Saturday, April 11, 2009

Recognition for an activist

I don't know how many times exactly the plight of the UKRC padang had been highlighted by the Malay Mail over the past two decades. What was once the Paper That Cares, especially its editors Fauzi Omar and later Ahirudin Attan were very supportive of UKRC's efforts to save the field.

The padang was allocated for a primary school and 10 bungalow lots and then earmarked for a squatter relocation project. Throughout the years the UKRC committee spearheaded by Andrew Gopal had been tirelessly campaigning against the projects.

Last month they held the yearly friendly match against Malay Mail of old, read here, with my ex-boss Tony Mariadass as usual among the driving force. I too saw action, albeit briefly, on that padang in 2004 if I'm not mistaken, as I was substituted for a poor performance on the left-back position. I remember among those who played were Rocky himself, Yushaimi Yahaya, Rashid Yusof and Shamsul Akmar.

Well, I'm glad an activist like Andrew Gopal is finally given due recognition. He will be installed as the Olympic Council of Malaysia Sports Goodwill Ambassador this week! Read here.

2 comments:

mambang said...

Tuan,

Berita yang amat memberangsangkan.
Tahniah kepada Andrew Gopal dan UKRC dan tidak ketinggalan kepada semua yang telah memberikan sokongan serta liputan kepada perjuangan mereka selama ini.

Semuga ia merupakan titik mula kepada pengiktirafan buat semua penggerak sukan di peringkat akar umbi yang lebih besar dan bermakna di masa hadapan.

-Mambang Merah-

Ukrcforall said...

I was born in Kuala Ampang, lived there almost my whole life. I, too like all of you thought that Andrew Gopal was a hero. I, too, joined many others in full support of UKRC when the fight for the land against the 'vultures' began. After more than 10 years of being a friend, supporter of UKRC, it dawns upon me that so many things are just not right in the club - the management, the direction its going, its commitment to the residents of Kuala Ampang,...etc.

For the love of the club and its original intentions, nobody wants to air its dirty laundry in public. So, this internal squabble was kept under wraps since Oct '11.

It all started when a group of these members (residents, non-residents) voiced out to AG(Andrew Gopal) that they wish to have a change in leadership, after his 10 years of uncontested presidency.

Within weeks, 50% of the club total membership (NOT 1,000)were disqualified from voting. This was followed by legal letters from AG's lawyer, for merely signing a petition to the club patron, YB Saari Sungib, asking for a fair election.

And, things escalate from then on. Latest, an automatic barrier gate, guardhouse complete with 'private' guards were put in place. These actions clearly shows that the club has lost its way, of serving the community.

I wished I have seen these postings on these blogs earlier. Obviously, many think positively of AG, based on the many press writeup. Therefore, I strongly felt that I should share with all of you the other side of the story, not covered by the press. We need you to know the truth, and we need your help to set things right for UKRC, so that it is truly a club that serves its community.

A group of us are more than willing to talk to anyone who wants to know the truth & to help.
Please check out 'Ukrcforall' in FB, with an open mind and we look forward to hear from all of you.

Thank you.