Friday, September 19, 2014

Will the cycle continue?

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 - the malay mail
malaysia
The Malaysia contingent during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Scotland in July. — Picture by Getty
THE Incheon Asian Games officially begin today and at the end of the Games on October 4, there is going to be another review of the performance of the contingent.
So, what is new? This has happened after every Games and still fresh in our minds is the review of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last month.
Some drastic measures need to be taken, not just talked about.
tony
Associations that pay no heed to the development of their respective sports and have no proper programmes, training schedules or proper selection methods need to be sidelined until they toe the line.
After each sports debacle, we hear the same old story . that action will be taken against associations that fail to produce results, funds will be cut, only athletes who qualify on merit will be selected and the list goes on, but come the next Games, everyone is on board for another debacle.
Targets are compromised to show associations have won medals and after millions of ringgit spent on every Games, we only aim for minimum medals.
No one wants to strive for more medals because it means more work, pressure and living up to promises.
So everyone chooses the easy way out by setting low targets and saying that anything more is a bonus.
Studies too have been conducted in recent years, but the fi ndings have been swept under the carpet because they speak the truth. And truth hurts and pinpoints the associations that have been slacking.
The things that have been pointed out in these studies include:
a) Athlete preparation . the majority of the NSAs are below the benchmark required
b) Most of the NSAs are below the benchmark for the organisation of national competitions
c) A good number of them are below the benchmark for competing in international competitions
d) An alarming number of them were below the benchmark for competition framework pathway
e) Some of the NSAs were found to be lacking in development, giving recognition and incentives, and preparing their national team.
A shocking finding is that the majority of the NSAs have lost control of their associations to the National Sports Council (NSC), which, after having funded them heavily, has taken over their programmes and athletes.
So now, these NSAs have little say in the selection of their athletes and coaches for programmes, although they claim otherwise.
This needs to be addressed. Otherwise, there is no motivation for the NSAs to establish development pathways.
The NSAs must have a common framework for talent identification and athlete development, without which they have no consistent and agreed mechanism to carry out these processes.
It is obvious that the absence of such a framework has led to the emergence of an NSC-controlled athlete development structure.
On the face of it, Malaysia has many of the requirements to have a successful elite sport system. However, investigations show that the system and the main developers of elite athletes - the NSAs - lack real development. Their shortcomings include:
œ A lack of strategic planning
œ Very few sports with a holistic competition structure and no club structure for most sports
œ Virtually no membership records
œ The need for substantial development of their financial policies and procedures After a number of sports were dropped and some sports associations withdrew, the Malaysian contingent to Incheon comprised 365 athletes and officials and was headed by chef-de-mission Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah.
Malaysia will be participating in 24 of the 36 sports contested, namely aquatics, archery, athletics, badminton, bowling, boxing, cricket, track cycling, equestrian, football, gymnastics, hockey (men & women), kabaddi, karate, rugby, sailing, sepak takraw, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, beach volleyball, weightlifting and wushu. The target is one gold less than the nine won in Guangzhou four years ago.
It would be interesting to see the end-result, but whatever happens, all indications are that another review is in order after the Games.
Whether a serious effort is made to put Malaysian sports on the right path this time around, especially when we spend so much money on sports and have some of the world's best facilities, is left to be seen.
But if we tumble into the same hole, then Malaysian sports will continue to fall short of excellence through our own doing.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Zainal eats, breathes and sleeps football

