Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sports journalists call the shot in Malaysian sports?

Some disturbing news have been circulating for sometime now, that sports journalists and sports editors have become so powerful, that they can dictate the path of Malaysian sports, for good or bad.
Yes, sports journalists and sports editors are the watchdogs of Malaysian sports and through their comments give their views to the best of their knowledge backed with facts and figures and in the interest of Malaysian sports.
But not always are they right with their views because they are not furnished with the full facts and figures, or sports officials engage these writers to slant the article the way they want it.
There have been newspapers and sports journalist who have been openly boasting that they can chart the path of Malaysian sports and ensure that the people they want to hold high positions in sports associations and agencies is at their call.
There is also talk that some sports journalists who are on the payroll of associations or bodies. Others get benefits of other kinds - paid trips overseas, golf invitations both locally and overseas, goodies etc.
Sports journalists are said to be playing politics too!
Some even use high places to try and attempt to stop their new bosses from coming to their organisations, because their positions maybe threatened.
Then there complaints from sports organisations and privates sectors, that some sports journalists asked to be paid for them to cover their events!
Asking for petrol money to cover events is said to have become the norm.
There was another accusation that a sports journalist who was given a paid trip by an organisation to a meeting overseas, actually had voted on behalf of another country who was not present!
Whatever has happened to the good clean sports journalism we used to know.
I remember the days of the late Tan Sri Noordin Sopiee and Tan Sri Munir Majid, when they were Group Editors of the New Straits Times, that there was a standing rule that any door gifts given at press conferences - no matter how small or big - must be declared to the office in official form to be signed by the sports editor and then submitted to the Group Editor. Only with approval of the Group Editor, can the reporter keep whatever door gifts given. 
These days we have journalists who do not go for Press Conferences, but when they hear from their colleagues that some expensive door gifts were given, they will call organisers of the Press Conference the next day and say that they had missed the event because of another assignment and demand for the door gift and the press kit! But whether the event sees print is a million ringgit question.
For the sake of sports journalism in Malaysia, I hope that all that is being circulated is mere rumours.
But then again, there will be no smoke without fire.
I was accused of being close to the Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) when I used to cover them extensively and went to many overseas tournaments. Rumours were circulated that my trips were paid by MTBC.
But the truth of the matter was that every trip I went was approved by my company after budgets were submitted and I had to cover for both The Malay Mail and the New Straits Times.
It was just that Malay Mail saw bowling as a rising sports which will bring glory to the nation and started to give more and more coverage,before the rest started to follow when the results that coming.
There was even one official from the National Sports Council who had in a seminar blatantly mentioned me by name and accused me of being close with MTBC, bias and going on trips on MTBC's funds.
I confronted the officials and asked him to verify all my trips with my employers and asked him if he had mentioned my name, but denied it.
The crux of the matter was that all funds for MTBC's overseas tournaments were coming from NSC and MTBC had to give detailed accounts of how they spent the money. The officer could have easily checked if any funds was used for me. Obviously not and yet he had the audacity to smear my name.
But if the rumours have any truth in it these days, I wonder why everyone is keeping quiet about.
Probably, everyone has an agenda.
Indeed, if all these allegations are true, it is sad for Malaysian sports because the very people who are suppose to remain above board and be fair, have lost their integrity.
Once again, I hope that all that has been said of sports journalists these days is just rumours for the sake of Malaysian sports!


Anonymous said...


how about the time when you 'rule' KL? How about contract given by the former mayor of KL to you? the parking concessions, etc?

And how can you question the integrity of the sports journalism in malaysia when you played the same game before?

How about crates of beers n wines sent by the ex sports minister to your house for festive occasions? the very same ex sports minister which you eventually joined?

it does not yet include the many meeting you and your fellow 'powerful journos' at that time, had with ex fam gen sec, especially in influencing him to appoint so-and-so to be the national football coach?

and when people scolded you for trying to push your weight around, what you did to him? you splashed your back page with such hurtful innuendoes and snide remarks, as if becoming millionaires at such young age is a huge crime. YES, its a crime to you, simply because you thought he insulted you! Imagine that - someone insulted you and next thing this person know, you used your paper to insult him back, to millions of your readers!

c'mmon la bro!

there's a saying - dont throw rock when you are in glass house.

you should not claim higher ground, especialyl since you cannot honestly claim that you are above it.

of course, what's been happening is not good. yes. but i could not fathom that such 'moral high ground observation' will come from you.

There's a problem, YES. But I dont think you should be the one trying to fix it, especially since you are, once upon a time, also part of the problem.

I dare you to publish this comment!

tonymariadass said...

