Monday, August 31, 2009

Kejor Yob Kejor dan peminat Selangor

Keluarga blogger sukan bertambah lagi dengan kehadiran dua wakil arus perdana ke dalam dunia blog. Selamat datang kepada penolong pengarang sukan Kosmo!, Azizul Fahmi Ahmad Zabidi dan Wan Fakhrul Wan Bakar yang sering aku gelar Wan Fakhrul Selangor. Klik di Kejor Yob Kejor dan Wan Fakhrul.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Merdeka Stadium, the history

"To me, the Merdeka Stadium is a dream come true. I first entertained the idea of it as long ago as 1951, when as President of the Football Association of Malaya and a humble Government servant, I saw spectators scrambling to get through the gates of a temporary enclosure for the Malaya Cup final," said Tunku Abdul Rahman Al-Haj in his foreword in the official souvenir programme in conjunction with the opening of the Merdeka Stadium.

"At every football final I never missed harping on the need for a stadium, praying and hoping that my plan would touch the hearts of the Government of the day. I went further and took up the question in the council in 1953, where it was greeted with derision."

"To sportsmen, I say, make the best use of it, and in making use of it, never forget what the Stadium stands for. The aim of the Government is to promote sports, goodwill and good fellowship among Malayans and others from without, so that the troubles which beset this world today can be smoothed out through the activities of sports and games. As I said before "The Independence of Malaya has been won on the football pitches of this country."

A collector's item

According to the then President, Municipal Council of KL, A.D. York, the first proposal for a stadium to be built was put forward by the FA of Selangor in 1949. The cost was estimated at $2.4 million and various sites were proposed by the Town Planner.

E.M. McDonald, the founding president of Federation of Malaya Olympic Council (FMOC), forerunner of Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), recalled:

"It was a sweltering day, the 2nd of May, 1956. The fact finding committee of the proposed new Merdeka Stadium had asked the Chief Minister his opinion as to the site. Nothing is too much trouble to the Tungku so there we were climbing the inside of the Chen Woo tower together stopping every now and then to recover our breath, perspiring freely. Looking down on to the Coronation Park, we noticed a large number of athletes running and practising their various sports and from where we were it was a very imposing sight.

The Tungku said to me, "Don't you think it would make an ideal spot for the Merdeka Stadium?" and in our minds we conjured up the site of the stadium being already in existence round those athletes in training.

There were many difficulties to be overcome. The Police had already planned to build further blocks of married quarters at one side of the ground; at another part of the ground there was erected the old pavilion which would have to be moved and part of the hill levelled down about twenty feet.

The Board of Control was appointed by Tunku Abdul Rahman on March 11, 1957 and met for the first time on April 3, 1957. Present were Datuk Abdul Razak Hussein (chairman), Colonel Sir Henry Hau Shik Lee (Minister of Finance), W.L.R. Carbonell (Commissioner of Police), E.M. McDonald (Chairman of the Ex-Advisory Stadium Committee), A.D. York (President of the Municipal Council, Kuala Lumpur), Ismail Abdul Latiff (State Secretary, Selangor), Lim Kee Siong (FA of Malaya rep), Kwok Kin Keng (FAM), J.N. Hughes (Malayan Rugby Union), C.L.A Stork (FM Amateur Athletic Union), Stanley Ponniah (Malayan Hockey Federation) and later replaced by K. Aryaduray and S.C.E Singam (secretary). Singam, a fearsome teacher at VI and later Klang High School, was a strong advocate of the stadium. He was also known as Bola Singam. He contested as an independent candidate of Bungsar (now Bangsar) in the then Town Hall. Secretary and later succeeded Tunku as president of FA of Selangor, Singam died of stroke in 1963. Singam is second from right. Extreme right is Aryaduray.

