Thursday, December 31, 2009
Where's the new Lee Chong Wei?
The ongoing National Junior Inter-State Badminton championship is the best place to uncover the new Lee Chong Wei. Is there any?
INTER STATE BADMINTON
PENANG POWER PAST PERAK TO SET FINAL DATE AGAINST SELANGOR
KUALA LUMPUR (30 Dec 2009):
Pulau Pinang powered past Perak 6-2 to set up a final date against defending champions Selangor who survived Melaka 6-5 in the semi-finals of the 100PLUS National Junior Inter-State Badminton Championships here at the Juara Stadium today.
Penang’s Chinese head coach Deng Lei could not be more than pleased with the performance of his chargers although he was a little taken aback by the results.
“It was a surprise really as I though that the score would be a lot closer than what it is today,” said Deng Lei.
“For tomorrow, I’m not putting any pressure on the players. They just have to play to expectation. It will be 50-50 (against the defending champions).”
The afternoon could not have started on a more positive note for Penang when both their boys’ and girls’ singles took the first point off Goh Siap Chin and Eng Suk Cheng in straight sets.
And while their second boys’ single player Teh Sheen Yale was stretched the full distance before succumbing to Perak’s Chan Ren Chong 17-21-21-19, 13-21, the islanders soon recovered their ground to take a 4-1 lead by winning the second girls’ singles and also the third boys singles.
Perak then attempted to get back into contention by taking the third girls’ singles through Lee Ying Ying but that was all they could muster as Penang then turned the tide to win the game through the boys’ and girls’ doubles for the final scoreline.
“There were some things which we could improve on obviously but at such a late stage, all that we could hope is that the players recover in time for the final tomorrow morning,” added Deng Lei.
In the meantime, Selangor had to survive a scare by Melaka before they were able to book their second final in two years with the slimmest of 6-5 scoreline.
Misbun Ramadan set the pace by winning the first boys’ singles in three sets and which was followed up by Yang Li Lian taking the girls’ singles.
But Melaka fought back to tie the score 2-2 by taking the second boys’ and girls’ singles through Tai An Khang and Lee Meng Yean.
R. Sathiestharan and A. K. Bhirentha then restored Selangor’s advantage to 4-2 by winning the third boys’ and girls’ singles.
The first boys’ and girls’ doubles were all square between the two sides before Melaka then surged ahead to take the next two games through their second pair.
With the score tied 5-5, it was all down to the mixed doubles pair of Muhd Syawal Ismail-Yap Harn Xin and they were fully tested to the rubber sets before they could win 17-21, 21-18 and 21-15.
“There were some concerns as Yap had just played earlier (winning the girls’ doubles with partner Yap Sin Fea). And we were under pressure due to the nature of the game which we must win,” added Syawal.
“We were a little rattled in the first set. But we found the rhythm to get going in the second set and from then on, there was no looking back.”
The final between Pulau Pinang and Selangor will be played tomorrow at 9am at the same venue.
Melaka bt Selangor 6-5; Pulau Pinang bt Perak 6-2
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Houllier for KL
Kena ukur baju di badan sendiri
KUALA LUMPUR - Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek bersedia menimbang untuk menyenaraikan bola sepak di bawah program Road To London 2012 berikutan kejayaan skuad bawah 23 tahun negara meraih pingat emas dalam Sukan SEA Laos, baru-baru ini.
Katanya, selain cuba membantu menerusi pembiayaan Tabung Pembangunan Bola Sepak Negara, kementerian melihat terdapat ruang untuk memajukan prestasi sukan itu di peringkat lebih tinggi dengan menyenaraikannya bersama memanah, terjun, berbasikal dan badminton dalam program
"Kita akan cuba menjadikan bola sepak sebagai salah satu
agenda dengan membantu mereka sekiranya menyertai apa-apa kejohanan yang
bersifat kelayakan (ke Olimpik)," katanya selepas mempengerusikan mesyuarat
penyelarasan Program Pembangunan Belia dan Sukan di Hotel Palace of Golden
Horses, Seri Kembangan, semalam.
Tahun depan yang dianggap paling sibuk dalam kalendar sukan bakal menyaksikan sebahagian besar pemain skuad juara Sukan SEA XXV itu, dipertaruhkan semula ke gelanggang lebih besar, Sukan Asia Ke-16 dari 12 hingga 27 November manakala Kelayakan Olimpik bagi bola sepak dijangka
berlangsung, dua tahun lagi.