Dear Bro Anon,
Firstly I wished you had revealed your true identity before hurling accusations at me. Obviously, you don't have the guts. You have dared me to publish your comment and I have, because all you have said is malicious lies.
As to me ruling KL, I was merely doing my job as many other reporters were doing like being assigned to cover the Selangor team and the rest of the teams. And i would be wasting my time explaining to you how the newspaper operations work because you obviously will not understand.
As for concessions given by the former mayor, Tan Sri Elyas Omar, why don't you give him a call and clarify it with him or better still, if you have the guts meet and I will take you to see him and clarify the matter once and for all.
Yes, my late father ran a car park at the present Sogo which could accommodate less than 15 cars, but he applied for it with City Hall and was awarded the plot through the rightful process. He had to pay City Hall RM900 monthly for the small plot. But the bigger story is that he had to share it with Tan Sri Majid (former Health DG) who used his muscles to share the plot. No assistance was given by the Mayor or anyone to secure the car park. And the car park was only run for about slightly more than a year. My father had to be in the sun and rain or shine, from morning to evening to run the car park and at the end of the month share whatever income (about RM2,000 and then minus the rental) with the Tan Sri - which was about RM500 per month. So what are you talking about!!! It is almost 20 over years ago since this happened and this story is still circulating. Upon my father, I swear that there was no favours accorded to me or my father. I know my own reporter friends have been circulating this rumour all these years.
As for for crates of beers and wines sent to my house, again this is a blatant lie. I NEVER received anything at all from the former Sports Minister or anyone.
I used to invite my friends from the sports fraternity to my house for Xmas almost every year and I paid every single sen for the do. And in the end, the same people who come to my house spread all sorts of lies!
And I did not push my weight around. I was denied entry to the Penampang Stadium to do my job because the person concerned was upset over an article. I merely was exercising my right to cover the training and had a responsibility to my employers and the public had the right to know what transpired. In any case I told the person concerned that I am going to write what he had said and he had no problems with it.
Just for your information, I am in very good terms with this person, who is now a Minister. It was all part of my job.
Besides, I wrote in consultations with my sports editor. We cannot write anything and get it published!
I never hurt anyone and my conscience is clear. I still slog for my living and have a family to take care.
I have gone through a bad patch the last one year mainly because I was guilty by association and no thanks to some articles written in The Sun by another friend R.Nadeswaran, again unfairly to me. Many have accused me of being a millionaire, but only I and my family know what I have gone through. And it is during this time, I really knew who my true friends were. I can count them in one hand. I am still struggling.
Thus, accusations like yours is baseless and malicious.
I believe you will pay for all your lies.
Good day to you!

tonymariadass said...

Dear u know who,
Thank you very much for explaination and I wished it was done much earlier. Anyway, better late than never. Thank you again for clarifying things. I have always had the highest respect for you and your work and it has not changed one bit. I wish you the very best and I am sure that you will soon be the one to put Malaysian sports right. With best regards.

r. Nadeswaran said...

I refer to your comments, which among others said: "I have gone through a bad patch the last one year mainly because I was guilty by association and no thanks to some articles written in The Sun by another friend R.Nadeswaran, again unfairly to me. Many have accused me of being a millionaire, but only I and my family know what I have gone through. And it is during this time, I really knew who my true friends were. I can count them in one hand. I am still struggling."

Firstly, I nevr accused you of being a millionaire. Secondly, what was so unfair that I wrote about you? You had and still have recourse. Even if it was unfair, you never responded! Was what I wrote factually wrong? If so, you should have responded, and as you are well aware, I practise the "right of reply" policy. You chose to remain silent.

So, it would be unfair to claim that I was unfair.

Tony, I usually don't reply to commments made in blogs, but since my name has been dragged into this, I am left with no choice.


My Name is Khan said...

Bro is it true a main stream reporter is on LTAM salary scheme. What has journalism come to man. This reporter I was told is pushing is weight around, and any scandal on LTAM he is not even writing about it. People like you bro are rare gems. Keep up the good work man.

tonymariadass said...

Dear Nades,
I am honoured that you have decided to respond to a blog.

To respond to your comments:
I never said that you accused me of a millionaire. I was referring to others.
What was unfair that you wrote about me, was that your issues and battle were with the minister, but you decided to drag me in.
What was unfair was revealing ones salary to the public. How would you feel if your salary being revealed to the public and in a front-paged story. It is private information Nades. And the source you got the privileged information were the biggest culprits, but you choose to protect them. When I tried to respond, to you and Terence, both of you decided to leave in a huff. Remember the press conference where you and Terence were present and when after the PC,I decided to confront to clarify matters, but both of you left after saying that you had nothing to ask me. whatever happened to getting the other side of the story. And the next day, Terence had the audacity to hit me in his column, What kind of fairness are you talking about. Questioning my qualifications, is that fair. So what "right of reply policy" are you talking about".
And for your information Nades, you have not only dragged an innocent person through mud, but also humiliated and disgraced my children and wife for no reason or rhyme.
As for my salary, I was paid according to the scope of job and what was stipulated accordingly. And I did my job. I had 15 staff under me and we worked. I did not earn free money! I also had to double up to work with the Minister. Whatever, I was paid, I earned it.
Anyway, Nades, I think it is pointless in trying to explain anything to you because you always believe that you are right.
In anycase, if there is anything more to be said, I think we should just meet in person.
But believe me Nades, you have caused me enough damage and tarnished my reputation for a lifetime. For one whom I have known from the time I joined as joined as stringer with the Malay Mail almost 30 years ago, when you are stringing too, you were the last one I had expected to put me through this ordeal. If I had done wrong, I will readily accept whatever you had to say or write. But you took down an innocent person. I wonder what John Pillai would have had to say if he was still alive!
Good day to you Nades.

rizal hashim said...

