Saturday, August 22, 2015

A modicum of decency, please!

The twist and turns of events leading to the Olympic Council of Malaysia's biennial general meeting tomorrow is unprecedented. While the cloak-and-dagger stuff is what newshounds thrive upon, it is saddening to note officials from the umbrella body - supposedly the paragons of sportsmanship and virtue - have sunk to such depths in the jostle for positions, which come with privileges, perks and access to the who's who in the world of sports.

True that I congratulated Datuk Low Beng Choo, a candidate to succeed Datuk Sieh Kok Chi as the secretary general, in Astro Arena's show called Kafe Sukan live on Monday, which also featured former NSC director-general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad.

Mazlan did not hide his support for Kok Chi, whom he described as virtually indispensable owing to his vast knowledge of sports, crucial to organising a successful 2017 SEA Games to be hosted by Kuala Lumpur.

As far as I was concerned, Beng Choo was always the natural choice to take over from Kok Chi, despite having once withdrawn from challenging the latter for the secretary's post in the 2009 elections. Read Beng Choo v Kok Chi

Question is, will Beng Choo win uncontested or Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, nominated for the post but somehow intriguingly and suspiciously suspended by Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) two days ago, be allowed to stand?

Danyal was accused of passing racist remarks in a group discussion over the whatsapp application during the IOC General Assembly, successfully hosted by OCM, to which he was quick to deny.

"This is a fabrication. IOC reps were misinformed on the privacy and controlled daily working chit chat net. Tunku Imran understood and supported my reasons for the  very harmless remark between me, the Cdr and security volunteers. IOC and Tunku Imran acknowledged that remark had been taken out of context by some vindictive parties," said Danyal.

Danyal's position came into question after he was suspended by the OCA from engaging in any activities related to OCA. To me this is a last-ditch attempt to discredit Danyal.

To illustrate OCM's sincerity in espousing the democratic and fair play principles, Danyal should be allowed to contest. Let the delegates choose. Otherwise things could really turn ugly and the Sports Commissioner may have a headache dealing with the aftermath!

Whoever wins face a huge challenge. For decades the umbrella body suffers from the perception that it only springs to life when an international multi-sports event is just around the corner - be they the SEA Games, the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games or the Olympic Games.

Since Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar defeated incumbent the late Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah in the elections in 1998, OCM appears to have taken a friendly approach and supportive of elitist sports such as squash, cricket and golf.

While Hamzah was seen as being able to protect OCM affiliates from getting trampled upon by the authorities, Tunku Imran does not prefer the confrontational approach.

Tunku Imran has always been generous to loose cannon in sharing some of his precious time, so much so that I have interviewed the squash founding secretary on TV and on print - for Berita Harian and The Malay Mail - and the weekly pullout EPLx Kosmo. Tunku Imran took me by surprise by giving me a special mention - saying Astro Arena added colour to the world of sports through various programs with the presence of a number of presenters as well as pundits, by identifying me by the colour of my shirt (the only one in the ballroom to be wearing the orange tiger stripes -  when OCM  renewed its strategic partnership with Astro in May

Tunku Imran lending his ears to Shaukei and the chap on the right (recognise him?) Tunku Imran's critics claim he has not done enough to support the NSAs

This picture was taken in 2000, two years after Tunku Imran defeated Hamzah for the OCM presidency. As general secretary of SAM, I arranged for a courtesy visit of the office-bearers to the doyen of OCM, Kok Chi and of course Tunku Imran. He will be challenged by Tan Sri Anwar Mohd Nor, who as the Navy chief broke tradition by being appointed as Chief of Defence Forces - a position traditionally filled by the Army chief - in 2005. The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) president represented the country in hockey in the Tehran Asian Games in 1974 before eventually becoming the Malaysian Hockey Federation (now MHC) president. 

Anwar and his Team B running mates, picture Utusan Online

Kok Chi and Mazlan on Kafe Sukan. It was fun reporting tiffs between NSC and OCM those days

Kok Chi knows when to attack and when to defend, probably a disciple of Sun Tzu's art of war, here with me on Dengan Izin. But his battles with Danyal have turned really personal...

My story hit the back page of the Malay Mail, pitting Kok Chi against Damien Kelly. The story, written in April 2006, naturally landed Kok Chi in hot soup with Azalina, the then Sports Minister

I cheekily asked Kok Chi on Dengan Izin "MSN saman MOM?"

A former rugby player, Danyal came into the athletics scene at the height of the MAAU's controversial suspension, in he came and the former Navy Inspector General quickly brought the IAAF High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) to Bukit Jalil. In his statement made at the Royale Chulan, Danyal said: "I don’t wish to take this any further than necessary as there is a directive by the OCM President. Suffice to say that I am not suspended by OCM and I will still be contesting for the post of Secretary General at the OCM AGM tomorrow. I did not expect people in sports to stoop this low and possess such malicious intent. I will seek legal advice on this matter and respond accordingly to all parties." 

Taufik (seated, second from right and on Anna Kournikova's left) is contesting as an independent. President of the Judo Association and also the president of Selangor Tennis Association,, he is eyeing one of the four vice-president's slots.

The assistant secretary's post will see a tussle between Kok Chi and T. Kumar, who was the brains behind MTA's offensive assault on the Sports Commissioner's Office after the national body was de-registered in 2005. Kok Chi was the one who brought Kumar into OCM as assistant secretary in 2011. Kumar then turned adversary before he took up the cudgels to challenge Kok Chi in 2013. He lost, naturally.

In previous years I have written The Fat Cats,  My pick for OCM Cabinet and drama in OCM.

Now if you ask me who my line-up would be, let me summarise:

Tunku Imran v Anwar

Battle between two ex-national athletes but Tunku Imran is likely to prevail. Could well be his final term.

Tan Sri Mohd Noor Rahim v Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria

Norza is the flavour of the month despite spreading himself thin as chairman of ISN, treasurer of FAM, deputy president of BAM and president of KLBA. With Mohd Noor having walked out during the MTBC general meeting, it does not bode well for the former City Hall director-general.

Datuk Taufik Omar

An independent candidate that could sneak in as a vice-president.