Road To London 2010 merupakan program
persediaan jangka panjang dengan peruntukan awal RM16 juta disediakan bagi atlet
yang telah disenarai pendek daripada keempat-empat sukan berkenaan untuk
menghadapi Sukan Olimpik 2012 itu dengan sasaran meraih pingat emas pertama
Skuad bola sepak negara hanya pernah layak ke Sukan Olimpik
Munich 1972 dan Moscow 1980 manakala pusingan kelayakan dua tahun lalu,
menyaksikan anak buah B. Sathianathan terkandas pada peringkat kumpulan lagi
yang dianggotai Jepun, Syria dan Hong Kong.
Terdahulu dalam ucapan
sempena mesyuarat yang dipengerusikan itu, Ahmad Shabery berkata, kementerian
turut menaruh harapan tinggi menjelang Olimpik 2012 untuk menyaksikan skuad
badminton negara menjulang kedua-dua Piala Thomas dan Uber pada tahun tersebut.
Merlimau oh Merlimau
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Azahar dan kolumnya
Rupa-rupanya loose cannon, selain Allahyarham Johari Shawal dan Saidon Jaafar, jadi bahan cerita Azahar Md Taib dalam kolumnya di Harian Metro hampir dua minggu lalu ketika dia membuat liputan di Sukan SEA Laos. Johari meninggal dunia hampir setahun lalu. Gelak tawa dan gurau sendanya masih segar dalam ingatan. Arwah Saidon pula serius orangnya. Aku mengiringi jenazahnya ke tanah perkuburan tidak lama dahulu. Al-Fatihah buat kedua-duanya.
"Kita saksikan sejarah lagi," kata rakan setugas, Ahmad Khawari Isa sebaik pasukan badminton wanita negara menamatkan kemarau pingat emas Sukan Sea selepas 34 tahun gagal menggapainya dan akhirnya semalam berjaya.
Lucu juga dan sedikit simpati melihatkan rakan saya itu yang jalannya agak perlahan, terhincut-hincut sambil menggalas beg berat berisi komputer riba. Buku lali kakinya bengkak. Terseliuh katanya dan bukan gaut. Beliau beruntung kerana menjadi saksi kepada beberapa detik sejarah yang direkodkan kontinjen Malaysia sepanjang temasya Sukan Sea Laos berlangsung di kota Vientiane ini.
Bukan senang sejarah itu dicipta. Detik pertama, skuad bola sepak lelaki membelasah Timor Leste 11-0 dan sehari selepas itu skuad wanita pula dibelasah 14-0 oleh Thailand, kurang enam gol untuk setiap pemain daripada 20 senarai yang didaftarkan membawa pulang ke tanah air. Semua itu rekod kemenangan dan kekalahan terbesar pernah dicatatkan.
Sebenarnya bukan rekod yang mahu saya sampaikan dalam kolum ini, tetapi lebih kepada ragam rakan-rakan yang pernah bertugas bersama sepanjang pengalaman membuat liputan sukan kebanggaan negara-negara Asean ini. Ada yang pernah menjadi teman sebilik, tidak kurang juga bertemu di Pusat Media Utama (MPC), venue-venue pertandingan dan di penghujung hari ketika tuba waktu makan malam. Barangkali bila usia semakin meningkat dan melihat begitu ramai wajah-wajah wartawan muda memakai tag Sukan Sea, kita akan terkenang rakan-rakan yang sudah tiada lagi bersama. Mengimbau masa suka, duka. Susah senang di negara orang, rakan inilah yang kita harapkan. Entah makan, entahkan tidak, silap hari dihambat orang.
Masih segar kelucuan serta gurauan Allahyarham Saidon dan Allahyarham Johari atau kami panggil Joe dari Utusan Malaysia ketika berlangsung Sukan Sea Jakarta 1997. Seperti kebiasaan, selepas selesai tugasan mengejar dateline, kami akan berkumpul di sebuah restoran berhadapan Stadium Istora Senayan melepaskan lelah sambil membasahkan tekak. Tajuk perbualan dari soal berita, ragam bos di KL hinggalah kisah nona-nona manis yang sering membuat mata yang memandang menjadi juling. Begitulah rutin seharian kami. Tetapi yang selalu terkena untuk menjelaskan bayaran adalah Arwah Joe. Kadang-kadang memang disengajakan kerana kami dapat tahu elaun luar negara bagi wartawan Utusan adalah paling tinggi berbanding media lain. "Kalau hari-hari macam ni, tauke balak pun boleh lingkup". Begitu bersahaja sahutnya ketika menuju ke kaunter bayaran.
