Monday, July 30, 2018

GO MALAYSIAN TO RAISE MALAYSIAN FOOTBALL STANDARD

NATURALISATION IS NOT THE ANSWER TO MALAYSIAN FOOTBALL WOES 

The issue of naturalised players – either Malaysians with mixed parentage – or foreign players given citizenship – to don Malaysian colours in Malaysian football has been ongoing for close to two decades.

While it has been going back and forth and more recently has become a reality with several players with mixed parentage (offspring of either Malaysian father or mother who has married a foreign) already have donned national colours.

Now there is another effort to look for totally foreign football players to be given Malaysian citizenship to enable them to don national colours and even more alarming to bring young foreign players and offer them citizenship to become our future national players.

Bringing foreign players to Malaysia at a young age with hope they will change Malaysia football fortunes in the near future with their talent could well backfire because no sooner they have they arrived in Malaysia, they could well embrace to be more Malaysians than Malaysians themselves!

And with FA of Malaysia President, Dato' Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin’s statement today to say that he is happy that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support to the national team to use naturalised players, it further adds to the strong possibility that naturalisation is what the national team is heading towards.
On contrary, young Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who had earlier stated it would be better to go with Malaysian players rather that naturalisation, now is saying maybe a balance with Malaysian players and naturalised players will be the way to go.
Seriously, my personal stand on the matter for more than a decade when first talks of naturalisation players for the national players, is NO GO!
I am even against foreign players in the Malaysian League.
I have written numerous articles on the matter and stating my reasons and I don’t want to repeat it. Just read the articles listed below:














FA of Malaysia and the Sports Ministry should seriously consider working hard to get their development programme act right, there has to be fair selection process of players, improvement facilities at grassroots level, expanding the number of not only coaches but quality coaches at the base, correcting the ills at school’s level, upgrading school fields, increasing the number qualified football coaches in schools, increasing the number Physical Education periods in schools, State FAs giving importance to organising local leagues for clubs and placing talent scouts in schools, districts, villages and remote areas are are among the few agendas which should be top priority instead of spending millions and even billions of ringgit on foreign players.

In any case, a majority of foreign players who grace Malaysian soil are mediocre or not even better than our local talent. Let us not be the dumping ground of half-baked foreign players who cannot a hold a candle to their top players in their respective countries.

To say that Malaysia does not have talent is a mere excuse and plain lazy!

The problem is we are not prepared to work hard with a long term programme. Success does not come overnight. It has to be over at least two Olympic cycles.

Talks about naturalisation is a short gap measure, does not hold water at all.

A move like that is only going to further disillusion local players as they will not have a chance to represent the nation and may just opt to play other sports.

IS THIS WHAT WE WANT OUR NATIONAL TEAM TO LOOK LIKE? THE POSSIBLE LOOK OF THE  NATIONAL TEAM WITH NATURALISED PLAYERS AS PROTRAYED  IN THIS  PICTURE IN METRO REPORT RECENTLY

Already in the M-League more than 90 local players have been denied the opportunity to play in the competition because of these places taken up by foreigners.

And is it not  a surprise that national coaches each time cry that they do not have strikers and midfielders.

Maybe it is about time to ban foreign players completely or at worst just allow a maximum of two foreign players – one of which must be an Asian – and not allow mid-season window to change players.

Malaysia went Semi-Pro in 1989 and fully professional in 1994 – that’s almost three decades ago. If Malaysian football has not progressed – in fact declined at an alarming rate – then we need to look at ourselves in the mirror and determine what we have been doing wrong. Is it the influx of foreign players? Is it the unprofessionalism of teams and their management, is it the neglect of development by State FAs and clubs, is it the system of the League or attitude?

We now even have the M-League managed by a professional entity - Malaysia Football League (MFL), formerly the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP). And we still plagued by woes of poor management and the national team suffering the brunt of it.

Whatever said, going foreign or naturalised players is NOT the way for Malaysian football.