saturday, SEPTEMBER 13, 2014 - The Malay mail


ICONS FROM THE PAST

by tony Mariadass
zainal
Zainal and his son Zaiza show off the Malaysia Cup after Pahang beat Kelantan 1-0.
ZAINAL ABIDIN HASSAN has seen it all.
He started his career during the glorious football years of 1980s, experienced Malaysia’s decline and is now trying to resurrect the ailing state of the game.
But Zainal, who turns 52 on November 9, is still searching for the magic formula to see Malaysian football fl y high again.
zainal2
Zainal was a feared striker for Malaysia
Popular
After the late Datuk Mokhtar Dahari, Zainal is the most popular footballer of the 1980s and that he is still actively involved speaks of his passion for the game.
Zainal is a household name having played mostly for Selangor and Pahang alternately from 1980 to 1999.
In the end, the Selangor-born lad now has more Pahang blood than Selangor, having gone on to coach and take managerial duties with the east coast giants.
Been there, done that
“I am blessed to have experienced the good, bad and ugly side of Malaysian football. But it is the good which supersedes the rest,” said Zainal Abidin, who is back as Pahang coach and hoping to defend the Malaysia Cup title.
“Football has been my life and it will be till I die. I am still pasasionate as the game has been part of me since I was a kid. “However, I would like to do more because I believe we can still regain our past glories.”
Looking for a successful formula Zainal admitted he is at a lost for a successful formula as Malaysia are still struggling to make a mark when everything — from the benefits accorded, facilities available and professional approach — are available.
“In reality, Malaysian football should be among the top,” said Zainal. “We used to be kingpins when we were amateurs. But now as professionals when everything is systematic, we fail to get the desired results.
“One of the setbacks is we do not have the number of quality players we used to have.
“Those days we easily had 15 to 16 players vying for the first XI. Many players on the bench were all first XI materials. “Today we do have quality players, but in smaller numbers.”
Players lack drive
Zainal pinned it down to the players, many of whom do not strive to be top players.
“Today we have academies and development programmes all over the country. Those days it was players coming through from schools.”
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Zainal celebrates winning the 1986 Malaysia Cup final.
Career
Zainal started playing for Selangor in 1980 when he was just 17. In his first stint for the Red Giants, he scored 21 goals in 41 competitive matches before he moved to Pahang in 1983.
It was here the lanky rightback was converted into a striker by former Pahang coach, the late Frank Lord.
The rest is history as Zainal became one of the region’s top strikers. He scored 13 goals and helped Pahang capture the Malaysia Cup for the first time that year by defeating 3–2.
“I was lucky to be coached from a very young age by the legendary Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat. That was where I acquired the basics and skills.
“When I played for school (SM Maxwell), I played as a striker because of my built.
But when I played in Selangor, I played as a defender, following in the footsteps of my brother, Khalid,” said Zainal who has another older brother, Hanifah, who also played for the state.
“But when I moved to Pahang in 1983, Lord felt I was better as a striker.
“That was the best thing that happened the 1986 Golden Boot with 20 goals.
Zainal’s prowess did not go unnoticed and he represented Malaysia at the SEA Games and many other international tournaments.
He finished with 138 international caps plus a further 42 from friendlies for a grand total of 180 appearances for Malaysia.
stats
Zainal is also remembered for winning the SEA Games gold for the first time in 1989 under English coach Trevor Hartley.
Zainal also featured for Malaysia in the inaugural AFF Cup (then called the Tiger Cup) in 1996, leading the Malaysia to the final before losing to Thailand 1–0. He also emerged as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player at the age of 35.
He soon retired from international football although he returned for a final hurrah with Selangor in 1997. He played for them until retirement in 1999.
He then swapped his football boots for futsal shoes to help the then fl edgling Malaysia futsal team, although he would then take up managerial and coaching positions with several teams such as the Under-17 national team and Shahzan Muda.
He was reunited with his old strike partner Dollah Salleh at Pahang in 2011, with Dollah as the head coach and him as the manager.
Their partnership, as usual, was dynamic and Pahang won the Malaysia Cup last season — their first in 21 years. While Dollah left to coach fi rst Police and now the national team, Zainal remained with Pahang as coach.
Midas touch
The Zainal factor in Pahang has been around for almost 25 years and he could well be around for some time more to come as his oldest son, Zaiza, 28, is a member of the Pahang team.
While he has won many honours for Pahang and Selangor, it is the Midas touch for Malaysian football that Zainal is looking for.