Prof Zakaria Ahmad

Ex Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) president 

Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Megat Omardin or Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad

Silat advocate or a former hockey player?

Datuk Ong Poh Eng

Malaysian Weightlifting Association president who is tipped to take one of the Veep seats.

Norcigi Norizan Ismail 

Hard to unseat Datuk Mumtaz Jaffar but who knows...

Beng Choo v Danyal

If Danyal gets to contest, it will be a battle royale but Beng Choo is likely to create history as the first women Secretary General of OCM.

Kok Chi v Kumar

Deja vu as Kok Chi defeated Kumar for the secretary's post in 2013 with a whopping majority of 26 votes. Now both eyeing the assistant's post, following Kok Chi's decision to finally relinquish the secretary's post he has held since 1992, Kok Chi to win?

Moira Tan v Nurliza Talhah

Moira is a staunch supporter of Kok Chi and does things like conducting various courses and programs organised by OCM in an understated manner, 

Yong Choo Kong v Rosmanizam Abdullah

Rosmanizam, assistant editor at Utusan Malaysia, is the driving force behind Malaysian Malays Cricket Association and goes by two other names - K.T. Rajah and Ang Teck Lee. A true Malaysian.

When I was elected as general secretary of SAM in 2000, Rosmanizam (third from right) became the treasurer. He mentored me on the ways of running an association by virtue of his experience in cycling and cricket. Forthright and frugal. OCM assistant treasurer from 2007 to 2013.

Ahmad Feisal Ahmad Tajuddin v Wong Jee Seng

Tough one, as incumbent and Kedah Cricket Association president Feisal is a respected figure in the cricket world. A UK graduate, he brought Kedah to the Premier League title four years on a trot and was appointed team manager, and last year was handed the Volunteer of the Year award by the International Cricket Council (International World Level Award), only the second Malaysian to be given the honour after Tunku Imran. Jee Seng, senior general manager, group corporate strategy at AmBank, is vice-president of Table Tennis Association of Malaysia and team manager of the ping pong team to the SEA Games earlier this year.

Frankly speaking, Malaysia cannot afford to have an OCM that behaves like the Obstinate Cabal of Mavericks, Mutineers or Mercenaries. By right the office-bearers should represent the acronym Outstanding Chieftains of Malaysia. 

The delegates, expected to number up to 90, must realise the 2017 SEA Games is around the corner. This requires the presence of individuals who are tried and tested in all organisational aspects, including technical know-how. Then again no one in OCM should be given the impression that he or she is indispensable and that no one is bigger than the institution. 

Anyhow, with politicians preferring to shoot from the hips with little regard to intellect, let it be the sports leaders who show the rest of Malaysia a modicum of decency, nothing less.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mesuma saman MOM

Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) didakwa melanggar perjanjian dengan Mesuma Sports Sdn Bhd, untuk hak bagi penolakan pertama (right of first refusal) selaku penaja dan pembekal utama pakaian sukan untuk kontinjen negara dalam temasya sukan antarabangsa naungan MOM.

Writ saman dikemukakan oleh peguamcara Mesuma Sports selaku plaintif dalam Mahkamah Tinggi 3 Ogos lalu, dengan menamakan MOM, Presiden Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, Naib Presiden, Datuk Low Beng Choo dan Setiausaha Kehormat, Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, sebagai defendan-defendan.

Dalam tuntutannya, plaintif menuntut ganti rugi daripada defendan atas sebab pelanggaran perjanjian dan hak untuk penolakan pertama apabila membenarkan pihak ketiga yang dinamakan sebagai Sunrise Pte Ltd pembekal peralatan sukan jenama Yonex untuk membekalkan pakaian tajaan tanpa memberi plaintif hak melaksanakan penolakan pertama.

Perkara ini disahkan oleh pemilik Mesuma, George Heng.


"Peguamcara saya Tetuan Shearn Delamore bertindak mengemukakan writ saman dan penyataan tuntutan minggu lalu, MOM diberi 14 hari untuk memfailkan memorandum kehadiran atau menyatakan kesediaan untuk mencari jalan penyelesaian," katanya.

Saman ini dikemukakan hanya beberapa hari sebelum tarikh tutup pencalonan untuk mesyuarat agung pemilihan MOM. Tarikh tutup ialah esok menjelang mesyuarat pemilihan 22 Ogos nanti.

Tunku Imran dikhabarkan akan dicabar oleh bekas presiden Persekutuan Hoki Malaysia (kini Konfederasi Hoki Malaysia (KHM) yang kini menjadi presiden Persatuan Golf Malaysia (MGA), Tan Sri Anwar Mohd Noor.

Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria, pengerusi Institut Sukan Negara (ISN) yang juga Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), Presiden Persatuan Badminton Kuala Lumpur (KLBA) dan Bendahari Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM), disebut-sebut tampil mencabar kedudukan Tan Sri Mohd Noor Rahim selaku Timbalan Presiden atas sokongan Tunku Imran dan Kok Chi.

Bekas pemimpin No 2 KHM, Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad dan Presiden Kesatuan Olahraga Malaysia (KOM) Datuk Karim Ibrahim antara yang disebut-sebut bakal bertanding untuk kerusi naib presiden MOM.

Barisan naib presiden MOM 2013-2015 ialah Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah, Tan Sri Halil Abdul Mutalif, Beng Choo, Prof Datuk Dr Zakaria Ahmad dan Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Jaffar (kuota wanita).

Apakah Beng Choo sanggup turun pangkat untuk mencabar Kok Chi selaku setiausaha kehormat MOM?

Benarkah orang suratkhabar Rosmanizam Abdullah yang pernah menjadi penolong bendahari kembali beraksi dalam MOM?

Benarkah Karim menerima ugutan bunuh semata-mata kerana berhajat untuk masuk MOM?

Bagaimana saman ini dapat mempengaruhi keputusan dalam mesyuarat pemilihan?

Drama sukan Malaysia, sehebat senario politik! Haha!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sports Ministers from 1971-1999

Here's a low-down on Malaysia's Sports Ministers over the decades, up until 1999, which I wrote in December that year. Since then we have had four more politicians helming the Ministry, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and YB Tuan Haji Khairy Jamaluddin. This list requires an update, soon perhaps.