THE PRESS STATEMENT FROM FA OF MALAYSIA

KENYATAAN MEDIA: FAM SAMBUT BAIK SOKONGAN PERDANA MENTERI UNTUK AMBIL PEMAIN NATURALISASI SERTAI HARIMAU MALAYA

Saya terlebih dahulu ingin merakamkan jutaan terima kasih kepada Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad yang telah memberikan lampu hijau kepada pasukan Harimau Malaya menggunakan pemain berstatus naturalisasi, seperti dinyatakan kepada media, hari ini.
Di sini saya sekali lagi ingin melahirkan rasa terharu kepada Tun Dr Mahathir yang mana beliau sentiasa mengambil berat serta memantau perkembangan pasukan bola sepak kebangsaan dan sumbangan daripada pihak kerajaan jelas akan memainkan peranan positif dalam memajukan bola sepak tempatan.
Kami di Persatuan Bolasepak Malaysia (FAM) pada Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Eksekutif FAM di Melaka pada Sabtu lalu sebenarnya telah bersetuju melantik Timbalan Presiden FAM, Datuk Wira Mohd Yusoff Mahadi untuk menjadi Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Khas untuk persediaan merealisasikan pengambilan pemain naturalisasi ini.
Mengambil respon positif daripada kenyataan Tun Dr Mahathir hari ini, FAM akan terus mula menggerakkan jawatankuasa khas tersebut untuk bertindak memperhalusi lagi hal berkaitan pengambilan pemain bertaraf naturalisasi ini bagi langkah-langkah seterusnya.
Bagaimanapun, FAM tetap akan terus berusaha memperkasakan program akar umbi seperti disarankan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman sebelum ini sebagai program jangka masa panjang melahirkan pemain Harimau Malaya pada masa depan biarpun sedang berusaha ke arah naturalisasi pemain dalam masa terdekat ini.
Dato' Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin

Friday, July 27, 2018

FAD IS DYNAMIC


PETITTE Norfadzilah Najmi is a package of surprises.
The 32-year Negri Sembilan born lass is singer in a band – Nova – an all Malay band, but truly a Malaysian band.
Looks can indeed be deceiving.
Watching Nova perform for the first time at the Hong Chin Football Club 50th anniversary dinner at the Oriental Pearl Restaurant at the Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Club last Saturday, I was indeed pleasantly surprised.
My first impression was that what was a ‘tudung’ singer doing at the dinner of ex-footballers and mostly above 50 years old, and how was she and her band going to keep these guys entertained?
But after all the formalities of the anniversary function and when the band started playing, they rocked the hall and had the guests clapping and singing along,
The band was tight and sang almost any song – oldies, latest and all-time favourites.
But the biggest surprise for the night was when Fad, as she is known to her friends, started out belting Chinese numbers in Mandarin and Cantonese which had the guests, of which a majority were Chinese, on their feet clapping and dancing.
Ex-internationals, Yip Chee Keong and John Engkatesu, who were so thrilled by the performance of Fad and her band, went up the stage to start dancing which saw many more join then.
They even invited Fad to dance with them and she sportingly obliged them.
It was indeed a fun-filled night which kept guests entertained especially when Fad and her band showed further versatility when they started singing Tamil, Hindi and of course Malay songs.
Above all, they could sing any request hurled at them.
The focal point of the band was Fad who interacted well with the guests.
By the end of the night, the band was the talking point.
I had to find out more about Fad and when I spoke to her, she sprung more surprises.
Fad was an army corporal and served for nine years after serving in the territorial army (wataniah).
Why army and singing? Her father was also an army man and was a musician with the army band.
Fad, who has an older sister and younger brother has been singing since she was in Standard Five.
And her fluency in the Chinese language? She is Chinese educated since kindergarten till Form 3!
“I grew up liking Chinese songs as I was an ardent fan Teresa Teng,” said Fad.
“And with my father singing in the army band, I wanted to follow his footsteps and that explains why I joined the army.”
And her singing prowess was recognised by the army that she spent most of the time singing for army orchestra and Kor Renjer Diraja Malaysia.
Fad who joined the Sport School of Tunku Ampuan Durah in Form Four was also a sportswoman competing in silat gayong and a hurdler at school.
Among the bands she has sung with besides in the army include The Lost Chapters, Picha Picha Band, Baby Band  and BB Bistro Band, 

She has won in several Karoke competitions in Negri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur besides competing in the Mentor programme in TV3 in 2012, Bintang RTM in 2010 and TV 2’s Rentak Juara (Battle of Bands) last year.