Namun Arwah Joe tidak pernah merungut.Wajahnya tidak pernah memberi reaksi kurang senang. Selamba. Sebaliknya keesokan hari, beliau akan cari jalan untuk mengenakan kami semula. Manakala Arwah Saidon, Jakarta saya rasa adalah Sukan Sea pertamanya. Entah siapa yang memberi nasihat, beliau membawa satu beg besar berisi kemeja, seluar 'tailor' dan sepatu kulit , kira-kira pakaian pejabatlah. Berderai perut kami menahan ketawa bila arwah terpacak ditengah-tengah padang sedang bercakap dengan pelari pecut, G Shanti. Jelas beliau kurang selesa dan kerap mengesat peluh. Bila melihat kami, arwah agak terkejut. Ke atas, ke bawah bola matanya. "Eh boleh ke pakai t-shirt dan jeans?" tanyanya meragukan. Akhirnya sedarlah arwah terkena 'mainan rakan pejabat". Untuk sepanjang temasya, arwah tetap dengan pakaian formalnya itu sehinggalah tamat. Saya masih terasa kehilangan mereka berdua, semoga roh kalian sentiasa dicucuri rahmat dan ditempatkan di kalangan hambanya yang beriman.
Kata orang, bertugas di negara orang dalam tempoh yang agak lama, akan ada sahaja pahit manisnya. Teman sebilik hanya akan berjumpa pada malam hari, awal pagi sudah hilang. Ada kalanya yang kedengaran hanya dengkuran sahaja. Ada juga rakan mudah ambil hati dan merajuk. Tidak kurang juga yang mengigau, merapu dan berjalan tengah malam.
Saya punya pengalaman paling manis dengan Rizal Hashim, bekas wartawan Malay Mail dan hari ini penulis blog terkenal, Loose Cannon. Boleh kata, kami paling kerap bersama dalam banyak tugasan Sukan Sea, selain Sukan Komanwel Manchester, Sukan Olimpik Athens, bola sepak kelayakan Piala Dunia, PIala Asia, Piala Tiger dan Olahraga Trek & Padang Asia (ATF).
Ada ketikanya kami terpaksa menyambut bulan puasa dan hari raya di negara orang. Jadi saya faham benar perangai beliau. Apa yang beliau suka dan tidak. Dalam tenang dan juga ribut yang datang. Memang Rizal sensitif orangnya dan kadang-kadang kami berlanggar dan bercanggah pendapat. Beberapa harilah kami tidak bertegur. Nak kejutkan solat Subuh, beliau hanya tolak kaki saya dengan hujung jari kakinya. Memang kelakar. Pun begitu, Rizalnya orang tidak pernah simpan dalam hati. Kalau merajuk, sekejap aje hilangnya. Malah beliau satu-satunya orang paling saya percayai. Amanah dan suka berterus terang. Keikhalasannya tidak pernah saya ragui. Terlau banyak kenangan dengan rakan lain mahu saya ceritakan, namun mereka inilah yang menceriakan hari-hari saya sambil mendewasakan saya sebagai seorang wartawan.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Long Rahim and the 1957 squad
It was always a joyous occasion each time loose cannon was dispatched to cover games across the Causeway either for a Malaysia Cup tie or an international match in the mid-90s. Loose cannon travelled by bus, train and air for the opportunity not only to work but also catch up with relatives.
When Singapore beat Selangor in the first leg of 1994 Malaysia Cup semi-final before a packed stadium in Kallang, a busload of loose cannon's relatives made plans to travel to Shah Alam for the final.
Missing from the rombongan, however, was Long Rahim. His eyesight had deteriorated by then.
Long Rahim used to regal loose cannon with his footballing exploits.
"Riz, Long nak bilang, Long dulu pernah main sama Arthur Koh dalam Merdeka Tournament."
But belonging to the generation that grew up reading about Samad Allapitchay, Quah Kim Song, Dollah Kassim and Fandi Ahmad, Long Rahim's generation was way below loose cannon's radar.
Long Rahim passed away in 2000, much to loose cannon's regret for not having grabbed the chance to delve into the past.
It was only in 2001, while busy researching ahead of the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, that loose cannon discovered a souvenir programme of the 1981 Merdeka Tournament. The commemorative programme had pen-sketches of all the teams since 1957 and imagine to loose cannon's pleasant surprise, Long Rahim's picture was there. He was a member of Singapore's squad that competed in the inaugural tournament, all those years ago.
Al-Fatihah buat Long Rahim. May he rest in peace in the eternal gardens of paradise.
Friday, December 25, 2009
The Italian job
Kerusi VIP, the VIP chair
Cover to cover
Kena tukar format konvensyen
Thursday, December 24, 2009
They moved in herds and were unabashed in their support for their fellow Japanese as loose cannon observed, wide-eyed in amazement. "No way can this take place in Malaysia and among Malaysians," the pessimist in loose cannon said.
But of course there are exceptions to the rule. Take Shamim Imran for example. This chap took the trouble to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Laos via train to witness the historic moment as Malaysia ended the 20-year wait for the gold medal in football, the gold that really matters in SEA Games, whereas loose cannon was in the comforts of the IBC at Wisma Angkasapuri. Pictures courtesy of Shamim's facebook.
