FAM Exco will meet on August 15 and have no options but to accept the resignation of their embattled President, who ironically left FAM as Deputy President in July 2007.

The question now is just who will assume the position. One of the two deputy presidents or will FAM call for an EOGM to appoint a new President.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chong Wei aims to get it right

Four years ago tears rolled down the cheeks of Lee Chong Wei at the Wembley Arena during the medal presentation ceremony at the end of the men's singles gold medal match.

Chong Wei stood in silence as he watched the Chinese national anthem being played.

Later he revealed to this blogger how much he had wanted to hear Negaraku being played instead.

Chong Wei had to settle for silver, losing an epic final against his nemesis Lin Dan.

Four years later in this time in Rio, the Penang born can create history, by becoming the first Malaysian to win Goldat the Olympics.

" Of course the dream is to win gold but I am not even thinking of the semis let alone the final yet," said Chong Wei.

" The draw looks good but rather then being complacent I will take it one match at a time.

"No doubt the path to the semis looks easier then for others, but treating my opponents with respect is what I have learnt and practiced all this while.

" I am under no pressure to win the gold as if it is destined so be it. I will give it my best shot but so will every other player.

" The desire to deliver Golf had never waned despite not being able to deliver it in my last three Olympics."

Having won two silvers at the Beijing and London Olympics, Chong Wei is placed Group A, with the likes of Soren Opti of Surinam and Derek Wong of Singapore.

He should  waltz through to the last eight where he is expected to take on  Taiwan's sixth seed Chou Tien-Chen.

And it is in the semis that he may once again cross racquets against Lin Dan, provided the Chinese gets the better of Jan O Jorgensen of Denmark in the expected clash of the last eight.

" In that sense it looks like a good draw as I could have had a more difficult path to the semis," said Chong Wei who will undergo his last training session at the Juara Stadium Thursdsy morning before leaving for Rio later in the night.

" Going there early will help us get used to the conditions and give us enough rest.

" I am also very honoured to be given the role as the flag bearer at the opening ceremony on August 5 and want the Jalur Gemilang to stand high and mighty at the end of the Badminton event as well."

Four years ago a total of RM3 million was promised to the winner of the first Malaysian to win Gold at the Olympics. This was aside the RM1 million promised by the NSC under its incentive scheme.

However this time around there are no such incentives.

Chong Wei was unfazed by it.

" The important thing is to deliver the gold medal for the country and the rest will follow," said Chong Wei.

" What I need to do now is sit with the coaches and study the game of the potential opponents.

" We have been working on some tactical aspects in training and I hope to put them to good use.

" I hope Malaysians from all walks of life, young and old will pray for not only my success but all the other national Athletes competing at the Olympics." 

KJ Positive solution will be found

Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin is confident that a solution will be found with regards to the controversy affecting Malaysian Football that had hit the headlines of late, albeit the wrong reasons.

Sharing his thoughts with this blog , Khairy reiterated what he told Journalists waiting outside the gates of Shahzan House, the office of Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah the Crown Prince of Pahang who is also the President of the Football Association of Malaysia.

" He (Tengku Abdullah) is very concerned about the developments. And he is working with me to ensure a positive outcome," said Khairy.

"The plan is centered around  engaging all important stakeholders and working towards a positive outcome, 

"We looked at all options available and weighed them individually before working towards an agreeable path.

"It was a good meeting."

On why Tengku Abdullah is refusing to issue any statements, Khairy said,

"Please don't pressure him.

"We are working towards a positive outcome

"Everyone is focused on a good outcome for Malaysian football."

Khairy also met National Coach Dato Ong Kim Swee at his office in Putrajaya last Friday with regards to the training regime and plans of the national team but did not want to elaborate on the meeting or the outcome.!

It will be now be interesting to see if Tengku Abdullah chairs the FAM Exco meeting on August 15 or even the National Team Management meeting scheduled for August 10.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Let the ballot box decide

Let the ballot box do its talking.

That is the best way to resolve the impasse that is threatening Malaysian Football of late.

There has been much dirty linen washed in public that now it has even over shadowed the likes of a popular Malay drama.

Day in and day out we read criticism, hard talk, allegations, cronyism, all fundamentals that destroy what we used to call the beautiful game.

It is no longer beautiful on and off the pitch with the media just out to create sensationalism  with regards to everything said, no longer caring the damage it does to the minds of the younger generation.

The bottom line is all the parties concern love the sport, and want to see it improve one way or another.

So work together on what is common, agree on what is common, what is not that we discuss tomorrow.

The common denomination here is that Football needs to be changed in the manner it is being run, administrated, managed, whatever word one chooses to use.

