Tuesday, September 27, 1994

Man with the Midas touch (The Malay Mail)

DATUK TAHA ARIFFIN, Malaysia's Chef-de-mission to the Hirsohima Asian
Games, is the man with the Midas touch, at least where Sarawak soccer is
He is responsible for transforming the backwater state into a soccer
powerhouse and many are hoping Taha will lend that golden touch to the
Asian Games contingent.
But the modest and softspoken Taha prefers to keep a low profile and
motivate the contingent in his own way.
"I certainly don't have a magic wand. Whatever was achieved with Sarawak
soccer was through hard work and over a period of time," said Taha.
"Besides, with Sarawak soccer it is just one sports. We are competing in
18 events in the Asian Games.
"Then again, each sport has had its own preparation and the role of the
chef-de-mission is very different from being involved directly with just a
"Nevertheless, I intend to do my best to motivate the athletes to give
their best," he said.
Taha is honoured to lead the Malaysian contingent to a pretigious event
like the Asian Games.
"I was really surprised when I was first nominated as the chef-de-
"I intend to take the appointment as a challenge and do my best to help
the athletes in Japan," he said.
Taha said the national training camp in Shah Alam was one area where he
had helped to motivate the athletes.
"The stint at the national training camp was an important one. Instead
of going as individual sports for the Games, we have managed to instill a
family unity among them.
"The odds are stacked against us but will fight on.
"The athletes are aware they are not representing their sports or
themselves but the whole nation. They are also aware that discipline is
the key to success."
Taha does not want to put any undue pressure on the athletes.
"They have all worked hard and long to prepare for the Games. I am sure
they want to do well.
"But at the end of the day it is going to be a team effort as we have
have to be united in our effort and support and encourage each other,
especially since we are competing away from home," said Taha.
In the last Games in Beijing, Malaysia won two goal medals in
sepaktakraw (regu and team) while the silvers came from men's badminton
and swimmer Jeffery Ong.
The bronze medals came from Rashid Sidek (singles) and Razip-Jalani
Sidek (doubles) in badminton, the men's hockey team and women's athletics
4x400m relay team.
Taha will be assisted by Ho Koh Chye, the National Sports Council deputy
director general, who is the assistant chef-de-mission.
Name: Datuk Taha Ariffin
Age : 51
Place of Birth: Kuching, Sarawak.
Position: A Lawyer who has been invloved with the Sarawak State Government
for many years. He was the secretary to the Ministry of Social Development
of Sarawak before being appointed Deputy State Secretary three years ago.
He is the Deputy-President of the Football Association of Sarawak and an
FA of Malaysia vice-president. He is also a member of the excecutive
council of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
He is the chef-de-mission to the Hiroshima Asian Games.

Where states are as guilty (26/09/1994 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 26/09/1994
Headline : Where states are as guilty

JUDGING by the State FAs registration list for next month's Malaysia Cup
competition, it's being left to the FA of Malaysia to fight the bribery
What else can anyone deduce, because after many State FAs stating that
matches have been fixed in this years Premier League, and given a
opportunity to clean up their respective teams by allowing them fresh
registration for the Malaysia Cup competition (utilising players from the
Reserve League), they have still decided to stick with the same players
who played in the Premier League.
Except for Sabah, who have left out their first choice goalkeeper M.
Pavalamani, the rest of the States had only used the new registration to
include two more players because the registration number is now 22 instead
of 20, or filling players for injured or banned ones.
It only underlines that State FAs would join in the bandwagon to say
matches have been fixed and even mention names of their players whom they
think are fixing matches, but when it comes to the crunch of things, they
back out.
It only goes to show that most States FA will not do anything drastic to
jeopordise their teams chances in the Malaysia Cup competition.
Of course, most State FAs will argue that they cannot take action
without ample proof of bribery allegations on their players, but if they
seriously believe that their players have been cheating on them, why dont
they just leave them out.
Sabah has done it, but just to one player, although many more were
But at least they have taken a bold step compared to the rest who rather
sit back and see others like the Police or the Anti-Coruption Agency (ACA)
do the dirty job for them.
If the State FAs do not help or initiate the move, it will definitely be
difficult for the Police or the ACA to act.
States will also argue that players are contracted and they cannot
terminate their contracts all of a sudden.
If State FAs are really serious about cleaning up the Malaysia soccer,
there should be no BUTS.
Surely, the State FA can leave the player out of the registration list
but still keep him on their payroll until the contract is over.
And if the player does not show up for training just because he has been
left out of the Malaysia Cup competition, they will have a reason to sack
the player, as was in the case of Pavalamani.