Excerpts from Part 1 of his LONG TREK TO VIENTIANE
Campeone! Campeone! Ole, ole, ole...
Campeone! Campeone! Ole, ole, ole...
The cheers that disturbed the gloomy mood of the Vietnamese fans outside the Main Stadium in Laos (I can't remember the name..) when Khairi, Tom and myself, sang like crazy idiots following the historic reclamation of the gold medal that mattered for most Malaysians (no disrespect to other disciplines that rewarded the country too). We are champions again in SEA Games football..the first time in 20 years, our football's greatest achievement since Trevor Hartley's boys bagged the top place in KL 89' (beating the old enemy Singapore), when the three of us were in Form 1 at BBBS..
For myself and Tom, definitely this was the pinnacle of a crazy journey that began 3 days earlier, unplanned, Amazing Race styled, from KL..For Khairi, I'm sure it was a highlight, but probably the Lao Girl shared plaudits too..hahahaahahah..
When Malaysia hammered Timor Leste in the group stage, I said to Tom, "kalau Malaysia masuk semi, amacam kalau kita pi Laos", and this man, in an instant (please note, he's been to the Olympics before), said "okay". Well we didn't think too seriously of it, especially after losing 3-1 to Vietnam, but the narrow win over Thailand in the do or die battle guaranteed our place there and the deal was back on!
Shamim and friends, loose cannon tabik lu orang la!The menu was typically recognisable...I had a masala tosai, but I can't remember what did Tom and Khairi have...I think Tom had beriani though..the taste buds were certainly turned on, as everything looked so sedap..haaaha..I also ordered a Banana shake..memang sedap nak mampus...prices were fair...ohhh I forgot to mention, due to the lack of Bahts, after wasting 80000kip on lunch, we changed another 1000Bahts immediately after makan...we got about 250,000kip for that...boleh lah...kip is like our ringgit at one time, nobody wanted it outside country borders, it's the same with Kip..so no point in changing too much of it, since Baht is still accepted in Laos...back to dinner, Tom made friends with 3 older Kedahans (who were dining next to us) and had been in Vientiane for the past three days, but they failed to gain tickets to watch the match..they said it wasn't sold at venues, and had no idea where to find..they said they even tried to ask from Mr.Fahmi, but Fahmi couldn't help..finally it hit Tom that this were the 3 blokes who asked Fahmi's help, as Fahmi described in the stadium earlier today...small world man!! But it's not exactly difficult to find a Malaysian in Laos..food halal is the common denominator for Muslims..
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Big banner by Harimaumalaya.com
A gigantic banner with Mokhtar Dahari's image on it is in the pipeline. Harimaumalaya.com, a group of ultras who support the national team no matter what, has initiated a move to have this banner in time for Malaysia's friendly game against Syria on Jan 2. Only thing, they have to remove the word for. It is clear that they have taken a dig at those fans who keep tabs on the EPL but pour scorn on their fellow Malaysians.
Those who wish to contribute can contact Dinie Asyraf bin Salehan at 017-602 5032 and the account number is 05060126928521 CIMB BANK.
The future of sports
Loose cannon believes our athletes have it good. They have the support of the government and adequate incentive schemes to push them to greater heights.
Our biggest drawback, however, is the officials who have vested interests and are not sincere in developing the athletes and their respective sports.
Also loose cannon does not agree if we were to increase the RM5,000 reward for a gold in the SEA Games. Considering the fact the athletes are fully funded, we have to impress upon them the need to aim higher.
As for the Chinese and British experts presently in Kuala Lumpur to present their views at the National Sports Convention, loose cannon has this to say:
"Can we as parents or siblings of the athletes accept it if our athletes are subjected to a regimented lifestyle from young as practised by China?
"Can we, like the athletes in Britain, accept it if the training is fully funded by the government without any additional incentives (like the National Sports Incentives Scheme or Skim Hadiah Kemenangan (Shakam) by the National Sports Council (NSC)?"
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Youth and Sports is expected to review the allocation for National Sports Associations (NSAs) that failed to deliver the goods at the Laos SEA games that ended last week.
Its Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the participation of national athletes in Laos had largely helped gauge the performance of the respective NSAs involved.
"There were specific events that we should not have lost, especially against opponents from countries that are new to the sport," he told reporters at the National Sports Convention held at the Putra World Trade Centre here Tuesday.
Ahmad Shabery said the failure of some NSAs had forced the ministry to conduct a study to find out whether the actual problems faced by such associations was due to training, development programmes or the association itself.
"One important aspect to look at before providing financial assistance is to assess how the association is managed," he said.