Dec 16, 1999

Ministers down the years

Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein recently stepped in as Malaysia's 12th Sports Minister since 1971. 

The 38-year-old lawyer by profession faces a monumental task of raising the standard of sports excellence in Malaysia just as his 11 predecessors have.

Before we can expect the best from Hishammuddin, Mailsport's Rizal Hashim takes you down memory lane on how the Ministers before him have fared in the hot-seat.

Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah (1971-73) Pahang

Tabling the National Sports Council (NSC) Act 1971 was Hamzah's biggest contribution during the days when sports took a backseat in the Ministry's list of priorities. Only later the former magistrate carved a niche as a leader in sports by holding several high-profile posts - among them, president of the FA of Malaysia (FAM), Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well as FIFA and IOC vice-president.

Datuk Ali Ahmad (1973-76) Johor (deceased)

The Pontian MP made several amendments to the NSC Act to facilitate the athletes' preparations for international high-performance competitions. He later died in a plane crash at Tanjung Kupang, Johor in December 1977. The Agriculture Minister was on board the flight from Penang and was killed together with 99 others when the MAS 737 exploded in mid-air before crashing into a swamp.

Tan Sri Abdul Samad Idris (1976-80) Negri Sembilan 

Though he was inclined towards arts and culture, Abdul Samad first raised the idea of semi-professionalism in sports, especially soccer, hockey and badminton. Now the Finas chairman.

Datuk Mokhtar Hashim (1980-82) Negri Sembilan

Mokhtar became the youngest Cabinet member following Samad's resignation in 1980 and he quickly formed a task force chaired by Datuk (now Tan Sri) Elyas Omar to look into establishing the NSC, with Noh Abdullah as the first director-general. During his tenure, NSC became a vital arm of the Ministry with the sole aim of enhancing high-performance training and development programmes for athletes.

Datuk Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (1982-83) Penang

A deputy director-general of the Ministry before venturing into politics in 1974, Abdullah became acting Minister when Mokhtar was charged in court. Abdullah encouraged larger participation of the private sector in sports.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (1983-84) Penang

During his brief tenure, Anwar who was also the Umno youth head, pushed ahead with the plans to make the National Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil (suggested in the 1970s) a reality.

Datuk Seri Dr Sulaiman Daud (1984-86) Sarawak

A dentist by profession, Sulaiman initiated the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in 1986.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (1986-89) Pahang

Najib became the youngest Sports Minister in 1986 at the age of 33 and was eventually hailed as one of the best the country has ever had.

The former Petronas executive who was thrown into the political arena following his father's death in January 1976, was instrumental in the successful staging of the 1989 SEA Games.

The contingent registered Malaysia's best ever finish with 67 gold, 78 silver and 70 bronze. Najib too suggested the allocation of an area for the sport school at Bukit Jalil and was behind the introduction of the National Sports Policy in 1988.

Datuk Annuar Musa (1990-93) Kelantan

A town planner and a former 400m runner at university level, Annuar is best remembered for his role in the successful bidding of the 1998 Commonwealth Games. He too saw Malaysia regain the Thomas Cup in 1992 after a lapse of 25 years.

Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (1993-1995) Johor

An academician who came up with the Rakan Sukan programme, revolutionising the whole concept of funding in an area long dependent on Government handouts for survival. The adoption of the various sports by corporate giants was a boon (Petronas-MABA, EON-BAM, SRAM-YTL, to name a few) although certain associations managed to alienate their partners.

Ghani too proposed the Sports Development Act to police sports associations and curtail rampant malpractices, bickering, infighting and mismanagement.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin (1995-1999) Johor

A reluctant Minister who turned out to be a successful one. Under Muhyiddin, Malaysian sports reached a low with the soccer bribery scandal in 1995 but rose to an all-time high with the enormous success of the 16th Commonwealth Games in September 1998.

KL'98 were a spectacle not only in terms of organisation but also the overall performance when we enjoyed our best outing by winning 10 gold, 14 silver and 12 bronze medals to be placed fourth out of 70 countries.

The former Muar district officer oversaw an aggressive Jaya'98 programme since 1995, the inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix, as well as the initial lobbying to host the 2006 Asian Games and 2008 Olympic Games.

Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (1999-) Johor

 It's interesting to see whether Hishammuddin, who is also the acting head of Umno Youth, possesses the political will to plug the loopholes in the Sports Development Act, offer solutions for soccer to regain its status as the premier sport and unite youths and students at grassroot level through systematic and interactive programmes.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Natural to naturalise?

This story written by yours truly was published by The Weekend Mail on July 29, 2006. 

In the intervening years, Bekamenga went on to represent Cameroon in the 2008 Olympics and played for Nantes in France while Malaysia continue to struggle to create an impression on the global stage. Now Dollah Salleh has reignited the debate to naturalise foreign players.

If you ask me what would be my stand, kindly read let's open our doors written in 2009.

Bekamenga in action in the Olympics. Picture by Getty Images

PICTURE this in your mental cinema - Negri Sembilan hotshot Christian Bekamenga Bekamengo scoring goals not for his country of birth Cameroon, but in the yellow and black jersey of Malaysia.

All he has to do is complete his two-year stay in Seremban, apply for a citizenship with the Government, seek the world's governing body FIFA's endorsement on his naturalised status and the possibility of Bekamengo partnering Safee Sali as Malaysia's two frontmen on the international stage is as clear as Zinedine Zidane's head-butt on Marco Materazzi.

The sight of Bekamengo sporting Malaysian colours might seem comical but it is no stranger than Ghanaian-born Gerald Asamoah playing for Germany, or Nigerian-born Emmanuel Olisadebe wearing the red and white of Poland.

After all, our neighbours Singapore have ventured outside the island to bolster their footballing fortunes - without much success, one might add. Egmar Goncalves, Itimi Dickson, Agu Casmir and Daniel Bennett were members of the Singapore team that were thrashed 4-0 by Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli and Co four years ago.

But the trend of the borderless world is hard to ignore.

