Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tabung Amanah MOM atasi krisis kewangan

KUALA LUMPUR - Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM) sedang merangka untuk menubuhkan tabung amanahnya sendiri sebagai persediaan awal menghadapi krisis kewangan global pada 2009.

Presiden MOM, Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja'afar berkata, pihaknya begitu mengambil berat tentang keadaan ekonomi dunia yang boleh menjejaskan perkembangan sukan negara sepanjang tahun depan.

"Sebagai langkah berjimat cermat dan pengurusan yang telus, kedudukan kewangan MOM perlu diperkukuhkan. Dengan kelembapan ekonomi melanda seluruh dunia, MOM perlu berhati-hati dalam menubuhkan tabung amanah itu nanti.

"Ia sebagai langkah pertama dan keselamatan untuk menjamin keutuhan kewangan MOM pada masa depan," ujarnya.

Tunku Imran berkata demikian dalam perutusannya sempena Tahun Baru 2009, semalam.

Menurutnya, 2008 merupakan satu lagi tahun yang mencatatkan kejayaan bermakna kepada Malaysia amnya dan MOM khasnya.

Penganjuran Sukan Olimpik di Beijing, China memperlihatkan pencapaian yang membanggakan dicatat sukan badminton, berbasikal dan memanah.

Kejayaan pemain perseorangan badminton lelaki negara, Datuk Lee Chong Wei meraih pingat perak menamatkan kemarau dalam dua temasya sebelumnya di Sydney (2000) dan Athens (2004).

Manakala pelumba trek negara, Mohd. Azizulhasni Awang dan Josiah Ng serta pasukan memanah mempamerkan aksi meyakinkan walaupun gagal membawa pulang pingat.

"Selain Sukan Olimpik, Malaysia juga beraksi baik dalam Sukan Komanwel Remaja Ke-3 di Pune, India dan Sukan Pantai Asia Pertama di Bali, Indonesia," katanya.

Sehubungan itu katanya, 2009 merupakan satu lagi tahun sibuk dan mencabar buat perkembangan sukan negara dan MOM.


Utusan

Asia draws big names

SINGAPORE: Asia continued to attract top-shelf sporting events and big-name stars this year, with more of the same expected in 2009 as sponsors and marketers exploit opportunities on the huge continent.

Primarily, 2008 will be remembered for the Beijing Olympics, which was massively successful and set the benchmark for sporting events globally.

Aside from that, the key landmark was Singapore’s hosting of Formula One’s first-ever night race, around the city-state’s streets.

It was a year with plenty to keep fans happy, although the exploits of Asians on the world stage was muted.

The Olympics in August showed that China can successfully host the biggest event of all. Few thought it would be any different with the giant communist country pulling out all the stops to ensure it was roundly praised.

While its hosting capabilities were admirable, China also showed it boasts some of the best sportspeople on Earth, topping the medals table ahead of the United States for the first time.

But it was American swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt who grabbed the headlines.

Phelps clinched a record eight gold medals in the pool, winning seven of them in world record times, while Bolt won gold and world records in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, another unprecedented feat.

Tiny Singapore revelled in its moment in the spotlight when it hosted a Grand Prix for the first time in September, winning lavish praise for a race won by Spain’s Fernando Alonso.

Commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone went as far as calling it the new jewel in the sport’s crown, while team owners said it would be a hard act to follow.

Australia, Malaysia, China, and Japan all hosted races again, with South Korea coming on board on 2010 and New Delhi in 2011.

The movers and shakers of equally money-rich golf also fixed their radar on Asia once again with no fewer than nine European co-sanctioned events in 2008 as the Asian Tour enjoyed another season of stellar growth.

Some of the biggest names in the game made the trip with the likes of world number two Sergio Garcia and world number three Phil Mickelson vowing to return as tournaments such as the Singapore Open and HSBC Champions get bigger and better.

Tennis too has its eyes firmly fixed on Asia with the WTA/ATP China Open becoming one of the top four “Super Tournaments” from 2009.

The WTA held 13 tournaments in the Asia-Pacific this year and the ATP 10, with the highlight again being the Australian Open, where Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova triumphed.

The tourament was also notable for brawling fans and the latest finish in Grand Slam history. — AFP

Tahun yang cemerlang - Ismail


"IA tahun yang saya anggap hebat. Atlet kita telah memperlihatkan kecemerlangan baik di pentas antarabangsa mahu pun kebangsaan."

Itu pengakuan Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob ketika diminta mengulas prestasi sukan negara sepanjang tahun 2008.

Entah apa agaknya yang dimaksudkannya hebat.

Adakah kejayaan meraih pingat perak pada Sukan Olimpik atau sebaliknya.

Sedangkan sepanjang tahun ini hanya badminton yang dilihat menyerlah berbanding sukan lain.

Dia berkata: "Tahun ini, sukan negara telah mencapai satu kejayaan yang besar. Kita bukan sahaja berjaya di pentas Olimpik malah Paralimpik.

"Datuk Lee Chong Wei menghadiahkan pingat tunggal Malaysia di Sukan Olimpik apabila meraih perak dalam acara badminton perseorangan lelaki sekali gus mengakhiri penantian selama 12 tahun.

"Pada temasya Paralimpik pula kita telah meraih pingat gangsa selepas menunggu selama 16 tahun menerusi Siow Lee Chan dalam acara powerlifting."

Menurutnya, kejayaan tidak terhenti setakat itu sahaja malah diteruskan pada kejohanan bertaraf dunia yang lain.

"Kejayaan Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong dan beregu wanita, Chin Ee Hui-Wong Pei Tty ketika membantu negara merangkul kejuaraan Masters Final di Kota Kinabalu, Sabah baru-baru ini membuktikan bahawa negara tidak ketandusan jaguh.

"Kita bukan sahaja meraih kejayaan menerusi acara badminton tetapi juga dalam acara lain seperti sukan boling, memanah, menembak, karate dan lumba basikal.

"Saya juga bangga dengan kejayaan ratu skuasy negara, Datuk Nicol David yang berjaya mengekalkan status sebagai pemain No. 1 wanita dunia untuk tahun kedua berturut-berturut termasuk memenangi 10 kejuaraan," ujar Ismail.

Ismail menambah, kejayaan-kejayaan tersebut bukan sahaja diraih menerusi atlet elit malah turut disumbangkan atlet remaja negara.

"Apa yang membanggakan, musim ini kita dapat meraih kejayaan bukan sahaja menerusi atlet elit tetapi juga menerusi atlet remaja.

"Bagi saya ia secara tidak langsung membuktikan bahawa negara telah berjaya melahirkan atlet pelapis yang mampu diketengahkan ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi," jelas Ismail.

Ismail berkata, kejayaan itu tidak dapat dilihat oleh segelintir masyarakat Malaysia yang amat 'obses' tentang kegagalan skuad bola sepak dan hoki negara.

"Segelintir masyarakat Malaysia menganggap sukan negara masih berada di tahap yang kurang memuaskan hanya kerana kegagalan skuad bola sepak dan hoki.

"Bagi saya, kita perlu buang sikap ini. Jangan kerana satu atau dua kegagalan kita terus membuat ulasan bahawa sukan negara berada di takuk lama.

"Perlu lihat sukan-sukan lain serta kejayaan yang dilakar di pentas antarabangsa.

"Sebagai sebuah negara yang kecil berbanding negara-negara seperti India dan sebagainya, kita ada dua atlet (Nicol dan Chong Wei) yang menduduki ranking utama dunia. Jadi, adakah kita masih gagal?," kata Ismail.

Begitupun, Ismail berkata, KBS sentiasa memikirkan cara-cara untuk meningkatkan lagi mutu sukan negara dari semasa ke semasa bagi melahirkan lebih ramai atlet bertaraf dunia.

"Setakat ini, kita ada Nicol dan Chong Wei tapi KBS sememangnya mempunyai perancangan untuk melahirkan lebih ramai atlet bertaraf dunia seperti mereka," ujarnya.

Ditanya mengenai perancangannya bagi musim depan, Ismail berkata: "KBS akan memperbanyakkan lagi program akar umbi. Kali ini kita akan mulakan seawal usia tujuh tahun.

"Saya peka bahawa ramai atlet negara yang berjaya di sini (dalam negara) tapi bila beraksi di peringkat antarabangsa mereka gagal.

"Dengan itu, saya juga berhasrat untuk memberikan lebih banyak pendedahan kepada atlet dengan menghantar mereka berlatih dan beraksi di luar negara selain penekanan dari segi psikologi," katanya.

Podium sukan


WONG PEI TTY (kanan) dan Chin Eei Hui cipta kejutan pada tahun 2008.


TIADA catatan luar biasa yang dilakar atlet negara sepanjang tahun ini. Namun, kegemilangan sukan negara tahun ini dimulakan dengan kejayaan pemain boling padang lelaki negara, Safuan Said.

Safuan juga merupakan juara dunia bawah 25 tahun pada 2005 dan pemenang pingat emas dalam acara beregu pada Kejohanan Boling Padang Asia Pasifik tahun lalu.

Beliau muncul juara dunia pada Kejohanan Boling Padang Dunia awal tahun ini. Walaupun hanya segelintir atlet sahaja berjaya melakar nama di pentas antarabangsa, namun 2008 dianggap sebagai tahun gemilang bagi sukan negara. Namun, wujud kekecewaan dalam beberapa sukan utama termasuk bola sepak.

Kien Keat dan Boon Heong yang pernah menggegar gelanggang badminton antarabangsa tahun lalu kembali berada prestasi terbaik dengan muncul juara dalam acara beregu lelaki.

Kejohanan yang menawarkan hadiah keseluruhan bernilai AS$500,000 (RM1.81 juta) itu turut menyaksikan pasangan Eei Hui dan Pei Tty mengungguli acara beregu wanita.

Dalam pada itu, pentas sukan boling juga menyaksikan lahirnya beberapa pemain muda berpotensi tinggi menerusi kejayaan yang dipamerkan kontinjen negara pada Kejohanan Boling Komanwel V pada November lalu.

Paling mencuri tumpuan adalah kejayaan pemain wanita berusia 16 tahun, Sin Li Jane. Dia meraih dunia pingat emas masing-masing dalam acara Individu Wanita dan Masters Wanita sekali gus memastikan Malaysia muncul juara keseluruhan.


AZIZULHASNI permata baru sukan lumba basikal.


Turut mencipta nama adalah pemain lelaki, Muhd. Nur Aiman yang meraih emas acara individu lelaki dengan rekod baru iaitu 1,539 jatuhan pin.

