Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lilian makes history in Bangkok

Proud Malaysian: Lilian Tan won the above 50kg gold in the World Championships yesterday.
PETALING JAYA: Lilian Tan struck a historic first for women’s bodybuilding when she became the first Malaysian to take gold in the World Bodybuilding and Physique Federation (WBPF) World Championships in Bangkok.

Lilian came out tops in the above 50kg weight division contest at the Nimibutr National Stadium yesterday and it was the third gold medal for Malaysia in the world meet.

On Saturday, Sazali Samad triumphed in the below 70kg (lightweight) category for his eighth world title while gym owner Wong Hong earned his second world title in the Masters (age 40-50). But it was a woman who struck the perfect pose to pave the way for Malaysia to achieve their best-ever outing at the meet.

Lilian is the only woman in a team of seven bodybuilders sent to the world meet by the Malaysian Bodybuilding Federation (MBBF).

“It is a huge honour to be able to represent Malaysia at the international level in the world’s most prestigious championship,” said Lilian.

”Honestly, I’m still trying to absorb this accomplishment. I’ve dreamt of this moment for years. I’ve worked very hard for this victory.”

The 40-year-old Lilian, who only stands at 157cm, came close to bagging a medal when she finished fourth in the world meet in Malacca last year.

She took silver in the Asian meet in Guangzhou last year and this is her biggest achievement since she first developed a liking for lifting weights when she went to further her studies in California. The Penang-born girl continued with her involvement after graduating with a degree in Business Management in 1997.

Since women were not encouraged to participate in the sport at that time, Lilian choose to pursue her interests in the US.

In 2004, she won the Miss USA Overall Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition (Open category) and earned her status as a professional bodybuilder.

Lilian returned to Malaysia a few years ago and is now a freelance physical trainer.
Sazali applauded her efforts in scoring a first for Malaysian bodybuilding.

“She has worked and trained very hard all these years to get to where she is today. Lilian has put the country in the limelight and showed that I am not the only one capable of carrying the challenge,” said Sazali.

Mohd Shahrul Azman added a bronze medal for Malaysia in the men’s physique 170cm category. Shahrul was a silver medallist in the same category in the Asian meet in Guangzhou in September.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Accomplished broadcaster Jeyanathan dies at age 74

KUALA LUMPUR: It was not the Voice of America or BBC, but a glorious voice coming from the major sporting venues broadcast through the network stations of Radio Malaysia (now RTM), first from Federal House and then Angkasapuri.

It was simply the voice of R. Jeyanathan (pic), dubbed the Golden Voice of Sport, on air.
On Tuesday, Jeya succumbed to a heart attack he suffered a week earlier. He was 74.

Only four months ago, the sporting fraternity lost an icon in the legendary Datuk Punch Gunalan. Both Jeya and Punch were the greatest of buddies right from the mid-60s when Punch emerged on the scene as a classic badminton player.
Jeya was also a good writer. He joined Badminton Asia Con­fe­de­ration (BAC) as a media representative in 1998 and help developed their first magazine Perspective. In 2006, he joined Badminton World Fede­ration (BWF) as the person in charge of the archives department.

During his days in radio, Jeya was an accomplished broadcaster – both in sports and general news.
His tremendous PR skills with sports personalities and officials made him the envy of print media journalists and fellow broadcasters.

Just a month ago, Jeya managed to bring together all the radio broadcasters from different eras at a reunion at a leading hotel here.

Jeya began his career as a teacher before joining RTM in the early 1960s and rose from the rank of Broadcasting Assistant 4 to head the Sports Unit of the English network.

Health problems resulted in him retiring prematurely at 51 in a senior position of the English service.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

MOTOGP: Their finest hour!

BEST EVER: Zulfahmi scorches to second spot as Hafizh defies the odds to finish fourth from 27th on the grid

(From left) AirAsia-SIC-Ajo’s Zulfahmi Khairuddin, Red Bull KTM-Ajo’s Sandro Cortese and Mapfre Aspar-Kalex KTM’s Jonas Folger celebrate on the podium after the Moto3 in Sepang yesterday. Pic by Mohd Yusni Ariffin 

THE 21st  Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix turned out to be a blockbuster for the record 77,000 crowd that packed the Sepang Circuit as  Mohd Zulfahmi Khairuddin and Hafizh Syahrin Abdullah produced  what was by far the greatest day in the history of Malaysian motorsport.

Moto3 rider Zulfahmi, 21, had already created history by qualifying as Malaysia's first pole sitter in any world championship in motorsport and yesterday he produced the first ever podium finish by a Malaysian when the AirAsia-SIC-Ajo Motorsport rider finished second to Germany's Sandro Cortese, who effectively sealed his first Moto3 World Championship title.

There was not one soul among the 77,000 spectators who was not behind Zulfahmi as the Sepang Circuit also hit record decibels as a frenzied crowd got fully behind the local hope and were sent into a delirium when he crossed the finishing line just missing out on a sensational victory after being overtaken by Cortese at the penultimate turn.

Inspired by that, 17-year-old Hafizh of the Petronas Raceline Malaysia team gave the crowd an even bigger sensation, defying his status as a wild card in the Moto2 race to battle his way from 27th grid position in wet conditions into the lead by the ninth lap as the partisan crowd, even if out of disbelief, sent out an ecstatic roar never before experienced at this circuit.

Hafizh, later acknowledged that even amid the noise and the thick cover of his helmet, he could hear the crowd get behind him, inspiring him to produce what was the shock result of the season. He also lived up to his nickname of "Pescao" or Little Fish, earned because of his ability to ride well in wet conditions while racing in the Spanish CEV Buckler Moto2 Championship this year.

It could have easily been a victory for Zulfahmi, who also surpassed his targeted 100 points in the season with 112 points, consolidating his seventh spot in the championship, and meeting his pre-season target of bagging his first podium ever. This was also only the second podium finish in his entire career, the first one coming four years ago in the Malaysian Cub Prix Championship.
"I knew we had the power and the right set-up for this race and I was able to be in the front pack. Starting from pole helped. I was just biding my time in the early part of the race as I learned from my experience, that I should take the lead too early. So I allowed Jonas Folger to lead in the first nine laps," said Zulfahmi, who is from Banting.

"Then I saw some drops of rain hit my visor and I knew if it began to rain, the race would be stopped. That was the moment when I pushed and took the lead, but in the end, it didn't really rain until after the race. I know I could have won, but for a mistake that led me to slip on the penultimate corner, which allowed Cortese to take the lead.

"At that moment I tried to regain the lead, but I almost slipped as I hit a bump and we were at the last turn, so I thought it would be better to take second spot rather than crash and get nothing. I'm pretty satisfied with this result and I know the victory will come soon, maybe in the next race. I'm also really proud to have achieved it in front of such fantastic home support."

Zulfahmi's performance sent the best vibes possible down the pitlane into his younger compatriot Hafizh, who also drew inspiration from his favourite condition - rain which began to fall at just the right time.

"When I saw what Zulfahmi achieved, I just believed that I could do it too. Everything else didn't matter. And when it began to rain, my mechanic called out 'Pescao, come here' and he showed me that it was raining. That drove my confidence up even more," said Hafizh.

"From the start, the conditions were really my favourite and I just began overtaking them one by one, I didn't care that I was starting from 27th, I just believed that I could do it each time I saw a rider in front of me," said Hafizh.

"But the effort in pushing from 27th to first spot had caused a lot of degradation of my rear tyre. Then when it began to rain again, I didn't have the grip I required from the rear tyre. It was hard to hold on and I dropped down to fourth after I was overtaken by Alex de Angelis, Anthony West and Gino Rea."

Hafizh earned a massive roar of approval from the grandstand for his thrilling performance, as they made their feelings heard as he crossed the track to bow and thank them after the race.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Former Renowned Sabah Sportsman Dies

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 18 (Bernama) -- Former renowned Sabah sportsman Datuk Dilbagh Singh Kler died here early this morning following a short illness.

He was 76 and is survived by his wife, Datin Amrit Kler, three children and a grandson.

He breathed his last just before 5am at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital 2 after being warded for a week, his eldest daughter, Jaswinder told Bernama.

"It was totally unexpected. But he hasn't been well because he was already old," said Jaswinder, a former New Straits Times journalist and wife to Bernama Sandakan Chief Haslin Gaffor.

The Kota Kinabalu-born Dilbagh was a renowned athlete who represented Malaysia in several international tournaments in the 1960s such as the Olympics and Commonwealth Games (then known as British Empire & Commonwealth Games).


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Garry, the man with the loudest car, passes away

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian motorsports lost a colourful character with the passing of Garry Chua Ah Seng (pic) on Tuesday night. He died of leukaemia.

The 69-year-old Garry, who became known as one of the best rotary racer and engine tuner in the region, had been ill for some time and his condition took a turn for the worse after being admitted to hospital.

Many members of the motorsports fraternity have been paying their respects at his wake in Cheras.
And it is no exaggeration to say that he will be fondly remembered by his racing peers of the late 70s and 80s as the person behind the wheels of the loudest car on the track.

Garry drove the RX-7 Savanna and the sound he created used to send shudders down those close by, taking him to numerous race wins.

Bernard Chin was a journalist for Asian Auto Racing magazine in the 80s before he joined rallying and recalled how it easy it was to pick out Garry.

It was the days before the Sepang track came into existence and the likes of Yoong Yin Fah (now Hanifah Yoong), Harvey Yap, Garry and their generation of auto racing heroes were burning rubbers either at the Esplanade in Penang, Pasir Gudang track in Johor or the Shah Alam Motorsports Paradise (SAMP) circuit in Batu Tiga, which has since been demolished.

“You just go to the car with the loudest noise. There were a few Mazda RXs around at that time. Garry had his car exhaust modified and it really produced glass-shattering noise,” said Bernard.