Her current band Nova based in Seremban was formed in 2012 with six members – drummer - Mohammad Farhan Fahmi Mohd Isa (nicknamed Paanjunks); bassist - Hamizal Zaini (Mizall); Keyboardist - Saiful Azizi Md Derus (Angah); Lead Guitarist - Muhammad Rashidi Ruseli Fadzil (Shady) and
vocalist - Zailani Yaacob (Jai).





Fad said that the band practices at least once week and perform at functions all over the country.
“But singing is still part-time. I work with a maintenance company as a supervisor,” said Fad who has a three-year-old daughter.

Fad also does solo stints using minus one tapes.
However, Fad has no plans to become a fulltime artiste.

“I am happy having a day time job and singing at functions on a part time basis. I don’t think that I can just survive just singing, as the market is very competitive.

“But I hope that the uniqueness of the band for its versatility and being a truly Malaysian band we get more offers to play from various ethnic groups and not just confined to a select group,” said Fad.

Indeed, this band in unique and versatile. It is a matter of time they become a household name among bands in the country.

As for Fad, she is indeed going to be the main attraction in the band.   
 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Johor the cricket hub

Johor Cricket Council’s passionate of developing the game

JOHOR Cricket Council (JCC) initiates another development effort to introduce a T20 cricket tournament to the clubs.
Johor Rhinos, an affiliate JCC will be is organising the inaugural T20 quadrangular Cricket tournament over weekend (July 28-29) at the Johor Cricket Academy Mutiara Rini Oval.


Four clubs – host Johor Rhinos, Indian Panthers (from Johor comprising expatriates), Bio Blasters (a combination of expatriates and locals of Johor) and Blue Lions Cricket Club (from Singapore) will be competing in this tournament which will played on a round-robin basis with the top two teams reaching the final.
“This is another effort by JCC to promote cricket in Johor and also to assist the development of the game,” said Datuk Dr Harjit Singh, the JCC president.
“We have a Johor cricket league, but this tournament is to encourage clubs to organise a tournament under T20 format so that they can promote the game further by creating interest among the young.
“We already have queries from two school teams who want to form a club and compete in next year’s tournament.
“We also have some of the teams competing including youth players in their team to give them the exposure.”
Johor Rhinos club secretary, Sudesh K. Narayan said: “Although our team comprise of former Johor state and national players, we also have included four junior players from around Johor.
“This is the club’s effort to give exposure to these young players and also lure other young and schoolboys to take up the game.
“The club also has plans to conduct coaching clinics at schools from time to time.”
Dr Harjit said that he hopes to see more teams compete in the next tournament and also intends to invite club teams from other states and eventually make it an international tournament.
Johor Rhions club convenor Mohd Fairuz Jaafar confirmed that other states already have expressed their interest to compete in the next tournament and was confident that this inaugural tournament is going to grow into reputable tournament not only in Johor and Malaysia but in the region.
 tis hoping to invite more clubs to participate in our future tournament as teams from another state have shown their interest to be
 The tournament will commence sat 8.30am on both days.
 Dr Harjit swill give away the trophy and medals on Sunday evening.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

MOTOR CYCLISTS MENACE NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED URGENTLY