The Malaysian contingent which participated in 21 of the 25 sports hosted by Laos, won 40 gold, 40 silver and 59 bronze medals but a number of sports that were expected to contribute gold medals, failed to achieve the objective.
Among sports seen as a failure in Laos was sepak takraw which returned with just a silver and bronze and lost to minnows, Laos, in the process.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery who opened the convention said the National Sports Convention was a new approach enhance the status of sports in the country.
"Resolutions adopted at the convention last year were an eye-opener to outline the road map for Malaysian sports and implement the necessary programmes to achieve success at a higher level.
"The resolutions were divided into six committees so as to carry out programmes like identifying the potential sports that can contribute medals in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games," he said.
Ahmad Shabery said the convention this year was very important as two experts, one from China and another from Great Britain would present a paper each on the Olympic Games.
"We will find the best resolution by witnessing China's superb achievement in the Beijing Olympics last year before focusing our attention on the 2012 London Olympics," he said.
He said all the input from the two experts would be used to enhance the outlook of Malaysian sports and their ideas used to implement a more structured sports programme.
The two-day convention attended by about 200 participants, would discuss the resolutions adopted during last year's convention.
Proposal To Set Up A Sports University Rejected
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 22 (Bernama) -- The Higher Education Ministry has turned down a proposal to set up a Sports University, since eight Higher Education Institutions (IPT) had been identified as excellence centres for the development of sports.
The Ministry's sports division Principal Assistant secretary Ahmad Naim Ismail said a resolution for setting up a Sports University as proposed during the Sports Convention held last year would not be required.
"The Higher Education Ministry feels the setting up of a Sports University is not relevant for the time being," said Ahmad Naim when presenting a paper at the two-day Sports Convention (2009) held at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Tuesday.
Ahmad Naim said the eight IPTs identified as excellence centres were Universiti Malaya (netball), Universiti Putra Malaysia (rugby), Universiti Teknologi Mara (football), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (cricket), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (rowing), Universiti Malaysia Sabah (taekwondo), Universiti Utara Malaysia (golf) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (swimming).
Another resolution turned down was the setting up of a salary scheme for athletes since it would have a big financial implication said National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong.
Zolkples said however, a number of athletes had been offered employment with the NSC on a contract basis, and athletes given flexibility to train full time.
"Athletes who won medals in the Olympics also stand to benefit from a permanent incentive scheme that has been introduced. Currently there are six athletes who receive incentives under the scheme," said Zolkples who presented a paper on high performance sports.
Apart from the permanent incentive scheme for the Olympics, athletes are also rewarded through incentives schemes for Olympic medal winners, medal winners at regional games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, world class events for seniors and juniors, as well as rewards for coaches, said Zolkples.
He added that the NSC had also set eight and 10 gold medal targets for next year's Asian Games in Guangzhou, China and the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Education Ministry would also set up two sports schools, one each in Pahang and Sabah, under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, at a cost of RM80 to RM90 million, said the ministry's Principal Assistant Director for Sports, Art and co-curriculum Dr Zubir Hassan.
What next for Raja and Malaysia?
Let loose cannon congratulate K. Rajagobal and his boys on winning the SEA Games gold medal a week ago.
Enough, though, of jumping for joy, basking in glory, entertaining media interviews and bragging about it. As loose cannon said on national TV, SEA Games is the lowest regional platform Malaysia can aspire to conquer.
The pre-Asian Cup, the Asian Games and the AFF Cup are next on the list. Do we have a team decent enough to register decent results?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
My humble apologies
47301 Petaling Jaya.
c/o Malaysian secretariat,
Laos SEA Games.
Dec 16, 2009
RE: Letter of apology
Warm greetings from Kuala Lumpur, coach. I hope this letter reaches you in the finest of health.
In the wake of your team's successful march to the SEA Games final, I think this letter of apology is timely and warranted.
Allow me to congratulate you for a job well done. To bounce back after the defeat to Vietnam and then beat perennial favourites Thailand followed by the emphatic 3-1 win over the host team Laos en route to the final tomorrow, is indeed a credible achievement.
As you are fully aware, I'm one of your biggest detractors. I have voiced my concerns and questioned some of your ideas and decisions on a number of occasions, just as I had done the same to your predecessors.
To be honest, coach, I am tired of seeing the glass half full. Really. Throughout my career as a journalist specialising in football, I was always trying to provide a positive spin or angle despite the results on the pitch, much to the chagrin of my bosses who accused me of waffling.
Results on the pitch certainly did not help. Even if you claim you have helped produce two generations of future flagbearers of the country ever since you took over from Jorvan Vieira in 2004, I kept on insisting there was no tangible results to speak of.
Your Harimau Muda team's emergence too did not capture my imagination. I was under no illusions that these bunch of players could emulate their better known predecessors.
