Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Oleh Hassan Omar
KHAIRUL menunjukkan lututnya yang perlu dibedah di kediamannya di Penampang, Sabah semalam.
Bekas penjaga gol itu perlu RM16,000 untuk menjalani pembedahan
JIKA ikut perasaan hati, dia masih mahu menabur bakti kepada negara. Jauh di lubuk hatinya masih menyimpan rasa sayang akan pasukan kebangsaan.
Namun, kini pada usia 41 tahun Khairul Azman Mohamad sudah tidak mampu memerah keringat membantu pasukan negara, apatah lagi kecederaan lutut yang tidak pernah susut memaksa dia melupakan terus niat berkenaan.
Namanya tidak perlu diperkenalkan kerana menjadi penjaga gawang antara digeruni satu ketika dulu.
Dia mula berjinak dengan bola sepak pada usia 17 tahun dan bangga dipilih menyertai skuad remaja Pahang pada 1985. Ketangkasannya melayangkan badan menepis bola membantunya dipilih pemain terbaik remaja dan menyarung jersi negara pada Kejohanan Sekolah Asean di Jakarta, tahun yang sama sebelum menyertai skuad kebangsaan pada 1991.
Sejak itu, dia menunjukkan peningkatan mendadak dan menjadi sebutan peminat tanah air, termasuk selepas membantu Pahang menjuarai Piala Malaysia 1992 serta dipilih pemain terbaik Piala Malaysia pada 1996 mewakili Sabah.
Kini, kecederaan lutut semakin menghantui bekas penjaga gawang negara itu dan difahamkan memerlukan pembedahan memasukkan besi pada bahagian itu.
“Saya diberitahu, untuk sebelah lutut, kosnya RM8,000. Kalau dua lutut, sudah jadi RM16,000. Besi itu boleh bertahan antara tujuh hingga lapan tahun.
“Saya tidak mampu, apatah lagi dalam keadaan saya sekarang tidak mempunyai sebarang pekerjaan,” katanya ketika ditemui di kediamannya di Penampang, dekat Kota Kinabalu, baru-baru ini.
Syarikat dan individu yang prihatin boleh menderma menerusi akaun Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Kebangsaan (Yakeb) untuk kempen 1Ringgit 1Malaysia, 564847005696 (Maybank) atau disalurkan menerusi SMS dengan menaip YAKEB1, YAKEB2, YAKEB5 atau YAKEB10 (RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10) ke 33898.
Jasa dan pengorbanan pemain ini boleh ditontoni melalui program Bersamamu-Wira Sukan, Anda Tetap Di Hati di TV3, jam 9.30 malam ini.
"ONE does the dangdut and the other does the breakdance," quipped Khairul Azman Mohammed as he referred to his two legs.
The former national goalkeeper put his hands behind his right knee and pushed the lower part of his leg forward by an inch or so from his thigh. With his left knee, he moved it from side to side.
But dance is furthest from Khairul's mind as the 41-year-old father of four endures pain everyday.
His right knee does not have any ligaments, tendon or meniscus, key components that links limbs. His left knee is without ligaments and tendon.
|Khairul Azman showing his injured knee which has forced him to retire from playing and even from coaching. — PIC: DATU RUSLAN SULAI.|
Just to ease the pain that comes with the condition, Khairul has to go for treatment every two weeks at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu.
"I guess this is what you get for giving it all you got when it comes to playing the sport you love and not bothering about the consequences," he said.
"Even when I was sitting for my SPM exam, I would hurriedly finish my papers and rush to the field nearby for training.
"That was me in those days, if there was pain on the legs, I would get them bandaged or treated with some massage or even painkillers just to make sure I can play.'
Renowned for his long locks of hair. commanding appearance and booming voice that intimidated many on the field, Khairul's talent and determination had brought him much success internationally.
Khairul started playing for the national juniors in 1985 and by 1991 he was drafted into the senior squad. He also led Pahang to Malaysia Cup success in 1992 and Sabah to the FA Cup title in 1995 and the Premier League crown in 1996. Khairul was named the best goalkeeper in Southeast Asia in 1995.