According to FIFA rules, players must have a "clear connection to that country" if they wished to wear the colours of a nation other than the one of their birth.

The rules now state a player must either have lived in a country for at least two years, or have a parent or grandparent, who was born there.

Although traditionalists scoff at this idea, describing the move as violating the spirit of international competition and wiping the Malaysian identity out of the national team, FA of Malaysia (FAM) vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar appeared resigned to the fact that the trend was too hard to ignore.

Among those who remain open to the idea is former National Sports Council (NSC) director-general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, who initiated the move to grant citizenships to race walker, Yuan Yufang, shooter Irina Maharani and weightlifter Hidayat Hamidon ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

He, however, stressed that it must be done only as a short-term measure to help the present national set-up plug the gaps. 

If FAM initiate the move, Bekamengo who has not represented Cameroon at international level, will be eligible for Malaysia come the Asian Cup in June-July next year.

As the striking sensation who helped Negri earn promotion to the Super League and then the league title in two seasons, Bekamengo, 20, fits the bill as Malaysia's first hired gun on the football pitch.

FAM general secretary Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, however, remained skeptical about the whole issue.

"We might consider the possibility," said Ibrahim, without elaborating.

 The truth is, Malaysia must do justice as one of the four host nations for next year's prestigious Asian Cup, our third appearance in the tournament after 1976 and 1980.

 An injection of foreign blood may not hurt our prospects.

 MM says: Will Malaysians support a national team filled with foreigners?

The story on Heshmat Mohajerani appeared in the Malay Mail in February 2007.

Heshmat Mohajerani

Yours truly with the former Iran tactician, picture taken in Doha 2006

IRAN'S 1978 World Cup coach Heshmat Mohajerani  - acknowledged as the most successful tactician to emerge from the Persian nation - has offered his services to the FA of Malaysia (FAM), 
on one condition.

 "Give me the job and I'll raise the standard of the Malaysian team. But there's one request, that three African players will follow me and be granted Malaysian citizenship."

 In an interview recently, Mohajerani, a free agent after leaving Austrian club Admira Wacker, believed the only way forward for Malaysia was to import foreign players to complement the local talent.

 The bespectacled coach claimed to have been keeping tabs on Malaysian football and was surprised with the below par performance of Norizan Bakar's team at the Doha Asian Games recently.

 "The team have shape but some players did not understand the tactical requirements and lacked the physical presence to stamp their mark in the Asian scene.

 "Having three African players donning Malaysian jersey will raise their game by a few notches. Otherwise I honestly believe Malaysia may not be able to challenge for supremacy even at the Asean level.

 "Opening the doors to foreigners is the trend. Qatar have done it, and so have Singapore," said Mohajerani.

 Mohajerani's CV makes impressive reading, having guided Iran to the Asian Games gold medal in 1974, the Olympics in Montreal in 1976 apart from lifting the Asian Cup the same year. His generation of disciples capped a fine period under Mohajerani with an appearance in the World Cup in Argentina two years later.

 Renowned for his motivational skills and a great believer in the youth, Mohajerani, 71, said he would love to have the chance to impart his knowledge to the Malaysian football circles.

 "I'm just a phone call away. You tell your football administrators I'm the most successful Asian coach, having enjoyed stints in United Arab Emirates and Oman, as well as being the first Iranian coach to take Iran to the World Cup.

 "My Iranian team of second stringers beat Kuwait under Carlos Alberto Parreira and Mario Zagalo in Kuwait in the last match of the World Cup qualifiers. Although we had already qualified, it was a matter of honour to maintain our unbeaten record. We managed to beat their senior team 2-1 even with our youth side.

 "At UAE, we became the West Asian Youth Champions and subsequently the same team, with the addition of a few players, went on to qualify for the Italy World Cup in 1990." 

 Elaborating on his ideas, Mohajerani said there were two aspects in making or breaking a team.

 "First is the physical readiness, followed by the psychological factor. It's a question of harmonising their mind and body. It is an art to use psychology to promote and encourage a team," he said.

 He might have the chance to make good his promise soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Perlawanan sarkas?

Salam lebaran 1436H.

Pilihan Malaysia melayan Liverpool, Jumaat nanti.

Tiada pemain JDT dipilih. Sekalipun yang ada dalam senarai menunggu.

Pemain Pahang pula sekejap ada, sekejap tak da, sekejap ada balik.

Pemain Selangor - Rob Cornthwaite, Hazwan Bakri dan Afiq Azmi - tidak dilepaskan oleh Persatuan Bola Sepak Selangor (FAS).

Kenapa jadi begini?

1. Perlawanan pertunjukan sebegini harus dihadkan. Ketika urusetia FAM diterajui Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad pada 2005-2007, dia tidak begitu gemar memberi kelulusan kepada perlawanan sebegini.

2. Jika diteruskan, bolehlah hadkan kepada pemain import Malaysia yang membentuk M-League selection.

3. Masalahnya, jadual padat Liga M menyukarkan pasukan. JDT, Pahang dan Selangor bergelut dalam lima tangga teratas Liga Super dengan baki tujuh perlawanan, termasuk lima dalam tempoh dua minggu dari 1 Ogos hingga 15 Ogos. Kalau nak lepas pemain import pun, ia akan menjejaskan perancangan rapi jurulatih pada pecutan terakhir untuk merebut tempat teratas liga. Tiadanya pemain JDT dalam senarai ini juga agak pelik, apakah ada pihak di FAM yang bermain politik, mahu menggembirakan pihak tertentu?

4. Dari sudut bola sepak, pemain dan jurulatih percaya perlawanan sebegini satu bentuk pendedahan bermutu tinggi menentang pemain bertaraf dunia. Apatah lagi Dollah Salleh berada dalam saat tertekan menghidupkan peluang Malaysia untuk layak sekurang-kurangnya ke Piala Asia 2019.

5. FAM dibayar RM250,000 sebagai harga meluluskan perlawanan sebegini dan rasanya peruntukan itu diagih bersama untuk pegawai perlawanan, pegawai pertandingan dan semua kakitangan bergaji FAM merasa habuannya. Bagi pemegang jawatan FAM yang dianggap sukarelawan tetapi berhak kepada elaun, yang mereka terima adalah kritikan.