“It was the worst in Penang when the noise echoed between buildings and I had to wear ear plugs to be on the track.

“He was also slow with his words when interviewed and many wondered how such a person can be so quick on the track.”

Garry, who owned a service centre in Petaling Jaya, later ventured into the rallying scene.
He managed and ran the Perodua Rally Team for a year and it went on to become a dominant name in the local rally scene.

Garry’s funeral will be held at 11am tomorrow at Hall 10, Xiao En Centre, 1, Jalan Kuari, Cheras.

Friday, September 28, 2012

A true legend

LEGENDARY centre-forward Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat, affectionately known as "Raja Bola", died yesterday, leaving an indelible mark on Malaysian football.

Ghani underwent a triple bypass heart surgery on Thursday but succumbed to complications at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. He was 76.

Ghani was laid to rest at the USJ 21 Muslim cemetery in Subang Jaya after Friday prayers. He leaves behind wife Puan Sri Tengku Aishah Tengku Ibrahim and four children.

A centre-forward and occasional inside-left during his playing days from 1952 to 1968, Ghani bagged every domestic honour available as he won the Malaysia Cup seven times and the FAM Cup -- then the premier knockout tournament in the country -- six times with Selangor.

Ghani, who once scored 10 goals in an inter-state competitive match, carried his domestic form to international level with his goals leading Malaya to three Merdeka Tournament titles and the Asian Games bronze in 1962 while firing Selangor to the 1967 Asian Club Championship final.

FA of Malaysia deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah paid tribute to Ghani, who turned down a chance to play professionally with Cardiff City in 1962, by describing his demise as a great loss to the country.

"My condolences to the family of Tan Sri," said Tengku Abdullah. "Sadly, the nation has lost a football legend. May Allah bless his soul and put him among the righteous ones."

National coach Datuk K. Rajagobal, among many other Malaysian legends who played under Ghani when he coached Selangor from 1983 to 1985, said Ghani remained humble despite the many successes during his career.

"He was my coach during the 1980s and though I did not get to see him play, he was a legend. He was also very humble and he always encouraged me and gave me advice on how to improve as a player.

"I always looked up to him and this is a great loss to the nation," said Rajagobal.

Another former international, Reduan Abdullah, described Ghani as the best coach he ever had.

"To me, he was the best coach I ever worked with," said Reduan. "He was like a mentor to me. I am so thankful to him for what he has done for me. He brought the best out of every player and I will never forget the time when we (Selangor) won the Malaysia Cup in 1984."

Born in Rantau, Negri Sembilan, Ghani grew up in Kuala Lumpur and joined Police Depot in the Selangor League in 1952 in his first competitive outing before moving on to Selangor Rangers.

He was picked to play for the state team in 1953 and claimed his first national honour when Selangor shared the FAM Cup title with Kelantan after a 1-1 draw in the final the same year.

In 1954, Ghani made his Malaya Cup debut in Selangor's 1-0 defeat to Perak on April 24 before scoring the first of his over 100 goals for Selangor in a 5-0 win over Kedah on June 20.

In all, Ghani featured in eight Malaya Cup and Malaysia Cup finals, winning seven and scoring in four finals in 1959, 1961, 1963 and 1968.

A Straits Times preview of the 1956 final likened Ghani to free-scoring Singapore legend Awang Bakar and described the Selangor centre-forward as "a player, who with a couple of lightning thrusts and crashing shots, can be a match-winner."

"Ghani is what Awang Bakar was for Singapore, a player who lurks like a dark shadow behind every defender's mind, who draws them all to his compelling and darting presence and yet eludes them in a flash when his moment comes."

Ghani had his best year in 1963 when an all-conquering Selangor team won all 15 matches in the Malaya Cup with a record 106 goals with the forward accounting for 34 goals, including four in the 6-2 final rout of Penang.

Two years earlier, Ghani scored a remarkable 10 goals in Selangor's 19-0 FAM Cup semi-final rout of Kelantan which attracted the interest of Bill Jones, the manager of Cardiff City who were then just relegated from the English First Division.

Ghani, along with Singapore's Quah Kim Swee, were offered professional terms but both turned the Welsh club down.

In the European winter of 1962-63, Ghani and Malacca's Robert Choe embarked on a four-month trip to Germany, England and Spain to train with top European clubs.

After spending two months in Germany with Eintracht Frankfurt, they left for England where they had planned to train with West Ham, Arsenal and Tottenham.

But the extremely cold weather conditions in England only allowed the duo to train intermittently with the Hammers though they were able to watch several FA Cup ties before watching Real Madrid train in Spain.

Eintracht coach Dietmar Kremar said of Ghani: "Quite an excellent player. A match-winner in the best European manner."

Ghani first played for Malaya in a non-international friendly against Hong Kong league champions Kowloon Bus Company in 1954 but marked his full international debut in March 1956 by scoring seven goals in a 9-2 rout of Cambodia at the TPCA Stadium.

The 1968 Malaysia Cup final, which saw Selangor hammer Penang 8-1, marked Ghani's retirement from football.


'Raja bola M'sia' ditawar bermain di Liga EPL pada 1962

Mungkin ramai tidak tahu, 'Raja Bola' Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat yang meninggal dunia hari ini merupakan pemain Malaysia yang pertama ditawarkan beraksi di Liga Perdana Inggeris pada 1962.
Allahyarham dilamar kelab Cardiff City yang mahu beliau menjadi pemain profesionalnya, namun Allahyarham menolak. Sebaliknya, Abdul Ghani membuat keputusan menjelajah England dan Eropah selama empat bulan.
NONEAllahyarham menghembuskan nafas terakhirnya pada 10.34 pagi ini di Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) di sini, akibat komplikasi selepas menjalani pembedahan pintasan jantung pada hari Selasa.
Allahyarham, yang berusia 77 tahun, meninggalkan balu Puan Sri Tengku Aishah Tengku Ibrahim dan empat anak iaitu dua lelaki dan dua perempuan.
Abdul Ghani yang dilahirkan pada 23 Disember 1935 di Rantau, Negeri Sembilan mula aktif dalam sukan bolasepak pada 1954 dengan menyertai pasukan Selangor Rangers dan Kelab Polis Depot.
Pada 1957, Allahyarham mula mewakili Malaysia dalam kejohanan Pestabola Merdeka.
Uniknya, perlawanan itu berlangsung di Stadium Merdeka pada malam 30 Ogos 1957 sebelum berlangsungnya upacara kemerdekaan negara pada keesokan hari.
Beraksi sebagai 'inside forward' yang licik dan lincah pada sekitar tahun 1960-an, permainan taktikalnya di depan gol sering menggerunkan pihak lawan.
Pada 1962, Allahyarham mengikuti kursus empat bulan di kelab Eintracht Frankfurt di Jerman dan West Ham United di England.
abd ghani minhat 001Allahyarham yang mempunyai sijil kejurulatihan dari Persekutuan Bolasepak Antarabangsa (FIFA) pada 1969, pernah menjadi jurulatih kebangsaan dari 1971 hingga 1976.
Selain membawa Malaysia menjuarai kejohanan Pestabola Merdeka dari 1958 hingga 1960, Allahyarham pernah mengetuai skuad kebangsaan meraih pingat emas pada Sukan SEAP (kini Sukan SEA) 1961 di Rangoon (kini Yangoon, Myanmar) dan pingat gangsa pada Sukan Asia 1962 di Jakarta, Indonesia.
Walaupun dilahirkan di Negeri Sembilan, namun Allahyarham lebih banyak terlibat dengan arena bola sepak di Selangor sebagai pemain dari 1953 sehingga 1968 sebelum menjadi jurulatih skuad Gergasi Merah dari 1970 hingga 1972.

Sebagai menghargai sumbangan beliau, Persatuan Bolasepak Selangor  (FAS)  menganugerahkan gelaran "Raja Bola' kepada Allahyarham pada 1959.
Sesuatu yang menarik, Allahyarham pernah menjaringkan 106 gol dalam 15 perlawanan sehingga dianugerahkan gelaran Pemain Bola Sepak Terbaik bagi tahun 1959 dan 1960.
Penglibatan aktifnya dalam dunia bola sepak berakhir pada 1993 dengan menjadi jurulatih kepada skuad Piala Emas Raja-Raja bagi pasukan Selangor.

Allahyarham kemudian menumpukan perhatian kepada perniagaan syarikat elektroniknya di Petaling Jaya.
Allahyarham dianugerahkan pingat Panglima Setia Mahkota (PSM) yang membawa gelaran Tan Sri pada Jun tahun ini. - Bernama

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Perginya seorang lagenda bolasepak... Al-Fatihah

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Sept -- Raja bola, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat meninggal dunia di Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) pada Jumaat akibat komplikasi selepas menjalani pembedahan pintasan jantung di institut itu.

Allahyarham, 77, menjalani pembedahan itu pada Selasa lalu dan menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada 10.34 pagi ini, kata adik iparnya, Datuk Nik Kamaruddin Ismail kepada Bernama, di sini.
Nik Kamaruddin berkata jenazah Allahyarham akan disembahyangkan di masjid Kampung Baru, di sini sebelum dikebumikan selepas solat Jumaat di Tanah Perkuburan Islam USJ 21, Subang Jaya.

Allahyarham Abdul Ghani meninggalkan isteri Puan Sri Tengku Aishah Tengku Ibrahim dan empat anak, dua lelaki dan wanita.

Di zaman kegemilangannya di sekitar tahun 1960-an hingga 1970-an, Allahyarham yang bermain sebagai 'inside forward', merupakan pemain yang licik dan lincah dan sering menggerunkan pihak lawan.

Abd Ghani Minhat (The King of Football)

Born in 1935, Ghani Minhatwas put on the path of professional football by a pair of boots hereceived from Police Officers sometime in 1951. In those days, only professionals wore football bootsand Ghani saw thisas a calling for him to upgrade his skills.