Aryaduray, founding secretary of MHF

The Coronation Park was developed from an old Chinese cemetry hill in the late 1930s. According to S.E. Jewkes who planned and designed the stadium, the terraces were to accomodate 21,364 persons, including 3,000 under cover. Access is provided through 50 turnstiles and the stadium can be filled in half an hour or cleared in 10 minutes. The construction of the stadium entails the movement of 200,000 tons of earth and the placing 10,000 tons of concrete and 700 tons of steel reinforcement. Designs for the stadium were commenced on 15th July, 1956 and work on the stadium itself commenced on 25th September, 1956.

The Milo ad in the souvenir programme

Click Tony Mariadass' reminiscence and personal bonding with the stadium

Merdeka, merdeka, merdeka

The former chief editor of Utusan Melayu autographs loose cannon's book

with renowned social activist

Loose cannon remembers the day when this actor had the courage to pose questions from the floor to the management while the rest of us kept quiet

The 1982 and 1986 World Cups would have been different without his usual and casual style...

I would like to think that I've contributed a little to the Merdeka spirit and its celebrations this year. My gratitude to renowned film director Anwardi Jamil and sportscaster Zainal Abidin Rawop for giving me the opportunity to broaden my horizons.

Merdeka: Kata-kata Mereka is a four-episode documentary that runs until Sept 13 over Astro Awani and produced by Anwardi's Manjafilms Sdn Bhd. Malaysian Sporting Heroes - the Story So Far kicked off on Aug 5 and runs until Sept 16.

Loose cannon with the World No 1

EPLx Aug 29

Tunku Pete idolised Ian Storey-Moore

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rest in peace, ref...

UPDATED, 7.00am Aug 28, 2009

Ref Halim in the centre of attention

Only months after the football fraternity mourned the sudden demise of Mohd Nazri Abdullah, the country has lost another prominent man-in-black, Kapten Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid.

Referee Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh broke the news to loose cannon a short while ago.

"I was informed that Kapt Halim passed away at the Kangar Hospital around 9.20pm due to complications relating to his spinal cord."

Halim who was an assistant referee at the FIFA World Cup in France'98, was 47. He leaves behind wife Wan Manirah Wan Mustafa and four children, Nur Alya Haifa, Mohd Shah Iskandar, Nurul Aisya and Hani Hilmi.

According to former referee, Jaflus Musa, Halim was not well in recent months due to back problems.

"When we had a refereeing course in Ipoh two weeks ago, I literally had to drag him everywhere. According to the doctors, the cause of death was spinal cord compression."

Halim was the assistant referee when Kim Milton Nielsen sent David Beckham off after the incident with Diego Simeone in the famous England-Argentina clash in St Etienne. Simeone later admitted he conned the referee into the decision.

To Halim's family who lost their loved one during the holy month of Ramadan, our deepest and heartfelt condolences.


A tribute to the class of 1956

In the spirit of Merdeka, let's pay tribute to the hockey team that formed the mainstay of the first ever Malayan contingent to appear in the Olympic Games, a year before the Union Jack was lowered.

Episode 6 of the Malaysian Sporting Heroes - the Story So Far over Astro Supersports 811 - is dedicated to the squads of 1956 and 1975 World Cup and was shown on Wednesday Aug 26 at 9.0pm, with repeats over the weekend.

Chef-de-mission cum coach of the hockey team

Team manager/selector

KL-born keeper and later became the country's first FIFA referee

Vice-captain in 1956 and later captain of the national team

Played hockey and football

Taiping-born skipper of the class of 1956 and acknowledged as the best centre-half in the 50s

Eldest of five siblings who were all-round sportsmen

Taiping-born policeman who played for Pahang and Selangor

Ipoh-born who was also secretary of the Perak HA while active playing

Ipoh-born police inspector

Double international and most accomplished cricket batsman

Ipoh-born who represented Perak in hockey, football and athletics

Equally adept in hockey and cricket

Seremban-born who played hockey and football for NS

KL-born but educated in Madras

Born in Perak but represented Selangor and also Adelaide University

Taiping-born who made his debut in 1950

VI-trained who represented Perak in hockey, football and cricket

Born in Kajang but educated at KGV, later to become Selangor Chief of Police

Started the van Huizen Olympic tradition, duly followed by brother Lawrence in 1964 and nephew Stephen in 1984

Tugasan pertamaku di luar negara

"Do you have a passport?" satu petang Hishamuddin Aun bertanyakan kepadaku.