Di lapangan lumba basikal, pelumba sensasi negara kelahiran Terengganu, Azizulhasni Awang mencatat sejarah menjadi pelumba pertama negara berjaya memenangi pingat emas pada perlumbaan basikal trek Piala Dunia yang berlangsung di Melbourne, Australia bulan lalu.

Dalam acara keirin yang mendebarkan itu, Azizulhasni menewaskan pelumba Ukraine, Andriy Vynokurov yang berada di tempat kedua.

Pentas olahraga tempatan turut diserikan dengan beberapa kejayaan.

Paling memberangsangkan adalah kejayaan jaguh lompat tinggi negara, Lee Hup Wei meraih emas pada Kejohanan Olahraga Terbuka China Mei lalu dengan ketinggian 2.27 sekali gus layak ke Sukan Olimpik atas kategori B.

Catatan itu turut memadam rekod kebangsaan 2.24m milik bekas jaguh lompat tinggi, Loo Kum Zee.

Sementara itu, cabaran sukan negara bagi tahun 2008 turut diserikan lagi dengan kejayaan kontinjen muda negara yang muncul juara keseluruhan pada temasya Sukan Universiti Asean (SUA) ke-14 minggu lalu.

Pada temasya hampir dua minggu itu, kontinjen negara berjaya mengumpul 90 pingat emas, 79 perak dan 47 gangsa untuk mengatasi pencabar terdekat, Vietnam yang sekadar mengumpul 45 emas, 28 perak dan 23 gangsa.

Mengangkat nama Malaysia


DATUK LEE CHONG WEI


PADA Sukan Olimpik Beijing, Malaysia pulang dengan kilauan pingat perak, sekali gus menamatkan penantian 12 tahun tanpa sebarang pingat. Datuk Lee Chong Wei meraih pingat perak dalam acara badminton perseorangan lelaki.

Sebagai penghargaan kepada Chong Wei, beliau dianugerahkan gelaran Datuk oleh negeri kelahirannya, Pulau Pinang sejurus kejayaannya di bumi China itu.

Chong Wei turut menutup pentas 2008 dengan kejayaan paling manis selepas muncul juara pada Kejohanan Badminton Final Masters di Kota Kinabalu minggu lalu.

“Ini adalah kejayaan paling bermakna buat saya selepas kegagalan saya dalam beberapa kejohanan utama sebelum ini,” jelas Chong Wei. Bersama-sama Chong Wei meraikan kejayaan itu adalah gandingan Koo Kien Keat dan Tan Boon Heong serta pasangan sensasi wanita, Chin Eei Hui dan Wong Pei Tty.

Kien Keat dan Boon Heong yang pernah menggegar gelanggang badminton antarabangsa tahun lalu kembali berada prestasi terbaik dengan muncul juara dalam acara beregu lelaki.

Nicol terus cemerlang


DATUK NICOL DAVID


Acara skuasy tidak pernah menghampakan menerusi Datuk Nicol David. Pemain kelahiran Pulau Pinang itu seperti dijangka berjaya mengekalkan momentum kegemilangannya untuk menguasai pentas 2008 dengan kejayaan meraih sepuluh gelaran utama.

Paling menceriakan adalah kejayaan Nicol merampas kembali kejuaraan Terbuka British dan Terbuka Dunia selain mengukuhkan kedudukannya selaku pemain No. 1 dunia sejak tahun 2006.

Selain Terbuka British dan Terbuka Dunia, Nicol juga unggul pada kejohanan Terbuka Apawamis, Terbuka Kuala Lumpur, Terbuka Seoul, Terbuka Malaysia, Singapura Masters, Terbuka Belanda, Terbuka Qatar Classic dan Terbuka Hong Kong.

“Saya tidak mengimpikan tahun yang lebih baik daripada ini, ia adalah keputusan terbaik yang pernah saya kecapi. Kejayaan merampas kembali Terbuka British dan Terbuka Dunia adalah satu kejayaan yang besar,” jelas Nicol.

“Tahun ini juga, saya tidak memikirkan untuk memenangi kesemua kejohanan. Pada tahun depan saya hanya memikirkan untuk mengekalkan tahap fokus dan konsisten saya.”

Kejayaan Nicol bergelar juara dunia dalam sukan skuasy pada tahun 2008 bukan lagi pencapaian luar biasa.

Sebagai penghargaan kepada sumbangannya, Nicol dianugerahkan Datuk oleh Yang Dipertua Pulau Pinang, Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas,

pada 12 Julai lalu.

KOSMO

Pencapaian 2008 terus bawa sinar sukan negara


KEJAYAAN Azizulhasni (kiri) yang memberi saingan getir kepada jagoan dunia, Chris Hoy dari Britain dalam suku akhir acara pecut di Sukan Olimpik, Ogos lalu jelas buktikan sukan tanah air membawa sinaran sepanjang musim ini.

Olimpik Beijing sangkal andaian sukan Malaysia kini meniti era kemerosotan

ANDAI mata kita menumpu ke dalam bola kristal - segala-galanya menceritakan betapa positif arah tuju sukan negara sepanjang musim 2008 dan impak itu dijangka berterusan apabila 'keluarga sukan' menyambut tahun baru, esok.

Ibarat pepatah ‘buang yang keruh ambil yang jernih’ setiap kegagalan harus dianggap akan memberi ruang untuk berjaya dan kepada atlit yang cemerlang sepanjang musim ini kita ucapkan tahniah.

Daripada babak menarik di Sukan Olimpik Beijing sehingga dua jaguh sukan - Nicol Ann David dan Lee Chong Wei - bergelar Datuk dan kemunculan anak muda dari Terengganu, Azizulhasni Awang yang gah membakar trek lumba basikal, jelas sukan tanah air membawa sinaran sepanjang musim ini.

Kejayaan Chong Wei memenangi pingat perak Olimpik jelas penghargaan tertinggi dituai atlit negara sebagai kebanggaan rakyat walaupun tewas kepada musuh tradisi, Lin Dan dari China dalam final dan terlepas peluang menjadi jutawan segera.

Apapun, aliran sukan secara keseluruhan menampakkan kemajuan buat mengukur nilai ahli sukan kita yang kini ada bekalan meniti ke medan perjuangan peringkat Asia dan dunia.

NICOL terus garang mengharumkan nama negara dengan rekod 10 gelaran berturut-turut serta kedudukan selaku pemain skuasy wanita nombor satu dunia.

Sukan lain seperti bowling dan memanah turut menceriakan dengan beberapa deretan keputusan terpuji tetapi ini tidak bererti Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) harus bersenang lenang tanpa tekanan bagi mencanang kejayaan berikut tahun ini.

Antara disiplin yang boleh ditakrif sebagai kejayaan baru adalah dalam acara trek basikal dengan pelumba negara menunjukkan taring di peringkat dunia, khasnya Azizulhasni yang lebih dikenang memberi saingan getir kepada jagoan dunia, Chris Hoy dari Britain dalam suku akhir acara pecut di Sukan Olimpik, Ogos lalu.

Anak kelahiran Dungun, Terengganu ini turut menunjukkan kehebatannya dalam acara pecut apabila meraih pingat emas keirin pada kejohanan Piala Dunia di Melbourne November lalu.

Ini menjelaskan program padu serta latihan di bawah pengendalian John Beasley di Australia membutirkan hasil dan jika trend sama serta aksi konsisten diteruskan kita boleh menaruh harapan acara trek mampu membutirkan pingat di Sukan Olimpik 2012 di London.

CHONG Wei memenangi pingat perak Olimpik jelas penghargaan tertinggi dituai atlit negara sebagai kebanggaan rakyat.
Sukan Olimpik di Beijing setidak-tidaknya menyangkal andaian bahawa sukan Malaysia meniti era kemerosotan. Dengan penyertaan 33 atlit ia adalah jumlah terbesar kontinjen beraksi dalam temasya ini.

Nicol terus garang mengharumkan nama negara dengan menguasai gelanggang skuasy yang seperti miliknya. Dengan rekod 10 gelaran berturut-turut serta kedudukan selaku pemain wanita nombor satu dunia dalam ranking Pemain Skuasy Wanita Antarabangsa (WISPA), anak muda dari Pulau Pinang itu memintas rekod pencapaian juara dunia lima kali, Sarah Fitz-Gerald dari Australia yang menduduki ranking nombor satu selama 24 bulan mulai November 1996.

Dalam rasa ceria kejayaan di Olimpik serta atlit lain, bola sepak - acara popular di negara - terus memalit duka dengan nasib yang belum berubah tanpa kemajuan positif.

Keaiban dalam Piala Suzuki AFF di Thailand, awal bulan ini menceritakan ‘gelora ganas’ yang terus melanda sukan ini.

Di bawah kepimpinan baru Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, negara mengorak langkah menyusun program sukannya dengan tumpuan utama kepada Sukan Olimpik, Asia dan Komanwel.

Namun, dalam menghadapi kemelesetan ekonomi global, sukan negara mungkin akan turut merasai bahangnya kerana sumber kewangan yang terhad dan Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) pasti akan lebih ‘kedekut’ dalam pemberian bantuan.

2009 dijangka lebih sengit dan dalam situasi serba terhad, atlit negara berdepan cabaran besar untuk mencapai lebih banyak kejayaan besar dan bermakna.

BH

Hati Misbun tetap di gelanggang walau terlantar di hospital

lukmsal@bharian.com.my


CHONG Wei dan Mew Choo melawat Misbun di hospital, semalam. - Foto Khalid Redza.

SEKALIPUN terlantar sakit di hospital, namun fikiran jurulatih badminton kebangsaan, Misbun Sidek tidak jauh mengenangkan keadaan anak buahnya, terutama Lee Chong Wei yang bakal mengharungi saingan Siri Super pertama musim ini di Terbuka Malaysia, minggu depan.

Jiwanya mahu berada di atas gelanggang melatih anak didiknya tetapi apakan daya tenaganya langsung tiada sehingga untuk memegang raket pun sukar tatkala Misbun diserang penyakit yang belum dapat disahkan namanya melainkan diagnosis awal menyatakan dia kemungkinan mengalami jangkitan paru-paru.

Namun, kehadiran anak didiknya, Chong Wei sambil ditemani teman wanitanya yang juga pemain badminton kebangsaan, Wong Mew Choo tampak menaikkan semangat Misbun tatkala kedua-dua bertukar cerita sambil memberi perangsang di antara satu sama lain.

“Saya mahu Chong Wei meneruskan latihan seperti biasa,” kata Misbun dengan nada yang cukup perlahan. “Walaupun saya tiada bersamanya, saya mahu dia menganggap ketiadaan saya itu sebagai satu latihan dalam menghadapi situasi sedemikian ketika pertandingan besar.