So why be pawns in this game of high stakes.

Take it to the ballot box, as simple as that.

Should those who feel things are not right, initiate a vote of no confidence against the present leadership of FAM.

See a vote at the FAM Congress scheduled for September 15 and let the state affiliates decide what direction they ought to take.

The current Executive Committee  has a mandate until 2018 but with what is transporting, dare we host the FIFA Congress next year with all this mud slinging going on in our country?

Let's not fool anyone to say this will blow over or a good nights sleep will see sunny skies the next morning as the raging storm blows over.

There is no silver lining now as too much damage is being done to the sport.

We all want the very best for our country, the paths chosen many differ but ultimately the goal is the same.

Too many innocent bystanders are being made collateral damage in this war or the rich and famous, they do not need this as some are personalities that have passion within them,

So let the ballot boxes decide, if one party feels that they have the numbers to u seat the incumbents, so be it then, let the X decide which way Football should go.

Let us not destroy the beautiful game any longer.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Demi Lencana Di Dada

That were the words uttered by Malaysia"s most famous footballing Son - the late Mokhtar Dahari.

A player who gave it his all on the pitch, standing hard and tough by his badge that he wore on his chest.

They do not make true warriors these days as they did then.

Perhaps it has all got to do with loyalty to the First Yang Di Pertuan Agung, as his image appears on all our currency notes.

Too much money, or too little of it is kind of a double edged sword.

The some are trying to correct what has been wrong in Malaysian Football but will need time. Rome was not built in one day but while others may feel that greed Isa factor, I very much doubt some are merely after the riches. Many are just passionate about sport, some at differing levels

All critics means well and have more often then not been more diplomatic then confrontational. 

FMLLP has its weakness and constraints but given time they can improve.

The only problem is FAM as they cannot seem to let go, stuck in a marriage where the sweetness has gone, akin to a chewing gum, but still kept in the mouth as its habitual.

So going back to players that quit, or as sone claim were made to quit.

Rightfully put these players love the country and no one should ever doubt that, not one single bit.

But winners never quit and quitters never win.

This is how it is in life, running away from an issue, if there is one to start with, will not resolve anything.

It is funny when a player out in the wilderness for 4 years and is recalled into the national team says he had always dreamt of donning the national jersey only s month ago now decides to retire for younger players!

That reasoning is not something a kindergarten going kid will accept, let alone those who love Football in the country.

We all have our differences, we all love Football, but above all we love our country.

We all want the best for the players as we expect the best from then on the pitch. So let's sit down and talk things over rather then just quit.

I have all the time as I sit on my dialysis chair and contemplate on what to write, without trying to sound  offensive or taking sides.

But what has sports come to in this country? Threats, abuse of power, corruption, cronyism and above all greed, and this is not Football that I am talking about.

Never mind the fact that even being a third generation Malaysian I am often labeled as " pendatang." I love my country and wear the badge proudly on my chest.

Do u have what it takes to wear with pride and say " Demi Lencana Di Dada!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

OKS accepts quit decision

Dismayed but accepting reality.

That is the reaction of national coach Dato Ong Kim Swee on the sudden withdrawal of two players - Shafiq Rahim and Aidil Zafuan  Abdul Razak yesterday.

Rather then fret over the decision, Kim Swee took the blow on his Chin like a boxer, never batting an eyelid.

" It's their choice to make and I will just have to accept it," said Kim Swee.

" I thank them for their services to the national team and wish them the very best.

" Should circumstances change in the future and they want to be considered for selection, I practice an open door policy and if their form or performance is up to expectation, then I will pencil them down for a call up."

The Malacca born coach said that while their retirement leaves a vacuum in the national side, life has to go on and the focus remains on building a national team that will be able to restore the faith of Football fans into the sport.

" As a coach I accept the fact that players cone and go and if this is what they want then we just have to respect the decision," added Kim Swee.

" I am not at all surprised by the decision as they ( the players ) would have given a serious thought before making the announcement."

" I was never told about it prior to their announcement and have accepted it ."

On the likelihood of more players following the footsteps of the duo this leading to a notion that Kim Swee has lost control of his dressing room, this was his response.

" One must have the desire and pride to don the national jersey as we owe it to the citizens of this great nation when selected to represent the country in matches" said Kim Swee.

" The desire comes from within a person and cannot be forced.

" We judged by our actions and not what others think of us.

" Ultimately the glory on the pitch is not mine or of FAM's but it belongs to the nation as a whole."  

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Karim suffered heart Attack

Malaysian Athletics Federation president Dato Karim Ibrahim suffered  a heart Attack while flying back from the European Champuonships in Germany.