By1952 he had earned a place in thePoliceDepotteam. Thisbecame hisstepping stoneto earning a place on the Selangor squad in theMalaysia (then Malaya)Cup series. The left-winger helped to bring in eight Malaya Cup wins and three Merdeka Football Tournament (“Pestabola Merdeka”) wins. He was also partof thevictorious team in the 1961 SEAP Games (now SEA Games) in Rangoon.

One of the finest forwards ofthe 60s, Ghani’ssuperb skills became evident when he fired a volley from 40 yardsto score a goal against Vietnam atthe inaugural Merdeka Tournament in 1957. Together with fellow team mates Robert Choe and Arthur Koh, hecreated a fearsome attack.

Until today,Ghani cherishes his manyexperiences during hisdaysas Malaysia’s top footballer. One ofhismost invaluable experiences was being sent on attachments to several clubs in England (West Ham United, Arsenal, Spurs) and Germany (Eintracht Frankfurt) in 1962. England’s Cardiff Cityalso offered him a chance to go pro, which he declined, choosing instead to go on a study tour ofEngland and Europe. After hestepped down as a player,the FAM senthim to Japan in 1969,to attend the first FIFA Coaching School for Asian Coaches, earning him hiscoaching license.

In those glory days ofMalaysian football, Ghani Minhat became a household name and displayed a wealth oftalent on the field. But equallyimportant, or perhapsmore so, was hisdetermination,grit and desire to win which really made Dato’ Ghani a shining football star.

As Athlete 1952 -Represented the Police Depot in the Selangor League
1955 -Represented Selangor in the Malaya Cup
1956 -Champions ofMalaya Cup (after 6 year draught)
1957 -Inaugural Merdeka Football Tournament [Champions (scored a goal from 40m)]
1959-60 - Merdeka Football Tournament [Champions]
1960 -Scored 34 goalsin 9 matches(record)
1961 -SEAP Games [Gold medal]
1962 -Attachment with clubsin England and Germany
1968 -Malaysia Cup [Champions]

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Nicol dianugerah Mejar Kehormat TUDM

RATU skuasy negara dan pemain nombor satu dunia, Datuk Nicol Ann David dianugerah pangkat Mejar Kehormat Pasukan Simpanan Sukarela Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM), semalam.
Pemakaian pangkat itu dilakukan oleh Panglima TUDM Jeneral Tan Sri Rodzali Daud pada majlis di Wisma Pertahanan, Jalan Semarak.

Nicol tidak pernah menyangka akan dianugerah pangkat itu dan berharap anugerah itu menjadi pendorong mencatat lebih banyak kejayaan.
“Saya ingin merakam setinggi-tinggi penghargaan kepada Jeneral Tan Sri Rodzali dan TUDM kerana diberi penghormatan menerima anugerah ini dan berharap ia menjadi pendorong kepada saya untuk meraih lebih banyak gelaran tahun ini,” katanya.

Nicol akan meneruskan latihan di Amsterdam, Belanda di bawah bimbingan jurulatih dari Australia, Liz Irving.

“Musim kedua kejohanan skuasy baru saja bermula dan saya akan bertanding dalam beberapa kejohanan seperti Terbuka Carol Weymuller di New York, Terbuka China, Kejohanan Berpasukan Dunia di Perancis dan Terbuka Dunia di Cayman Island,” katanya.
Sementara itu, Rodzali berkata, Nicol menjadi atlet pertama dianugerah pangkat itu dan dia sememangnya layak menerimanya selepas melakar banyak kejayaan dalam kejohanan skuasy antarabangsa.

Nicol adalah atlet kedua dianugerah pangkat seperti itu selepas Datuk Lee Chong Wei yang dianugerah pangkat Leftenan Komander Kehormat oleh Pasukan Simpanan Sukarela Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia, Julai lalu.

Nicol made honorary major of RMAF

KUALA LUMPUR: National squash queen and the world’s No. 1 player Datuk Nicol David was yesterday accorded a honorary major of the Royal Malaysian Air Forces (RMAF) Volunteer Reserve.
She received her insignia from RMAF chief Jen Tan Sri Rodzali Daud at Wisma Pertahanan in Jalan Semarak, here.

Nicol said she had never thought she would be receiving the prestigious award, and hoped it would spur her to achieve more success in the coming squash tournaments.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Jen Tan Sri Rodzali and the RMAF for honouring me with this prestigious award,” an elated Nicol told reporters after the function.
Nicol said she would continue her training under Australian Liz Irving in Amsterdam, Holland.
“The season has just started and I will compete in a few tournaments such as the Carol Weymuller Open in New York, China Open, World Team Championship in France and World Open in Cayman Islands,” she said.

Meanwhile, Rodzali, said Nicol was the first athlete to be conferred with such an award because she really deserved it as she had achieved numerous successes at international squash tournaments. “She (Nicol) represents our youths in our country today and she has inspired our youth and our workforce (RMAF) to be like her. She has shown great dedication and hard work, besides a never-say-die attitude to become world champion in squash,” he added.

Rodzali said RMAF hoped that the award would spur more youths in the country to join the air force, and also hoped that the future generation would emulate the hard work and dedication showed by Nicol in achieving success.

National men’s shuttler Datuk Lee Chong Wei was earlier awarded the honorary lieutenant commander rank by the Royal Malaysian Navy Volunteer Reserve last July. — Bernama

Yakeb Salur Bantuan Kepada Datuk M. Chandran Dan D. Nadarajan

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 Sept (Bernama) -- Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Kebangsaan (Yakeb) akan menanggung sepenuhnya kos rawatan dan rawatan susulan kepada bekas pemain bola sepak kebangsaan Datuk M Chandran yang baharu pulih daripada serangan angin ahmar.

Yakeb, dalam satu kenyataan Rabu, berkata Chandran yang diserang angin ahmar Julai lepas, masih dalam keadaan lemah serta memerlukan bantuan kerusi roda untuk bergerak dan kini menjalani rawatan fisioterapi seminggu sekali di Hospital Besar Kuala Lumpur.

Beberapa bekas pemain bola sepak seperti Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Minhat, Reduan Abdullah, Datuk Khaidir Buyong, Zulkifli Norbit dan Kamarulzaman Yussoff menziarah beliau di kediamannya di Ampang Jaya, semalam.

"Saya sebenarnya terkejut, ia satu perasaan yang tidak dapat saya gambarkan apabila menerima lawatan daripada rakan-rakan yang sudah lama tidak bertemu, gembira dan tersentuh apabila mendapat tahu bahawa mereka mengambil tahu tentang keadaan saya.

"Tan Sri (Ghani) seperti biasa suka bergurau dan kenakan saya. Zulkifli pernah main bersama saya, Khaidir pernah dilatih saya, kami berborak, bercerita tentang kisah-kisah lama, ia cukup menyeronokkan apabila dapat berjumpa seperti ini, mengembalikan nostalgia silam," kata Chandran.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Former Olympian Randir passes away

HOCKEY stalwart and former Olympian, Randir Singh, passed away on Sept 15, leaving behind memories of a disciplinarian for those who were coached by him.

Randir represented the country in the 1972 Munich Olympics, where Malaysia finished eighth from 16 teams. He was a midfielder, and the army man is fondly remembered by veteran coach C. Paramalingam.

"He played alongside the likes of Khairuddin Zainal, Takbir Ahmad, A. Belvantheran, N. Sri Shanmuganathan and Brian Sta Maria in the Munich Olympics.

"And he was also the assistant coach during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. The thing I remember most about him is that he was a disciplinarian who, in his coaching days, was responsible for making the LA team physically at their best," said Paramalingam.

After Randir retired as a Warrant Officer I, he ventured into business in Klang.

"We used to meet occasionally after he retired from the army and talked about how he made the players run up the Sungai Besi hill (high gradient) where all the players would complain and struggle to finish.
"But later on, they thanked him for the physical training which made them better players," said Paramalingam.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Demise of Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH, OCM Honorary Life President & IOC Honorary Member in Malaysia

It is with deep regret that the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) announces the demise of Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH, today at the age of 88.

Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH, who was once the Sports Minister of Malaysia had contributed greatly towards the Olympic Movement in Malaysia. 

He was the President of the Olympic Council of Malaysia from 1976 to 1998 and further served as the Honorary Life President from 1998 to 2012. He was elected as an IOC Member in 1978 before becoming an IOC Honorary Member in 2004. 

He had held several important portfolios regionally such as Honorary Life President of the Southeast Asian Games Federation (1977-2012), Vice President of the Olympic Council of Asia (1982-1986), Vice President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (1982-1988), Vice President of the Islamic Solidarity Sport Federation (1985-1994) and Vice President of the General Association of the Asian Sports Federation (1988-1998).

As a great Football enthusiast, Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH also played a key role in promoting Football in Malaysia and internationally. 

He was President of the Football Association of Malaysia (1976-1983), President of the Asian Football Confederation (1978-1994), Vice President of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (1982-1990) and Honorary Executive Member of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (1990-2012). Besides that, he also served as President of the Malaysian Cricket Association (1969-1990) and President of the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (1987-1999).

Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH’s demise leaves a void in the Olympic Movement and a great loss to the sporting world.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia expresses its deepest condolences to Tan Sri Hamzah ABU SAMAH’s family and may his soul rest in peace. Al-Fatihah.

- Biography
- Hall of Fame
- IOC Member
- Arkib Negara
- Bernama (ENG)
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Hamzah's Demise A Big Loss For Malaysia - Zolkples

LONDON, Sept 5 (Bernama) -- Malaysia has lost a sports icon following the death Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah, said National Sports Council (NSC) director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong.

"His passing is a huge loss for Malaysian sports. During his lifetime, Tan Sri Hamzah was an influential figure in the sports world.

"He was also highly respected locally and worldwide. His loss is also very sentimental for the NSC because it was through him that the NSC was created," he told Bernama here.