"Ada Encik Sham..." jawabku, agak terkejut.

"I'm sending you to will accompany Bakti (Norbakti Alias, kini pengarang sukan Berita Harian) and cover the Thomas Cup. You'll be his sidekick."

Tugasan pada Mei 1994 itu diserahkan kepadaku tanpa disangka-sangka. Apatah lagi aku ketika itu merasakan bukan sebahagian kelompok yang disukai Hishamuddin.

Namun, benarlah mutiara kata Nasir Ahmad, "hero Hindustan akan menang jua akhirnya". Kata-kata itu terngiang-ngiang di mindaku di saat Hishamuddin mengarahkan aku memulakan "build up" menjelang Piala Thomas, sebulan sesudah dia dilantik menggantikan Zian Johari selaku pengarang sukan Berita Harian.

Pada hari-hari awal pemerintahannya, Hishamuddin melabel aku orang Zian. Bagi aku, tanpa mengira siapa bos, aku buat kerja. Orang baru dalam industri, harus rajin, tidak main politik dan buktikan keupayaan tanpa bergayut kepada orang besar.

Barangkali Hishamuddin sekadar menguji aku apabila tidak menggunakan beberapa story yang aku buat, semata-mata untuk menguji sejauh mana ketahanan mentalku.

Atas dorongan Nasir yang menasihatkan aku agar terus membuat story seperti biasa, aku cekalkan hati. Tiga tahun di bawah Zian mengajarku erti kesabaran.

Khalid Redza, Radzi Wahab (Ronny), loose cannon dan Norbakti Alias di Lapangan Terbang Subang pada Mei 1994. Di sini Khalid berjanji kepada Emak "takpa makcik, saya jaga anak makcik..."

Di Jakarta, aku lebih banyak memainkan peranan pendokong kepada Bakti. Aku buat side story Piala Thomas dan meliput Piala Uber, manakala Razali Yahya yang ketika itu wakil Berita Harian di Jakarta, menjadi ghost writer untuk kolum Icuk Sugiarto.

Mustahil aku dapat melupakan Jakarta'94. Selain ia dikenang selaku detik kemunculan Tan Kim Her-Yap Kim Hock dan persaraan Razif-Jalani Sidek, final menentang Indonesia akan tersimpan dalam lipatan sejarah peribadiku.

Malaysia tewas 3-0 dan pengadil kejohanan Roger Johansson memutuskan tidak meneruskan dua perlawanan lagi apabila penonton menyerbu gelanggang. Penonton bertindak liar membaling botol air, kayu tiang bendera serta meludah ke arah pemain negara. Pemain perseorangan ketiga, Ong Ewe Hock, turut menjadi mangsa balingan kayu bendera sebaik perlawanannya dengan Ardy Wiranata berakhir, dua jurulatih, Chen Changjie dan Yang Yang, dibaling dengan botol air galian manakala pengurus pasukan, Datuk Punch Gunalan diludah penyokong ketika keadaan tidak terkawal lagi.

Di mana aku ketika itu? Di depan mereka, terperangkap di tengah-tengah haru-biru itu sebelum mengekori pasukan ke bilik persalinan dan seterusnya bilik rehat. Mujur wajah nusantaraku menyelamatkan aku!

Aku bersama Bakti dan rakan-rakan lain, termasuk semua anggota pasukan dan jurulatih mental, Rahim Dahalan atau lebih dikenali dengan jolokan Rahim King, berkumpul di dalam bilik rehat dan menunggu lebih sejam sebelum pulang ke Hilton Jakarta.

Di saat itu penonton yang merusuh mengetuk pintu dan menghentam cermin bilik serta melemparkan kata-kata kesat ke arah pemain negara.