A towering figure who started his career as a 17-year-old with the Pahang team in 1985, Khairul is now unemployed and depends solely on a monthly pension of RM540 from the Social Security Organisation. He retired prematurely in 2005 after turning out for Sabah whom he first joined in 1995.
"I was already injured before that but I gave it a try and lasted only three games. After that I turned to coaching until last year," said Khairul who now considers Sabah his home.
"I would have continued but I was advised to rest because my knees are becoming more and more painful by the day and I am supposed to go for surgery," he said.
But Khairul, who does not have a regular income and a family to feed, could not afford the RM16,000 needed for the operation to do tendon or ligament replacements.
"The pain is still bearable but if it worsens, I have no choice but to go for surgery," he said.
Khairul now leads a simple and quiet life with his wife Khairiah alias Caren John Bion in Penampang and their child. He has three other children from a previous marriage but they live in Pahang.
"If I can have this surgery, I wish to return to coaching or even contribute to sports development in whatever manner. I will advise young athletes to take care of their health and not end up like me."
Khairul's plight is among those highlighted in the National Athletes Charity Foundation (YAKEB) 1Ringgit 1Malaysia donation drive.
Contributions can be made directly to the Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Kebangsaan -- Tabung Yakeb (Maybank account No: 564847005696.
Donations can also be made via SMS: Type YAKEB1, YAKEB2, YAKEB5 or YAKEB10 and send to 33898.
Donation boxes are also available at NSTP headquarters in Jalan Riong, Bangsar and branch offices, BSN branches nationwide and Pos Malaysia branches.
For enquiries, contact 03-89964841/4844 or log on to www.yakeb.org.my.
• Watch Bersamamu-Wira Sukan, Anda tetap Di Hati on TV3 at 9.30pm tonight.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Oleh Harris Rajahdin
Bekas pelumba basikal itu kini terlantar kerana diserang diabetes
TIADA apa yang dapat menghalang Ramli Hashim daripada meneruskan kegiatan mengayuh basikal yang menjadi kegilaannya itu, bahkan bangkangan ayahnya sendiri gagal melunturkan semangatnya daripada bergiat dalam sukan yang dicintai itu.
Sehinggakan penumbuk ayahnya yang hinggap di mukanya sebagai hukuman kedegilan Ramli, seakan mencabarnya untuk terus menggiatkan diri dalam lumba basikal, biarpun menyedari tidak mendapat restu daripada orang tuanya.
“Saya pernah kena tumbuk oleh ayah kerana memintanya membeli basikal lumba. Saya ingat lagi masa itu waktu makan, apa lagi selepas mendengar permintaan saya, dia mengangkat mangkuk dengan kuah panas dan menjirus ke atas kepala saya,” kata bekas pelumba berusia 63 yang ditemui di kediamannya di Selayang.
Kebimbangan ayah Ramli sebenarnya berasas kerana abang Ramli menemui ajalnya di padang bola sepak.
Namun semua itu gagal membunuh keazaman Ramli kerana akhirnya berjaya memiliki basikal yang diidamkan, sungguhpun ayahnya tidak pernah sekali pun membeli basikal sukan yang dimintanya sejak sekian lama.
“Ketika itu, saya sering singgah di Clementi (Singapura), kawasan yang terkenal dengan kegiatan berlumba. Seorang kawan saya nak jual basikalnya dengan harga RM230 tetapi masa tu saya hanya mempunyai RM80 saja.
“Ayah memberi saya RM60, duit saya masih tidak mencukupi lalu saya beralih minat kepada bermain gitar. Baru dua hari selepas itu, kawan saya memanggil saya, bertanyakan jumlah wang yang ada dan menyuruh saya membayar bakinya secara ansuran,” katanya.
Dengan basikal itu bermulalah kerjayanya dalam lumba basikal dengan penyertaannya dalam Sukan Seap 1973, tiga bulan selepas menceburi sukan itu yang menyaksikannya merangkul tiga pingat perak, dalam 1,600 meter ujian masa, 800m dan 400m lepas beramai-ramai.