“Saya tidak akan sentiasa bersama dengan Chong Wei dalam gelanggang dan saya mahu dia bersedia untuk menghadapi situasi sedemikian. Sebab itu peranan psikologi yang saya tekankan keperluannya sebelum ini amat penting dalam menyediakan Chong Wei menghadapi saat seperti ini.”

Chong Wei, yang menghabiskan masa lebih sejam bersama jurulatihnya, tidak mahu Misbun bimbang akan persediaannya menghadapi Terbuka Malaysia dan kemudian Terbuka Korea Selatan.

“Saya tahu jurulatih (Misbun) mungkin tidak akan bersama saya untuk Terbuka Malaysia dan Korea Selatan,” katanya. “Tetapi itu tidak penting... yang menjadi keutamaan sekarang ialah jurulatih cepat sembuh dan jangan risau mengenai persediaan saya.

“Memang saya ada rasa sedikit bimbang dengan keadaan jurulatih tetapi saya akan pastikan ia tidak akan menggugat persembahan saya di Terbuka Malaysia dan Korea Selatan kerana saya tidak mahu ia turut mengganggu keadaan kesihatan Misbun.

“Lagipun Misbun ada memberitahu saya untuk belajar berdiri sendiri tanpa kehadirannya dalam gelanggang dan saya rasa ia akan memberi saya peluang menilai permainan saya tanpa tunjuk ajarnya,” kata Chong Wei.

Misbun mula diserang lemah badan sebaik pulang daripada menunaikan fardu haji di Makkah 18 Disember lalu dan tiga hari selepas itu terpaksa menjalani rawatan di klinik untuk memasukkan air dalam badannya akibat keletihan.

Walaupun sudah berasa sedikit lega selepas itu, namun rasa lemah badan, rasa kesejukan serta batuk yang berterusan dan semakin melarat memaksa adiknya, Jalani membawa Misbun ke hospital swasta, malam kelmarin untuk mendapat rawatan pakar.

Selain Chong Wei dan Mew Choo, turut mengunjungi Misbun ialah Pengerusi Yayasan Kebajikan Atlit Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Jaafar dan Pengurus Besar Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), Kenny Goh.

BH


Sportcheck:Sports development benefits economy of nation

NO effort must be spared to develop sports as it is an industry by itself which contributes to the economy as well as provide jobs for Malaysians.

The Sports Ministry, the Domestic Trade and Industries Ministry and the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) should spearhead the move, which should start with the establishment of a blueprint.

Malaysian Association for Physical Education, Sports Science and Fitness (MAPESSF) president, Professor Datuk Dr Leonard A de Vries said this was first discussed 10 years ago.

"A working paper entitled Economic impact of sports in Malaysia was approved by the Sports Ministry 10 years ago. However, this has yet to be implemented," said de Vries.

However, for sports to succeed, there has to first be a sports culture.
"This can be achieved through seminars to create awareness. It is also very important to ensure the infrastructure and facilities are adequate. Also, if the sports industry is to expand, then there must be more emphasis given to sports for all and less to high performance sports from the government and private sector," he said.

He said the manufacturing sector of sports, fitness and recreation should be studied and developed in Malaysia which would improve made-in-Malaysia products which could then compete in foreign markets.

Sports tourism is another major sports industry.

"The Tourism Ministry, with the cooperation of the Sports Ministry, Olympic Council of Malaysia and MAPESSF, should establish a Sports Tourism Administrative Unit for the growth of sports tourism.

"Malaysia should position outdoor recreation in our natural environment as our niche market. A study to develop the outdoor recreation industry by mapping locations for walking, cycling, hiking, climbing and camping sites, including sites for water sports, fitness, health, martial arts and X-games must also be conducted."

De Vries said government linked companies (GLCs) must play a bigger role in promoting sports as in time, the returns will be there.

"A corporate approach to sports development will bring positive changes to the way sports are managed and developed."

De Vries added that existing duties and excise on sports goods should be reduced as it would encourage greater participation in sports and contribute to the development of a sports culture.

NST

The Year In Review: NSC must get tough

Zolkples Embong (left), Ismail Sabri (top) and Azalina Othman.
Zolkples Embong (left), Ismail Sabri (top) and Azalina Othman.

THE pressure had been immense and no effort was made by National Sports Council (NSC) director general (DG) Datuk Zolkples Embong to hide his relief following Lee Chong Wei's silver medal effort in the Beijing Olympics.

Gold may have remained elusive but failure to win a medal would have meant returning home empty handed for a third consecutive Olympics and the backlash would have been worse compared to Athens 2004, which, among others, resulted in the NSC being "divorced" from the National Sports Institute.

Zolkples was not the DG during the Athens Games but he has been an integral part of the role NSC has played since the government took almost total charge of development starting with the Jaya '98 programme.

No doubt, there have been results with squash world champion Nicol David, the national tenpin bowlers, the lawn bowlers and, to a certain extent, the badminton players scoring numerous successes but that hasn't reduced the pressure on NSC.

As the Sports Ministry's funding arm for high performance sports, the NSC has to justify the millions that are spent annually and with public expectation high, Zolkples is in an unenviable position.
But this, and former NSC DG Datuk Mazlan Ahmad agrees, is a fallback from the Jaya '98 programme which, despite its success, resulted in a situation where most associations are fully dependent on financial support from the government.

While the associations remain in charge of their respective sports, it is NSC which comes under fire as it controls the purse strings but 10 years after the end of the Jaya '98 programme. It is time to ensure that the burden of delivering results is shared.

Since Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said's tenure as Sports Minister, the government has been stressing on the need for a rating system but two years after she first mentioned it, it is still not in place.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has re-submitted the proposed rating system to Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and there shouldn't be any further delays.

If Ismail Sabri is still dissatisfied, the Sports Ministry should amend where it sees fit and the rating system should be off the ground in early 2009.

Further delays will only make associations complacent while NSC will have to continue shouldering the burden of ensuring Malaysia wins honours at the Asian and world levels.

Funding, and even Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a firm advocate of this, should be on merit and honestly speaking, only a handful from the 19 associations who are in the potential Asian and world level group are working hard.

Badminton is one but the BA of Malaysia has to ensure its players are consistent as currently, only Chong Wei seems to be able to make the semi-finals and finals of major events on a regular basis.

Still, badminton is in a better position compared to squash, which only has Nicol to shout about, and NSC can't be providing the SRA of Malaysia funding similar to that of what BAM gets.

Cycling and archery, if anything, have perfected the art of spending public funding but seeing as results are forthcoming, they perhaps deserve more in the hope that their progression will climax with each winning a medal in the 2012 London Olympics.

The bottom line though should be that NSC shouldn't and mustn't take sole responsibility in the chase for honours.

That should be a burden shared by the associations, OCM and the NSI, whose divorce with NSC will be completed once the bill to make it a statutory body is passed by Parliament.

That will not only pave the way for NSI to obtain its own funding to hire staff but, hopefully, also put to an end the overlapping of responsibilities with NSC as currently, only coaching certification and coach licensing is under NSI while everything else is the NSC's responsibility and both parties should come to a compromise to ensure the National Coaching Board delivers what it is meant to -- quality coaches at all levels.

There has been tremendous resistance to the divorce of the NSC-NSI, the brainchild of Azalina, but even Ismail Sabri agrees that sports science has to play an integral part if Malaysia is to develop quality athletes and now that the separation is almost complete, the focus should be on moving forward.

NSI has scored some successes in getting the elite athletes to understand the importance of sports science -- Chong Wei and his coach Misbun Sidek are firm believers now -- but it needs more staff to cater for all levels as it doesn't make sense to educate athletes only when they reach the elite level.

Education must start from the grassroots and with NSI's satellite centres being launched nationwide, it is imperative that they are well-equipped with not only equipment but staff as well.

NSI is currently working with a skeleton crew and this resulted in the misunderstanding which saw Chong Wei competing in the Macau and Japan Opens without NSI support and this will happen again if new blood is not brought in.

Still, the NSI is moving, albeit slowly, forward but the same can't be said about the OCM.

It is an equal partner of the NSC and NSI when it comes to development but OCM seems happy with just being responsible for the selection of athletes for major Games.

It may not have the financial strength to fund development but OCM can and must encourage its affiliates to do more, especially in terms of being more self-reliant. The inaugural Youth Olympics will be held in Singapore in 2010 and OCM must challenge its affiliates to deliver and prove that they can do it on their own.

WHY the DISCRIMINATION?

By Rintos Mail

AS we reflect on the incredible feats of the many medal winners at the Beijing Olympic Games, one thing shines through — the power of the human spirit shown not only by the champions but also all the participants.

This is particularly true of two ‘handicapped’ long-distance swimmers, Maarten van der Weijden from Holland and Natalie Du Toit from South Africa in the 10km marathon swim.

The former was reportedly suffering from leukaemia and the latter is an amputee — minus the lower part of her left leg.

Van der Weijden beat other able-bodied swimmers to win the gold while Du Toit managed to complete the 10km swim although she wasn’t a medallist.

The fighting spirit and steely determination shown by these two Olympians have certainly warmed the hearts of millions the world over. Indeed, the duo are the true heroines of the Olympic Games and role models for everyone, especially the young.

The scenario was no less different in the Paralympics. Put aside the scale of the two Games. Whether it’s the Olympics or Paralympics, the efforts put in by the athletes to succeed are the same. The Paralympians are not any less committed than the Olympians — they train just as hard but unfortunately, when they win, they get only a fraction of the cash rewards given to Olympic medallists.

For example, in Singapore, the total prize money that Paralympians received for four medals in Beijing was still less than that for an individual bronze medal at the Olympics. And the reward amounts, according to its government, differ for three reasons.

First, the level of competition at the Olympics is higher. Paralympians can join the Olympics but Olympians can’t join the Paralympics.

Secondly, the base of competition in the Olympics is a lot broader while that for the Paralympics is smaller and it’s fragmentised since the disabilities are classified differently — so there is a different scale of competition.

Finally, the cash awards given to the Olympians and Paralympians are not government-funded, coming, as they are, from the private sector.

In Malaysia, there is obvious disparity in the reward system for the Olympics and the Paralympics.

Datuk Lee Chong Wei won the silver medal in the men’s badminton singles after losing the final to China’s Lin Dan. Despite failing to get the gold, Chong Wei was entitled to RM300,000 from the government for winning the silver medal.

The government is promising RM1 million as incentive to any athlete who returns with an Olympic gold medal, RM300,000 for silver and RM100,000 for bronze.