Recognition comes in many forms

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 - The Malay Mail
tony
DEVELOPMENT is a long word and it is equally long to get recognition working in this area, especially for sports journalists.
Sometimes, one’s work just goes unnoticed while athletes go on through diff erent coaches and gain honour.
Articles on school-level and development tournaments especially do not get much attention from newspaper readers except maybe from those who are directly involved.
Most sports journalists covet awards and strive hard to collect as many as possible.
However, no award can be bigger than being thanked by some retired athlete or offi cial for stories written about them eons ago.
I have had a few surprises like that. Out of the blue I would get an email, a phone call or even a Facebook message from athletes I had covered when they were schoolboys or teenagers, asking if I remembered them some twenty or thirty years later.
Having written on many budding athletes or highlighted their performances or plights, naturally I can’t remember them all.
On Tuesday, I had a request on Facebook to friend one Khaw Hock Seang who said he was a former hockey player.
hock
Hock Seang in his heyday.
I did not recognise the name, but since he was a former sportsman, I accepted.
The next day I get a message from him asking how I was, where I was and if I remembered him.
Embarrassed at not remembering his name, I said I was getting old and he needed to refresh my memory.
Immediately he sent me an article I had written on him when he was playing in the Tun Hussein Onn Cup for Selangor, who won the title in the late 1980s.
Hock Seang was a Junior World Cup goalkeeper of the era.
It was indeed humbling to be remembered by a sportsman whom I had covered more than 25 years ago thanking me for the support.
Hock Seang is now a bank relationship manager with RHB in Klang.
Indeed, such recognition is far more satisfying than any award given by one’s peers.
Don’t get me wrong. Every journalist treasures these awards and I myself have one from the 1990s. But a case like Hock Seang’s warms the cockles of your heart.
I had a similar experience a few years ago. I had an email from a reader who said he had got my email address from the newspapers and was surprised that I was still writing after all these years.
“You will not know my name, but I am the 12-year-old boy in a picture that appeared on the front page of the Malay Mail in the 1980s when you highlighted the plight of a group of boys in Bangsar who had to play football in the middle of a roundabout.”
My memory flashed back to the rainy day I had spotted the boys playing on the roundabout as I was coming back from an assignment.
paper
The article which Hock Seang has kept.
As I had a cameraman with me, we stopped and took pictures of the boys and I spoke to them.
Now in his 30s, the boy who sent me the email said he still had the newspaper cutting.
He said he was the talk of his school when that article came out.
“I really appreciate what Malay Mail did to highlight our plight and it meant a great deal to us. When some of those who played on the roundabout meet once in a while, we still talk about the article.”
Another time, while I was waiting in my car for a friend at the LCCT, a Malay gentleman came around, looking at my number plate and at the Press sticker on my car for 15 minutes.
I got nervous and locked my door and then this man fi nally knocked on my window. Opening it halfway, I asked him what he wanted.
“Awak wartawan dari Malay Mail kan? (You are a journalist from Malay Mail right?)”
I nodded and he immediately started a conversation on how he used to read my articles in the 1980s and 1990s and that he had even met me at the Selangor training ground.
“I recognised your car number plate. But I did not know if it was the right person in the car,” he said.
I got out of the car and for 20 minutes we talked about sports in the country and after my friend arrived, he shook hands with me and parted by saying he was really happy to have seen me after all those years.
I did not know him at all but he certainly made all my years in sports journalism worth their while.
There have been many other instances like these.
What I am trying to say is that for all those who work away from the limelight, especially the development coaches, your day of recognition will come. All your sacrifi ces, hard work and passion will be thanked in one way or another.
So keep up the good work because you are the ones who are moulding the future of Malaysian sports.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Doctor of cricket


Published on Saturday 6th September The Malay Mail

By TONY MARIADASS

IF Malaysian sports had someone like Datuk Dr Harjit Singh in every sport, it would be thriving.
Talk about undying passion, dedication and sacrifice, Dr Harjit has it all. And the beneficiaries are cricket and hockey especially in Johor.

From father to son

Dr Harjit, 64, acquired his passion for the game from his father Meva Singh, who was an ex-Selangor and renowned Kilat Club cricketer.
The good doctor learnt to score at the age of five, earned his personal bat six and came under the watchful eye of the famous Mike Shepherdson at the Kilat nets.
As a student of English College Johor Baru, Dr Harjit made news by being among the very few picked to play in the Combined Schools for four consecutive years — 1965 to 1968. He was a star player in his teens, representing the Johor XI as a teenager in 1966.
The University of Ranchi medical graduate often made headlines during his college days in India, captaining his college XI, playing first division cricket in the Patna Senior Division League and representing the Dhanbad District.
When he returned to Malaysia in 1980, Dr Harjit was a national player until a knee injury put an end to his playing days, but not his love for the game. It’s amazing how Dr Harjit’s enthusiasm for cricket has continued unabated all these years, but then again, the man entered the game during its golden era in Malaysia — the 1960s.