According to Zolkples, the NSC was the brainchild of Hamzah when the latter held the post of Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports from 1971 till 1973.

Hamzah, a National sports icon and Olympic Council of Malaysia's Honorary Life President, passed away at 3.30pm today at his house in Staffield Country Resort, Mantin, Negeri Sembilan, due to old age.

Tan Sri Hamzah – the face of Malaysian sports

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the country’s iconic sports leader Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah passed away yesterday but he will be distinctively remembered for laying the foundations for Malaysia’s sporting excellence.

The soft-spoken Hamzah passed away at 3.30pm due to old age. He was 88.
His demise was met with sadness as the Malaysian sports fraternity reminisced about his great leadership qualities, popularity and friendly nature during his time as a remarkable sports administrator over the past six decades.

Fatherly figure: Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah (left) congratulating Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar after the OCM elections in 1998. Tunku Imran beat Hamzah for the presidency. Fatherly figure: Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah (left) congratulating Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar after the OCM elections in 1998. Tunku Imran beat Hamzah for the presidency.
He had held every important position in sports, from Sports Minister to the president of five major sports bodies – the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Asian Football Federation (AFC), Malaysian Cricket Association (MCA) and Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA).

He was also the vice-president of FIFA and an honorary Inter-national Olympic Committee (IOC) member.
OCM president Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Ja’afar described the late Hamzah as “the face of Malaysian sports”.

“He was one of the high profile people in sports and also very popular at the international level. Even now, members of the IOC will be asking about him ... he surely made an impression,” said Tunku Imran, who is also the president of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF).

“He was the one who brought me into the OCM and supported me. He gave me a position of responsibility. I was his deputy in the cricket association. He was almost like a father figure to me.
“My father and the late Tan Sri Hamzah were good friends and studied at the Malay College. They used to play squash, tennis and football – a very athletic man he was.”

Another sports icon, Tan Sri Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan, said that Malaysian sports enjoyed one of its best years under Hamzah’s leadership as OCM president.

“Under him, both football and hockey qualified for the Olympic Games in 1970s,” said former top Asian sprinter Jegathesan.

“He was clearly a sports leader and was very passionate about football and cricket. His long record in leading different sports organisations is commendable. He gave a lot of focus on development and we are now enjoying the foundation that was laid under his stewardship.”

Jegathesan said he would be always indebted to Hamzah too.

Hamzah was the man behind Jegathesan’s involvement in sports administration when the former athlete was considering devoting full attention to his career in medicine.

“The late Tan Sri played a pivotal role in encouraging me to go into sports administration and led me to hold a position in the doping committee after my retirement. He came looking for me when I was a doctor at the general hospital. The rest was history,” said Jegathesan, who then accompanied Hamzah to the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich as the team doctor.

Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) secretary Chan Foong Keong recalled an incident when Hamzah helped him out of a predicament.

“It was in 1972 and he was the Sports Minister then. We were hosting the first ever non-Chinese table tennis championships in Malaysia but we could not find a venue to cater for 300 participants,” said Foong Keong.

“But Tan Sri Hamzah was kind and friendly. He did not turn me down when I approached him. He allowed us to use Stadium Negara for a meagre fee of RM100 per day. He was an understanding leader, indeed.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wishing all Malaysians Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri & a Happy 55th Independence Day.

Hartono pays tribute to the late Gunalan

SALUTE: Indonesian legend heaps praise on his greatest rival

Datuk Punch Gunalan

INDONESIAN  legend Rudy Hartono doesn't fear anyone but is full of  admiration for one rival -- Datuk Punch Gunalan.

Hartono was in danger of losing his All England crown in the 1974 final after losing the first game to Gunalan before prevailing with a three-game win.

It was the only time Hartono had dropped a game in all his eight All England finals, and he knew how special Gunalan was.

The Malaysian did get his revenge as he partnered Ng Boon Bee to beat Rudy and Indra Gunawan in the doubles final at the Wembley Arena on the same night.

Hartono, in a telephone interview from Jakarta yesterday, admitted that his greatest rival came very close to denying his perfect record in the All England at that point of time.

"Gunalan was already a doubles player then but he showed excellent fighting spirit.
"That was the most difficult win for me in the All England and for that I really admire him as a player," said Hartono.

"He wanted to show his ability on that day. He could have beaten me.
"His drive to excel was the reason why he became a brilliant administrator.
"He was my close friend and because of him, I joined International Badminton Federation (IBF) as a council member. He always believed former players must keep contributing and eventually more former players started becoming administrators.

"Gunalan was also a good motivator and always encouraged his fellow players when they struggle. And he had a good sense of humour.

"We have lost a great leader, a wonderful person and it is sad to lose such a dear friend."
That, coming from a great rival like Hartono, comes as no higher respect for Gunalan.

Boon Bee recalls the joy of his partnership with Punch

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Punch Gunalan forged a hugely successful partnership with Datuk Ng Boon Bee that ruled the badminton world in men’s doubles from 1970-1972.

They won numerous titles including the All-England during that time but what Boon Bee remembers most is the non-stop chatting, jokes and witty banter.

Ruled the world: Punch Gunalan and Ng Boon Bee (left) forged a doubles partnership that was unbeatable from 1970-1972. Ruled the world: Punch Gunalan and Ng Boon Bee (left) forged a doubles partnership that was unbeatable from 1970-1972.
“He just loved talking. He would go on and on with his funny stories that left us in stitches. In fact, the way to stop him was to say the magic words ‘please, silence is golden’,” recalled Boon Bee, who teamed up with Punch after his partner Tan Yee Khan retired.

One of their biggest achievements was beating Indonesia’s lethal combination of Rudy Hartono-Indra Gunawan in the 1971 All-England final. There were other accomplishments too, including winning the 1970 Bangkok Asian Games and 1972 Common-wealth Games in Christchurch.

“He was such a nice man that it was easy to get along with him. It didn’t take much effort as he was a friendly chap.

Click to view fact file Click to view fact file
“I remember him dating his wife before they got married. She used to come and watch him play and we sometimes went out for dinner together as a group. It brings back wonderful memories.

“We were able to play well together because we had the same vision and understanding. And we trained hard to add precision to our game,” added Boon Bee, who runs a pro-shop at the Ipoh Swimming Club these days.

Boon Bee, 74, said Punch’s passing was a big loss for Malaysian sports.
“We will miss him deeply. He has done a lot for the sport and, hopefully, his work will be continued,” he added.

Chong Wei: He will be missed

PETALING JAYA: Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei expressed his sadness over the demise of badminton great Datuk Punch Gunalan, hailing his immense contribution to the sport.

“I heard he was seriously ill when I was in London for the Olympics. I wanted to visit him as soon as I got back but I couldn’t break free from my heavy schedule,” Chong Wei said after paying his respects yesterday.

Punch was still a council member when Chong Wei joined the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) academy at Taman Maluri in 1999.

“I remembered him because he took great interest in the welfare of the players. He always made an effort to talk to the player. He was a respected figure in the world federation but he continued to take care of the athletes’ interest,” said Chong Wei.

“He brought so many changes to the sport. He helped to lift the profile of the game and the players will always be grateful for his efforts.

“I met him during the Malaysian Open in January when BAM celebrated all the legends. He spoke well and encouraged me to keep fighting. I heard he was also cheering for me despite being sick during the Olympics. He was a great man.”

Besides Chong Wei, many other current and former players also paid their last respect to Punch yesterday.

Hartono remembers Malaysian great as an uncompromising competitor

 KUALA LUMPUR: Even before Lee Chong Wei versus Lin Dan, there was the epic rivalry between eight-time All-England champion Rudy Hartono and the late Datuk Punch Gunalan.

Yesterday, Indonesian great Hartono paid tribute to the man who always brought out the best in him, saying that Malaysia had lost a true legend.
Punch, who had won numerous titles and accolades, lost his six-month battle with liver cancer yesterday, leaving behind his wife of 41 years, Vijeya Kumari, and son Dr Roshan Gunalan. He was 68.

Punch, who traded in his mechanical engineering degree for a career as a badminton player and administrator, left behind a myriad of memories and a legacy of excellence on which the sport has prospered.

Hartono, the 1980 world champion, who turns 63 on Saturday, was gutted by the news of Punch’s demise.

“I’m truly very sad that he has passed away so soon. I have lost a friend,” said Rudy when contacted in Jakarta.

Farewell: Former international Datuk James Selvaraj paying his last respects to Punch Gunalan. On the right is Punch’s son, Dr Roshan. Farewell: Former international Datuk James Selvaraj paying his last respects to Punch Gunalan. On the right is Punch’s son, Dr Roshan.
“My experience with him goes back a long way and I will never forget him. As a player, he was a fighter who never gave up until the last point.

“I remember vividly the 1974 All-England final against Punch, which I won in three games. The match was so tight. He almost denied me my seventh consecutive All-England title. But I appreciate the fight he gave me.

“That was one of my most difficult matches. I really had to dig deep into my reserves to win.”
That epic encounter is part of badminton lore and still features on YouTube. Punch took the first game 15-8 but Hartono staged a brilliant fightback to snatch the second 15-9 to force the rubber, which he won 15-10.

The keen rivalry on court, however, blossomed into a lasting friendship when Punch and Hartono served in the International Badminton Federation (IBF), now, known as the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“He was such a live wire. There was never a dull moment with him. I last met Punch when he flew over to attend the launch of my autobiography in March last year. He didn’t look very fit but his presence gave me such joy.

“Malaysian badminton has lost one of their best sportsmen and a great administrator. I’m sorry that I’m unable to attend his funeral but my thoughts will be with his family,” added Rudy, who underwent coronoary bypass surgery in 2001 but is still involved in the sport as a consultant.
“As a friend, he was true and dependable. He was also a great motivator. What drove him was his passion for the game..