Power-lifter Siow Lee Chan was the sole medal winner in 13th Paralympic, also in Beijing, after getting a bronze in the women’s under 56kg category with a lift of 95kg, also a new national and SEA Games record.

Her win ended the country’s 16-year medal drought in the Games and also entitled her to a RM100,000 reward under the government’s sports excellence incentive scheme.

The government will reward Paralympians RM300,000 for a gold medal, RM200,000 for a silver medal and RM100,000 for bronze medal. If any of the country’s Paralympians won a gold, he or she would receive the same amount as Lee for his silver medal.

Also, under the National Sports Council’s incentive scheme, individual able-bodied gold medallists receive RM80,000 in the Asia Games and RM80,000 in the Commonwealth Games while the para-athletes get RM40,000 for gold in the Commonwealth Games.

There is obviously some disparity in cash rewards for gold and silver medal between the two categories of athletes. No specific reason has ever given for this.

Asked for his comments, Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan said: “I will seek to correct if there is any disparity.”

“The federal government should review the incentive scheme and see what has to be done to give Paralympians equal cash reward. I’m sure we do not value our paralympians any less, so why the disparity in the reward system?” he asked.

Mawan said at the state level, if the handicapped were doing well, the government would also reward them.

“There may be some disparities and I will seek to correct them, if any. I want them synchronised at the state level.

“We’re not talking about less and more but the sort of achievements that give us the pride and name in both the national and international arenas — at least for Sarawak.”

Mawan said the state government would not differentiate between the athletes in terms of rewards. So far, he hasn’t been able to see a glaring disparity in the state’s reward system.

“If there is any, I can promise we will look into it. Not because the athletes are physically strong, they get something more — no such thing,” he said.

On the present national reward system for the Paralympians and Olympians, he agreed the disabled should not be discriminated against.

“Okay, you may say they are disabled against disabled and not disabled against able-bodied. But the thing is the name of the nation is being uplifted. Paralympians also bring pride to the nation and should be treated equally. They deserve equal rights … that’s for me. I will start at the state level to close the disparity gap.”

Mawan said Paralympians had to overcome a lot more obstacles just to be able to compete, so they should be accorded equal respect and recognition.

He noted Paralympians or disabled athletes, like any other sportspersons, had to train hard.

On the day of the competition, he pointed out, they also had to exhibit mental strength to achieve their goals and thus, in his opinion, Paralympians deserved the same recognition and laurels accorded Malaysian Olympians.

“In fact, at the state level, we want to help more, considering the disabled athletes have not been given as much exposure as the able-bodied athletes. We will be looking into it,” he assured.

Sarawak has been rewarding its athletes RM1,000 for gold, RM700 for silver and RM500 for bronze in Sukma. The state has dominated the National Paralympiads, winning the overall title for eight years running, including in May this year.

Two of the athletes, Mohd Zamry Sapiee, 32, and Catherine Timbang Siang, 42, were adjudged the best sportsman and woman in the last championship.

Just as it gives cash awards to the able-bodied athletes, the state government also gives the same to the disabled athletes through the Welfare Department. However, the quantum is not known.

The State Sportsman and Woman Award for para-athletes was introduced last year and the recipients were Mohd Zamry (swimming) and Lau King Kiew (athletics).

The consensus is that rewards for the athletes — able-bodied or disabled — should be fair and equal. After all, sports excellence is a goal set by the government. So why is that when excellence is achieved, the government takes a step back to reward the Paralympians less.

A normal sportsperson has to put in a lot of hard work if he wants to succeed but for the handicapped to excel, much more is required.

Olympics or Paralympics, it’s equally tough to win a medal. For Paralympians, their physical conditions are more unpredictable and their first Paralympics could also be their last.

It’s a contentious issue but many believe disabled athletes deserve much more recognition and support from the nation as a whole.

The medals won by Malaysia this year in the Paralympics represent a crucial step forward in raising public awareness on disability sports and in promoting them.

They are also a good opportunity to remind Malaysians that disable doesn’t mean unable and that they should not belittle the Paralympians who may have skills far exceeding a normal athlete’s.

Borneo Post

Malaysia Games' cherry picking has to stop

ONE suspects the Malaysia Games is fast losing is relevance and heading the way of the Sea Games, so why should it matter when a sport is excluded from the biennial Games?

It is all about the medals now anyway, preferably gold, as amply demonstrated by Terengganu when it hosted the Games in the middle of the year.

In the pursuit of medals, basketball paid the price after it was excluded as Terengganu could not be bothered to set up a team, presumably because it did not stand a chance of winning.

Never mind that the Malaysian Basketball Association is one of the more professionally run national bodies in the country and deserved far better treatment.

But now that basketball is back for the next edition in Malacca in 2010, tennis has found itself out of the line up for reasons that hold little water.
One sorry excuse given was that there are no facilities available for tennis in Malacca but Timesport shot that argument down when it was pointed out that Ayer Keroh hosted an International Tennis Federation (ITF) junior event this year.

But of course, to the Malaysia Games supreme council, ITF events are not up to Malaysia Games standard.

The supreme council felt that to build a new venue for tennis would not be prudent in the current economic climate.

That makes sense, if only Datuk Ab Karim Sulaiman, the Malacca sports, youth, unity and welfare committee chairman, had not said in August that the state government will be spending RM30-RM50 million in constructing new venues for lawn bowls, aquatics, equestrian, sailing and hockey.

While one understands the need for a hockey pitch and swimming pool, how can Malacca justify building a venue for equestrian, an elitist sport that consumes more money than any other, at tennis' expense?

Karim also added that of the 25 sports to be held, 18 are compulsory while the remaining seven -- basketball, boxing, equestrian, netball, petanque, silambam and table tennis -- were picked on the basis of Malacca standing a good chance of winning medals.

Now, if the Malaysia Games is to achieve its main aim of being a development platform for sports in the country, this cherry picking of sports to suit the hosts has got to stop.

Terengganu did it with canoeing and kayaking, where they swept 14 of 18 gold medals, and now will lose a whole lot of medals after the sport was dropped by Malacca.

And you must also be wondering what in the world are petanque and silambam doing in the Games?

The official line is that sports like silat, wushu and silambam were included for the sake of unity.

Well that is fine, but let me throw these names at you -- Jawariah Nordin, S. Theiviya, Duzbionjit Singh, Ahmad Deedat and Marcus Chee.

They are all aspiring and talented tennis juniors and you cannot find a sport more "majmuk" than tennis in the country as a unifying factor among the races. So how now supreme council members?

Taekwondo was also excluded but that has more to do with the farce that took place in Terengganu, following allegations of biased judging and fixed draws, and the Malaysian Taekwondo Association's (MTA) internal problems.

So if Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob can say that taekwondo will be included in Malacca if the MTA can get its house in order, what was the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia's (LTAM) crime?

You are probably thinking I am being strongly biased towards tennis, but you're missing the point.

What is happening to tennis could happen to any sport if the supreme council or the hosts feels compelled to throw it out.

Like it or not, the Malaysia Games can make or break a sport at the grassroots level because every state sports council in the country is fixated on the Games.

If a particular sport is not in the Malaysia Games, its curtains where funding is concerned and the sport dies a slow death at state level.

Tennis will probably survive this exclusion but it is not a position other national sports associations would like to find themselves in.

The fact that tennis, canoeing and kayaking are Olympic sports did not matter to the supreme council either.

It is a sad state of affairs when certain sports can be dropped on a whim, without a care in the world to the consequences.

But that is the Malaysia Games for you.

Obituary: Ruler sensitive to needs of others

Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman  travelling to Kuala Lumpur in a special train with  his grandchildren in 1994.
Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman travelling to Kuala Lumpur in a special train with his grandchildren in 1994.

KUALA LUMPUR: The fourth Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, Tuanku Ja'afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, will be remembered as a monarch who was sensitive to the needs of others.

Respected by his brother rulers as well as local and foreign leaders and loved by his people for his wisdom, sincerity and dedication, Tuanku Ja'afar was the son of the country's first king, Tuanku Abdul Rahman Tuanku Muhammad, whose portrait is on our ringgit notes.

During the 40 years years as ruler of Negri Sembilan, Tuanku Ja'afar focused on the problems faced by the people and the administration of the state.

Tuanku Ja'afar gave special attention to industry and public housing so that the people's living standards could be improved.

As a result, several new housing areas were developed including Taman Tuanku Ja'afar, which includes an industrial area and a world-class golf course, Taman Tuanku Ampuan Najihah in Sungai Gadut and the Mambau housing project.
Tuanku Ja'afar was born on July 19, 1922.

He wanted Negri Sembilan to remain a peaceful and prosperous state where the various races could live in peace and harmony.

In his efforts to eradicate poverty among the people, Tuanku Ja'afar created more employment opportunities.

He wanted to ensure that all levels of society benefited from the state's economic progress.

Tuanku Ja'afar will be missed by the golf fraternity as he was a regular participant at national and international golf tournaments.

He also improved the standard of the sport in Negri Sembilan by upgrading golf courses and facilities, especially those of the International Golf Club of Seremban.

This passion for sports runs deep in the royal family of Negri Sembilan.

In fact, the royal family is known as the "Royal Family of Sports".

Members of the royal family have shown great interest in various sports, including cricket, squash, tennis, badminton, hockey and golf.

Tuanku Ja'afar's son Tunku Imran is the president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

Tunku Imran was also the president of the World Squash Federation for seven years.

Tuanku Ja'afar became the chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia on April 16, 1976.

He was a strong advocate for education and pushed for the improvement of Malaysia's standard of education.

He was awarded honorary doctorates of law by the University of the Philippines (July 27, 1990), University of Nottingham (July, 21 1995), University of Santiago, Chile (Sept 28, 1995) and University of Brunei Darussalam (Sept 11, 1996).

During the Japanese occupation of Malaya, Tuanku Ja'afar served at the Land Office of Seremban. He also served as the Rembau district officer from 1946 to 1947.

Upon his return from Britain in 1952, Tuanku Ja'afar held several posts in the civil service, including that of assistant state secretary of Perak, assistant district officer of Parit, Perak, and district officer of Tampin.

In 1957 he took up a special course for diplomatic services in London for one year.

His first appointment was as charge d'affaires in Washington DC, followed by first secretary of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, consular and deputy high commissioner at the High Commission of Malaya in London.

Tuanku Ja'afar was later appointed the Malaysian ambassador to Egypt and then the high commissioner to Nigeria and Ghana.

NST

Demise Of Tuanku Ja'afar A Big Loss To Sports And Country

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 (Bernama) -- The demise of Yang Dipertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan, Tuanku Ja'afar ibni Almarhum Tuanku Abdul Rahman today is a big loss to the sporting fraternity in the country.