The Attack occurred in Dubai and the airport authorities rushed him to the Dubai Hospital on July 8.

After tests it was revealed that he had two blockages that required angioplasty and he has since recovered and awaits the certificate of fitness to be discharged and fly back home.

" The flight was about 30 minutes from Dubai when I felt the discomfort," said Karim when contacted.

" The airport authorities did s great job and sent me to the hospital quickly.

" I had two blocks and it has been cleared now and I should be discharged today but will need at least 10 more days here before I can fly back."

Besides his family Karim also had with him IAAF Vice President General  Dahlan Al Hamad , who is also Asian AA President and IAAF council member Ahmad Kamali who assisted him all the way in Dubai. The two are from Qatar and UAE respectively.

" I am fortunate that help was fast in forthcoming and they took good care of me," added Karim.

" It's the first time I had this kind of Attack and I am very fortunate that medical assistance was rendered quickly."

Karim also confirmed that MAF has opted for Zaidatul Husniah as the athlete for the wildcard for the Olympics in the 100m having clocked 11.67sec.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Miss you Mum

3 years ago on July 7 at 10.04pm I lost my beloved Mum. It was God's will that she left us on this fateful day. Not a day passes by in my life without thinking of her, the sacrifices she underwent, the pain and despair, the challenges she faced in bringing us up. I am today what I am because of my Mother. The most important lesson I learnt from her was that money is not everything, for one has to live by his/her principles. As a family we struggled in the early Daud but Mum was a strong willed person, always with a smile and never to show her weakness even when the going was tough. As a Son I did what I could for her but even till know I believe I did not do enough. The past 3 years has been tough on my, physically and emotionally. But Mum with you in Heaven I believe you are now happy and await the day you will reunite with me. I have several more tests that God has given me to undergo, the most important being caring for Dad. It is difficult alone as most days I cry myself to sleep, waking up at odd hours, the pain from dialysis on alternate days makes it difficult to pass a night with proper sleep. As I mark your day of passing today, I reflect on the good times I had with you Num for I miss you more then anything in this world. Look after her God please till I come to be with her.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Will others take responsibility

Dato Sieh Kok Chi is what one will call the elder statesman of Malaysian Sports.

I am sharing his Facebook posting as I find it very honest and thought provoking.

Most of the sports to be contested or rather the events were decided by the powers that be within OCM, ISN, NSC.

This of course includes the highly paid foreign expertise that have taken over the Podium Program.

This grand old man has declared that he is willing to resign from all sports positions should Malaysia do not emerge as overall Champions at the 2017 SEA Games.

Will the Director General of NSC and his officers, the ISN Chief Executive Officer, and the OCM Secretary General be willing to vacate their positions should we fail?

Many associations have not received their finding or approvals for their programs as they are told to wait for confirmation of the sport or event at the July 13 SEA GF meeting.

But some have got funding for their Athletes since April although that sport is now no longer in the initial list

Why this double standards? Simply put the Minister failed to check the continuous rise of the little Napoleons within the NSC.

And as far as the Podium Program is concerned, can we tell the foreign legion to "PODAH" ( leave in Tamil) should we fail to better our 2012 Olympic Haul minus what Chong Wei, Pandelela and Azizul win as they are Athletes already in our system before the invasion of these so called saviour a of Malaysian sports.

Read on what Kok Chi wrote...

29th SEA Games – Proposed Final Sports and Events

I carried out an analysis based on the gold medal tally of the Singapore 28th SEA Games 2015, in early July 2015, soon after the Closing Ceremony.  The objective of my study was to identify the list of sports and events that should be included in the 29th SEA Games that Malaysia is hosting in 2017, in order to become overall champion. 

My analysis showed that 5 sports that are in the 28th SEA Games Programme should be removed from the 29th SEA Games Programme, as they are not popular and have limited development programmes in Malaysia over the past two decades. These sports are Canoeing (17 events), Floorball (2 events), Rowing (18 events), Softball (2 events), and Traditional Boat Race (8 events). In addition to the above reason, the National Sports Associations of Floorball and Traditional Boat Race are not affiliated to OCM.  

By the exclusion of the above 5 sports, a total of 47 events were eliminated, out of which Malaysia did not win a single gold medal in Singapore, and would have lost only 2 bronze medals.  Hence it is really efficient from Malaysia’s stand point to exclude the 5 sports and 47 events. 

In addition to the exclusion of the above sports, I had also proposed the removal of 4 disciplines with a total of 14 events. The disciplines are Chinelone (4 events deleted), Keel Boat (4 events), Precision Shooting (4 events), and Sanda (2 events).