Schools, the heartbeat of sports

Until today, Dr Harjit, whose trademark is his humility, credits his schoolteachers Terence Jayateleka, Gurdial Singh Jr and A. Kumaran for introducing him to cricket and instilling in him a dedication to the game.
If not for students like Dr Harjit and a few die hard sports teachers, cricket would have died a natural death in the 1966 boycott of extra-curricular activities by the National Union of Teachers to demand better working conditions and incentives.
The game suffered another blow in 1972 when the ministry of education dropped cricket and rugby from the schools sports calendar. Again, a few teachers and students kept the cricket flag flying in schools. The worst setback for cricket and sport in schools came in the mid-Eighties when the intake of trainee teachers was based strictly on academic qualifications and no consideration for sporting excellence.
The likes of Yazid Imran and R. Ravindran, who were both representing the country in cricket then, had just left school and were seriously considering joining The Teachers Training College. However, the duo from Johor was denied admission because their paper qualifications were not good enough.
Dr Harjit strongly believes that if Yazid and Ravindran had become teachers, cricket and sport would have benefited greatly from their knowledge and dedication. He says many more like Yazid and Ravindran suffered the same fate.
Meantime, the victim in all this was sport in schools, but not if Dr Harjit could help it.
“I had even given a talk on schools sports with the presence of our current deputy prime minister cum education minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the then sports minister, but little has changed,” recalled Dr Harjit.
“I still believe Tan Sri Muhyiddin as the education minister can still change the concept towards sports in schools.
“The only way to save the game is for it to be played at school and have more sports teachers for the various sports.”
cricket
As a student of English College Johor Baru, Harjit (standing third from left) was among the few chosen to play in the Combined Schools for four consecutive years from 1965.

Grassroots development

Dr Harjit had set the ball rolling in Johor by introducing the Kancil Programme Catch’em Young in 1987. The aim of the programme was to popularise cricket in schools and elevate its standard in the country.
The programme batted off with 17 schools in Johor Baru but today, it has spread to close to 200 schools in the state, with the involvement of almost all the 11 districts.
Dr Harjit, deputy president of the Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) from 1990 to 2003 and chairman of the development, then went national with the programme. In Johor, even schools in Felda schemes and kampung get a taste of cricket.

Johor cricket soars

Indeed, cricket has reached a new level in Johor, thanks to the tireless efforts of Dr Harjit, who has been president of the Johor Cricket Council (JCC) since taking over from D. Devendran in 1987.
Another milestone in Dr Harjit’s career as the healer of cricket was getting the Johor government to allot 14 acres for what is now the first cricket academy in Southeast Asia.
The academy, which offers first class cricket facilities, is a regional centre for the sport.
The Johor Cricket Academy got a new indoor hall and changing room when Dr Harjit, through the support of the Johor government and sports ministry, managed to host the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2008.

Recognition

Recognition and accolades have come aplenty for Dr Harjit from all corners of the world and in all forms — MCA, ICC, national and state awards from the government, a tournament named after him, the honour of sitting in on the Asian Cricket Council, leadership awards and above all, the respect of the world cricket fraternity.
Even as praises grow, Dr Harjit remains what he has always been: down-to-earth.
The Johor Cricket Association under the leadership of Dr Harjit again had saved the Saudara Cup in 2009 — held since 1970 — from slipping into oblivion after Malaysian Cricket Association agreed to their request to allow them to host it.
This historic competition between Malaysia and Singapore was seriously threatened by the other Malaysia-Singapore encounters in the Asian Cricket Council tournaments. Again, Dr Harjit fought tooth and nail to keep it alive.

