Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz, adviser to the Sports Minister, is active in the cyberworld. Below is his comment posted on Astro Arena's Kafe Sukan's facebook wall.
For the record, Dr Ramlan was one of the few confident the football team would return with the gold medal from the 2009 Laos SEA Games. Read
"I seem to remember that not too long ago, SEA Games 2009 to be exact, when our men's football lost the opening match 1-3 to Vietnam. They had played quite poorly and if I recall correctly they were not too hot in the preceding friendly matches either. To compound matters further, the team lost the plot at the end and all hell broke loose with a red card and yellow cards flashed at the end. Total chaos. The next day, all and sundry went to town with reams of quotes on paper or the net totally villifying Coach Rajagobal and the team. Not totally unjustified, I have to say but as that was the very first match, as Malaysia's CDM at the Laos SEA Games I felt there was still so much to play for. So, I quietly took the Captain aside and had a few words in private. Then I assigned Dr Jolly Roy and Rebecca Wong, the two ISN psychologists who were with the contingent to sort the players out as a team and attend to some individuals who seemed to be at loose ends (pun intended, Muhammad Rizal Hashim :) ). The rest of the Contingent played their part, we mafe sure the football team didn't feel too badly and we strived to be supportive and I enjoyed sitting down with Coach Raja and his coaching staff at meals as often as I could, with all the rest of my job as CDM to do. The very next game agaianst Cambodia was a crucial one...the first goal took quite a while to come, with the team become more tense but that goal came and calmed everyone down, we eventually ran out 4-0 winners iirc. The rest is history.... So, what's the point of all this? As concerned as we are with what's going on, worrying, fretting and all that don't help much, if at all. Lots of support might very well turn things around. A team under siege has two main options..to stand up and be counted, or be swallowed up by the earth. This team was made in 2006 under Coach Raja and the rest of the FAM and he knows best. Of course he has responsibilities to live up to and a difficult role and job to perform. Let's wish him the best.
"Oh...and another thing. With the exception of some truly die-hard and passionate fans, dedicated officials and other well-wishers, generally support for Malaysian teams and athletes, though much welcome and appreciated is mostly of the "fair-weather friend" type. Hope this will change soon enough...it's headed in the right direction, albeit slowly. The burden of high expectations is truly heavy one. Do we share in whatever way we can or do we merely watch and whine?"