Kini, kerjaya gemilang Ramli tinggal kenangan buatnya dengan dia kini menghabiskan usianya di rumah berikutan penyakit diabetes yang dihidapinya lapan tahun lalu yang menyaksikan dirinya terpaksa melupakan kegilaannya, mengayuh basikal.
Syarikat dan individu yang prihatin boleh menderma menerusi akaun Yakeb untuk kempen 1Ringgit 1Malaysia, 564847005696 (Maybank) atau disalurkan menerusi SMS dengan menaip YAKEB1, YAKEB2, YAKEB5 atau YAKEB10 (RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10) ke 33898.
Kisah Rosli boleh dilihat menerusi program Bersamamu-Wira Sukan, Anda Tetap Di Hati di TV3 malam ini.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
THERE is a fervent attempt to bring the glory back to Merdeka Stadium. And PNB chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji wants to start with staging the Merdeka Tournament annually.
"The stadium will be ready by November. We're looking at opening its doors either by December or perhaps early January," said Ahmad Sarji, also chairman of IIUM and Lawns Bowls Association of Malaysia.
"We want national sports associations to talk to us. We want them to bring their events back. It would be fabulous if the FA of Malaysia organises the Merdeka Tournament where it all started - at Merdeka Stadium."
Merdeka Stadium holds special meaning to the country. It was built for the declaration of Independence on Aug 31, 1957. It was later turned into a sporting hub, hosting a series of events including the Muhammad Ali vs Joe Bugner clash on July 1, 1975, the 1977 SEA Games and the annual Merdeka Tournament.
It also saw concerts by, among others, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson, Kool and the Gang, Celine Dion and Linkin Park.
Modernisation took its toll on Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara, a stone's thrown away. It was almost torn down but due to a public outcry, plans to redevelop the land were shelved. Then came along PNB, promising
to upkeep all 14 acres of the land housing the stadiums and developing the surrounding 19 acres - ranging from posh residential areas to business plazas at a gross development value of RM3 billion.
"PNB is the owner but the stadiums are entrusted with the PNB's Merdeka Heritage Trust Foundation.
"The first phase of restoration works was to commemorate the 50th Merdeka celebrations in 2007. Now we're into our second phase and have spent around RM8.5 million to give Merdeka Stadium its original look," added Ahmad Sarji.
The restoration works will include the construction of the saluting platform at the grandstand, retaining walls, minor repairs and a scoreboard complete with State emblems - almost like what the stadium looked like when it was built.
The upper terraces have been torn down and as such, the seating capacity is now reduced from 45,000 to 20,000 - just as it was in 1957. Also gone is the running track.
Stadium Negara, meanwhile, will house a sports library, a gymnasium and a gallery celebrating historical
feats achieved at both Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara.
"We're got plans for Stadium Negara. Let's keep that for another day," Ahmad Sarji said. Merdeka Stadium was awarded the 2008 Unesco Asia-Pacifi c Heritage Award of Excellence and was declared a National Heritage by the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry earlier this year.
"National stadiums are objects of pride with history. Sadly, many are under-utilised. It is now up to the NSAs to approach us and make use of the facilities.
"They should know the number of spectators expected in the preliminary rounds and the critical stages. Merdeka Stadium is in the heart of town, has ample parking space and excellent public transportation.
"If organisers want to relive past memories, if they want reasonable prices to host a reasonable crowd, then Merdeka Stadium is the place for it," Ahmad Sarji said.
Sportcheck — FAM says why notWHY not? That was the immediate reaction from FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy-president Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad on utilising Merdeka Stadium as the main venue for football events, including the Merdeka Tournament.
“Obviously, the field must be of international standard as we host international teams. That aside, I feel it would be wonderful to have the matches at Merdeka Stadium,” said Redzuan.
Perbadanan Nasional Berhad (PNB) chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji has urged national sports associations, including FAM, to use Merdeka Stadium when it opens its doors again by the end of this year.Redzuan said the reduced seating capacity would not be a problem.
“We know when there will be fans and when there isn’t going to be a large crowd. We can also use two or more stadiums and shift the venues once the numbers get larger, which would normally be during the more critical stages of a tournament,” added Redzuan.