Being a passionate cricketer, golfer and tennis player, Tuanku Ja'afar not only contributed immensely to sports but had also coaxed his entire family members to contribute towards sports in the country, earning the accolade of "Royal Sporting Family".

His son Tan Sri Tunku Imran is the President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), President of the Malaysian Cricket Association and former Squash Racket Association of Malaysia and World Squash Federation president.

Tunku Laxamana Tunku Datuk Seri Utama Naquiyuddin is the President of the Malaysia Water Ski Association, Patron of the Malaysian Yachting Association and Negeri Sembilan Squash Rackets Association.

His daughter Tuanku Puteri Tunku Datuk Seri Jawahir is the president of the Malaysian Amateur Ladies Golf Association (MALGA) while another daughter Tunku Dara Tunku Tan Sri Datuk Seri Naquiah is the President of the Negeri Sembilan Women's Football Association.

The Negeri Sembilan ruler and 10th King of Malaysia's involvement in sports started as early as his school days with tennis, badminton and squash among his favourite sports at the Kuala Kangsar Malay College and Nottingham University, England in 1951.

When pursuing his studies in England he had represented Nottingham University in tennis, squash and badminton and also headed the badminton team when he was in Oxford later.

On the local front, he had represented Perak and Negeri Sembilan in cricket and tennis.

So prominent was Tuanku Ja'afar's ability that he was appointed captain of the Perak Malays cricket team that played in the Rulers Shield and won the title in 1952 and 1953.

After retiring from competitive sports, Tuanku Ja'afar was a regular face on golf courses both here and overseas and was also instrumental in the mushrooming of world class golf clubs in Negeri Sembilan.

Tuanku Ja'afar also proved that he was not only a capable sportsman but also an able administrator of sports bodies by taking the president's posts of the Malaysia Malays Cricket Association (MMCA) and becoming the patron of the Negeri Sembilan Cricket Association, a post he held until his demise today.

Under his leadership, MMCA became one of the most efficient associations in the country for developing young cricket players.

MMCA secretary Rosmanizam Abdullah who this morning returned from Sri Lanka expressed shock and grief upon hearing Tuanku Ja'afar's demise.

"He was a great man, an icon in Malaysian sports. It will be simply difficult to replace him or his contributions towards sports, especially to MMCA. He was the driving force behind the association and we are all going to miss him," he told Bernama when contacted here Saturday.

He added that since being elected as President in March 1994, Tuanku Ja'afar had never failed to attend meetings or Annual General Meetings despite his very busy schedule.

"He always had a soft spot for children and to see them develop in the field of sports," said Rosmanizam.

The National Sports Council director general Datuk Zolkples Embong expressed a similar sentiment, attributing him as the man responsible for the development of junior cricket in the country.

Under his leadership MMCA won the Best Junior Cricket Development in Asia award from the International Cricket Council (ICC) in 2004 while the Tuanku Ja'afar Junior Cricket Academy was also set up in 2000 due to his initiative.

OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi also referred Tuanku Ja'afar as a "King" with a passion for sports and said his absence would be difficult to replace.

Tuanku Ja'afar, 86, who was admitted to the Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital (HTJ) in Seremban after complaining of headache and uneasiness, died at 11.45am today.

-- BERNAMA

Friday, December 26, 2008

Malaysia's Sports Ended 2008 With A Bang, Says Sieh


KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 (Bernama) -- The year 2008 witnessed many Malaysian athletes carving their name on Malaysia's sports hall of fame, Olympic Council of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi said today.

"Overall, the year 2008 is a very good year for Malaysia's sporting scene. We ended the year with a big bang.

"The national shuttlers won the Super Series Masters and the Malaysian contingent became the overall champion in the just-concluded Asean University Games. Malaysian athletes have competed in many competitions both locally and abroad.

"For me personally, I think the Olympic Games of course was the big event for Malaysia. Datuk Lee Chong Wei winning the silver medal in badminton is an achievement for Malaysia, particularly after two consecutive Olympic Games," Sieh told Bernama when asked for his overview of Malaysian sports this.

Besides Chong Wei in the men's singles, Malaysian shuttlers also won gold in the men's doubles and women's doubles of the Super Series Masters Finals in Kota Kinabalu on Dec 18-21 while the Malaysian contingent emerged as the overall champion at the Asean University Games with a haul of 90 gold, 78 silver and 47 bronze medals.

Sieh said other sports should also be given fair recognition.

"We must also recognise our archers and cyclists...they also did very well in the Olympics. Their prospect for the next Olympic Games in 2012 should be very good.

"And in certain sports, qualifying itself is a great achievement although medal prospect is very slim, like swimming and athletics," Sieh added.

He said that OCM and the National Sports Council (NSC) would continue to support the athletes but more focus would be given to the medal prospect sports -- badminton, archery and cycling -- for the London Olympic Games in 2012.

"We have started preparing the athletes now and it is good that we have a longer period of preparation," he said.

Sieh noted that although the Laos SEA Games would be the biggest sporting event next year there were seven other Games involving youth athletes which would provide the right platform to prepare them for the Asian and Commonwealth Games in 2010.

-- BERNAMA

MAAU missing the main point

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THE Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) will be holding it first board meeting following its elections two weeks ago on Monday with only one item on the agenda.

At a time when there are so many pressing issues facing Malaysian athletics, president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim (left) and his officials do not appear to have grasped the urgency of the situation at hand.

Instead, MAAU is getting ready for a round of horse-trading with the chairmanship of the various sub-committees up for grabs at the board meeting in Kangar.

The Laos Sea Games are only 12 months away but no thought is being given to discussion of programmes for national athletes next year nor does anyone have any idea which athletes are being targeted for the Sea Games, the Asian Track and Field Championships and the World Championships.

Also missing from the agenda is the membership application of the Armed Forces Athletic Association and the revised constitution approved at an extraordinary general meeting in October, which has yet to be forwarded to the Sports Commissioner's Office.
There is also the matter of coaching assignments with new middle distance coach Aziz Mirzaei of Iran still without any national athletes to train.

Mirzaei, who will only officially start his duties under contract with the National Sports Council on Jan 1, has been at Bukit Jalil for four months but only has five Police athletes under his charge.

The Iranian was brought in by MAAU to assist with the development of the middle and long distance athletes under the 'Pelapis' programme but MAAU's tardiness in assigning athletes goes down as a missed opportunity to put Mirzaei to work immediately.

Unfortunately for the national athletes, MAAU is only concerned with pacifying state officials, as the notice for the board meeting sent out to its affiliates seems to indicate.

MAAU general manager Sri Murigak Madhavan confirmed that the appointment of the sub-committee members is the only item specified on the agenda.

In the meantime, national athletes will be left to contemplate how, or if, they figure in MAAU's plans for next season.

Sibling rivalry adds spice to script

 Sapura’s Keevan (left) and Logan Raj are set to square off against E&Y’s Misron siblings, Azlan and Azli in the final on Saturday.
Sapura’s Keevan (left) and Logan Raj are set to square off against E&Y’s Misron siblings, Azlan and Azli in the final on Saturday.

FAMILY ties will come to the fore when Sapura play Ernst & Young in the MHL-TNB Cup final at the KLHA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

Sapura will have two pairs of brothers Keevan and Logan Raj and Jiwa and Jiwan Mohan while E&Y have the Misron siblings, Azlan and Azli.

To make it even more interesting, the head coaches of both teams are also brothers -- Sapura's K. Enbaraj and E&Y's Muhd Dharma Raj Abdullah.

E&Y, the league champions, are featuring in their seventh final and interestingly, they have yet to lift the overall title while Sapura are aiming for their third title in four years.

They won in 2005 and 2006.
E&Y, powered by a host of national players, will start as favourites as they defeated Sapura 2-1 and 2-0 in the league.

"I suppose a sibling rivalry is on the cards between me and my brother. I'm in my first year with Sapura, while Dharma Raj has vast experience as a coach," said Enbaraj yesterday.

"It will be sweet if my team can get the better of his. My players are training very hard for the final. I'm confident they will play to their ability and strength."

The champions will receive RM25,000 while the runners-up RM10,000.

The final will be beamed live over Astro's channel 811.

FIXTURES: Saturday -- Third placing: Tenaga Nasional v Maybank (3pm); Final: Ernst & Young v Sapura (5.30pm).

(Both matches at the KLHA Stadium in Jalan Pantai).

Hockey: Defenders Baljit and Amin vying for top scorer award

By AFTAR SINGH

KUALA LUMPUR: Ernst and Young’s Baljit Singh Sarjab (pic) and Tenaga Nasional’s Mohd Amin Rahim are in the race for the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) top scorer’s award.

Both the national defenders have scored 12 goals each — from penalty corners.

The 21-year-old Baljit, who has 36 international caps to his credit, gets the chance to increase his tally in the final against Sapura at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium on Saturday.

He was the hero for Ernst and Young in the semi-final second-leg match against Maybank last Sunday, scoring the golden goal in the 76th minute to give the Division One champions a 3-2 aggregate win.

Tenaga, meanwhile, will bank on veteran Amin to deliver the goals against Maybank in the playoff for third place at the same venue on Saturday.

Ernst and Young will be out to nail the overall title after failing at the final hurdle on five previous occasions.

“I want to score on Saturday to help my team win the overall title for the first time. I also wants to win the top scorer’s award for the first time in MHL,” said Baljit, who has been with Ernst and Young since 2003.

Baljit has emerged as the top scorer before in other domestic competitions. He scored 23 goals for Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) to earn the award in the Malaysian Junior Hockey League (MJHL) in 2006. In Division One of the Razak Cup last year, he scored 12 goals to help Johor win the title.

Ernst and Young will be gunning for a third title this season after their success in Division One of the MHL and the Asian Champion Clubs (ACC) tournament.

They will be playing against Sapura for the third time in the MHL. In the two matches in the leagues, they beat Sapura 2-1 and 2-0 and Baljit scored one of the goals in the first match.

“I am the top scorer of the team and in the final, the pressure will be on me to deliver goals,’’ said Baljit, who scored only one goal in the MHL last season.

The 28-year-old Amin said that he was disappointed for failing to help defending overall champions Tenaga reach the final.

“My mission now is to help Tenaga finish third and also to become the top scorer for the second time in the MHL,’’ said Amin, who was tops with 30 goals for Ernst and Young in 2006.

Akhiri tahun penuh cemerlang


KEBANGGAAN MALAYSIA... Barisan pemain yang mengharumkan nama negara apabila menjuarai Kejohanan Badminton Masters Final 2008 di Kota Kinabalu Ahad lalu.