“He was an excellent administrator. I don’t know where he got all his ideas but he always came up with something new. I often came away mesmerised by his brilliance after each discussion.
“He was the brains behind the change of format in badminton that has made it such a success and one of the most watched sports on television. Of course, there were a few who resisted his ideas but he got his way because his arguments were always sound.”

Hartono hailed Punch as a perfect role model for sports administrators.
“He was a success because he knew his sport. Hopefully, his talent has been tapped by others,” said Hartono.

“What he has done for badminton is exemplary and should be emulated by others. I hope there will be more credible sports administrators in Malaysia like him. If not, I hope more will follow his footsteps.”

Hilangnya tokoh sukan negara

KEMATIAN legenda sukan badminton negara, Datuk Punch Gunalan semalam merupakan satu kehilangan besar kerana beliau banyak menyumbang jasa dan tenaga untuk pembangunan sukan badminton negara.

Punch Gunalan, 68 (gambar), meninggal dunia di Pusat Perubatan Sime Darby, Subang Jaya kira-kira 6.20 pagi semalam akibat kanser pundi hempedu selepas tenat sejak dua minggu lalu di hospital sama.

Mendiang meninggalkan isteri, Datin P. Vijeyakumari, 64, dan anak lelaki, Roshan Gunalan, 36, seorang doktor ortopedik.

Sumbangan yang diberikan oleh Punch Gunalan semasa hayatnya bukan sekadar membawa pulang kejayaan kepada negara, malah lebih besar daripada itu apabila mendiang menyambung keringat sebagai jurulatih kebangsaan selepas bersara pada 1975 dan kemu- dian bergiat aktif dalam persatuan badminton peringkat kebangsaan dan dunia.

Beliau mendapat pendedahan awal dalam sukan badminton sekitar tahun 1950-an ketika usianya baru mencecah enam tahun menerusi tunjuk ajar bapanya, Panchacharan.

Secara kompetitif, bakatnya mula menonjol ketika menjadi juara pada Kejohanan Badminton Negeri Sembilan dalam kategori perseorangan dan beregu lelaki serta beregu campuran (1961-1963) dan sejak itu, beliau tidak menoleh ke belakang lagi.

Pada 1970, mendiang melakar sejarah tersendiri apabila meraih emas pertama negara pada Sukan Komanwel di Edinburg, Scotland bersama-sama Ng Boon Bee dalam acara beregu lelaki dan diikuti pingat emas acara perseorangan dan beregu pada Sukan Asia di Bangkok, Thailand dalam tahun yang sama.

Pada tahun berikutnya iaitu dalam Kejohanan Seluruh England, gandingan Punch Gunalan-Boon Bee terus mengecapi kejayaan apabila mereka memenangi kate- gori beregu lelaki.
Kehandalan Gunalan dalam arena badminton menjadikannya antara pemain perseorangan dan beregu lelaki terbaik dunia.

Mendiang sekali lagi beraksi cemerlang pada Sukan Komanwel di Christchurch, New Zealand pada 1974 dengan meraih emas acara perseorangan dan gangsa bagi acara beregu.
Punch Gunalan turut membawa balik pingat emas dalam acara perseorangan dan beregu pada Sukan SEA 1973 di Singapura.

Mendiang juga mewakili skuad Piala Thomas negara pada 1970 dan 1973.
Selepas bersara pada 1975, Punch Gunalan terus menyumbang kepada dunia badminton dengan menjawat jawatan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kejurulatihan dan Latihan Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) dari 1975 hingga 1982 dan merupakan Presiden Persatuan Badminton Kuala Lumpur dari 1984 hingga 2007.

Beliau kemudian dipilih menja- wat jawatan Setiausaha Kehormat BAM dari tahun 1985 hingga 1997 sebelum dilantik sebagai Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Gabungan Persatuan Badminton Asia dari tahun 1989 hingga 1993.

Pada 1990, beliau dilantik seba- gai ketua jurulatih untuk skuad Piala Thomas dan Uber yang dianjurkan Jepun dan pengurus pasukan Malaysia pada Sukan Komanwel yang berlangsung di New Zealand.

Ketika Kuala Lumpur menjadi tuan rumah Piala Thomas dan Uber pada 1992, Punch Gunalan sekali lagi dilantik sebagai ketua jurulatih negara dan berjaya membawa Malaysia menjulang Piala Thomas pada tahun itu.

Hasil kejayaan itu menyaksikan beliau dilantik sebagai pengurus skuad badminton negara pada Sukan Olimpik di Barcelona, Sepanyol pada tahun yang sama, yang mana gandingan adik-beradik, Razif dan Jalani Sidek meraih pingat gangsa acara beregu lelaki iaitu pingat pertama Malaysia di pentas Olimpik.
Semasa hayatnya, mendiang pernah memegang jawatan sebagai Setiausaha Kehormat Perseku- tuan Badminton Asia dari 1991 hingga 2005.

Antara jawatan penting yang pernah disandang mendiang ialah Timbalan Presiden BAM pada 2005 dan Presiden Persekutuan Badminton Antarabangsa (IBF) pada 2004 hingga 2008. – Bernama

Punch naikkan nama Malaysia - Siti Hasmah

PUTRAJAYA - Bekas Penaung Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM), Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali menyifatkan pemergian bekas bintang badminton, Datuk Punch Gunalan sebagai satu kehilangan kepada negara kerana jasanya yang besar dalam menaikkan imej sukan tersebut.

Menurutnya, sebagai insan yang bertanggungjawab memperkenalkan sukan badminton sehingga ke peringkat antarabangsa, jasa mendiang harus diingati dalam sejarah negara.
Katanya, mendiang merupakan satu-satunya pemain badminton berketurunan India yang berjaya di peringkat kebangsaan dan Asia.

''Mendiang selalu mengajak saya untuk turut sama memberi sokongan kepada pemain negara yang bertarung dalam kejohanan besar seperti Sukan Komanwel di Kanada, Sukan Olimpik Barcelona, Piala Dunia dan Piala Thomas di beberapa buah negara.

''Ada ketikanya mendiang meminta saya menjadi pendamai apabila ada pemain beregu yang tiada persefahaman seperti Soo Beng Kiang dan Cheah Soon Kit sebelum mereka berdua kemudian berdamai dan muncul juara Piala Thomas," katanya kepada pemberita ketika ditemui di Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana di sini, semalam.

Punch, 68, meninggal dunia di Pusat Perubatan Subang Jaya semalami selepas bertarung dengan penyakit barah hati.

Penglibatan cemerlang Punch dalam sukan badminton bermula pada awal 1960-an dan pernah mewakili negara ke Piala Thomas, beregu Sukan Asia dan Sukan Komanwel.
Selepas bersara, Punch melibatkan diri dalam bidang kejurulatihan dan merupakan Ketua Jurulatih Malaysia ketika menjuarai Piala Thomas pada 1992

Dr. Siti Hasmah berkata, mendiang juga berjaya mendapatkan sokongan dari negara-negara Asia seperti China dan Jepun sehingga ramai pemain luar negara, termasuk Eropah datang berlatih di Kuala Lumpur.

''Saya dan keluarga mengucapkan takziah kepada keluarga mendiang, terlalu banyak jasa dan pengorbanan yang telah dilakukannya untuk menaikkan martabat sukan badminton sehingga nama Malaysia dikenali di peringkat antarabangsa," katanya.

PM: Punch Gunalan sangat berjasa kepada sukan badminton

KUALA LUMPUR 15 Ogos - Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata, seluruh rakyat Malaysia akan merindui legenda badminton negara, mendiang Datuk Punch Gunalan yang meninggal akibat barah hati hari ini.

Katanya, mendiang sangat berjasa kepada pembangunan sukan badminton negara dan sumbangan besar beliau termasuk membantu Malaysia memenangi pingat di peringkat antarabangsa sungguh tidak ternilai.

"Baru mendapat berita yang Punch Gunalan meninggal dunia. Mendiang terlalu banyak berjasa kepada pembangunan sukan badminton negara. Kita semua pasti akan merindui beliau," kata beliau menerusi laman Twitternya, hari ini.

Dunia badminton negara dikejutkan dengan kematian mendiang yang menghembus nafas terakhir pada pukul 6.20 pagi ini ketika usianya menjangkau 68 tahun selepas dua minggu terlantar di hospital.
Bersama pasangannya, Ng Boon Bee, beliau memenangi emas pertama Sukan Komanwel di Edinburgh, Scotland pada 1970. Pada tahun yang sama juga pasangan ini meraih pingat emas Sukan Asia di Bangkok, Thailand dalam acara beregu.

Mendiang juga berjaya menambah koleksi emas dalam temasya tersebut selepas memenangi acara perseorangan dan gandingannya bersama Boon Bee terus digeruni apabila berjaya menjulang trofi berprestij, All England pada 1971.

Selain digeruni di peringkat Komanwel dan Asia, Punch Gunalan juga berjaya mengharumkan nama negara di Sukan SEA apabila memenangi emas acara perseorangan dan beregu pada 1973 semasa temasya di Singapura.

Punch pemimpin berani

Menerima Piala Thomas daripada Sultan Azlan Shah ketika membawa Malaysia muncul juara 1992. 
KUALA LUMPUR - Dunia badminton negara dikejutkan dengan kematian Datuk Punch Gunalan yang menghembuskan nafas terakhir di Pusat Perubatan Sime Darby, Subang Jaya akibat penyakit barah hati semalam.

Legenda badminton Malaysia itu menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada pukul 6.20 pagi ketika usianya menjengah 68 tahun selepas terlantar sakit sejak dua minggu lepas.
Mendiang yang berasal dari Sepang, meninggalkan seorang balu, P. Vijeyakumari, 64, dan seorang anak lelaki, Roshan Gunalan, 36, seorang doktor ortopedik.