Tribute

“It is a tireless job, but I love it because of my passion for it. I am indeed grateful to the Johor royal family — the late Sultan of Johor, the present Sultan and the Tunku Mahkota of Johor for the undivided support for the game.
“I also have to give special mention to the former Menteri Besar of Johor, Datuk Tan Sri Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman  who assisted in getting the land for the academy.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Punish the real culprits

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 05, 2014 - The malay Mail
tony
THE mayhem in Kuching over the weekend is nothing new to Sarawak. In fact, it is nothing new to Malaysian football.

Yes, it is probably the worst incident with five policemen injured, eight police vehicles damaged and the Perak team leaving the Kuching Stadium at 2.30am.

But we had similar burning of buses in Terengganu and police vehicles in Kelantan and crowd violence in almost all stadiums in the country at one time or another.

The question is, was enough done to prevent such incidents?

Whenever they do, everyone starts pointing fingers, the media goes to town and the FA of Malaysia’s disciplinary committee acts busy. Before you know it, the matter is forgotten, until another incident.

Yes, the FA of Malaysia takes action, but whether the punishment is harsh enough to hurt the State FAs responsible for security is something else.

I have personally been there when crowd violence broke out in M-League or Malaysia Cup matches — as a sports journalist in the 1980s and attending disciplinary board meetings as manager of The Malay Mail FC team who competed in the FAM Cup competition and M-League Division 2 in the late 1990s and early 2000.

Kuching is a volatile venue, like Sabah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perak.

More often than not, violence breaks out not because of inadequate security measures, but mainly because of overzealous fans who get emotional when their teams are losing.

Sometimes, officials of home teams fuel the situation when they over-react and turn to their fans for support. Then we have officials who even go down to the playing field to show their disgust, which only excites the crowd further.

I witnessed crowd violence in Kuching as far back as 1982 when matches were played at the Jubilee ground, which just had a fence around the open fi eld and fans stood around to watch.

Once during a match, Kuala Lumpur, then known as Federal Territory, the crowd stomp down the fence when a few of the city players carried out an injured Sarawak player, who they claimed was wasting time — Sarawak were leading by a goal with few minutes remaining.

The fans charged at the KL players, throwing punches, which saw Fuad Hassan lose two teeth while another lost his gold chain before the police brought the situation under control by throwing a cordon around the players.

polis
Sarawak fans have always volatile and it’s time FAM takes sterner action against fans and States FAs.
The players had to be escorted to police trucks and were sent to their hotel where they were given round-the-clock protection. The next day they were taken from the hotel straight to the airport to board their plane.

As a football writer, I have had my fair share of travelling with teams in their buses after matches with police escort and also fully armed policemen in the bus, not to mention riding in police trucks, being locked in the dressing room for hours after matches in Kuching, Ipoh and Kelantan.

As the Malay Mail manager, I and the players had to remain in the dressing room of the Selayang Stadium in 2002 after we were charged at by the fans after the game.

The proceedings in the disciplinary board meeting left me disgusted.

While we were clearly the victims — we had video recordings which, among other things, showed a 16-year-old player being struck several times on his back with a plastic pipe and me being struck in the face — I and my team leader Datuk Ahirudin Attan were asked to not demand a stern sentence for the culprits who were identified.

We were also asked to accept the imposition of a fine. Of course, we flatly refused.

After deferring the decision and several meetings later, the minimum sentence was dished out.

So, when teams can negotiate their punishment, how can it serve as a deterrence when the very people who are supposed to put things right, make compromises?

One official in the disciplinary board, who was an ex-international, even told me to just concentrate on being a journalist. So much for encouraging people to help football! The point I am driving here is, how many compromises would have been made simply because FAM needs the support of the state FAs.

Are the state FAs being punished according to the gravity of their offences.

At the same time, the police should play a key role in ensuring the safety of visiting teams. While most state FAs have the full cooperation of the police and even have members of the force on their security committees, sometimes the authorities take things for granted and only react when there is a situation.

More often than not, the Federal Reserve Unit personnel remain in their trucks until there is trouble instead of being on guard around the perimeters of the playing field.

The police force or security officers should also be manning the terraces to nip any unruly crowd behaviour in the bud.

It is of utmost importance to make the stadiums a safe place because more children and women are now attending matches.