TAHUN 2008 menyaksikan ramai atlet Malaysia mencipta nama dalam arena sukan tahan air.

Demikian jelas Setiausaha Kehormat Majlis Olimpik Malaysia (MOM), Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (gambar) ketika diminta mengulas pencapaian atlet Malaysia sepanjang tahun ini.

"Secara menyeluruh, tahun 2008 merupakan tahun yang amat baik bagi arena sukan Malaysia. Kita akhiri tahun ini dengan amat cemerlang.

"Tiga pemain badminton negara memenangi Kejohanan Masters Final dan kontinjen Malaysia muncul juara keseluruhan dalam Sukan Universiti Asean (SUA) baru-baru ini.

"Secara peribadi, saya fikir sudah tentu Sukan Olimpik merupakan acara paling besar bagi Malaysia.

"Kejayaan Datuk Lee Chong Wei memenangi pingat perak adalah satu pencapaian bagi Malaysia terutamanya selepas dua Sukan Olimpik berturut-turut," kata Kok Chi.

Selain Chong Wei, beregu lelaki, Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong dan beregu wanita negara, Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui turut menjulang nama Malaysia pada Masters Final 2008 yang berakhir di Kota Kinabalu Ahad lalu.

Manakala kontinjen Malaysia muncul juara keseluruhan pada temasya SUA XIV dengan meraih 90 pingat emas, 78 pingat perak dan 47 pingat gansa.

Kok Chi berkata, acara sukan lain juga patut diberikan pengiktirafan secara adil.

"Kita juga perlu mengiktiraf atlet memanah dan lumba basikal negara... prestasi mereka juga amat baik pada Sukan Olimpik. Prospek mereka bagi Sukan Olimpik 2012 amat baik.

"Dan dalam sukan tertentu, melayakkan diri sahaja sudah merupakan satu pencapaian walaupun prospek pingat amat tipis seperti renang dan olahraga," tambah Kok Chi.

Katanya, MOM dan Majlis Sukan Negara (MNS) akan terus membantu atlet, namun tumpuan akan lebih diberikan kepada sukan yang mempunyai prospek pingat seperti badminton, memanah dan lumba basikal pada Sukan Olimpik 2012 di London.

"Kami sudah mula mempersiapkan para atlet dan kami mempunyai tempoh yang lebih lama untuk membuat persediaan," katanya.

Kok Chi berkata, walaupun Sukan SEA di Laos akan menjadi temasya terbesar buat atlet negara tahun depan, terdapat tujuh lagi temasya melibatkan atlet remaja yang akan menyediakan platform yang betul bagi persiapan menghadapi Sukan Asia dan Sukan Komanwel pada tahun 2010.

Menanti kilauan emas pertama


HONG WEI (gambar kiri) sumbang pingat perak pada temasya Olimpik di Beijing manakala Nicol meraih gelaran Terbuka British buat kali ketiga tahun ini.



KEGAGALAN jaguh badminton negara, Datuk Lee Chong Wei meraih pingat emas pada Sukan Olimpik di Beijing Ogos lepas membuatkan peminat sukan tanah air terus menanti lebih lama bagi menyaksikan sinaran emas pertama negara.

Dunia sukan negara juga terus menyaksikan detik-detik hitam dengan pelbagai kemelut sepanjang tahun ini yang menjejaskan imej sukan selain pembatalan penganjuran sukan antarabangsa yang sepatutnya berlangsung di Malaysia.

Mujur ratu skuasy, Datuk Nicol Ann David terus bersinar di persada sukan antarabangsa dengan mengibarkan megah bendera kebangsaan.

Selepas 51 tahun merdeka, Malaysia masih belum mampu mengungguli sukan yang dipertandingkan di Olimpik sebaliknya lebih menyerlah dalam acara yang tidak dipertandingkan pada sukan terbesar dunia itu seperti skuasy dan boling padang.

Teraju utama di Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS) terlebih dahulu bertukar tangan daripada Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said kepada Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Ismail Sabri kemudiannya meneruskan legasi Azalina untuk mencari emas pertama negara sejak Malaysia mula menyertai sukan terbesar dunia itu pada tahun 1956.

Seramai 33 atlet daripada 19 acara sukan kemudian menggalas harapan Malaysia di Beijing tetapi kilauan emas pada temasya yang berlangsung dari 8 hingga 24 Ogos itu pudar apabila Chong Wei yang melangkah ke perlawanan akhir perseorangan lelaki tewas mudah 12-21, 8-21 kepada bintang China, Lin Dan.

Sehubungan itu, KBS mengadakan Konvensyen Sukan Kebangsaan bagi menentukan acara sukan yang mampu memberikan emas pertama Malaysia pada temasya Olimpik serta memberi tumpuan kepada acara Sukan Asia, Komanwel dan SEA.

KBS sebelum itu memulakan proses mengemaskini Dasar Sukan Negara yang menentukan hala tuju sukan di negara ini dengan memasukkan beberapa jenis sukan baru seperti sukan ekstrem.

Sepanjang tahun ini juga, dua atlet utama, Nicol David dan Chong Wei serta jurulatih badminton negara, Misbun Sidek menerima anugerah yang membawa gelaran Datuk.

Nicol menunjukkan persembahan konsisten sepanjang dua tahun berturut-turut selepas memenangi kejohanan berprestij Terbuka British buat kali ketiga tahun ini selepas mengunggulinya pada tahun 2006 dan 2005.

Semenjak bertukar status menjadi pemain profesional pada 2000 hingga kini, Nicol memenangi 86 kejuaraan Persatuan Pemain Skuasy Wanita Antarabangsa (WISPA.

Malang bagi Nicol dan skuasy apabila acara ini tidak tersenarai dalam temasya Olimpik biarpun ada usaha menyenaraikannya pada Olimpik 2012 di London.

Selain skuasy, boling padang juga sering menghadiahkan pingat emas kepada Malaysia, namun sukan ini seringkali tidak diberi perhatian.

Malaysia kini berada pada ranking ketiga dunia di belakang New Zealand dan Australia dan atlet lelaki, Safuan Said diiktiraf sebagai pemain boling padang No. 1 dunia selepas memenangi pingat emas di Warilla, Australia pada April lepas.

Pembatalan beberapa penganjuran acara sukan peringkat antarabangsa yang sepatutnya berlangsung di negara ini turut mendapat perhatian kerana memberi impak negatif kepada imej negara.


SAFUAN masih kekal selaku pemain No. 1 dunia dalam acara boling padang.


Pembatalan Piala Juara-Juara Belia (CYC) yang sepatutnya diadakan pada Ogos lepas mendapat liputan luas media selepas kejohanan belia yang membabitkan pemain-pemain bawah 19 tahun itu gagal mendapat pengiktirafan daripada Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) selaku badan induk bola sepak negara.

Kemelut ini masih berterusan apabila KBS masih menunggu jawapan daripada penganjur Gifted Group Limited (GGL) yang berpangkalan di London untuk mendapatkan kembali sejumlah wang RM8 juta yang telah dibayar kepada GGL dengan kos penganjuran sebenar RM17 juta.

Pembatalan Kejohanan Raja Tenis yang sepatutnya berlangsung di Esplanade, Pulau Pinang pada awal November juga mencemarkan imej negara bila kejohanan yang sepatutnya menampilkan pemain tenis dunia dari Amerika Syarikat dan Eropah tidak mendapat lampu hijau daripada Pejabat Pesuruhjaya Sukan (PPS).

Masalah dalaman persatuan kadangkala menjadi tumpuan utama berbanding sukan itu sendiri.

Dua kes dalaman yang melibatkan kepimpinan Persatuan Pemain Golf Profesional Malaysia (MPGA) dan Persatuan Taekwondo Malaysia (MTA) masih di peringkat penyelesaian di PPS dan turut melibatkan kes mahkamah.

Namun isu pergeseran peribadi yang melibatkan pengarah Pusat Latihan Prestasi Tinggi (HPTC) Asia di Bukit Jalil, Mohd. Musa Noor Mohd. dan Timbalan Presiden Kesatuan Olahraga Amatur Malaysia (KOAM), Karim Ibrahim paling mendapat perhatian.

Kedua-dua pemimpin sukan olahraga yang mewakili dua institusi yang berbeza itu seolah-olah mahu mencari siapakah jaguh dalam menaikkan mutu sukan olahraga di Malaysia sehingga pergeseran mereka mendapat perhatian Ismail Sabri.

Isu perpindahan ibu pejabat Konfederasi Bolasepak Asia (AFC), AFC House yang terletak di Bukit Jalil turut mencemarkan imej Malaysia.

Biarpun sehingga kini masih belum ada kata putus mengenai perpindahan itu kerana keputusan tersebut hanya akan dimuktamadkan pada mesyuarat kongresnya pada November tahun depan, dua negara teluk iaitu Qatar dan Emiriyah Arab Bersatu (UAE) telah menawarkan diri dengan membida lokasi baru ibu pejabat kesatuan yang mewakili 46 persatuan bola sepak dari Asia. - Bernama

Pembunuh bola sepak negara


RAJA AHMAD ZAINUDDIN meraikan kejayaan Perak muncul juara Piala Malaysia edisi 1998 di Stadium Nasional, Bukit Jalil.



GEJALA rasuah kembali menular dalam sukan bola sepak negara?
Itu persoalan utama yang kembali diperdebatkan di kalangan pemerhati serta peminat sukan No. 1 negara itu.

Andai benar seperti apa yang didedahkan Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia (FAM) baru-baru ini bahawa gejala rasuah kembali 'menghiasi' bola sepak tanah air, satu tindakan pro-aktif harus dilaksanakan bagi mengelakkan ia menjadi 'barah' sehingga melumpuhkan perkembangan sukan No. 1 negara itu.

Jika diimbas kembali, negara pernah digemparkan dengan skandal rasuah pada tahun 1994 dan 1995. Ketika itu, lebih 100 pemain serta jurulatih yang disyaki mengatur keputusan perlawanan Piala Malaysia dan Liga Perdana ditahan pihak berkuasa untuk disoal siasat.

Hasilnya, Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) mengenakan hukuman di bawah Akta Kediaman Terhad terhadap 26 pemain yang menyaksikan mereka dibuang daerah manakala Lembaga Disiplin FAM pula menggantung penyertaan antara satu hingga lima tahun terhadap 57 pemain serta seorang penolong jurulatih.

Namun, timbul tanda tanya siapa dan bagaimana skandal ini boleh didedahkan?