6. Dari sudut penyokong pasukan seperti Liverpool, tidak mudah mendapat peluang ber"selfie" dengan bintang-bintang yang menjadi tontonan di kaca tv dan pujaan dari jauh.

Kesimpulannya, Selangor ada hak tidak melepaskan pemain bersandarkan semata-mata kepada peraturan panggilan pemain. Kerana jika benar pasukan kebangsaan menentang Liverpool, kenapa ada pemain luar? Apakah Pilihan Malaysia dapat membantu pasukan kebangsaan menyiapkan diri menentang UAE, Arab Saudi, Timor Leste dan Palestin?

Dengan pelbagai maklumat di hujung jari buat peminat di media sosial, FAM harus berhati-hati pada masa akan datang.

Selain menyusun jadual yang lebih wajar, perlawanan pertunjukan sebegini harus ditangani secara berhemah.

Masalahnya, kelab ternama dari luar akan tetap berkunjung ke Malaysia sebagai sebahagian usaha mereka meluaskan kelompok pemain dan atas faktor komersil di rantau ini.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Antara evil, Kim Chon dan Teong Kim

Sebenarnya aku malas nak blog sangat waktu Ramadan ini, tetapi beberapa pandangan kurang matang dalam talian memaksa aku menukilkan kisah ini, dengan niat mendidik generasi bijak yang kurang bijaksana agar kalau nak ulas mengenai satu-satu isu, biar ada isi dan bersandarkan fakta. Yang penting aku mahu menidakkan tuduhan kononnya aku ni spoiler dan tidak menyokong NFDP. Jadi aku mengajak kalian untuk baca posting ni...terlebih dahulu aku memohon maaf jika apa yang kutulis ini menyinggung perasaan pihak-pihak tertentu...

Ada ramai tuduh aku tidak menyokong NFDP. Baca posting dalam twitter aku 12 April, 2014. Siapa yang menafikan hakikat ini adalah pembohong dan pemfitnah! Amacam, ada ala-ala 1MDB tak?

Aku juga antara yang awal mengikuti perkembangan NFDP menerusi twitter dan selalu berinteraksi dengan admin, termasuk mengulangi tweet mereka. Waktu itu followers mereka lebih sikit daripada senarai pengikut aku, sekarang diaorang punya mencanak naik berikutan prestasi yang memberangsangkan pada Jelajah di Eropah, khususnya di Jerman, Sepanyol dan Portugal

Sebelum NFDP diperkasakan dengan konsep lebih menyeluruh cetusan ilham Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Khairy Jamaluddin, NFDP diterajui oleh  bekas Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, manakala pengarahnya Lim Kim Chon, kedua-duanya aku temu bual dalam Dengan Izin pada 2012. Malangnya tak de dalam youtube, bagus jugak kalau tidak aku kena sumpah seranah lagi....

Buku yang YB KJ pegang itu menarik, menerangkan konsep NFDP dengan jelas. Sebenarnya aku dipelawa oleh NFDP membantu menterjemah buku itu. Dalam mesyuarat dengan Safirul, Regina dan Elena, aku setuju membantu. Soalan pertama aku, "apa jadi kepada budak-budak ini selepas usia 17 tahun?" Tapi belum sempat terjemah National pun, aku menarik diri selepas tidak bersetuju dengan komposisi jawatankuasa NFDP. Aku secara gentleman menarik diri. 

Berbanding blue print Kim Chon yang menyentuh pembangunan pemain elit di peringkat remaja, NFDP baharu menyeluruh, dengan pembangunan modal insan seperti jurulatih, pemain remaja, pusat latihan, pembangunan kanak-kanak perempuan, struktur pertandingan serta modul latihan komuniti dan elit dalam mencipta DNA bola sepak Malaysia.

Sasaran NFDP yang asal,

Ini cebisan blueprint PPBN atau NFDP yang asal

Kolumku dalam Dunia Sukan tahun lalu

Modal insan kunci untuk lonjakan saujana

Tanggal 10 April lalu, satu sejarah tercipta. Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak melancarkan Akademi Bola Sepak Negara di Kuantan, yang dinamakan sempena legenda era 70 dan 80-an, Allahyarham Datuk Mokhtar Dahari.

Lebih penting Najib menyatakan sokongan kepada Pelan Pembangunan Bola Sepak Negara (PPBN), atau NFDP sebagai ringkasannya dalam Bahasa Inggeris. Meneliti perkataan demi perkataan yang tertulis dalam 80 muka surat PPBN itu, jelas ia menyentuh semua aspek pembangunan bola sepak berkaitan kanak-kanak dan remaja berusia di antara 7 dan 17 tahun.

Dalam hal ini, dua individu harus diberi kredit, iaitu Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Khairy Jamaludin dan pengarah PPBN, Lim Teong Kim. Sekalipun pelbagai lontaran idea bernas, cadangan di luar kotak dan kertas kerja disampaikan menerusi banyak forum dan wadah berhubung pembangunan bola sepak sejak dua atau tiga dekad lalu, Kerajaan menerusi Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) hanya menjadikan bola sepak satu agenda nasional menerusi kewujudan Tabung Pembangunan Bola Sepak Kebangsaan pada 2010, tidak lama sesudah pasukan Bawah 23 negara mengutip pingat emas di Sukan SEA di Laos.

Serentak itu, sebuah jawatankuasa diterajui Datuk Razali Ibrahim, ketika itu Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, ditubuhkan dengan dana permulaan RM10 juta bertujuan memantau pelbagai program peringkat pembangunan yang dilaksanakan pelbagai agensi. Tugas awal jawatankuasa itu ialah melantik Lim Kim Chon, seorang individu yang kaya pengalaman dari akar umbi hingga ke FIFA.

Dia calon paling layak mengurus satu program berunsur nasional. Misi utama projek itu ialah membantu pasukan Bawah 17 kebangsaan mara ke Piala Dunia Remaja FIFA Bawah 17 tahun pada 2019 selain mewujudkan program MyKids Soccer seluruh negara.