Itulah akibatnya apabila penganjur membenarkan 12,000 penonton memasuki stadium yang hanya boleh memuatkan 10,000 orang. Yang peliknya penonton dibenarkan membawa masuk pelbagai barangan, termasuk botol minum dan kayu tiang bendera.

Turut berada di stadium satu pasukan khas daripada Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia (ABRI) untuk mengejek pemain pasukan lawan, sekali gus membakar semangat penonton.

Keesokannya, dalam pada Bakti sibuk membuat reviu kejohanan, aku memetik akhbar Suara Pembaharuan untuk menyimpulkan rumusan kekacauan penonton yang mencemari final di Istora Senayan.

Akhbar itu menganggap semua pihak sepatutnya mengambil iktibar daripada Insiden Scheele 1967 untuk mengelakkan kejadian penonton terlalu liar sehingga menyerbu ke gelanggang.

Insiden Scheele dikenang sebagai peristiwa Indonesia kehilangan Piala Thomas berikutan keputusan pengadil, Herbert Scheele, menghentikan perlawanan akhir di antara tuan rumah dan Malaysia di gelanggang yang sama pada 1967.

IBF kemudian memberi kemenangan kepada Malaysia selepas Indonesia enggan meneruskan permainan di gelanggang berkecuali.

Dalam pada itu, aku percaya aku menjalankan tugasku dengan baik kerana sejak itu, Hishamuddin menaruh sepenuh kepercayaan kepadaku.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Consigned to history

This centrespread, unfortunately, will never see the light of day. It is a painstaking process as one tries to capture the history behind Manchester United's tour of Malaysia since 1981. Notice from top left, K. Kanagarajah as the only Malaysian to score against United before Amri Yahyah's double strike in July 2009, the Red Devils of 1995 that lifted the Glamoir Cup and Lee Sharpe escaping from Ismail Ibrahim's marking and Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli in top form, plus of course the sight of Bunyamin Umar being chased by Michael Owen (bottom left)!

Kosmo!'s EPLx

The Sultan of Pahang played on the left-wing for MCKK and Worcester College, Oxford University

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Ramadhan Kareem

To those I have greatly offended through my postings in this blog, I humbly seek your forgiveness.

May ALLAH bless all of us in this holy month.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Direct to the President

Members or non-members of Sportswriters Association of Malaysia (SAM) can give their feedback directly to the president now that Ahmad Khawari Isa has a blog. He's chairing the first exco meeting Thursday, his first as the president, after incumbent Abu Bakar Atan decided not to seek re-election last Saturday. Visit here

Chan on Chan

Former athlete Prof Chan Onn Leng. The name does not ring a bell? Prof who, you might ask? A former Asian Games silver medallist and founding member of Cobra, Prof Chan Onn Leng died in an automobile accident in 1984. Twenty-five years after his father's demise, Chan Chih Min decided to pay tribute to his father. Read Tribute to Chan Onn Leng. Thanks Chua Hong Tam for alerting me to the website.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tahniah Khawari, terima kasih Bakar

Bakar dan Khawari

Antara perwakilan SAM

Hasnira Hassan, Nasir Ahmad dan Zairee Zahir dari Berita Harian

Yu Nee Kong dan Tumpang Saptu kekal selaku exco

Wartawan sukan Ahmad Khawari Isa beberapa jam yang lalu tampil selaku presiden Persatuan Penulis-penulis Sukan Malaysia (SAM) sesudah pemegang jawatan, Abu Bakar Atan dari TV3 menarik diri daripada perebutan kerusi panas itu.

Abu Bakar membuat kejutan apabila mengumumkan penarikan dirinya dalam ucapan aluan presiden sempena mesyuarat agung luar biasa SAM di Wisma OCM, lantas memberi laluan kepada Khawari untuk menyusuri jalan yang pernah ditempuhi oleh antara lain Rahim Razali, Zainuddin Bendahara, Fauzi Omar, Shaukei Kahar dan Mustakim Aminuddin.