The Transport Ministry needs to urgently look into the menace the motorcyclists are becoming on the road and to car drivers.
It has become hazardous for car owners to drive in the city or highways because motorcyclists have become the ‘king of road’.
Try driving to office in the morning and by the time you reach your office and if your car side mirror has not been brushed by a motorcyclist who weaves past you or shown the finger and abused by foul language, consider it your lucky day.
Gone are the days when motorcyclists rode their motorcycles on the far left side of the road. Today they can be seen weaving between cars, buses, lorries in every lane of the three or four lane road or highway.
They will honk at the cars to make way for them to whiz past and if they cannot pass, besides honking, they will knock or bang on your windows, knock your side mirrors and whiz away without a show of hand to say sorry and you will get abused too.
Besides, these motorcyclists will be coming at top speed and many have fitted their motorcycles with car horns and will honk at you with blaring sounds.
It is near impossible to change lanes because motorcycles will be whizzing past you on both sides.
Motorcyclists now not only use all lanes but also use pedestrian paths.
And if anyone of them gets knocked down while trying to get past you, it will be disaster as all the other motorcyclists will gang up together to accuse the driver of the car, bus or lorry, to be in the wrong. You can consider yourself lucky if you do not get beaten up.
Disaster is indeed waiting to happen daily because of the menace caused by the motorcyclists.
Before worst things happen on the roads of Malaysia, the authorities had better address the situation.
Having special motorcycle lanes alone is not enough because still do not use it and ride on highways.
We need constant patrolling by the police or JPJ officers  to ensure that Malaysian roads are safe for car users.



Thursday, July 19, 2018

EVER ONWARDS HONG CHIN

 






Hong Chin Football Club once the household name and pride of Selangor and Malaysian football in the 60s, 70s and early 80s – is celebrating its 50th anniversary in a big way this year.

Among the famous football clubs in the country, Hong Chin FC’s grand scale anniversary celebrations include a dinner which will be held on Saturday July 21

at the Oriental Pearl Restaurant at Bukit Jalil Golf & Country Club on Saturday.

Hong Chin was a unique football club because it was a community football based club, run by passionate and volunteers, who had to source for funds and most of the time contributed themselves.

The 50th anniversary organising committee secretary Michael Yei said 150 persons, including famous veterans and football personalities who made a name for themselves in the sport with Hong Chin FC, have confirmed their attendance for the dinner.

Among them include Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk Dina Rizal, Yip Chee Keong, Abdullah Ali, John Engketesu, Peter Ambrose, Reduan Abdullah and many others.

Among the notable players who have come through Hong Chin include the likes of Lai Kok Kim, Tan Kim Meng, Khalid Ali, Reduan, Lim Hong Hock, K. Gunasegeran, Lim Then Guan, Engketesu, Peter Ambrose, Chan Chee Mun, Abdullah Ali, Yip Chee Keong, R. Subramaniam, Peter Rajah, Reduan Yunus and late Chow Chee Keong and Ong Yu Tiang. Many of them turned out for Selangor and the national team.

Last Saturday a Futsal tournament was organised at NPNG Sports Centre, as part of their anniversary celebration.

The Futsal tournament with the theme ‘Living in the Football Spirit’ saw
​4​0 veterans teams compete and another 15 veterans who came to support and cheer us on.

At the Futsal tournament - from right Michael Yei, Datuk Dina, Tan Kim Choon organising chairman, Yip Chee Keong, Datuk Santokh Singh and oldest particpant 76 year old Sucha Singh
 The youngest player was 46 years old and the oldest was 76 years.

For everyone's efforts and determination .....EVERYONE HAD TO BE A WINNER .....winner's gold medal was awarded to all - be it players or supporters.
 
“This year’s celebration event is the biggest to-date, although Hong Chin FC has had its annual gathering to come together to touch base, renew friendships and comradeship,” said Michael.

Hong Chin FC was officially registered in 1968 when funds were acquired to compete in the FA of Selangor League, although it was founded much earlier as a social club for the community of Brickfields. The club was formed to provide budding youngsters of the area a chance to become good footballers by harnessing their talent.

Hong Chin, which means ‘ever onwards’ in Chinese, was started by the late Charlie Tan and a group of friends from Scott Road, Brickfields (now known as Jalan Tun Sambanthan).

Charlie and his friends even rented a flat for their clubhouse (26A, Jalan Padang Belia – formerly Jalan Kandang Kerbau off Brickfields) facing the former Railway Recreation Club (RRC) ground (ear marked and sealed for a mega office complex 18 years ago but still remains sealed and no project upcoming) which was their home ground.