I have also proposed reductions of some events in the following 6 sports, Billiards & Snooker (4 events), Fencing (4 events), Petanque (4 events), Taekwondo (3 Poomsae), Squash (1 Jumbo Events) and Wushu (4 events). The total number of events to be reduced was 22. 

The total number of events to be removed was 83. Of these 83 events, Malaysia did not win a single gold medal. On the other hand, Thailand gold tally dropped from 95 to 76, a loss of 19 gold medals.  Singapore’s gold medal tally was reduced to 67, Vietnam’s gold medal tally became 63 and Indonesia’s gold medal tally was 32.  Malaysia’s gold medal tally remained unchanged at 62. 

To replace the 5 sports that had been dropped, I had suggested the inclusion of 6 sports, namely Karate, Weightlifting, Lawn Bowls, and the inclusion of Cricket, Ice Hockey and Ice Skating, with the possibility of the inclusion of Bodybuilding and Judo. The total number of sports in the 29th SEA Games will be 37 or 38.  I have also suggested the inclusion of inclusion of Track Cycling, and increasing the events in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Squash, etc., where appropriate. 

The total number of new events to be included was 78 making a total of 409 events, an increase of 7 events of the Singapore 28th SEA Games. Out of these 78 new events, Malaysia is projected to win around 46 events, making the projected gold medal tally of Malaysia at the 29th SEA Games to be 108.  

Of the remaining 32 events, Thailand is projected to win about 16, which will make Thailand’s projected gold medal tally to be 92. The balance of 16 gold medals will be shared by Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippine. 

I am very happy to see that 37 sports suggested by me have been included in the final list of 38 sports,  My suggestion for Bodybuilding was replaced by Muay, My suggestion for around 409 events, is 6 events more than the 403 events approved. My target of 109 gold medals for the Malaysian Contingent to achieve will only be proven right or wrong, come 31st August 2017.  I have also promised to resign from all involvement in Malaysian sport, should Malaysia failed to top the overall gold medal tally in the 29th SEA Games 2017.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Silhs Rally to help Fathets dream come true

The Johor Silh community has rallied to raise funds to send high jumper Nauraj Singh's Father to the Rio Olympics.

Amarjit Singh the Father of the high jumper who is the first Malaysian athlete to qualify on merit for the Olympics in athletics had expressed his desire to see his Son in action in Rio on the 14tj and 16th of August.

However no one stepped forward to assist him until Johor Sikhs decided to do something.

A Golf game was held and RM10,000 was raised with another RM10,000 contributed by Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah the Crown Prince of Pahang and Dato Dr. Harjit Singh, the former President of Malaysian Cricket raised another RM7,500.

" We felt duty bound to help Amarjit and I am happy that many contributors stepped forward to lend s helping hand," said Manjit Majid Abdullah who is the Deputy President of Johor HA and Vice President of  Malaysian Hockey.

" it is indeed a fathers desire to see his Son achieve success and what higher stage then the  Olympics.

" It was a joint effort to raise the funds and we now have to get him the tickets for the event and we will seek head distance of the OCM."

For the record in 2012 when a heavily pregnant shooter competed in the London Olympics, the NSC paid for her husbands board and lodging while the air ticket was purchased by a leading national daily.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Not within your pay bracket !

The sports media fraternity  is constantly barraged by those seeking publicity.

However of late there is some corners with regards to individuals dropping names of their bosses so as to play the scare tactics.

To be a sports journalist one has to go through the mill, as it's not as rosy as cherry picking.

A sports journalist has to think out of the box and be Creative while at the same time sticking to the truth.

I have had the privilege of working alongside some of the household names of the Malaysian sports media fraternity.

It takes guts, knowledge, ability, passion, honesty and a clear conscience to be a good sports journalist.

Thus it came as a shock to me that a media officer to a Minister is pushing her weight in trying to protect her boss or it seems.

I have known the Minister far longer then this person and one thing I can vouch is that he is never vindictive, and he is quite capable of fighting his own battles with his uncanny way of handling people through reason.

So there was no necessity for this Media Officer, not once but on four separate occasions attempt to put sand in other peoples rice bowls.

I have one advice to give this person - something that the Minister once told me to pass on to someone else - " this is not within your pay bracket."

In other words, if you cannot respect another persons responsibility, do not expect others to give shit about you.

Truth and facts are always the key ingredients that a good sports journalist will uphold no matter what the consequences are.

So why not this Media Officer wrote an article to nullify what is Nor right.

Or is it the case of being incapable to write a line to save ones life?