Jenazah mendiang dibawa ke kediamannya di No. 9, Jalan 12/14B, Petaling Jaya untuk penghormatan terakhir mulai pukul 1 tengah semalam sebelum disemadikan di Pusat Crematorium Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya pada 4 petang hari ini.

Umum mengetahui bahawa bintang tangan kanan itu adalah pemain badminton paling berbakat dalam acara perseorangan dan beregu apabila mengharumkan nama negara dengan meraih beberapa kejayaan antarabangsa.

Sejak memulakan kariernya pada awal 1960-an dengan muncul juara Kejohanan Badminton Negeri Sembilan dalam acara perseorangan, beregu lelaki dan beregu campuran, Punch tidak lagi menoleh ke belakang.

Bersama pasangannya, Ng Boon Bee yang juga legenda badminton negara, mereka berjaya memenangi emas pertama Sukan Komanwel Edinburgh, Scotland pada 1970. Pada tahun yang sama juga pasangan ini meraih pingat emas Sukan Asia di Bangkok, Thailand dalam acara beregu.
Punch juga berjaya menambah koleksi emas dalam temasya tersebut selepas memenangi acara perseorangan. Gandingannya bersama Boon Bee terus digeruni dan mereka berjaya menjulang trofi berprestij, All England 1971.

Mendiang mengukuhkan reputasinya dalam acara perseorangan selepas mempertahankan kejuaraan perseorangan lelaki Sukan Komanwel di Christchurch, New Zealand begitu juga acara beregu lelaki bersama Boon Bee.

Selain digeruni di peringkat Komanwel dan Asia, Punch juga berjaya mengharumkan nama negara di Sukan SEA apabila memenangi emas acara perseorangan beregu di temasya tersebut pada 1973 di Singapura.

Hasrat Punch untuk mencipta nama dan meraih kejayaan lebih besar iaitu dalam kejohanan badminton paling terulung, Piala Thomas tidak kesampaian ketika dia menyertai skuad negara pada 1970 dan 1973.

Bagaimanapun Olahragawan Negara 1969 dan 1974 itu berjaya merealisasikan hasratnya memenangi Piala Thomas, bukan sebagai pemain tetapi jurulatih dengan mencipta sejarah badminton negara meraih trofi kebanggaan itu pada 1992.

Sentuhan ajaib Punch ke atas beberapa pemain badminton negara ketika itu seperti Rashid Sidek, Razif Sidek dan Foo Kok Keong membolehkan Malaysia muncul juara menewaskan seteru, Indonesia di Stadium Negara.

Selain diingati sebagai pemain dan jurulatih hebat, Punch juga seorang disegani serta bercita-cita tinggi.

Ketika menjadi Timbalan Presiden Persekutuan Badminton Dunia (BWF) beliau telah memperkenalkan beberapa pembaharuan besar, termasuk menukar nama badan itu daripada Persekutuan Badminton Antarabangsa (IBF).

Mendiang, yang memegang jawatan dalam BWF sejak 2004 hingga 2008, termasuk pernah bergelar setiausaha sentiasa menampilkan idea-idea berani yang tidak pernah di fikiran orang lain selama ini.
Punch adalah individu yang bertanggungjawab menukar sistem kiraan mata daripada 15 kepada 21 untuk menjadikan sukan tersebut lebih menarik.

Beliau juga bekerja keras mencari penajaan untuk memperkenalkan kejohanan Siri Super bagi menmbolehkan pemain badminton menikmati pendapatan serta kehidupan lebih baik.
Dengan harapan badminton akan menjadi sukan pilihan untuk dijadikan karier, Siri Super yang diperkenalkan menawarkan ganjaran besar buat setiap pemain profesional.

Kejohanan tersebut juga bukan semata-mata untuk pemain mengejar wang dan menjadi orang kaya tetapi dalam masa yang sama medan persediaan buat pemain mencari rentak sebelum ke kejohanan utama seperti Piala Thomas, Kejohanan Badminton Dunia dan Sukan Olimpik.

Karier 16 tahun tokoh sukan Malaysia itu bersama BWF bagaimanapun berakhir pada Mei, 2008 selepas beliau meletak jawatan rentetan daripada beberapa usul undi tidak percaya daripada majlis.
Jawatan lain yang pernah disandang mendiang ialah Setiausaha Kehormat Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) dari 1985 sehingga 1997. Jawatan terakhirnya dalam badan sukan badminton Malaysia pula itu ialah sebagai Timbalan Presiden pada 2005.

Punch juga pernah diberi pengiktirafan mewakili Malaysia menerima baton Sukan Komanwel dari Ratu Elizabeth di Istana Buckingham, London pada 1998.

Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong berkata, Punch banyak menyumbang kepada negara bukan sahaja sebagai atlet tetapi juga dalam bidang kejurulatihan dan khidmat sebagai pegawai sukan tertinggi dalam badan sukan seperti BWF.

"Malaysia kehilangan bakat yang besar dengan kematian Punch itu kerana beliau telah banyak mengharumkan nama negara di peringkat antarabangsa.

"Saya secara peribadi mengenali beliau sebagai seorang yang banyak mengajar dan membantu dalam pembangunan arena badminton negara," katanya.

Menurut Eksekutif Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Malaysia (Yakeb), Muhammad Aiman Aminul Abdullah, yayasan berkenaan akan menyampaikan sumbangan RM11,000 kepada keluarga mendiang.

Punch Gunalan Perlu Diiktiraf Sebagai Legenda Sukan Negara - TPM

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Ogos (Bernama) -- Kematian jaguh badminton negara Datuk Punch Gunalan pada Rabu menyentuh perasaan pemimpin negara, kenalan dan peminat mendiang.

Rata-rata mereka mengakui bahawa mendiang memberi sumbangan besar kepada negara khususnya menerusi sukan badminton.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin berkata mendiang Gunalan banyak mengharumkan nama Malaysia melalui sukan badminton.

Beliau berkata mendiang bukan sahaja seorang wira negara tetapi perlu diingati sebagai seorang legenda.

"Punch Gunalan membawa banyak kemegahan dan kebanggaan kepada Malaysia. Wira tidak pernah mati, mereka bertukar menjadi legenda," katanya menerusi twitter pada Rabu.

Sementara itu, Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong berkata sumbangan berterusan yang diberikan Gunalan amat besar nilainya kepada negara dan ia tidak mampu dilakukan semua orang.

"Pemergian Gunalan adalah satu kehilangan besar buat warga sukan tanah air. Pihak MSN dan atlet mengucapkan takziah kepada keluarga mendiang," katanya ketika dihubungi Bernama.

Antara sumbangan besar yang pernah diberikan oleh Gunalan ialah pingat emas pertama Malaysia pada Sukan Komanwel di Edinburg, Scotland pada 1970 dan muncul juara beregu lelaki bergandingan dengan Ng Boon Bee pada kejohanan badminton All England pada 1971.

"Sumbangan yang diberikan oleh Gunalan kepada sukan negara tidak berhenti setakat itu apabila bersara pada 1975, beliau terus menyumbang pengalaman sebagai jurulatih negara dan kemudiannya menjawat jawatan tertinggi dalam Persekutuan Badminton Antarabangsa (IBF) dari 2004 hingga 2008," katanya.

Presiden Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) Datuk Seri Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh pula berkata sebagai seorang atlet, mendiang adalah seorang pemain badminton yang disegani di kalangan rakan sepasukan mahupun lawannya.

"Saya mengenali mendiang semasa beliau menjadi ahli Majlis BAM dan mencadangkan kepada saya untuk merebut kerusi presiden (pada 2001) tetapi saya menolak. Namun, beliau masih mahu saya merebut jawatan tersebut," katanya.

Mohd Nadzmi berkata mendiang mempunyai pengetahuan luas dalam badminton memandangkan minatnya yang mendalam dalam sukan itu selain pernah menyandang beberapa jawatan penting dalam persatuan badminton di peringkat kebangsaan mahupun antarabangsa.

"Sumbangan beliau dalam dunia badminton adalah begitu dinamik selain memberikan idea-idea bernas bagaimana untuk meningkatkan prestasi skuad badminton negara," katanya.

Sementara itu, bekas pemain badminton Razif Sidek berkata hubungan beliau dengan Gunalan adalah terlalu akrab seperti adik beradik.

"Mendiang seorang yang peramah dan juga mempunyai buah fikiran yang bernas serta mempunyai perwatakan yang ceria," kata Razif, yang pernah menjadi anak didik mendiang sehingga berjaya meraih pingat pertama Malaysia di Sukan Olimpik Barcelona, Sepanyol pada 1992.

Razif berkata Gunalan juga seorang yang baik hati dan beliau tertarik dengan perwatakan mendiang dan ingin mencontohinya.

Gunalan meninggal dunia di Pusat Perubatan Sime Darby Subang Jaya dekat sini akibat kanser pundi hempedu pada kira-kira 6.20 pagi ini setelah tenat sejak dua minggu lepas.

Anak lelaki mendiang, Roshan Gunalan yang juga doktor ortopedik, berkata bapanya seorang yang tegas sebagai ketua keluarga.

"Kematian bapa adalah satu kehilangan besar bagi keluarga kami kerana beliau adalah seorang yang bapa yang baik," katanya.

Roshan Gunalan, 36, berkata bapanya sebelum ini menjalani rawatan kemoterapi dan tetap ceria bersama keluarga selain sempat melayan rakan-rakan dengan wajah senyuman walaupun ketika itu sakit.

Legenda Badminton Punch Gunalan Meninggal Dunia

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 Ogos (Bernama) -- Bekas jaguh badminton negara Datuk Punch Gunalan meninggal dunia di Pusat Perubatan Sime Darby Subang Jaya dekat sini pagi Rabu akibat barah.