Hong Chin who started off as a small club, made giant leaps to become one of the feared teams not only in the Selangor League but also at the national club level competition (FAM Cup).


They won honours at the Selangor Dunhill League, invitational tournaments at the FAM Cup.


Division I match between Hong Chin and UMNO in 1970
Yei recalled his association with Hong Chin and football those days: “I grew up in the Scott Road/Jalan Kandang Kerbau (now Jln Tun Sambanthan) vicinity. My early days of playing football was on the Railway Recreation Club (RRC) field, the YMCA Field and the Jalan Chan Ah Thong Field. These were the three famous football venues in the Brickfields area. During those days, crowds used to gather around these fields practically every evening to watch football games under the auspices of the Football Association of Selangor (FAS).

“Monday, Wednesday and Fridays were Commercial League games whilst Tuesdays and Thursdays were for the Open League. The popular teams then were Sharpees (mainly comprising Indians) and Hong Chin (mainly comprising Chinese). The Railway and YMCA Fields were the place where these two were located. The Chan Ah Thong Field was where Datuk M. Chandran and Datuk N. Thanabalan were the stars.”

Other famous fields and associated with clubs include the Pudu field which was used by Selangor Recreation Chinese Club (SCRC), Selangor Indians Association (SIA) using the Kampong Attap ground, UMNO and Sultan Sulaiman Club at Sultan Sulaiman Club Kampong Baru ground, Railway Recreation Club at the Ipoh Road  and Sentul Pasar ground, Tamilian Physical Culture Association (TPCA) using Stadium at Kampung Baru, JKR using the Cheras ground and Royal Sealangor Club using the current Dataran ground to name a few fields.


“The RRC Field was the main field where many matches were played and it was “home” for Sharpees and Hong Chin. Hong Chin were in Division One whilst Sharpees were in Division 2. I began my footballing days playing for Sharpees and subsequently, the late Charlie Tan approached me to join Hong Chin.”

Charlie was largely instrumental for opening Hong Chin to receive players from other races. Hong Chin slowly but surely saw more and more Indian and Malay players. Then there was the period when we had an influx of players from Victoria Institution led by our able captain, Tan Kim Chuan and others like Indran, Dinabandu (Datuk Dina Rizal now), Michael Yap and Yap Kian Fui.

Hong Chin over the years from their humble beginnings at the Brickfields Railway Recreation Club (RRC) ground, went on to play their Premier Dunhill League matches at the Merdeka Stadium, TPCA, Kajang Stadium and Klang Stadium and then FAM Cup at State Stadium.

“We would not have had a history if not for Charlie in particular and his friends. All of us owe much to him. Infact if you mention Hong Chin, you must mention Charlie, and if you talk about Charlie, you have to talk about Hong Chin,” said organising chairman of the anniversary celebrations Tan Kim Chuan.

“We had the likes of Sandy Ho  Schwazenbeck) who sponsored all the jerseys, shorts, socks for the team then and friends like Dennis Raj and Tan Lip Peng to name a few. The team owe to all these people including many ex-players who came back to support the club with their generosity.”

The loss of Charlie in 1993 due to illness, saw the club started facing one problem after the other from losing their training ground, financial woes and players choosing to play for more illustrious and richer clubs and playing for their employers.

While Paul Tan (Charlie’s brother) took helm of the club after the demise of Charlie tried to keep the club afloat, it was difficult times as their only private football club then in existence.

Hong Chin at one time even nearly had to vacate their club house due to non-payment of rental but timely intervention from one of their former players – Gopi Vellachan - and a few long-time supporters managed to solve the problem.

While the old-timers are fighting hard to keep the legacy of Hong Chin alive with a veteran team and their annual gathering, the club now does not have a clubhouse.

But the name ‘Hong Chin’ is still kept alive by team manager Vijiyan Veloo who manages the team and is trained by N. Kananpathy at Taman Megah in Petaling Jaya three times a week and play in the Selangor Division One league.

They may not have top players in the team, but the legacy and true to its name "Hong Chin (Ever Onwards) it is still alive after 50 years!