Thursday, January 6, 2011

Karate going the taekwondo way?

Karate gained prominence in Malaysia mainly thanks to the exploits of karate family of T. Ponniyah. His sons Arivalagan, Thennavan and Thiagu were at the peak of their powers when I began my career in journalism.

Supported by Clement Soo, the taikor of karate, the sport prospered. There were teething problems, but nothing Makaf could not solve, with the support of the National Sports Council (NSC) then. Ponniyah, a kumite specialist and Clement, a kata grandmaster, formed a powerful duo. Thanks to its medal-churning products, karate became a major contributor to Malaysia's medal tally in multi-sports events, especially the SEA Games and the Asian Games.

But typical of any Malaysian sports body, Makaf has internal issues as well.

Arivalagan's removal as the chief coach took everybody by surprise, including Clement himself. As the Makaf secretary general, Clement was kept out of the loop. Read here

Apparently the technical committee wants to hire Iran's Vahid Khajeh Hosseini, the 1994 Asian Games bronze medallist in the 80kg. Ponniyah is not agreeable to the idea. Read The Star.

However Arivalagan's detractors claim he had not been producing exponents of his own since taking over from Ali Reza Souleymani in late 2003.

Arivalagan's track record showed otherwise. R. Puvaneswaran originally came from Hayashi-ha though his winning mentality was fine-tuned by Ali Reza from 1998 to 2003.

Insiders say there are some elements within the kata group that were envious of the influence the Ponniyah family had on the karate scene, what with his son Thiagu also a respected referee.

The whole issue is said to have been triggered by the defeat of the son of a national coach in the 2008 Sukma in Terengganu...which then led to the controversial EGM in 2009 which saw the election of Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam as Makaf president. Read The New Straits Times

I fear for karate. The sport could be going the taekwondo way if this matter is not resolved amicably.

8 comments:

hasanahrock said...

hey..u're my inspirations..i want to be a sport journalists like you..but i still have a long way ahead..

Chuck Norris ( Dont prey prey) said...

No one can come close to the taekwondo way. Is the Minister a master in the rival Karate body..no right?! SO CANNOT HAPPEN LAH!!

Oh one more thing la..is there a Minister's brother somewhere in the Makaf committee ah? Then got probrem loh. Like that ah maybe your prediction can come true also.

We wait and see la.

Hei kawan is there anybody going to court already ah.? Ask them to quickly go la!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting write up.

Here are my comments on the issue.

WHAT HAS HAPPENDED TO MAKAF?

Bernama news dated January 05, 2011, reads “Makaf Emergency Meeting Tonight to Resolve Coach Issue”. The meeting was held at the official residence of Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who is also the Makaf president. This meeting was held during the late nights of 05 Jan 2011, by the MAKAF Technical Committee who supposedly decided earlier not to re-new the services of National Coach, P. Arivalagan. To everyone’s surprise the meeting was arranged abruptly after knowing that the national athletes had planned on meeting the Malacca Chief Minister on 06 Jan 2011 morning, to express their concern and dissatisfaction over the decision by MAKAF.
This recent development on the termination of the services of the National Coach follows suits the internal problems faced by MAKAF. Sportsnewsmalaysia.blogspot.com reported on December 30, 2009 regarding the controversy within Malaysian Karate Federation's (Makaf). The report states that during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Nov 29 seven affiliates staged a walkout over the election after the meeting's chairman Datuk Mohd Noor Nordin Abdullah declined to meet their demands. Noor, who retained his position as deputy president unopposed, then allowed the meeting to continue as the remaining 13 affiliates, comprising 63 delegates, voted in the new executive committee for the 2010-11 terms.
Complaints were lodged to Sports Commissioner's Office two weeks later but no news on the development to date.

String 1

Anonymous said...