Punch Gunalan, 68, menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada kira-kira pukul 6:20 pagi ini di pusat perubatan yang dahulu dikenali sebagai Pusat Perubatan Subang Jaya setelah terlantar sakit tenat sejak dua minggu lepas.

Mendiang meninggalkan seorang balu, P.Vijeyakumari, 64, dan seorang anak lelaki Roshan Gunalan, 36, yang kini merupakan seorang doktor ortopedik.

Punch Gunalan merupakan antara pemain badminton yang paling berbakat dalam acara perseorangan dan beregu yang pernah dilahirkan di negara ini apabila menyumbang beberapa butir pingat untuk negara pada beberapa kejohanan badminton antarabangsa.

Penglibatan cemerlang Punch Gunalan dalam sukan badminton bermula pada awal 1960-an dengan menjadi juara Kejohanan Badminton Negeri Sembilan bagi acara perseorangan, beregu lelaki dan beregu campuran (1961-1963).

Sumbangan terbesar beliau ialah pernah muncul juara pada kejohanan badminton berprestij All England dalam acara beregu lelaki bersama pasangannya Ng Boon Bee pada tahun 1971.

Sebelum itu pada 1970, Punch Gunalan dengan pasangan beregu yang sama mencipta sejarah memenangi pingat emas pertama Komanwel untuk Malaysia di Edinburg, Scotland.

Punch Gunalan dan pasangan yang sama meraih pingat emas Sukan Asia di Bangkok, Thailand dalam acara beregu pada tahun yang sama iaitu 1970 selain memenangi emas dalam acara perseorangan lelaki di temasya sukan tersebut.

Pada 1974, beliau cemerlang sekali lagi pada Sukan Komanwel, Christchurch, New Zealand apabila meraih emas acara perseorangan dan gangsa bagi acara beregu.

Beliau juga pernah membawa balik pingat emas dalam acara perseorangan dan beregu pada kejohanan Southeast Asian Peninsular Games di Singapura pada 1973.

Punch Gunalan juga pernah mewakili skuad Piala Thomas pada 1970 dan sekali lagi pada 1973.

Beliau juga pernah dianugerahkan Olahragawan Negara pada 1969 dan 1974.

Selepas berhenti bermain, Punch Gunalan bergiat aktif sebagai jurulatih kebangsaan dan berjaya membimbing skuad kebangsaan meraih kejayaan pada Kejohanan Piala Thomas di Kuala Lumpur pada 1992.

Antara anak didik Punch Gunalan yang terkemuka ialah Rashid Sidek, Razif Sidek dan Foo Kok Keong.

Punch Gunalan juga aktif dalam Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) sebagai Setiausaha Agung Kehormat dan Presiden Persekutuan Badminton Antarabangsa (IBF) dari 2004 hingga 2008.

Beliau juga pernah memegang jawatan Setiausaha Kehormat Persatuan Badminton Malaysia (BAM) dari 1985 sehingga 1997. Jawatan terakhirnya dalam badan sukan badminton Malaysia itu ialah sebagai Timbalan Presiden pada 2005.

Punch Gunalan juga pernah diberi pengiktirafan mewakili Malaysia menerima baton Sukan Komanwel dari Ratu Elizabeth di Istana Buckingham, London pada 1998.

Jenazah mendiang dibawa ke kediamannya di No.9, Jalan 12/14B, Petaling Jaya untuk penghormatan terakhir mulai pukul 1 tengah hari Rabu sebelum disemadikan di Pusat Crematorium Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya pada pukul 4 petang Khamis.

Ketua Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negara (MSN) Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong berkata Punch Gunalan banyak menyumbang kepada negara bukan sahaja sebagai atlet tetapi juga dalam bidang kejurulatihan dan khidmat sebagai pegawai sukan tertinggi dalam badan sukan seperti IBF.

Beliau menyifatkan Malaysia kehilangan bakat yang besar dengan kematian Punch Gunalan itu kerana beliau telah banyak mengharumkan nama negara di peringkat antarabangsa.

"Saya secara peribadi mengenali beliau sebagai seorang yang banyak mengajar dan membantu dalam pembangunan arena badminton negara," katanya.

Eksekutif Perhubungan Awam/Media Yayasan Kebajikan Atlet Malaysia (Yakeb) Muhammad Aiman Aminul Abdullah berkata yayasan itu akan menyampaikan sumbangan RM11,000 kepada keluarga mendiang.

"Mendiang Punch Gunalan adalah antara ahli terawal yang menyertai Yakeb sejak tahun 2008 dan beliau banyak memberi sumbangan tenaga dan masa dalam aktiviti yang dianjurkan oleh pihak Yakeb," katanya.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Punch Gunalan passes away

Badminton legend Datuk Punch Gunalan passed away peacefully early Wednesday. He was 68. He was one of the coaches who helped Malaysia win the Thomas Cup in 1992.

Dato' Punch Gunalan

Category: Athlete
Sport: Badminton
OCM Hall of Fame - Year Inducted: 2004

While Malaysians were overwhelmed in 1970 for losing the Thomas Cup, Datuk Punch Gunalan defeated Indonesian legends Injartno and Mirjati in his doubles title game with partner Ng Boon Bee to regain Malaysia back in the world of badminton. Despite losing 2-7 to Indonesia at the championship, Gunalan’s victory is something that we can still be proud of.

Born on 22nd May 1944, Datuk Punch Gunalan had made a successful career in his life. Talented right-hander, he was indeed among the finest combination doubles Malaysia has ever produced. In 1971, Gunalan and Boon Bee again became the top men's doubles team in the world, winning the prestigious All England title, as well as the Canadian, Danish and U.S Open titles. His gifted right-hand amazed people with his exiting smash.

After his retirement, Gunalan continued his career by coaching the Malaysian team (Badminton Association of Malaysia) and later being appointed as the Deputy President of the International Badminton Federation. Under his reign, he vowed to make badminton as the best racquet sport in the world.

His continuous contributions and tremendous achievements in the badminton arena shall always be an inspiration for our young shuttlers. . 

1969 - Champion, U.S. Open for Men’s Double title
1970 - His first contribution in Thomas Cup
1970 - 1972 - Champion, Danish Open for Men’s Double title
1971 - Champion, U.S. Open for Men’s Double title
1971 - Champion, All England for Men’s Double title
1971 - Champion, Canadian Open for Men’s double title
2005 - Became Deputy President of the International Badminton Federation

Monday, June 18, 2012

HOCKEY: Vijayanathan's memoirs launched

THE book launch of the Memoirs of Mr Hockey by Datuk G. Vijayanathan, was officiated by Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid (left) and Datuk G. Vijayanathan after the launch of the Memoirs of Mr Hockey in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Pic by Nurul Shafina Jemenon
Viji, as he is popularly known, was the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) secretary for 26 years and also a world top  umpire from 1973-1976.

   He has  also gained fame for umpiring the 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup final between India and Pakistan where he awarded the "controversial" goal to India which clinched them the World Cup with a 2-1 score.

   "It is indeed an honour to have served hockey for such a long span, and I dedicate this book, written from my experience in the sport for over six decades, to my late wife of 51 years, Rajaletchmy, and my two daughters," said Viji.

   The 638-page book on his memoirs not only covers his family life, but to a large extent, includes what he learnt, achieved and parted on and off the field.

   The book launch was attended by close to 500 of his friends, as well as hockey players from the 1975 World Cup squad.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Hockey: Malaysia Create History By Beating Pakistan To Win Junior Asia Cup

MELAKA, May 13 (Bernama) -- Malaysia created history by emerging champion in the Junior Asia Cup for the first time after beating three times former champion Pakistan 2-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Bukit Serindit hockey stadium here Sunday night.

Pakistan, winners of the trophy in 1987 (Pakistan), 1992 (Ipoh) and 1996 (Singapore) were stunned in the second minute of the match with a superb penalty corner strike by Faizal Saari while Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof made it 2-0 in the 17th minute with a field goal.

More than 7,000 hockey fans who filled the stadium to the brim, including Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Melaka Yang Dipertua Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob were treated to an entertaining match.

Malaysia started the match aggressively and earned a penalty corner which Faizal placed to the far left hand corner beyond Pakistan goalkeeper Mazhar Abas' stretched arms.

Malaysia Lakar Sejarah Dengan Rangkul Piala Remaja Asia

MELAKA, 13 Mei (Bernama) -- Malaysia melakar sejarah apabila muncul juara Kejohanan Hoki Piala Remaja Asia 2012 buat julung kali selepas mengalahkan Pakistan 2-1 pada perlawanan akhir di Stadium Hoki Bukit Serindit di sini, Ahad.

Malaysia mengakhiri penantian 20 tahun untuk merangkul kejuaraan itu dengan jaringan minit kedua Faizal Saari dan jaringan padang oleh Mohd Syamim Mohd Yusof pada minit ke-17.

Pakistan, juara tiga kali pada edisi pertama 1987, 1992 dan 1996, menjaringkan gol tunggal pada separuh masa kedua menerusi Muhammad Irfan pada minit ke-42.

Skuad bimbingan Dhamaraj Abdullah itu memadam kekecewaan pada aksi final edisi 1992 di Ipoh, Perak, apabila tewas 0-3 kepada Pakistan.

Perlawanan sengit dan penuh debaran itu disaksikan oleh lebih 7,000 penonton termasuk Presiden Persekutuan Hoki Asia (AHF), Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, presiden Konfederasi Hoki Malaysia (MHC) Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah serta Yang Dipertua Negeri, Tun Mohd Khalil Yaakob.

Malaysia bermula agresif sebaik wisel perlawanan bermula dan menerusi serangan pertama menghasilkan pukulan sudut penalti.

Selepas menerima hantaran, Faizal melakukan tolakan deras ke penjuru kiri gol Pakistan yang dikawal oleh Mazhar Abas untuk gol peribadi keenam sepanjang kejohanan itu.