Dalam perebutan tiga penjuru untuk dua kerusi naib presiden, pengarang sukan Kosmo! Asan Ahmad dan wartawan sukan the Star, Eric Dudley Samuel, terpilih. Wakil RTM, Ahmad Alimi Wan Mahmood, tewas satu undi kepada Eric.

Dalam mesyuarat pemilihan yang dipengerusikan oleh Rosmanizam Abdullah yang juga penolong bendahari Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM), menang tanpa bertanding bagi jawatan masing-masing ialah Ibrahim Abu Bakar (timbalan presiden), Rahim Lajis (setiausaha) dan lima anggota exco.

Aku ingin ucapkan tahniah kepada Khawari dan terima kasih kepada Bakar atas usaha-usahanya menerajui SAM selama lima tahun.

Keputusan Bakar menarik diri mengejutkan pemerhati. Dalam ucapan penangguhan selaku presiden baru, Khawari meminta rakan-rakan dan ahli SAM agar bergabung tenaga meramaikan ahli dan sama-sama menyumbang idea untuk memastikan persatuan itu berada di kedudukan lebih kukuh.

Presiden baru dan bekas presiden - kedua-duanya sahabat yang sudahku kenali hampir dua dekad.

Aku masih ingat pada lewat 1991 apabila aku singgah di meja sukan Berita Harian selepas menghabiskan sesi latihan bersama PETSIV. Bakar sedang mengetuk story. Aku menjeling monitor dan kelihatan senarai pemain yang memenangi pingat kemenangan Piala Malaysia.

Sambil bersembang, aku menyatakannya aku berminat dengan sukan. Dia bertanya pada aku berapa kali Mokhtar Dahari memenangi Piala Malaysia, aku menjawab tujuh atau lapan kali...kali terakhir 1986, final di Stadium Merdeka yang aku tonton ditemani arwah Ayah.

Sejak itu aku semacam ada bonding dengan Bakar. Dia seorang penulis bola sepak yang gah, disegani kawan, dihormati lawan. Bakar cukup rapat dan mesra dengan bintang-bintang bola sepak Kuala Lumpur khususnya. Bahkan Fandi Ahmad dan Malek Awab hadir majlis persandingannya dulu.

Apabila dia berhijrah ke TV3, aku kehilangan seorang mentor. Bakar pernah menasihatkan aku agar jangan dibawa arus...barangkali sebagai peringatan agar tidak terbawa-bawa dengan agenda pihak tertentu dalam menulis berita sukan.

Pada 1994, aku dikirim ke Jakarta menemani Norbakti Alias dan Razali Yahya membuat liputan Piala Thomas buat Berita Harian. Bakar bersama TV3 ketika itu. Pada final di Istora Senayan, rusuhan yang berlaku cukup mendebarkan. Sekumpulan wartawan dan pemain Malaysia ketika itu berlindung dalam kawasan bilik persalinan sesudah tewas 3-0. Ini akan kuceritakan kemudian.

Bakar dan loose cannon di Hilton Jakarta, 1994

Pada 2000, aku dipelawa Bakar untuk menjadi penyambut tetamu majlis persandingannya di Bandar Sri Damansara. Aku turut membawa jurulatih penjaga gol kebangsaan ketika itu, Mandiaty Fall, yang hadir dengan jubah Senegalnya.

Begitupun kepemimpinan Bakar dalam SAM banyak dugaannya. Dia kurang gemar dengan beberapa siri tulisan aku yang seolah-olah mempertikaikan kewibawaannya.

Pada penghujungnya, aku tabik kepada Bakar. He was magnanimous in withdrawing from the race.

Dalam ucapannya, Bakar berkata sebagai seorang ahli SAM yang naik dari bawah, dia berasa perubahan dalam pucuk pimpinan SAM bermula pada lewat 90-an apabila aktiviti SAM mendapat sambutan dingin.