Merdeka Stadium staged a string of football activities. It saw the likes of the late Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh, Dollah Salleh and national coach K. Rajagobal play on the field.
“We couldn’t organise the Merdeka Tournament and Intercontinental Cup this year due to the swine flu.
“There’s still plenty of time for next year’s edition. Who knows, if all goes well it may be a good idea to use Merdeka Stadium as the venue,” Redzuan added.
MERDEKA STADIUM was constructed in 1956 for Malaysia’s declaration of Independence on Aug 31, 1957.
From its original capacity of 20,000, the stadium was later able to fit 40,000 people and running tracks were included, turning it into a multi-sports facility.
Merdeka Stadium hosted a series of sports, cultural and arts activities, including the 1965 and 1971 SEAP Games, 1977 and 1989 SEA Games, national athletics meets, the annual Merdeka Tournament, the memorable Muhammad Ali vs Joe Bugner heavyweight title clash, a number of concerts including German rock band Scorpions, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson and Hong Kong stars such as Leslie Cheung and Aaron Kwok.
STADIUM NEGARA was declared open on April 10, 1962 by our third King Tuanku Syed Putra. It was the scene of several world badminton triumphs, including the Thomas Cup victory of 1992. It too held several concerts, including Santana in mid-70s, and Disneyland shows.
CHIN WOO STADIUM is anotherfamous landmark in the area. Built in the 1950s by YT Lee, the stadium was a favourite badminton and aquatics hub. It remains so today as it is located in the heart of town. National swimming championships were mostly held there.
MERDEKA STADIUM HIGHLIGHTS
Sept 25, 1956 – Construction began
Aug 21, 1957 – Stadium fully completed with a capacity of 20,000 at a cost of RM2.3 million
Aug 30, 1957 – Officially launched by Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman
Aug 31, 1957 – Saw Malaysia’s declaration of Independence
1957 – 1995 – Hosted the Pestabola Merdeka tournament
1965, 1971 – Hosted the SEAP Games
1977, 1989 – Hosted the SEA Games
July 1, 1975 – Muhammed Ali fought Joe Bugner for the heavyweight title
1994 – Talk of demolishing Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara heightened after UEM was granted the rights to develop the land. Proposed was a RM1 billion complex of office blocks, shopping complex, high-end residential areas, park, amphitheatre and entertainment centre.
Oct 27, 1996 – Michael Jackson performed in front of a packed stadium
2001 – PNB acquired the land from UEM as the latter had no financial capability to proceed with the billion-ringgit project due to the economic downturn. PNB would redevelop the surrounding land but restore the two stadiums for sporting activities
Aug 31, 2007 – 50th Merdeka Celebrations held at Stadium Merdeka
Dec 2009 – Expected completion of Stadium Merdeka restoration works
By Nadia Badarudin
IN his glory days, Romli Desa made Malaysia proud of his skills and talent in cycling.
Known as "'Raja Bukit" (King of the Hills), Romli started making a name for himself in cycling after representing the country at the Southeast Asian Peninsular (Seap) Games when he was 20.
The Sungai Petani-born cyclist also actively coached youths in Kedah, and fervently hoped for them to represent Malaysia.
Now, at 58, he cannot even cycle.
|In a freak accident in 1980, Romli’s right leg was nearly severed at the ankle. — Pic: SYAHARIM ABIDIN|
In a freak accident in 1980, Romli's right leg was nearly severed at the ankle. He was hospitalised for a year, and because of the accident, was unable to walk properly or cycle again.
He became disabled.
He had no choice but to give up the career he loved so much.
Although the accident happened more than 25 years ago, Romli's leg has yet to be fully healed.
"I have to go to a private clinic to get the wound cleaned and the dressing changed everyday. The medical bills and medicines alone cost me more than RM400 a month," said Romli.
The former Sungai Petani Municipal Council driver lives with his wife, Muhaizah Ali, 55, a homemaker, and two children -- aged 15 and 19 -- and survives on a pension of RM700 a month.
He has four other children who are married and living with their own families.
"Several years ago, I could still try to make ends meet with a small catering business with the help of my wife and children.
