MALAYSIAN coaches can produce similar results if given the same status as
foreign soccer coaches.
This is the frank opinion of Chow Kwai Lam, one of the locals who has
tasted success in the Malaysia Cup.
The former Kuala Lumpur and Selangor firebrand feels that local coaches
should be given better recognition than what they have been accorded over
Kwai Lam, who is protem president of the newly-formed Malaysian Coaches
Association, said it was wrong to assume that local coaches are not
capable of producing results.
"A check of the statistics will reveal that local coaches have done
equally well in recent years," he said.
"Ahmad Shafie did well with Kedah, taking them to two Malaysia Cup
finals although they did not win.
"In my opinion, Kedah reaped the rewards of Ahmad's work when they
finally won the Cup in 1990."
He said M. Karathu has also done very well as coach of Perak and
Kwai Lam, too, can also be considered successful, having steered Kuala
Lumpur to three consecutive Malaysia Cup triumphs from 1987 to 1989.
"The bottom line is that coaches like Karathu, Ahmad and myself were
given free rein to carry out our tasks.
"And, with the FAs having had confidence in us, we delivered the goods.
"But, in most cases, local coaches are not given these privileges."
Kwai Lam also drew reference to the fact that, based on the ratio of
foreign coaches to locals since 1989, Malaysians have done well to reach
the semifinal and final stages of the Malaysia Cup and also finished among
top teams in the League.
Yet, he said, local coaches are paid poorly compared with the
"And we have reason to quibble with this fact because, except for a few,
most of the foreign coaches are about the same standard as the locals.
"Some are even less experienced. But they are paid higher than the
locals, given a free hand and glorified by everyone.
"It is about time that better recognition and privileges are accorded to
Kwai Lam said that foreign coaches are normally employed for a short
"But it defeats the purpose of development of the game and to raise the
standard because once the foreigners leave, there is no continuity.
"Local coaches have the future at heart and work towards long-term
development, but FAs normally do not support this.
"And when local coaches are handling the teams, theyare not given the
mandate to pick the players they want, especially foreigners. But when
foreigners are in charge, they are given a free say. Surely they can
produce better results.
"I am not against foreign coaches working here, but all I am saying is
that they must be of top quality and not just the same standard as local
"Besides, I feel that local coaches should not be discriminated or given
"I believe if the local coaches are given the opportunity with everthing
equal as they would treat the foreign coaches, results will definitely be
Kwai Lam said that when local coaches are hired, besides the
restrictions and low pay, they are normally part-timers.
This season, there will be nine foreign coaches and five local coaches,
excluding the two foreign coaches for Singapore and Brunei.
Whether a local coach is able to turn the odds and claim the honours
like a foreign coach is left to be seen.
Since the inaugural SemiPro league, only three local coaches have
managed to taste honours - Khaidir Buyong, Kwai Lam and S. Subramaniam.
HOW THE COACHES FARED SINCE SEMI-PRO LEAGUE STARTED IN 1989
YEAR FA CUP LEAGUE CUP MALAYSIA CUP
1989 NO competition Khaidir Buyong (Selangor) Chow Kwai Lam (KL)
1990 M. Karathu (Perak) Khaidir Buyong (Selangor) Milous Kvacek (Kedah)
1991 Ken Worden (Sgor) Michael Urukalo (Johor) Michael Urukalo (Johor)
1992 Alan Vest (Swak) Mike Brown (Pahang) Mike Brown (Pahang)
1993 S. Subramaniam (KL) Robert Alberts (Kedah) Robert Alberts (Kedah)
Note: FA Cup inagurated in 1990.
PREMIER LEAGUE COACHES 1994
Malaysians unless stated:
JOHOR : Wan Jamak Wan Hassan
KEDAH : Robert Rene Alberts (Dutch)
KELANTAN : Milous Kvacek (Slovak)
KUALA LUMPUR : Ken John Shellito (English)
NEGRI SEMBILAN: M. Karathu
PAHANG : Tajuddin Nor
PERAK : Michael Urukalo (Australian)
PENANG : Mico Radovic (Swede)
SARAWAK : Alan Vest (Australian)
SELANGOR : Bernhard Schumm (German)
SABAH : Kelly Tham Fook Fah
MALACCA : G. Torairaju
PERLIS : Josef Herel (Solvak)
TERENGGANU: Marco Bilic (Yugoslav)
FOREIGN COACHES IN MALAYSIA SINCE 1989
Singapore: Ken Worden (Australian)
Brunei: Mike Lyons (English)