It is just a small group of irresponsible youth who create problems and smear the good names of the associations. These individuals need to be nabbed and banned from the stadiums. The state FAs alone cannot be punished with hefty fines.

The crowds at the stadiums have been growing. This is a good and should not be derailed by a few irresponsible individuals.

Tony Mariadass is a sports journalist with more than three decades of experience and is passionate about local sports. He can be reached at tmariadass@gmail.com. Twitter handle: @tmariadass

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cubinar family packs a punch

Published on Saturday 30th August - The Malay Mail

By TONY MARIADASS

richard
RICHARD Donald Cubinar was challenged to a fight by a youngster in a busy part of Kuala Lumpur. Undaunted, it took him just two punches to floor the youth.

No, Richard was not a street fighter nor a gangster. He was a professional boxer in his heyday.

It all happened one fine evening when Richard, now 72, had accidentally bumped into the youth, who put down some papers he was carrying and got into position to hit him.

“Before he could get me, I threw one punch at his stomach and another on his shoulder and immediately held him, because otherwise he would have fallen," recalled Richard.

“I sat him down, fanned him for a while, said goodbye and left,” said Richard, whose altercation with the youth drew a crowd.

“The people were surprised that an old man had fl oored the young man with just two punches."

Origin

Richard came from a family of boxers which started with his grandfather.

Of Filipino origin, Richard’s grandfather emigrated to Malaya and passed on his boxing passion to Richard’s father — Eleno Laura Cubinar.

Eleno, whose boxing name was Kid Cabanella, was a Perak state and national champion in the 40s.

He boxed for 23 years with other greats like Tiger Aman, Battling Sima, Little Abayan, Golden Boy and Bautista.

Eleno had three brothers — Kid Pancho, Baby Garcia and Little Pancho — who were boxers, too.

So it was no surprise that Richard took up boxing to keep the family tradition alive.

richard2
Richard reflects on his fights in the 40's with the posters he has kept for sentimental reasons
Tradition

“My father got me into boxing at a very young age. At seven, I was already training with my father during his training sessions in Kuala Kangsar. He would ask me to throw punches at him and taught me the fi ner points of boxing,” said Richard, who boxed under the name Baby Cabanella.

“I had a brother who was a year and half older than me and he boxed under the name Little Cabanella,” said Richard, who had seven brothers and six sisters.

First fight

“I was thrown into the ring for my first professional boxing match at the age of 11. It was a special attraction after my father's bout. There were six main fights that day and mine was the special seventh, where I fought my older brother (Little Cabanella).”

The fight, held at Jubilee Park in Ipoh on Dec 5, 1953, was called Great Boxing Contest in aid of Poppy Day Fund. Tickets were sold at $1, $2 and $3. It was promoted by a certain V.P. Krishnasamy.

“The fight over three one-minute rounds ended in a draw. But that was the beginning of my (boxing) career which lasted over 20 years.”

richard3
Richard with his father (seated) and brother.
Professional boxing

Richard said that boxing in those days was very popular and there were many promoters who held events regularly in Ipoh, Penang and Kuala Lumpur’s then famous Bukit Bintang Park (BB Park).

“Among the promoters were the late Abdul Razak Shaik Mohd, the husband of Maria Menando.

“We also boxed regularly in Singapore and Medan.

“Prize money for winners was about $200 and that was big money then,” said Richard, who fought in the featherweight category and later, bantamweight.

“It was passion for the sport that kept us going and we trained very hard because competition was stiff.”

poster
Biggest purse

Richard’s biggest win was $1,500 in a competition in Medan in 1976.

“It was in this competition that I had to box ‘dirty’ after Indonesian opponent Ngadimin had executed an illegal punch on my face, which left me with a deep cut just above the eye," he said.

“The doctor, after examining me, wanted to stop the fight, but I insisted that I could carry on after using ‘baby talcum powder’ to stop the bleeding.

“I went in and executed an illegal punch which broke his arm and I won the fight.”

Asked if the referee had spotted his illegal tactic, he said: “All the boxers have illegal tactics and use it when necessary but it is difficult for the referees to spot it,” said Richard with a cheeky smile.