Namun program itu dilihat tidak menyeluruh. Pemegang taruh terbesar dilihat agensi dan sekolah yang bernaung di bawah Kementerian Pendidikan.

PPBN 2014-2020 pula menyeluruh, dengan beberapa penambah baikan dan lonjakan terhadap program terdahulu. Sepintas lalu, PPBN 2014-2020 bukan saja berteraskan satu falsafah atau DNA negara, tetapi juga berasaskan lima strategi teras bertujuan meramaikan jumlah pemain sehingga lebih 50,000 menjelang 2020, meningkatkan kuantiti dan kualiti jurulatih, memperbanyakkan kejohanan kompetitif dan menambah baik pusat latihan serta kemudahan asas.

Tidak sesekali kita harus mengetepikan sumbangan idea dan tenaga jawatankuasa kendalian Razali. Namun PPBN cetusan Khairy adalah satu penyata misi yang menyeluruh dengan menyentuh bola sepak akar umbi berprestasi tinggi dan komuniti.

Pengarah PPBN pula adik Kim Chon, Teong Kim yang tampil selaku bekas jurulatih skuad remaja Bayern Munich dan satu-satunya anak Malaysia yang layak melatih mana-mana kelab di Eropah selepas lulus lesen Jurulatih Pakar (Fussball-lehrer) di Cologne pada 2005.

“Ketika saya timbalan presiden FAM saya juga pernah menawarkan Teong Kim peluang untuk kembali ke Malaysia tetapi waktu itu mungkin kurang sesuai. Selepas saya dilantik menerajui KBS, saya menerima emel yang panjang lebar daripada Teong Kim menyatakan kesudian menyumbang semula kepada bola sepak negara.

“Sebagai antara ribuan penonton di Stadium Merdeka pada final Sukan SEA 1989 apabila Teong Kim antara wira negara, saya tidak menyangka berpeluang bekerjasama dengan seorang legenda dalam merencanakan pembangunan bola sepak kita,” kata Khairy kepada penulis baru-baru ini.

Berbekalkan pengalaman selaku bekas ketua MyTeam, Timbalan Presiden FAM dan pengurus pasukan kebangsaan, Khairy percaya PPBN 2014-2020 mampu mencorakkan era baharu bola sepak negara.

Teong Kim pula menekankan dua aspek – sokongan padu ibu bapa selain sikap jurulatih.

“Mungkin seorang jurulatih itu tidak mempunyai sijil kelayakan yang dikehendaki tetapi memiliki sikap dan profesionalisme tinggi. Misalnya ada seorang jurutera syarikat telekomunikasi yang menjadi jurulatih sambilan. Saya tertarik dengan penampilan yang positif, kualiti selaku pemimpin, cara dia berkomunikasi dan paling penting etika kerja yang tinggi.

"Kita memerlukan lebih ramai jurulatih sebegini,” kata Teong Kim sambil menggesa ibu bapa agar menjadi tulang belakang kepada cita-cita anak-anak mereka.

“Di Eropah, ibu bapa sanggup mengeluarkan belanja sendiri dan pergi menghantar serta mengambil anak-anak mereka bertanding atau berlatih. Ibu bapa di Malaysia juga harus bersikap sebegini,” katanya.

Selain sokongan dan dokongan semua pihak, satu cabaran besar buat PPBN 2014-2020 ialah sistem penyampaian dan pelaksanaannya. Kita mengharapkan tiada ketirisan atau kepincangan di setiap tangga pelaksanaannya. Kuncinya dipegang modal insan yang beretika, bermotivasi, berwawasan dan profesional!

Tahniah YB KJ kerana membawa pulang Teong Kim selepas kiriman emel panjang lebarnya. Aku sedar YB KJ memang cukup passionate pasal bola sepak ni!

Sejurus itu, NFDP diperkasakan selepas unit sokongan yang diketuai Safirul mengadakan beberapa siri bengkel dengan pemegang kepentingan selain melakukan audit pada 2013 dalam mencari kelemahan dan kekuatan program NFDP yang asal untuk diolah ke arah kebaikan.

OK, sebelum aku teruskan, kena ucap syabas dan tahniah kepada Teong Kim dan anak-anak didiknya yang muncul juara Piala Iber di Costa Del Sol, Malaga, Sepanyol, baru-baru ini. Tahniah juga kepada NFDP kerana menggunakan sepenuhnya teknologi terkini untuk berkongsi maklumat terkini dan video menerusi internet.

Di sebalik sokongan aku yang tidak berbelah bahagi kepada projek ini, aku antara yang awal menegur apabila membaca beberapa ulasan realtime NFDP dan orang kuatnya ketika team berada di Jerman sebelum ke Sepanyol.

Membalas tweet beberapa pengikut aku, aku antaranya menulis tamper your enthusiasm, true but nobody knows where your boys end up seven years from today,

Sedikitpun aku tidak menyentuh mana-mana pihak, sekadar mengingatkan bahawa perjalanan kelompok pemain ini masih jauh. Jadi man-man la...

Apakah dengan berkata underpromise overdeliver aku membonsaikan pemikiran orang lain?

Kesudahannya, team ini akan dihakimi 10 tahun dari sekarang. Mereka ada pelbagai misi termasuk layak ke Piala Dunia Remaja Bawah 17 tahun FIFA pada 2019 sebagai sasaran. Untuk menempah tiket mereka harus melalui proses kelayakan di peringkat Asia bermula 2016. Tahun lalu anak buah S. Balachandran mara ke suku akhir sebelum tewas kepada Australia 2-1 dalam Kejohanan Bawah 16 Tahun Asia AFC. Jika mereka layak ke separuh akhir, tiket ke Chile 17 Oktober-8 November ini sudah ditempah. Sayang!

Wow, little boys achieved more than in your sour 20 years...pencapaian budak-budak ini jauh lebih baik daripada 20 tahun anda yang masam...masyem,,,,pergh mamat ni memang tak minat sejarah dan tidak mementingkan sejarah. Dia kata orang yang tengok sejarah Jurassic! Dinosaur yang dah tak wujud...bagitau jugalah jurulatih NFDP, Raja Azlan Shah Raja Soib, Wan Rohaimi Ismail dan Effendi Malek yang mengikuti jelajah Eropah mereka juga sebahagian daripada kegagalan itu...serta Teong Kim pun mengaku dia standard Sukan SEA aje dulu masa main... 