"Unfortunately, I now find going to wet markets to buy the necessities for the business an uphill task. My foot cannot take it," he said, before adding that he and his wife survive by doing odd jobs.
He applied to the welfare department for aid but had not received any response.
Romli, whose talent was discovered by the Kedah Cycling Association in the early 70s, first represented Malaysia in the track and highway categories at the seventh Seap Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1971.
He came to prominence when his team took gold in the team category at the 1973 Seap Games in Singapore.
Romli, who finished second in the pre-qualification test for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, won gold at the Track Cycling Malaysia Open Tournament organised by the Penang Cycling Association and was declared the country's best cyclist in 1973.
The year also saw Romli win the "King of the Hills" title in the Four-Levels Kuala Lumpur-Alor Star Cycling Tournament.
Romli started coaching and sharing his knowledge and expertise with several cycling associations in the state before the accident.
His plight is among those highlighted in the National Athletes' Charity Foundation's (YAKEB) 1Ringgit 1Malaysia donation drive.
"I wish that my injury heals, I wish I could continue to train youngsters who share the same passion for cycling. I want them to make Malaysia proud," he said.
Those who wish to contribute to the 1Ringgit 1Malaysia campaign can send their donations to YAKEB's Maybank account number 564847005696 or SMS YAKEB1 to donate RM1, YAKEB2 for RM2, YAKEB5 for RM5 and YAKEB10 for RM10 and send to 33898.
Donation boxes are also located at NSTP headquarters and branch offices as well as at Bank Simpanan Nasional and post office branches nationwide.
For enquiries, contact 03-89964841/4844 or log on to www.yakeb.org.my
l Watch BersamaMu -- Wira Sukan, Anda Tetap Di Hati on TV3 at 9.30pm tonight.
Oleh Omar Osman
BUKTI kesungguhan untuk memikul cabaran negara pernah menyaksikan Ramli Desa sanggup mengayuh basikal daripada Alor Star ke Kuala Lumpur untuk menjalani latihan skuad Sukan Seap 1971.
Namun kerjayanya dalam sukan berbasikal berakhir pada 1980 apabila mengalami kecederaan kaki kanannya akibat dirempuh kereta di persimpangan Batu Dua, Jalan Kampung Raja yang mengakibatkannya terlantar hampir setahun di hospital.
Kini, selepas bersara daripada jawatan selaku pemandu di Majlis Perbandaran Sungai Petani, Ramli, 58, sekadar tinggal di rumah bersama isterinya, Muhaiza Ali.
“Jika dibanding ketika ini, pelumba dulu memang susah. Tiada kemudahan dan bantuan, malah saya terpaksa berjimat daripada gaji RM130 sebulan untuk membeli basikal berharga RM500.
“Kini, pelumba beruntung kerana bukan saja disediakan basikal, malah tempat latihan moden dan berlatih pula di luar negara,” katanya yang pernah membantu skuad berbasikal lebuh raya memenangi pingat emas Sukan Seap 1973 di Singapura.
Dua kekecewaan masih tersimpan dalam ingatannya - apabila basikalnya rosak 15km sebelum tamat kejohanan Asia di Singapura selain tidak dapat beraksi di Sukan Olimpik Munich 1972 biarpun namanya tersenarai.
Selepas kemalangan itu, dia pernah menjadi jurulatih berbasikal Kedah dan antara pelumba pernah mendapat asuhannya termasuklah Samsudin Abdullah dan Aziman Ahmad.
“Ketika ini, memang sukar untuk menyara keluarga dengan wang pencen RM700. Saya berterima kasih kepada isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosman Mansor yang melancarkan Tabung 1Ringgit 1Malaysia untuk membantu bekas atlit seperti saya,” katanya.
Pihak dan individu prihatin boleh menderma menerusi akaun Yakeb untuk kempen 1Ringgit 1Malaysia, 564847005696 (Maybank) atau disalurkan menerusi SMS dengan menaip YAKEB1, YAKEB2, YAKEB5 atau YAKEB10 (RM1, RM2, RM5, RM10) ke 33898.