Wow guys, cool it. Whatever Tony and Nades, few can write with a clear conscience. At the end of the day, the readers are able to judge for themselves whether what we write or have written are objective, without malice and fair. To err is human and I for one have made mistakes in my reporting and have issued apologies if there had been factual errors or misreporting on my part. I think in some ways there is some truth in it that some of the sports journalists are not free to express their opinions because of their affiliation. But if you notice, very few bother to write comment pieces anymore. Even if there are, their jottings can be construed as being one-sided. We are (or were) not in the business of pleasing people. Not all our articles were taken in the right spirit but that's life. At least we can move on with our heads held high.

PS I wonder who the NSC official was?!!

X-the Sun said...

Well said Tony, Nades has a problem and always tries to impress the readers heavily with his artciles. Something is wrong with fellow and if you had been reading his articles mountains of it are ignored by the authorities.
Wonder if this guy is a humble person and care for his bro and sis journalist.

Pen15 said...

Tony, yes i feel for you regarding what Nades has done. As Nades's boy-sidekick Terence told many people, people like you were mere collatoral damage in their personal vendetta against the former sports minister. They didnt mind wrecking other people's lives as a means to their end. We all know there was no right of reply during that period.

Anyway, Nades is increasingly sounding like a broken record repeating old stories and losing readers faster than Hafiz Hashim losing matches. That's comfort enough for you. Journalists are relevent only as far as their last scoop. So bro, I suggest you just drop it and move on cos its old news. People are tired of Nades honestly.

As for goodies for sports journalists, ive never met one that said "no" when offered. haha. There you go... even the so called fearless journo would take paid-for junckered overseas trips sponsored by Carlsberg.

Restoran Jamal said...

What about sports writers who use to fix matches, hang around with bookies and players. Infact a former KL player now is a bookie in Hong Kong. What about sports writers on grade C able to drive imported cars. Who are we kidding here bro. You had your share of time, so dont bother about the current system. Because it is people like who started this rotten system. Swear upon your family that you did not benefit at all being a sportswriter. Good Day Mate

One Malaysia said...

Ya Allah buat apa gaduh gaduh ini, you Tony masa dekat MSN bukan main sombong media gag semua gag, you rekomen syarikat syarikat kawan kawan kamu buat ini dan itu, itu dipanggil apa. You dah cari makan semua tempat dapat 10 percent okay la. Tak kan la masa u rekomen orang u buat free bro, sampai cukup makan saja ke. Tak payah risau pasal generasi sekarang. Dulu lain sekarang lain. Kalau you susah you kena bertaubatyou pun ada rosakkan periuk nasi orang. You nak orang respect you, you kena la respect orang jangan ingat you saja tera.
Lagi Rizal Hashim kalau nak buat show di astro cakap biar staright forward jangan buat PR di sana.

tonymariadass said...

I had expected comments like Restoran Jamal and One Malaysia. I am saying this for the final time and I am not going to respond to anymore comments, although I will publish all because my conscience is clear. I am not going to waste my time rebutting every allegations because it is utter lies and malicious. I have lived a clean life and worked hard. I have never benefited money from illegal means. My true friends will testify to that. All those who are hurling brickbats are probably guilty.
I rest my case.
All those of you who write and dare not reveal your true identity do not deserve a reply because yours is an act of coward.
I was merely stating what is circulating and many may not want to write about it. Like I said, I hope all the rumours being speculated is not true. I am just passionate about sports and want to see sports as pure as it should be. That's all. Thank-you.

Vincent Ho said...

Write without fear or favour.

Anonymous said...

I do see one sided reports in some sports. There are clear factual mistakes in some reporting but when confronted and asked to rectify they just shove it under the carpet. It is clear they have personal interest and could be accepting rewards to make the NSA look good. Such reporters have no conscience. They are misleading the entire public and taking an entire sport of the nation down just for some money in their personal pocket. In the process, nurturing ills of NSAs and shooting down young aspiring players from developing. How can they sleep?

Zainal Hashim said...

Anon April 30, 2010 8:42AM....These people will still have sound sleep no matter what.

Tony I concur with Vincent....Write without FEAR or FAVOUR. Write in what you believe will help. Reading all that had been written against you gave me the spirit to carry on and I will keep on doing what I do without getting back in return. Since there are people in your world there are people like these, then I am not worried about people who blatantly critics and attack me in my Blog!

Alexander_Paul_Roper said...

My research (my PhD) covered sport in Malaysia; specifically the role of sport in Malaysia's ongoing nation building project. I met Tony in 2005 and was struck by his passion for Malaysian sport and wanting to see it do well. He was honest, decent and genuine - a man who really impressed me and was beyond reproach in his integrity. I do not know what's transpired, and as such have little right to do so. What I do know, is that he's a genuinely good man, a thoroughly decent human being, and I for one, am fortunate to consider him a friend.

Alexander Paul Roper