From String 1

Since the appointment of the National Coach P. Arivalagan in 2004, the National Karate Team has attained excellent success and results and has been awarded numerous awards and titles. Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), in its 26th Annual Report 2008 cites several important points regarding the success of karate in Malaysia under the guidance of P. Arivalagan. Among such success cited includes, The Prestigious National Sports Awards for Year 2007 which was held on 13th May 2008 at the Palace of the Golden Horses, Kuala Lumpur., in which P. Arivalagan (Karate) was awarded the Coach of the Year (Men).
The report also cites the re-presentation of karate exponent by Encik Nagatheeban Govindasamy in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Youth Camp held on 5th to 18th August 2008.
Recently, karate hogged the limelight at the Federal Territories Sports Awards 2009 ceremony held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre. Karate representatives won three distinguished awards at the annual awards ceremony which includes G. Yamini named as the Sportswoman of the Year; P. Arivalagan won the Best Coach award while the Women’s Team represented by G. Yamini, G. Vathana, Jamalliah Jamaludin, G. Yugneswary and Vasantha Marial Anthony was presented with the Best Team Award.
Another recent success reported by News Straits Times on 02 July 2010 on the emerging talent of Shakila Salni Jeffry Krishnan, when she achieved a rare honour for Malaysian karate when she was selected to represent an international Rest of the World Team in an exhibition match against France. National back-up exponent Shakila had impressed in winning a bronze medal at the Feminine Cup karate championships in Hyeres, France to earn her spot on the international team.
Despite all efforts and success by the National Coach to bring Malaysian Karate to an unprecedented level, MAKAF Technical Committee decided to terminate his services. The lame excuse given is it wants to scale greater heights at world championships. With such success attain by Malaysian Karate Team both in Asian and International Level why does MAKAF suddenly want’s to scale to greater heights?

Anonymous said...

From String 2

MAKAF intends to spend RM 15,345 (USD 5,000) on monthly salary for the proposed Iranian coach, which translates to RM 184,140 (USD 60,000) annually of course not including his allowance such as accommodation, travelling and other reimbursements. It is estimated that Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) would be spending an annual cost ranging anywhere between RM 250,000.00 to RM 350,000.00 for the Iranian coach. After an estimated spending of almost more than a quarter million ringgit, MAKAF could only say “we cannot guarantee a medal but it will just have a brighter chance at a medal at the World Championship meets next year”. This is utter nonsense as much greater targets has already been put in place for the development of karate in Malaysia at a more economical and efficient way.
This includes the establishment of junior and back – up squad which has been delivering promising results both locally and internationally. As for the elite team the success attained at the recent 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games where Puvaneswaran bagging a second career Asian Games gold medal in the below 55kg kumite competition was certainly a delight for the entire team and nation. Another successful karate exponent L. Kunasilan etched his name in the Asean University Games 2010 history books as the first triple winner in karate in claiming the men’s kumite below 55kg title in Chiang Mai. Kunasilan later headed the men's team comprising Chan Keng Ann, Uriel Yu Eh, V. Jayaseelan, Cheng Wei Han, Roney Roger Sining and Nasree Najmi to clinch the team gold. V. Jayaseelan also has contributed to Malaysia’s karate's first gold medal of the Games from the men's individual kumite in the above 84kg earlier. With such promising results and plans set up by Arivalagan it is certain that more success is in place at both international and world level meets for the years to come.
Rightfully and wisely MSN should consider using this large budget allocation directed for the development of the current athletes who are working their guts out for the nation. Taxpayer’s money should be well spent on the current promising athlete such as providing more budget allocation to participate in more international competition such as in Europe and Japan and to expand their exposure in more international arena. Overseas centralised training for qualified individuals should also be made for better opportunities to excel in the international competition which has been proven successful in the case of Nicol Ann David.
It is surprising to see how MSN which has imposed large financial budget cuts to the training regime and international competition participation of our national athletes but has an allocation for hiring international coach just for the sake of a better chance as highlighted by MAKAF. Local coach such as Arivalagan should be promoted for the development of the sports in the country, not demoted as being intended by MAKAF.
Promising and successful martial arts sports such as karate, brings pride to the country’s success with local coach and the athletes and to the nation as a whole. What pride is there for Malaysia if such noble intention is not uplifted?
The Prime Minister mooted an aspiration of the spirit of 1Malaysia which is fundamental in spurring the national development goals. The 1Malaysia philosophy whereby "People First, Performance Now" serves as the guideline for the government in attaining the national goals. But despite the excellent performance, people with such high calibre as Arivalagan not being appreciated and scrutinized, Malaysia would certainly have lost its 1Malaysia direction. It is hoped that MSN would reinstate Arivalagan as the head coach of our National Karate Team and continue to support Malaysian sports excellence.
tongue-slip.com