Harus diakui bahawa rasuah sememangnya jenayah paling sukar dibanteras kerana pelakunya susah untuk dibuktikan berbanding kegiatan mencuri, merompak, merogol mahupun membunuh.

"Saya orang pertama yang membuat laporan polis berhubung gejala rasuah dalam bola sepak yang berlaku sekitar tahun 1994 dan 1995 di negara ini."

Demikian pengakuan bekas Setiausaha Agung FAM, Datuk Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad yang ketika itu menjawat jawatan sebagai Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak Pulau Pinang (FAP).


AINI (kanan) serta bekas jurulatih, Ken Worden dianggap arkitek kejayaan Selangor sekitar tahun 1990-an.


Mengulas lanjut, Ibrahim berkata, gejala rasuah ini mula didedahkan apabila beliau hadir menyaksikan perlawanan yang membabitkan Pulau Pinang di Stadium Bandaraya.

"Apabila saya masuk ke stadium, ada beberapa penonton yang sudah beritahu saya keputusan sebelum perlawanan berlangsung. Kebiasaannya mereka ini (penonton) hanya menunjukkan dengan jari keputusan perlawanan pada hari berkenaan, tidak kira pasukan mana yang menang, Pulau Pinang mahupun pihak lawan.

"Pada mulanya, saya tidak begitu ambil peduli kerana menganggap ini semua asam garam bola sepak kerana kerenah penonton macam-macam boleh dilihat.

"Bagaimanapun, saya mula mempercayai mereka kerana apa yang dikatakan mereka memang benar-benar berlaku. Paling mengejutkan saya apabila mereka sudah tahu lebih awal mana-mana pemain yang dikenakan kad merah atau kad kuning," jelas Ibrahim kepada Kosmo! baru-baru ini.

Ibrahim menambah, ekoran situasi tersebut, dia melakukan siasatan sendiri kerana mengesyaki terdapat beberapa pemain skuad Harimau Kumbang itu terlibat dengan gejala rasuah.

"Saya sudah tidak tahan melihatkan masalah ini dan ketika itu, saya benar-benar kecewa dan marah selepas mendapati ada pemain yang terlibat dengan gejala rasuah. Selepas bertungkus-lumus mencari wang untuk membayar gaji pemain, tetapi inilah yang terjadi.

"Akhirnya, kami (FAP) membuat keputusan untuk melaporkan masalah ini kepada Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) untuk melakukan siasatan lanjut.

"Bermula dari saat itu, pemain yang disyaki terlibat dengan rasuah telah disoal siasat oleh BPR sehingga mereka yang didapati bersalah dikenakan hukuman.

"Saya boleh katakan hampir seluruh skuad Pulau Pinang terlibat dengan gejala tidak bermoral itu," kata Ibrahim yang pernah menyandang jawatan selaku Naib Presiden FAM sebelum dilantik sebagai Setiausaha Agung FAM.

Jelas Ibrahim, disebabkan pendedahannya itu, satu demi satu pasukan yang beraksi dalam kancah Liga Perdana turut menerima tempiasnya.

"Mungkin ketika itu kali pertama gejala rasuah didedahkan, sebab itu 'pecah' satu Malaysia. Dari situ, terbongkar semua rahsia, hampir seluruh pasukan di Malaysia didakwa terlibat dengan rasuah.

"Selepas kes di Pulau Pinang, apa yang saya ketahui, BPR serta pihak Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) melancarkan siasatan secara besar-besaran sehingga tertangkapnya lebih 100 pemain serta jurulatih yang didakwa mengatur perlawanan," ujar Ibrahim.


AHMAD SHAHRUL AZHAR menerima Piala Malaysia daripada bekas Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Almarhum Sultan Salahhuddin Abdul Aziz Shah selepas Perak ditabalkan juara Piala Malaysia musim 2000.


Sementara itu, antara individu yang pernah 'menderita' akibat gejala tidak bermoral ini ialah bekas pengurus pasukan Perak, Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar.

Ketika isu rasuah ini timbul pada pertengahan tahun 1990-an, beliau baru sahaja kembali mengurus skuad Seladang selepas tamat tempoh penggantungannya ekoran salah laku disiplin.

"Tugas saya ketika itu amat berat. Bagaimanapun, saya tidak mudah menyerah kalah. Boleh dikatakan saya hilang hampir seluruh pemain utama akibat rasuah.

"Disebabkan itu, saya terpaksa mencari pemain baru serta muda untuk diketengahkan. Dari situlah lahir nama-nama seperti Ahmad Shahrul Azhar, Syamsol Saad, Shamsul Akmar Japeri dan beberapa pemain muda berbakat," jelas Raja Ahmad.

Mengulas mengenai gejala rasuah yang berlaku ketika itu, Raja Ahmad berkata, pada mulanya dia agak terkejut dengan laporan yang mengatakan beberapa tonggak utama Perak terlibat.

"Sudah pasti kita tidak sangka akan berlaku hal ini. Setahu saya, masalah gaji ketika itu tidak pernah timbul dan pihak pengurusan Persatuan Bola Sepak Perak (Pafa) sentiasa melunaskan janji-janji mereka kepada pemain..

"Mungkin keadaan sekeliling yang menyebabkan pemain ini terlibat dengan rasuah. Mungkin juga ada pemain yang terlalu mengejar kemewahan sehingga mereka lupa tanggungjawab sebagai seorang pemain.

"Sekali imbas, bukan sebab masalah taraf hidup (pemain terlibat dengan rasuah), tetapi mereka ini tamak. Ibarat orang mengantuk disorongkan bantal, siapa yang mahu menolak jika imbuhan itu besar. Tambahan pula pemain berkenaan benar-benar memerlukan duit," kata Raja Ahmad Zainuddin.


PENYOKONG bola sepak tempatan sentiasa berdiri teguh di belakang pasukan kesayangan mereka.


Bekas Naib Presiden FAM itu menambah, skuad Perak memerlukan tempoh tiga tahun untuk kembali bangkit menjadi antara pasukan paling disegani selepas ditimpa 'malapetaka' tersebut.

"Selepas tiga tahun, Perak kembali muncul antara kuasa bola sepak tempatan. Buktinya, Perak berjaya muncul juara Piala Malaysia pada tahun 1998 hasil bimbingan jurulatih Karl-Heinz Weigang," jelas Raja Ahmad Zainuddin.

Bagi menangani gejala rasuah daripada terus berleluasa, Raja Ahmad Zainuddin berkata, pihak pengurusan setiap pasukan harus mengambil inisiatif tersendiri dalam memberi tunjuk ajar serta motivasi kepada pemain serta pegawainya.

"Bola sepak adalah sukan No. 1 di negara ini dan mempunyai ramai pengikut, tetapi sukan ini dan karier pemain boleh hancur andainya mereka gagal mendisiplinkan diri.

"Bekerjasama dengan pihak berkuasa adalah langkah terbaik bagi membanteras gejala rasuah dan jangan memberi sebarang alasan jika ada yang terjebak dengan kegiatan tidak bermoral itu kerana rasuah tidak menjamin seseorang itu menjadi kaya melainkan usaha gigih sendiri," kata beliau.

Turut menceritakan pengalaman dahsyat yang pernah dialami ekoran skandal rasuah ini ialah bekas pengurus pasukan Selangor, Datuk Mohd. Aini Taib.

Aini berkata, skuad Gergasi Merah lumpuh seketika selepas enam pemainnya didapati bersalah terlibat dengan gejala tidak bermaruah itu.

"Apa yang kita hendak buat lagi apabila pemain yang diberi kepercayaan sanggup melakukan kesalahan sedemikian rupa. Ia satu berita yang menyedihkan kerana Selangor yang cukup gah di persada bola sepak tempatan turut dibelenggu dengan gejala rasuah.

"Pada mulanya, saya agak sangsi dengan laporan yang mengatakan pemain Selangor terlibat dengan rasuah. Namun saya mula dapati ada sesuatu yang tidak betul berlaku melihatkan beberapa keputusan perlawanan.

"Sebagai contoh, pada perlawanan separuh akhir Piala FA ketika Selangor menentang Kuala Lumpur, sekalipun selesa mendahului 2-0 pada babak pertama, kami terpaksa pulang dengan kosong apabila tewas 2-4.

"Trend itu saya lihat berlaku pada perlawanan-perlawanan tertentu. Apabila trend itu sudah ada dan saya mula syak ada sesuatu yang tidak kena, saya mula buat siasatan sendiri.

"Saya lantik dua pegawai penyiasat yang juga bekas anggota polis untuk memantau setiap gerak-geri pemain yang disyaki. Akhirnya memang benar pemain yang disyaki ini terlibat dengan rasuah," jelas Aini yang pernah memegang jawatan Presiden dan Timbalan Presiden Persatuan Bola Sepak Selangor (FAS).


SELANGOR merupakan pasukan yang cukup disegani dalam kancah bola sepak tempatan.


Pastinya, pendedahan yang dibuat oleh tiga individu ini (Ibrahim, Raja Ahmad Zainuddin dan Aini) yang pernah terlibat secara langsung dalam menangani gejala rasuah perlu diambil perhatian serta pertimbangan yang sewajarnya oleh pihak berwajib.

Sesungguhnya gejala rasuah yang dikatakan kembali menular dalam kancah bola sepak tempatan, tidak boleh dipandang ringan serta perlu dibanteras segera dengan kerjasama semua pihak.

Sebagaimana yang telah dititahkan Presiden FAM, Sultan Ahmad Shah: "Saya tidak mahu gejala rasuah ini menjadi barah dalam industri bola sepak kita."

Justeru, satu metodologi terbaik harus diusahakan segera oleh tiga pihak berkenaan (FAM, BPR serta PDRM) bagi menangani skandal rasuah ini yang jika tidak dibendung dengan serius, dibimbangi mampu meruntuhkan institusi bola sepak tanah air.



Roslinda's Italy Stint Switched To Bukit Jalil

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 (Bernama) -- Pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu who was offered to go to the High Performance Training Centre (HPTC) in Formia, Italy, has to continue her training at home instead.

This is because the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) has decided to send a pole vault coach to the Bukit Jalil HPTC as requested by Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Bukit Jalil HPTC Director for Asia Mohd Musa Noor Mohd said Ismail wanted the Bukit Jalil HPTC to also have a pole vault coach besides focusing on the sprinters and hurdlers.

"Out of respect to the minister's request, the IAAF has agreed to send a pole vault coach from Russia who will start coaching at the Bukit Jalil HPTC in January," he told Bernama on Wednesday.

Apart from Roslinda, another pole vaulter Kathleen Ong and sprinter A. Rehvan will also have the opportunity to train at the Bukit Jalil HPTC.