The facts too do not favour you, coach. Since Trevor Hartley guided the class of 1989 to the gold at Merdeka Stadium, a number of coaches - local and foreign - failed miserably.
In 1991, Rahim Abdullah's team were best remembered for suffering a 1-0 defeat to the Philippines.
Two years later, Ken Worden's side flattered to deceive. Shortly after leading Malaysia to the Chiangmai edition in 1995, Claude Le Roy walked out of FAM.
In 1997, Wan Jamak Wan Hassan could not bear the embarrassment of losing 1-0 to Laos, hence his decision to quit.
In 1999, a 6-0 whitewash by the Indonesians left a black mark in Abdul Rahman Ibrahim's coaching career.
Kamarulzaman Hassan's freak own goal in the 2001 final was hard to forget. It left Allan Harris red-faced. The bronze medal in 2003 in Hanoi did little to compensate for the 2001 heartbreak.
Norizan Bakar's class of 2005 at least defended the bronze medal, whereas B. Sathianathan and his trusted youngsters failed to go beyond the group stages.
This has led to my being a cynic, a pessimist, whenever I was asked to comment on our prospects.
But your team's march to the final in Vientiane has become the talk of the town. Friends and foes who knew of my sentiments were quick to remind how wrong I was.
The ultras at harimaumalaya.com are behind you 100 percent. A huge number of my friends on facebook are happy to throw their support, so much so a friend, Rizal Rosli, initiated this group
Remember coach, you are on the verge of history. While most of us remember the 1989 team as being the last bunch of Malaysian footballers to climb the highest podium in the biennial Games, the Jakarta edition in 1979 was the last time Malaysia won the gold outside our own backyard, thanks to the solitary goal from Mokhtar Dahari in the final.
Winning the final tomorrow is therefore not impossible.
I would like to wish you the best of luck. And I am prepared to eat humble pie and swallow my pride.
Please send my warmest regards to the players. May the force of 1Malaysia be with you.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
High definition is B.Yond me...
On July 30, 1996, Berita Harian carried a filler on Page 1. The story was written by loose cannon!
Cakera parabola yang membolehkan orang ramai menerima siaran 20 saluran televisyen dan lapan saluran radio digital menerusi Measat Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd (Measat Broadcast), berharga tidak melebihi RM2,000.
Bayaran langganan untuk siaran itu, yang dijangka dilancarkan Oktober ini, tidak melebihi RM100 sebulan, manakala pemasangan cakera parabola berukur lilit 60 sentimeter itu akan dikendalikan oleh pengedar tunggal, Phillips Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Phillips).
Sumber-sumber berkata, cakera parabola itu boleh digunakan untuk set televisyen lama atau baru. Pengguna dikehendaki menghubungi pengedar bagi kerja pemasangan sebelum meminta Measat memulakan siaran.
Having been a loyal subscriber since its launch, loose cannon remembers one of the first major sporting events to be beamed live was the 1996 Asian Cup in UAE on StarSports.
Last Friday, Astro set another benchmark.
KUALA LUMPUR, 11 December 2009 – ASTRO today launched ASTRO B.yond, a multi-phased innovative service starting with the first ever High Definition (HD) broadcast, setting yet another new benchmark in Malaysia’s broadcast industry.
“At 48 per cent penetration of Malaysian TV homes, we are part of 2.875 million homes. It is a privilege we do not take for granted. At ASTRO, we are committed to innovation in content, technology and customer experience. We would also like to ensure our customers get the maximum value out of every ringgit they spend with us,” said Dato’ Rohana Rozhan, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRO.
Incorporating best in class technologies, the newly launched ASTRO B.yond offers customers more innovative services which will be introduced in phases. Starting with the first ever High-Definition (HD) broadcast in Malaysia, ASTRO B.yond will change TV viewing experience with richer colours, picture-perfect clarity and cinematic surround sound. Along with this, a new and improved Electronic Programming Guide (EPG) designed for better viewer interface will be introduced.
As the technology infrastructure and hardware around ASTRO B.yond is future-ready, more innovations will follow. In 2010, ASTRO aims to be the first in the world to offer video recording through an external hard drive. With this service, customers can record their favourite programmes and personalize their TV viewing schedules. ASTRO B.yond will also introduce Digital Video Recording (DVR), Video on Demand (VOD) and IPTV connectivity in phases over the next 24 months.
“ASTRO B.yond is our promise to be at the forefront of innovation and to delight our customers with services that go beyond their expectation. Only by doing this will ASTRO stay as their number 1 choice in entertainment. It is our promise to our loyal customers that the best is yet to come!”
As ASTRO B.yond is a major shift in technology, it calls for total revamp in capabilities, hardware and installation.