Richard said that his best year was 1967 when he had 12 wins, which coincidentally was also the year in which he ended his career spanning 1953 to 1976.

Army and Police

At the tail-end of Richard's boxing career, he had already joined the army where he served for six years before joining the Police force in 1977.

He was in the police for 15 years till he opted for retirement in 1992.

During his time with the police, he was the boxing coach for the Police team and was also the national coach for the 1977 Sea Games.

“Many national boxers had gone through me, but it is sad that over the years the boxers in the country have gone weak.

“Many of them do not have the quality because of poor tactics and not being strong.

“Besides, boxing is not popular these days. In my time, we had boxing competitions almost every month all over the country.”

box
Richard (left) in one of his fights in the 50's.
Survival

Richard eventually had to quit boxing and the police because he had a family and the money he earned was not enough.

"I had to quit the force to earn more money and manage my family. I became a bodyguard for several businessmen,” said Richard, who is still working to earn some pocket money. “I work as a security guard because I cannot sit still at home."

richard4
A montage Richard in training.
Broken link

As much as Richard would have loved to maintain his family tradition in boxing, it has stopped with him

“I have asked my three sons (he also has two daughters) to pick up boxing, but they are not keen. “My second son Kenny is keen, but cannot find the time. I believe he would have made a fine boxer and kept the family tradition alive.

“I am proud of my family history in boxing and my father’s achievements but I could not find the time to learn from my father,” said Kenny.

Indeed, it's sad such a rich boxing history of three generations would come to an end after Richard.

Richard and the Cubinar family may be of Filipino origin, but being Malaysian-born, they have certainly given Malaysian boxing many memorable moments and a history for our admiration.

Friday, August 22, 2014

FAM must help those who want to coach

FRIDAY, AUGUST 22, 2014 - The Malay mail
tony
BUDDING football coaches are up in arms because they claim they are not being given a fair chance to make the grade and make a career out of coaching.

While the general perception is that not many quality coaches are coming through the ranks, the real story is that many have been sidelined because of an individual in the FA of Malaysia's coaching educators department, who has become very powerful. So powerful that this person decides who can pursue a career in coaching and who cannot.
For the record, I obtained my FA of Malaysia B coaching licence in 2001 Even then I noticed some irregularities. State and national players reported late for the course while one was injured throughout the two-week period and only attended classroom sessions. In fact, he did his theory on his test day.
Mind you, all of them got their licence. I have nothing against them — maybe as state and national players they had some advantages and made better coaches. But there was a distinct lack of fairness in the whole affair.
There was a candidate who was very interested in football and wanted to attend a course to learn something new, but was ridiculed for wasting his time and told he was capable of coaching only at club level.
So what if a B licensed coach taught at clubs? Maybe he would produce better players from the grassroots. Not surprisingly, this candidate did not get his B licence.
Recently, I approached the FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) coaching educators department to ask if it could admit a former Sikh M-League player from Kuala Lumpur — who is now coaching at club level — to attend a C licence course because his State FA could not list him for one.
But I was told it was not possible and he had to go through his State FA.
Yes, there are rules, but many complain there is favouritism at the State FAs and only the chosen ones get a break. Besides, the State FAs have a quota.
Here was a footballer who desperately wanted to coach and do it properly. Besides, how often do we get Sikhs wanting to be coaches?
I am not asking he be passed, but only be allowed to attend the course. If FAM finds he is not good enough, so be it.
I keep hearing all kinds of complaints about a certain individual in the coaching educators department and how he favours those close to him and finds reasons to reject candidates including them being too old or not having coached a team recently. FAM should investigate these allegations.
There are many who are willing to bring their grouses to FAM if they are allowed to.
It is not just about failing to get a particular licence but about not even getting a seat, ill treatment, abuse and, above all, not being given a fair chance.
Why aren’t we promoting coaches who are interested in football instead of handing licences to those who only display their certicates in cabinets?
If this continues, the coaching system is going to suffer as we will continue to lose interested and dedicated coaches.
TONY MARIADASS is a sports journalist with more than three decades of experience and is passionate about local sports. He can be reached at tmariadass@ gmail.com. Twitter handle: @ tmariadass