Wow, macam Costa Del Sol dan teluk Iberia kena takluk...bagus memberi kata-kata tapi rujuk sejarah ek, sejarah yang tak de kena-mengena dengan bola sepak ek...


Zero value, wow...sebenarnya kalau kita fikir kita hebat dalam melaksanakan sesuatu tugas, jangan lupa orang lain ada cara tersendiri dalam menyumbang ke arah membudayakan bola sepak. Mungkin dia cari sponsor untuk anak jiran, mungkin dia taja team bola kejiranan, mungkin dia jadi pengarah kejohanan futsal atau antara komuniti...kita tidak tahu...kan? Mungkin dia hantar anak dia ke akademi tiap-tiap minggu, tak guna duit kerajaan atau sektor swasta, guna duit sendiri. Nak mintak penaja, penaja hanya bagi kat orang besor-besor

Pergh...tapi apakah aku pull down NFDP? Satu lagi pembohongan....ini modus operandi ala politik untuk menjatuhkan orang lain tanpa fakta...menjatuhkan orang melalui persepsi, disambut pula oleh juak-juak sehaluan, sebagaimana Tun Faisal belasah aku apabila mempertikai pelantikan Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria selaku Bendahari FAM. Sila rujuk Kenapa Norza?

Yang kanan pengarah kanan unit sokongan NFDP. Ku kenali sejak 2005 apabila dia duduk semeja dengan aku di Bangsar meminta jasa baik aku kurangkan mengkritik Menteri Belia dan Sukan waktu itu, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. "Apa kata kalau KBS beli iklan dalam The Malay Mail,? tanya Safirul kepada aku sebagai satu cara agar aku tone down. Zaman Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Safirul jadi pengarah kanan Tahun Industri Sukan (SIY).  Safirul ni versatile, serba boleh dan man for all seasons. Masa MyTeam dulu pun dia jadi pegawai media...Baca Penjana industri sukan negara. Yang kiri aku tak tau, kitman ke apa tah...

Kalau kita lawan Sporting Lisbon, rasa-rasanya kita lawan kelab, bukan Portugal. Kan? Last aku check NFDP mengumpul pemain terbaik negara. Sporting Lisbon kumpul pemain seluruh Portugal ke? Wajar atau tidak perbandingan ini?

Takkan projek kerajaan website pun cuti Ramadhan ke? Banyak yang aku nak check. Penaja betul ke NAZA, 1MDB, Media Prima...kalau tak boleh update, baik buiat blogspot aje. Nak jugak tau siapa pengarah komersil dan kerjasama strategik NFDP...ini lidah dan wajah rasmi NFDP kalau tak silap aku la. Tak semua orang ada twitter dan FB. Tapi orang boleh akses laman web...tapi kalau laman web down macam mana?

Luqman Hakim Shamsuddin produk Mykid Soccer Kelantan, jadi pemain terbaik di Croatia 2013...jadi by right he has been unlocking defences since 2013 and earlier, kena perbetulkan fakta, babe... 

Aku rasa orang kuat (ke kitman) NFDP ini kuat sentap. Evil? Hmmm....necessary evil perlu untuk menegur. Takut ada evil lebih besar kat luar tu....satu lagi Encik Nur Jasni pemilik agensi sukan Sportswork yang juga penasihat Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) yang cukup saya hormati, in my humble opinion, the ultimate passion is doing the things you love without thinking of monetary gains...sekarang ini berapa orang kuat NFDP dapat gaji? Memanglah tak de orang nak kerja free, tapi toksah ceritalah bab passion...

Berapa gaji bulanan jurulatih di semua peringkat?

Berapa gaji pengarah kanan? Lebih tinggi daripada gaji jurulatih yang berpeluh di padang? Apa jawatan mamat kat atas ni yang kata evil lurks?

Kalau dia ada pegang jawatan (desas-desus mengatakan dia pengarah komersil dan kerjasama strategik, kita boleh anggap tweet dia mewakili sentimen NFDP - kuat kutuk stakeholders lain nih - sedangkan untuk NFDP berjaya, ia memerlukan kerjasama semua pihak. Kita juga boleh anggap kalau dia bawak masuk penaja, dia dapat komisen, Ini anggapan lah. Passion,,,hahahahaha

Satu lagi, jika kita pegang amanah bersifat nasional, kita kena terbuka kepada dissenting views. Aku juga tegaskan, apa aku nak begrudge projek ini? Ia harus disokong. Tapi pelaksananya kena tahu bukan dia sorang buat kerja. Orang lain ada hak untuk memberi input dan idea. Setiap daripada kita ada cara tersendiri menyumbang kepada sesuatu projek berskala besar. Pandai kutuk FAM, tapi bila dicuit sikit, whoa....orang lain evil babe! Kurang-kurang orang FAM tak de twitter untuk berbalas-balas komen hahahahaha...Adakah engkau Malaikat?

Ya betul, wow...tidak overboard? Biasa-biasa aje...daripada pengarah kanan NFDP, kira ini kenyataan rasmi. 

Pada 2013, pasukan projek 2019 dibawa ke Bosnia dan Croatia

Cuba tengok striker, goalkeeper...pemain tengah...2013...anak didik yang dikenal pasti oleh Kim Chon dan rakan-rakan

Mereka juga menduduki tangga ketiga di Saitama 2013

Pada awal penubuhan NFDP yang asal, aku ada juga memberi pendapat kepada Ahmad Shabery mengenai beberapa keputusan dari sudut pelaksanaan. Baca Lagi lagi England.dan Kertas kerja Everton dikaji semula.

Kerajaan pula menyalurkan geran RM10 juta untuk NFDP. Bermakna ia dana yang ditanggung pembayar cukai yang kini dibebani kos sara hidup yang tinggi dan disaran toksah balik kampung sebagai langkah berjimat-cermat. Ditambah pula dengan tajaan sektor swasta, NFDP adalah projek yang menelan belanja jutaan ringgit.