Meanwhile, Roslinda said she would prefer to go to Italy not only for the training but also to compete with other world-class athletes.

"Right now, I need more high-level competitions to bring out the best in me. A training stint in Europe is the best platform for that purpose.

"In Bukit Jalil, I will be training as usual even under the new coach but there will be no competition from other athletes," she said.

Roslinda, who competed at the Beijing Olympics in August, is the national record holder at 4.4m set in Spain in 2006 under Gennady Potapovich's coaching.

-- BERNAMA

UMT To Have Biggest Sports Complex Among 20 IPTAs In Malaysia

By Zulhilmi Supaat

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 (Bernama) -- The RM45 million Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) sports complex when ready next year, would be the biggest sports facility among 20 Public Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTA) in the country.

UMT vice chancellor (Alumni and Student Affairs) Prof Dr Abdul Majid Mohd Isa said the sports complex would have various sporting facilities like squash, badminton courts and two Olympics size swimming pools for swimming and diving.

"Apart from the Sports Complex, UMT would also offer facilities for water sports like kayaking and scuba diving," he told Bernama here.

Dr Abdul said UMT that was set up primarily for Marine Science Research has also been given a special task by the Higher Learning Ministry to focus on three sports, namely scuba, kayaking and equestrian.

The special focus on the three sports would not mean that UMT will ignore other sports since UMT have a formidable futsal team that emerged winners in the Universities Sports Council of Malaysia Games (Masum), held in Sabah in May this year, he said.

He added that the UMT Sports Centre that started with three officers, now has 12 officers and for students who excel in sports, it would be a ticket for them to ensure a place in the hostel of the UMT campus.

Dr Abdul said UMT also has three back up players from the national futsal squad and two national rugby players pursuing their studies at UMT.

UMT added Dr Abdul would also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Terengganu Taekwondo Association to absorb athletes who wished to continue their studies but were turned down by other IPTAs.

He said since last year UMT had also allocated a 20 percent quota for athletes born in Terengganu to pursue higher studies.

"As soon as the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) results were announced last year, our officers combed the state in search of students who excelled in both studies and sports and offered them places at UMT.

But since it was really difficult to find a big number with such qualities, we did provide some flexibility but the basic minimum requirement of 5 credits was not compromised," he said.

UMT initially started in 1978 as Pusat Perikanan Universiti Pertanian, now Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) before it was upgraded to Universiti Putra Malaysia Terengganu in 1996.

In 1999, it became College Universiti Terengganu and went through yet another name change, becoming College Universiti Science and technology Malaysia (Kustem) in 2001 before its inception as Universiti Malaysia Terengganu on Feb 1, 2007.

-- BERNAMA

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Office Bearers and members of OCM wish to extend their greetings to all members of OCM, NSAs, Sponsors, Media, and etc. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

SPORTCHECK THE LEONARD A DE VRIES PERSPECTIVE: Local coaches are the best option

FORMER National Coaching Board (NCB) chairman Prof Datuk Dr Leonard A. de Vries is a firm believer in local coaches.

In fact, the NCB was set up to train locals to excel in coaching as locals would find it easier to understand Malaysian athletes.

The idea to form the board and a national coaches programme was mooted at a seminar organised by the National Sports Council in 1985.

The board was formed shortly after and two years later, the National Coaches Certificate Scheme was introduced.

de Vries said the NCB believes that coaching Malaysia's international athletes and teams requires coaches with leadership qualities and in-depth understanding and application of sports science, in particular the physical, mental, technical and tactical components related to sports specific performances.
"To date, more than 5,500 Level One, 1,674 Level Two and 200 Level Three coaches have been certified.

"Since its inception, Level Three has a sports science subject as it is the highest level of certification for Malaysian coaches.

"Level Three is thorough and those who obtain the certification should be the ones handling athletes and teams at the international level," said de Vries, who is also the Malaysian Association for Physical Education, Sports Science and Fitness president.

Among coaches who have obtained Level Three certification are Johannis Amrin (artistic gymnastic), Wallace Tan and Stephen Van Huizen (hockey), Teh Lah Hoong, Kok Mong Lin and Loo Joo Sin (rhythmic gymnastics), Moira Tan Siew See (netball), Muhammad Shafiq Abdullah (sepaktakraw) and Mohd Hazan Daham (lawn bowls).

"Where are these coaches and what are they doing? These are the ones that came through the system and the NSC should have the data of these coaches with it.

"If we are really keen on improving sports culture, then we should capitalise on our own coaches instead of hunting for foreign coaches.

"We already have a system in our own backyard... it is just a question of implementing it.

"Take the bad and make it better, take the good and develop it further," he said.

NST

HOCKEY: Three on MHF's list

National coach Sarjit Singh (right) watches his players train for the Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year. Sarjit’s contract ends on Dec 31.
National coach Sarjit Singh (right) watches his players train for the Azlan Shah Cup earlier this year. Sarjit’s contract ends on Dec 31.

The number of coaches vying to take charge of the national hockey team has been whittled down to a final three candidates.

The aspirants hail from Europe, Australia and Asia.

Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, however, chose not to reveal their names.

"I cannot make the announcement yet, as the coaches are still contracted to other teams. We have three candidates and all of them are foreigners," he said in Kuantan yesterday.

He said the official announcement on who would replace Sarjit Singh as the national coach would only be made next month. Sarjit's contract ends on Dec 31.
Among the coaches MHF and the National Sports Council (NSC) were interested in was South Korean Kin Sang-ryul, who was in charge of China at the Beijing Olympics.

However, MHF's inability to name potential candidates has given rise to speculation that it is finding it difficult to get the quality coach it is seeking.

On preparation for the Junior World Cup in Johor in June, Tengku Abdullah said that construction of the second artificial turf would be completed by March.

He said all problems had been settled with the help of the Johor state government and the Sports Ministry.

Malaysia will co-host the Junior World Cup with Singapore.

NST

The year in review : Athletics: Bolt shines on the track

Virtually unknown at the start of the year, the Jamaican sprinter was the star of the track in 2008.
Virtually unknown at the start of the year, the Jamaican sprinter was the star of the track in 2008.

LONDON: Usain Bolt let those long legs loose at the Bird's Nest, and he left Beijing with three Olympic gold medals, three world records and hundreds of millions of new fans around the world.


Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva celebrates breaking the world record in the pole vault final at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva celebrates breaking the world record in the pole vault final at the Beijing Olympics in August.
Virtually unknown at the start of the year, the Jamaican sprinter was the star of the track in 2008, first setting a world record in the 100 metres at the end of May and then lowering the mark to 9.69 seconds at the Olympics.

A few days later, he set a 200 record of 19.30, taking two hundredths of a second off the mark set by Michael Johnson at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

To cap it off, the 1.96m Bolt helped Jamaica win gold in the 4x100 relay -- again in world-record time.

"I'm Lightning Bolt. I'm not Flash Gordon or anybody," Bolt said after the 200. "My name is Lightning Bolt."
Two of the greatest distance runners of all time also had stellar years, with Kenenisa Bekele winning both the 5,000 and 10,000 at the Olympics.

In the longer race, the Ethiopian great beat 1996 and 2000 Olympic 10,000 champion Haile Gebrselassie, who only competed in that event after opting out of the marathon because of pollution fears.

But Gebrselassie's sixth-place finish in Beijing didn't stop him from breaking his own world record in the marathon, lowering that mark to 2:03:59 in Berlin in September.

"I knew I can do something here in Berlin because since I started running, Berlin is my lucky city," said Gebrselassie, a three-time Berlin Marathon champion who had set the previous world record at the race in 2007.

In women's competition, Yelena Isinbayeva was undefeated outdoors in 2008, defending her Olympic pole vault title in Beijing with one of her four world records this year -- three outside and one inside.

"I love to be alone at the top," Yelena said after raising the outdoor world record to 5.05 metres in Beijing.

Tirunesh Dibaba emulated Bekele on the track, completing an Olympic long-distance double by winning both the 5,000 and 10,000, and Kenyan teenager Pamela Jelimo won the women's 800 in Beijing and collected the US$1 million (RM3.5 million) Golden League jackpot by winning her event at all six participating meetings.

Paula Radcliffe, the marathon world-record holder, had another disappointing Olympics, finishing only 23rd four years after dropping out of the 42.2-kilometre race at the 2004 Athens Games. But the season wasn't ruined for the British runner, who came back to competitive running in 2007 after giving birth to her daughter and won her third New York Marathon title this year.

"It does make it frustrating because you think, 'Why can I get it right all the time in New York and I can't get it right there?"' Paula said of the Olympics. "But sometimes you have to take what life gives you."

Doping again had an effect in 2008, with seven Russian women getting busted only a week before the Beijing Games for tampering with their urine samples.

Marion Jones, who gave back her five medals from the Sydney Olympics after finally admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, served six months in jail for lying about her steroid use. Four track-and-field athletes were disqualified for doping at the Beijing Games, including Ukraine's Lyudmila Blonska, who was stripped of her silver medal in the heptathlon.

But none of that overshadowed the towering Bolt, who totally eclipsed Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell in 2008. Although Powell had lowered his own 100 record to 9.74 in 2007, he again failed to shine at the big event, finishing fifth in the short sprint in Beijing.

But together, Bolt and Powell formed a formidable team. Running along with Nesta Carter and Michael Frater in the 4x100, Jamaica set a world record of 37.10 to complete a sweep of the three sprint events, leaving the United States without a gold in the fast events that Americans have dominated since the first modern Olympics in 1896.

Bolt's records didn't come without criticism, however, and it was International Olympic Committee president Jacque Rogge leading the way after the Jamaican's showboating.

Bolt slowed over the final metres of the 100, looking around and even banging his fist off his chest, leaving fans to wonder just how fast he could have gone. Before the start of the 200, Bolt did a small dance as his name was announced over the public address system.

"That's not the way we perceive being a champion," said Rogge, who also made sure to laud Bolt's running achievements. "I have no problem with him doing a show. I think he should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made in the 100 metres."

Bolt said he wouldn't change his character.

"I don't see any problem with it, because people enjoy watching me," Bolt said. "I'll stay the way I am -- that's my personality."

Bolt's incredible running made him only the fourth man -- and first since Carl Lewis in 1984 -- to win all three Olympic sprint events.

"I have a motto that anything is possible," Bolt said after winning the IAAF's athlete of the year award in November.

To prove that, Bolt is already considering an attempt at Johnson's nine-year-old 400-metre record, which stands at 43.18.

"The training for 400 metres is so much harder," Bolt said, "but I'm thinking about it." -- AP