In addition to our delivery infrastructure, to experience ASTRO B.yond, customers who wish to experience ASTRO B.yond and access to the HD services have a choice to sign up at an additional service fee of RM20 per month and a commitment of 12 months.
As part of the new B.yond service, customers will get the new B.yond box, new smart card, new outdoor unit dish, HD Multimedia Interface (HDMI) cable and new remote control. New set-up installation fee will be waived in exchange for the existing box.
On HD content, ASTRO will show three key genres that are recognized as HD content drivers globally - sports, movies and documentaries. ASTRO will start with four HD channels - ASTRO Supersport HD, HBO HD, National Geographic Channel HD and HISTORY HD on 18 December 2009, followed by ESPN HD in January 2010. Sports fans will also be thrilled to know that they can soon watch FIFA World Cup 2010 in HD. ASTRO plans to roll out more HD channels, including local content, in 2010. The access to enjoy the HD channels corresponds to the customer’s current package subscription.
This means those who opt for the B.Yond package can watch Lionel Messi's scoring in South Africa or Jay Menon all on HD...high definition, eh, not Haresh Deol...
Conversing with an Olympic champ
She sounded humble, a bit like her compatriot Maria Kirilenko, and was excited with the prospect of celebrating Christmas with her parents in Malaysia.
"I've read a lot about Malaysia on the Internet. I believe it's a nice place."
The conversation lasted 12 minutes. Can't wait to meet her in person.
Terima kasih Mus dan Kosmo!
"Ala, kita tak banyak cover SEA Games, yang banyak Tony Mariadass, bacalah blog dia, lebih 11 kali."
"Takpelah, you dah ada sini...sikit aje, saya nak tulis pasal pengalaman menarik buat liputan Sukan SEA...kan saudara dah complete Grand Slam - Sukan SEA, Sukan Asia, Sukan Komanwel dan Sukan Olimpik," balas Mus.
OKlah...maka aku pun serba sedikit menceritakan pengalaman bergaduh dengan Datuk Khalid Yunus, bagaimana Fariq Rahman, sahabatku yang sama-sama membuat liputan di Jakarta pada 1997 digelar Dodi Al Fayed oleh gadis-gadis Indonesia, bagaimana Bernhard Schumm dan pasukan Indonesia terselamat daripada menaiki pesawat yang kemudian terhempas (Malay Mail paparkan di muka depan, hasil tulisan Tony Mariadass) serta kepuasan menyaksikan kemenangan Nazmizan Muhamad dalam perlumbaan 100m dan 200m di edisi di Hanoi 2003.
Aku tidak menyebut bagaimana aku mengejar Karl Weigang untuk mendapatkan komennya selepas Vietnam menewaskan anak buah Claude Le Roy di Chiang Mai 1995, bagaimana kumpulan wartawan Malaysia mengupah pemandu tuk tuk Watanasin atau Hussin untuk membekalkan makanan halal sepanjang temasya dan bagaimana giliran aku mengherdik Ghaz Ramli dan Haresh Deol ketika mereka "bercuti" di Korat 2007.
Aku mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Mustapa, pemenang Kewartawanan Sukan kategori Bahasa Malaysia pada 2005 dan bakal menerima blackberry atas catatan blognya untuk pertandingan Blog 4FT. Mus juga bakal berhijrah ke Terengganu Januari ini, jadi aku adalah kawan untuk buat tempahan khas di mana-mana resort percutian di Pulau Redang! Tahniah juga kepada penolong pengarang sukan Kosmo!, Azizul Fahmi Ahmad Zabidi.
Berikut kenyataan rajanongchik.com
The winners in the media category are Cheong Peck Beng (My Bangsar), Azizul Fahmi Ahmad Zabidi (Cer ita Kemasyhuran Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad), Mustapa Lakawa (Labuan Duniaku, Syurgaku, W i l aya h k u ), Muzaffar Mustapa (The Actors Studio At Rooftop Lot 10) and Mohd Abdul Radzi Ab Rahman (I Love You KL).
The monthly prizes for each winner in the public and media categories are a Celcom Blackberry 8250 Gemini, two Air Asia tickets to domestic destinations, vouchers worth RM150 from Borders Bookstore and a Celcom Broadband USB stick with one month free usage.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Raja's Tomyam recipe
Tomorrow at 4.0pm, Malaysia have no choice but to beat Thailand if we were to advance to the semis. Now, if the SEA Games was held in KL or Singapore, Malaysia stand an even chance. But as we are fully aware, Laos does not provide for a conducive game. Let's see how the referee performs tomorrow. Log on to http://laofootball.blogspot.com.