Hasil itu membolehkan Faizal berkongsi kedudukan sebagai penajring terbanyak bersama pemain Korea Selatan, Seong Ju Lee.

Malaysia memperkukuhkan kedudukan menerusi jaringan Mohd Syamim dan keadaan tidak berubah sehingga waktu rehat masa pertama.

Bagaimanapun, Pakistan tidak berputus asa dengan ketinggalan dua gol dan bangkit semula pada babak kedua dengan melakukan asakan bertali arus ke pintu gol Malaysia yang dikawal oleh Mohamad Hazrul Faiz Ahmad.

Malaysia memperkemaskan semula bentang pertahanan selepas jaringan gol oleh Muhammad Irfan dan mempertahankan kedudukan sehingga wisel penamat.

Dhamaraj berkata anak buahnya beraksi dengan cemerlang pada separuh masa pertama tetapi leka pada babak kedua.

Terdahulu, pada perlawanan penentuan tempat ketiga, juara bertahan India mengalahkan Korea Selatan 2-1 dalam masa tambahan.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Kisah R.Arumugam Bakal Dibukukan

SHAH ALAM: Kisah bekas penjaga gol kebangsaan mendiang Datuk R. Arumugam bakal dibukukan peminatnya dalam usaha mengetengahkan kegemilangan bola sepak negara pada era 70-an hingga 80-an kepada orang ramai, khususnya belia.

Datuk Sheikh Rajesh Sheikh Ahmad berkata antara lain, pihaknya berusaha mendapatkan maklumat mengenai Arumugam menerusi Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia dan rakan mendiang untuk dimuatkan dalam buku yang bertemakan "Semangat Bola Sepak Malaysia" itu.

"Saya mengharapkan penerbitan buku ini akan dijadikan sebagai bahan bacaan dan rujukan oleh golongan belia mengenai kegemilangan sukan bola sepak tanah air sekitar tahun 1970-an dan 80-an," katanya kepada pemberita pada sidang akhbar di sini Selasa.

Sheikh Rajesh, yang juga penganjur Kempen 'Saya Benci Rasuah Bola Sepak' Selangor, berkata buku itu akan diterbitkan selewat-lewatnya penghujung tahun ini.

"Selain diedarkan ke sekolah dan Institut Pengajian Tinggi, hasil jualan buku ini akan diserahkan kepada keluarga mendiang bagi mengurangkan beban mereka," katanya.

Sepanjang hayatnya, mendiang yang turut dikenali sebagai "Spiderman" kerana ketangkasan menjaga gawang gol, pernah membantu skuad negara merangkul pingat gangsa pada Sukan Asia 1974 di Tehran, Iran.

Arumugam, yang meninggal dunia pada 1988 ketika berusia 35 tahun akibat kemalangan jalan raya, merupakan anggota skuad kebangsaan yang layak ke Sukan Olimpik 1980 di Moscow, Rusia namun Malaysia tidak menyertainya kerana membuat bantahan serangan Soviet Union ke atas Afghanistan ketika itu.

Mengulas penganjuran kempen itu di Klang Ahad ini, Sheikh Rajesh, yang juga pengerusi sebuah kelab bola sepak swasta, berkata beberapa aktiviti dirancang bagi memeriahkannya.
"Antara aktiviti yang bakal dijalankan ialah Jelajah Fiesta bola sepak tujuh sebelah, persembahan artis dan juga gerai jualan.

"Selain itu, kita turut menyediakan kain rentang bersaiz besar bagi mengumpul sebanyak mungkin tandatangan daripada para belia yang hadir pada hari itu untuk menyatakan sokongan mereka terhadap kempen yang kita jalankan," katanya.

Kempen itu dilancarkan Timbalan Menteri Belia dan Sukan Datuk Razali Ibrahim di Muar, Johor pada 1 April lepas dan ia bertujuan menghapuskan rasuah dalam sukan bola sepak.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Book On 'Spiderman' Arumugam's Life Story To Be Published

SHAH ALAM, April 10 (Bernama) -- A book, describing the life story and achievements of the late Datuk R. Arumugam or better known as 'Spiderman' will be published soon.

Arumugam, born on Jan 31, 1953 in Port Klang with exceptionally long arms and brilliant saves, earned him the nickname "Spiderman".

Datuk Sheikh Rajesh Sheikh Ahmad who initiated the move to publish the book said to ensure the book was published, he would gather material and pictures from Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia as well as collect pictures and paper cuttings from friends and those who knew him.

"I hope the published book can be used as a reading material and reference for youths to relive the glory days of Malaysian football during the Golden Era of the 70s and 80s," he told reporters here Tuesday.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mat Boeing — the speed legend

KELANA JAYA: The passing of former international M. Viatilingam has shocked many, especially Negri Sembilan coach Azraai Khor Abdullah.

The Kedahan died at around 5am yesterday in George Town after battling brain cancer for almost two months. He was 60.

Viatilingam and Azraai go a long way back as they were childhood friends who grew up playing football in Alor Semagom — a small village in Alor Star.

“In fact, Viatilingam and I were neighbours. We lived just one kilometre away from Darulaman Stadium,” recalled Azraai.

“We started playing football at the same time, when we were nine or 10-years-old and we went on to play for our kampung. Our team was known as the Hospital Rangers.”

Both lads went on to represent the state youth team in the Burnley Cup in 1968.

“The first Burnley Cup we played in 1968 was in Malacca followed by the 1969 (Negri Sembilan) and 1970 (Sarawak) editions. Both of us were promoted to the senior squad a year later and we both also joined LLM (now known as TNB) in 1972.”

However, Viatilingam first represented the country at the 1975 Bangkok Sea Games but joined Azraai in the King’s Cup tournament held at the Thai capital two weeks after the regional Games.

“We did many things together but he represented the country before I did. But we played alongside each other in the King’s Cup.”

Viatilingam’s final national cap was at the 1978 Asian Games in Bangkok while the defender last donned Kedah’s Hijau Kuning colours in 1982.
He retired from TNB in 2008.

“It’s really sad as his wife passed away months ago and he now leaves behind a son,” Azraai added.
Former internationals Reduan Abdullah, Datuk Soh Chin Aun and Datuk Santokh Singh also had fond memories of Viatilingam.

“We called him Mat Boeing as he was a very speedy player, just like the Boeing airplane,” said Reduan.
“It’s really sad to hear of his passing. He was a good player.”

Chin Aun was shocked when told of the news.
“I’m sad, really sad. I didn’t know about it,” said Chin Aun.

Santokh said he was informed of Viatilingam’s death yesterday, adding that the latter was a hard tackler but a nice man off the pitch.

“It’s a sad day for all of us,” Santokh added.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How Milo became the catalyst to sports development

The clarion call for sports in our country is “Malaysia Boleh” which, in a way, is synonymous with “Milo Boleh”.

And Milo, a fortified food drink from Nestle, has certainly made its mark in Malaysian sport. Probably most of us have gingerly lined up for the drink from a van or a container during our school’s sports day. And how we almost died of thirst when we don’t see the green-coloured van.

And Milo is certainly Nestle’s success story as it has transcended all boundaries to become a household name synonymous with children and sports in Malaysia.

Today, Nestle, a leading specialist in nutrition, health and wellness products, will be celebrating their 100th anniversary, a milestone which few companies in Malaysia can reach.

In retrospect, there’s always the Milo presence in any sports in our country. And then came the “Malaysia Boleh” slogan which was formulated by Milo in 1992.

Familiar sight: Children lining up to get a drink from the Milo van which visits schools on sports day.
It was coined after a brain-storming session between former Nestle sports marketing manager Datuk Dina Rizal and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

Dina, who has been with the company for 30 years and who retired in 2003, fondly said reminiscently: “In 1992, former Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah asked us to look at ways to encourage and support the Malaysian athletes during overseas competitions like the SEA Games. So after a brain-storming session, we came up with several slogans.

“At the end we selected “Malaysia Boleh”. It was to be launched for the 1993 SEA Games in Singapore. It involved getting signatures and messages of support from people of all walks of life – from the King to the common people. It proved to be a massive success with more than 1.5 million signatures collected.

“In 1998, for the Commonwealth Games which was held here in Kuala Lumpur, we managed to get a record five million people involved. I am sure it is still in the Guinness Book of Records.”

Schools, districts, states and even national level sports have Milo either as sponsors or partners in their development programmes. Many of today’s top athletes like bowler Shalin Zulkifli, world squash champion Datuk Nicol David and Ong Beng Hee and the swimming contingent have taken part in Milo events before bursting into the national scene.

So, what has made Nestle’s Milo such a popular brand and how did they reach out to the masses, especially the kids?
It was first introduced in 1950 and their early catch phrase was “It’s Marvellous What MILO Can Do For You” and then it evolved into “MILO Brings Out The Champion In You” in 2000. Currently, it is just two words – “Go Further” .

They have certainly gone further to walk the talk in helping, motivating and supporting sports in our country.
Ng Ping Loong, who took over from Dina, said that the success of the brand is also due to the policy in helping kids develop their skills in sports. Nestle’s commitment to the brand has never wavered and the policy to play a part in the development of sports is an ongoing process.

“We also believe that sports is a great way to bring people together and that there is a champion in every kid. The question is finding it and nurturing them to become one,” said Ping Loong.
Ping Loong said the hard work in promoting the Milo events has paid off.

“We are into almost all the development programmes in sports. And we plan to continue doing so. Nestle has a long-term interest and its 100 years in Malaysia is proof that we plan to stay much longer” he added.
Ping Loong wishes to invite readers to celebrate the 100th anniversary at Dataran Merdeka from 2pm to 10pm.

OCM secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, who has dealt with Milo over 40 years, said there is no question about Milo’s ability to sustain their partnership in sports.

“I was the secretary of the Selangor Swimming Association in 1971 when I first dealt with them.
“And until today, we find that Milo has remain faithful to the sports development programmes.”