Anonymous said...

From String 2

MAKAF intends to spend RM 15,345 (USD 5,000) on monthly salary for the proposed Iranian coach, which translates to RM 184,140 (USD 60,000) annually of course not including his allowance such as accommodation, travelling and other reimbursements. It is estimated that Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) would be spending an annual cost ranging anywhere between RM 250,000.00 to RM 350,000.00 for the Iranian coach. After an estimated spending of almost more than a quarter million ringgit, MAKAF could only say “we cannot guarantee a medal but it will just have a brighter chance at a medal at the World Championship meets next year”. This is utter nonsense as much greater targets has already been put in place for the development of karate in Malaysia at a more economical and efficient way.
This includes the establishment of junior and back – up squad which has been delivering promising results both locally and internationally. As for the elite team the success attained at the recent 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games where Puvaneswaran bagging a second career Asian Games gold medal in the below 55kg kumite competition was certainly a delight for the entire team and nation. Another successful karate exponent L. Kunasilan etched his name in the Asean University Games 2010 history books as the first triple winner in karate in claiming the men’s kumite below 55kg title in Chiang Mai. Kunasilan later headed the men's team comprising Chan Keng Ann, Uriel Yu Eh, V. Jayaseelan, Cheng Wei Han, Roney Roger Sining and Nasree Najmi to clinch the team gold. V. Jayaseelan also has contributed to Malaysia’s karate's first gold medal of the Games from the men's individual kumite in the above 84kg earlier. With such promising results and plans set up by Arivalagan it is certain that more success is in place at both international and world level meets for the years to come.

Sring 3

Anonymous said...

From String 3

Rightfully and wisely MSN should consider using this large budget allocation directed for the development of the current athletes who are working their guts out for the nation. Taxpayer’s money should be well spent on the current promising athlete such as providing more budget allocation to participate in more international competition such as in Europe and Japan and to expand their exposure in more international arena. Overseas centralised training for qualified individuals should also be made for better opportunities to excel in the international competition which has been proven successful in the case of Nicol Ann David.
It is surprising to see how MSN which has imposed large financial budget cuts to the training regime and international competition participation of our national athletes but has an allocation for hiring international coach just for the sake of a better chance as highlighted by MAKAF. Local coach such as Arivalagan should be promoted for the development of the sports in the country, not demoted as being intended by MAKAF.
Promising and successful martial arts sports such as karate, brings pride to the country’s success with local coach and the athletes and to the nation as a whole. What pride is there for Malaysia if such noble intention is not uplifted?
The Prime Minister mooted an aspiration of the spirit of 1Malaysia which is fundamental in spurring the national development goals. The 1Malaysia philosophy whereby "People First, Performance Now" serves as the guideline for the government in attaining the national goals. But despite the excellent performance, people with such high calibre as Arivalagan not being appreciated and scrutinized, Malaysia would certainly have lost its 1Malaysia direction. It is hoped that MSN would reinstate Arivalagan as the head coach of our National Karate Team and continue to support Malaysian sports excellence.
tongue-slip.com

Anonymous said...

Got reporter in NST coaching Karate or not?!

Ah..if got then sure Karate go Taekwondo way..hehe what to do!!