Raja Bola's Big Freeze
It was in the late 70s that loose cannon first saw Abdul Ghani Minhat in person. His son, Nik Abdul Halim, was loose cannon's schoolmate at Bukit Nanas. Even during primary school days, loose cannon knew Ghani by reputation, having been fed with a diet of sports articles from New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Utusan Melayu's Dunia Sukan.
Last week EPLx Kosmo! carried an interview with the Raja Bola. Interestingly he related his experience in England and Germany in 1962 which was dubbed the Big Freeze by the Malayan media then! Ghani spent four months in England and Germany, alongside his fellow striker, Robert Choe. Problem was the stint was held throughout the entire winter season!
Among those whom the two met were Germany's World Cup winning coach Sepp Herberger, Uwe Seeler and Helmut Schoen as well as Ron Greenwood at West Ham and Bill Nicholson and Jimmy Greaves at Spurs. Training was mostly done indoors.
Ghani told loose cannon he was originally recommended to be sent for an attachment to Brazil upon Choo Seng Quee's suggestion but the FA of Malaya, made up of mostly Anglophiles, preferred England.
"Utusan Melayu even ran a fund-raising campaign to provide us with pocket money throughout our stint in Europe," said Ghani.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Not so EASY for England
Mark loose cannon's words, England would not have it EASY in the 2010 World Cup.
The English tabloids, known for their superiority complex, have predicted a smooth passage for Fab Capello's men in South Africa next year.
E - England
A - Algeria
S - Slovenia
Y - the Yankees
Loose cannon would dismiss Spain and England's chances.
In the rough and tumble of the dark continent, teams that combine physical strength with tons of flair are highly likely to remain in contention for the semi-final slots.
"It's the moving around that may cause a lot of inconvenience and security concerns. Teams that are not able to adjust to the surroundings may struggle," said one official.
Loose cannon would pick a South American team to lift the Cup.
No Games on TV
Truth be told, loose cannon does not miss the frenzied atmosphere of covering the biennial SEA Games. He would rather be at home and watch the action from the comfort of his home. Unfortunately for the 2009 edition in Laos, Malaysians are missing out on live action since no TV stations had the money to burn to purchase the broadcasting rights.
Loose cannon is not too sure whether our neighbours in Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore are getting live feed. When the Lao organising committee put the broadcasting and distribution rights on sale with the price set according to the economic standing of each nation, neither Media Prima, Astro nor RTM felt the fees were justifiable. So the Malaysian football team's 11-goal feast over Timor Leste was not shown live. Neither was the 3-1 defeat to Vietnam earlier today.
Bibikku lari, Episod 2
Aku dah penat memikirkan kes pembantu rumah ni! Pagi aku dikejutkan dengan pemergian Rina Meliana. Langsir yang biasanya disingkap sesudah Subuh masih melitupi tingkap. Kulihat lampu dapur tidak ditutup. Aku panggil namanya tidak bersahut. Aku terpa biliknya dan kulihat semua barangannya tiada.
Sesungguhnya pemergian Rina mengejutkan sistem badan aku. Aku dan Intan tidak ada masalah dengan dia. Kerjanya bagus, tidak banyak karenah dan nampak macam lurus bendul. Anak-anakku pun amat selesa dan manja dengan dia. Usianya yang muda sebaya anak saudara aku Aishah dan adik ipar aku Syahida.
Disebabkan kesibukan tugas, anakku yang sulung dan kedua dihantar menikmati percutian bawah jagaan Tokwan dan Tok depa. Jadi tugas Rina jauh lebih ringan.
Kebetulan Jumaat lalu Rina meminta kebenaran membeli telefon bimbit. Aku cakap aku fikirkan kemudian. Aku juga berkata kami mahu dia menghormati kontrak dua tahunnya dengan kami, biarpun kami sedar dia berdepan masalah peribadi di kampungnya Lombok Timur.
Bertanya-tanyakan jiran, kami dapat tahu dia mempunyai telefon bimbit yang disorokkan daripada kami. Dia pernah meminta jiran sebelah rumah membelikan top-up.
Kemudian mak mertuaku bercerita Rina pernah menyebut suaminya di Lombok Timur ingin berkahwin lagi! Ah, kami mengagak Rina akan pulang terus ke kampung kerana bimbang akan keadaan anak perempuannya!
Penat aku mengambilnya di KLIA tujuh bulan lepas macam belum hilang. Sebenarnya penat aku ke Stulang Laut untuk menjemput Salami, pembantu rumah kami yang pertama (aku memutuskan hanya mengambil seorang PR selepas tiga anak) pada April 2008 pun belum hilang.
Nampak gayanya aku harus kembali bergelumang dengan lampin pakai buang, melipat dan menggosok baju serta membasuh botol! Bagaimana harus aku berdepan dengan tahun 2010 yang lebih sibuk?