FAM pula menerima geran token daripada kerajaan. Aktiviti FAM dijana oleh dana daripada sektor swasta. Selain pantau FAM, kita juga kena monitor NFDP nih, pakai duit kerajaan jugak nihhhh....bahkan confirmed RM10 juta!

Ni nak tanya sikit, sesi latihan dan pertandingan akademi tunas NFDP ni ada perlindungan insurans tak?

Betul ke ibu bapa kena sign ni?

Tidak ada apa-apa pembiayaan insurans hayat/insurans perubatan/insurans perlindungan am/insurans tambahan yang diambil oleh pihak PPBN ke atas anak/anak jagaan secara khusus....selain perlindungan yang diperuntukkan melalui pembiayaan yuran persekolahan kerajaan (di bawah KPM).....

ibu bapa kena setuju bayar RM25 setahun bagi anak dan jagaan seandainya pihak PPBN mewajibkan pengambilan insurans hayat yang dikhususkan oleh PPBN walaupun memiliki perlindungan pihak ketiga menerusi pembiayaan ibu bapa sendiri. Nak tanya, budak-budak ni ada perlindungan insurans ke? Jangan marah #just asking....

Apa yang aku paparkan ini factual. Nothing personal. I am not emotionally involved. Bukan nak troll orang.

Memang benar tujuh bulan dari sekarang aku pun tidak tahu aku di mana, sama ada masih diperlukan dalam media atau tidak, ada kerja ke tidak, ada nyawa lagi ke tidak, bezanya aku tidak menggunakan dana kerajaan untuk kais pagi makan pagi, tetapi NFDP adalah projek agenda nasional dan dijana dana kerajaan. Jadi peminat bola sepak tulen dan terpelajar, tolong eh....setiap detik, kata-kata dan tindakan sama ada di Sri Hartamas atau Costa Del Sol must be accounted for.

Terpelajar dalam akademik tidak semestinya terdidik dalam ilmu bola sepak!

Episod kedua...bila-bila aku senang....

Oh, haters, terutama penyokong tegar pihak-pihak tertentu, komen kalian dialu-alukan.

Modal paling basi dan bankrap idea, oh ini orang FAM dan ini NFDP hater! Kih kih kih! Oh, dan saya sokong kuat YB KJ dan Teong Kim....seperti apa yang aku tulis dalam majalah Dunia Sukan tahun lalu.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cramer and Teong Kim

Column, Four-Four-Two, February 2014

Pining for Teutonic efficiency

“I cannot overstress the importance of developing good coaches.

“They are the fathers of the game. The quality of soccer in a country depends on them.”

So said Dettmar Cramer, the football guru tasked by FIFA to propagate the right coaching methods to the rest of the world, in an interview with Gerald Martinez of the New Straits Times in 1992.

In his capacity as FIFA roving coach who established football schools in Japan, Iran and Malaysia, Cramer was a familiar figure with coaches in Asia long before he brought Bayern Munich to two successive European Cups in 1975 and 1976.

A year after assisting Helmut Schoen in the FIFA World Cup in England where West Germany finished runners-up to the host country in 1966, Cramer stopped over in Kuala Lumpur to guide a Malaysian side that boasted M. Chandran, Chow Chee Keong, Abdullah Nordin and M. Karathu to fourth place in the Merdeka Tournament.

When the Munich Olympics in 1972 beckoned, again FA of Malaysia (FAM) turned to Cramer for technical and tactical input. Cramer is not the only German to have left an indelible mark in the local game.

Hired by the Sports Ministry but attached to the FA of Malaysia, Karl-Heinz Weigang brought Malaysia the gold medal in the 1977 SEA Games and in April 1980, oversaw Soh Chin Aun and Co bestride the soggy pitch to qualify for the Moscow Olympics at the expense of South Korea and Japan before taking over the reins at Perak and Johor in the 90s.

A media personality, Holger Obermann, became the point man for many Malaysian-German projects which featured studying stints for K. Rajagobal and Norizan Bakar at Hennef Sports School, Rudie Ramli and Fadzli Saari’s brief sojourn to SV Wehen and the renowned Bayern Munich attachment programme where Rafiz Abu Bakar and Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli were put under the wings of Lim Teong Kim at Bayern Munich.

Interestingly, the future of Malaysian football lies in the hands of Teong Kim, the former international who now thinks like a German, courtesy of more than a decade of experience in shaping the youth of Bayern.

The former Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Kedah hardman is in charge of the National Football Development Programme (NFDP), initiated by previous Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek but fine-tuned by his successor Khairy Jamaluddin.

Teong Kim replaced his elder brother Kim Chon, who is no slouch in the global scene. Kim Chon was a member of the FIFA technical study group, a prestigious phalanx of top technical experts tasked to dissect and analyse the latest advances and training methods, in the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.

For two years Kim Chon quietly performed his duties, negotiated with the schools authorities, worked with the coaches at grassroots and helped lay down the foundation in order to create a larger pool of talent between the ages of 8 and 17.

When the job fell vacant following Kim Chon’s decision to join the FIFA development office in Kuala Lumpur, it gave Khairy the opportunity to lure Teong Kim, out of contract at Bayern, to make a comeback.

Armed with the German Football Association (DFB) master licence which he passed at the Hennes Weisweller academy in Cologne in 2005, Teong Kim had hoped to be coaching in Bundesliga before he reached 50.

Fate has decreed that his future lies in his homeland.

This will be Teong Kim’s second bite of the cherry, having held the post as head of the academies at FAM between 1998 and 1999.

The former Hertha Berlin midfielder has no argument over Cramer’s statement all those years ago, that coaches hold the key to proper development of a footballer.

“We need to educate our coaches on the need to be teaching the right basics, mentality and culture to our youngsters during their pre and formative years,” said Teong Kim.

For sure Teong Kim will not be imposing a German benchmark to his fellow coaches.

They have had no standard to aim for all this while, so we shall not be harsh on them. I will be a friend to my fellow coaches. This project will take time.”

For a man who is accustomed to Teutonic sophistication, Teong Kim realises he has to work within a Malaysian eco-system. Viel gluck, Teong Kim!