Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Bekas tekong kebangsaan, Mohd Fauzi Ghadzali meninggal dunia

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 Aug 2013 – Bekas pemain takraw kebangsaan, Mohd Fauzi Ghadzali meninggal dunia akibat kanser kelenjar di Hospital Besar Pulau Pinang hari ini.
Mohd Fauzi, 33, menghembuskan nafas terakhir pada kira-kira 5.45 pagi ini, menurut anak saudara Allahyarham Mohd Khairil Ridzwan.

Katanya bapa saudaranya itu menerima rawatan di Hospital Besar Pulau Pinang sejak tiga bulan lalu dan keadaannya menjadi semakin kritikal sejak sebulan lepas.

Allahyarham meninggalkan isteri Solehah Omar, 30, dan lima anak berusia antara tujuh bulan dan lapan tahun.

Jenazah dikebumikan di Permatang Pauh, Pulau Pinang selepas solat Zohor, kata Mohd Khairil, 29, ketika dihubungi Bernama.

“Kami sekeluarga sangat terasa dengan kehilangan arwah yang merupakan individu peramah, dan anak-anaknya juga masih kecil,” katanya.

Berasal dari Pulau Pinang, Mohd Fauzi, bekas pemain kebangsaan bagi posisi tekong pernah membantu pasukan negara meraih sebutir perak dan sebutir gangsa pada temasya Sukan Asia Busan 2002 dan dua perak pada Sukan SEA Vietnam 2003.

Sementara itu, Menteri Belia dan Sukan Khairy Jamaluddin berkata negara kehilangan antara bekas pemain tekong terbaik yang pernah mengharumkan nama negara.

Allahyarham Mohd Fauzi Ghadzali bergambar kenangan bersama keluarga. - Sumber gambar Facebook.
Allahyarham Mohd Fauzi Ghadzali bergambar kenangan bersama keluarga. – Sumber gambar Facebook.

“Saya mendapat berita pemergian beliau di Twitter pagi tadi. Saya telah meminta Majlis Sukan Negara melihat beberapa perkara yang perlu dibantu bagi meringankan beban keluarga Allahyarham,” katanya kepada pemberita ketika ditemui pada satu majlis di Bukit Kiara.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

In remembrance of Ishtiaq Mobarak

THE sporting community has lost track legend Ishtiaq Mobarak at the age 65. Ishtiaq, who died on Friday, was known for his hurdling prowess and stylish personality on the track from the mid 60's till 1978.

He was a friend and colleague at Maybank and served in the 80's as a sports coordinator. He was a guiding force in turning the bank into a powerhouse in athletics, football and hockey.

He had the knack of identifying and nurturing young talented athletes into national champions. One of his protégés is former international decathlete and national coach Hanapiah Nasir.
His wife Shamini Mubarak (K. Selvarani) was a former national 400m hurdler who was coached by Ishtiaq himself at the Kampong Pandan Sports Complex in the 70's and 80's.

I had the honour to work with him as a middle and long-distance coach for the inter bank athletics meet where Maybank emerged champions for at least 10 years under his strong guidance. He was known for his ferocious work ethics, extraordinary talent and passion as an athlete and coach.

Ishtiaq is best remembered for winning four SEA Games gold medals in 1969, 1971, 1973, and 1977; a silver at the 1974 Asian Games; and silver at the Asian track and field in 1973 and 1975.

In 1978, he was awarded the Ahli Mangku Negara along with his 1977 Sea Games coach Edwin Abraham and athletes such as Datuk Marina Chin, Jessica Lau, Smit Bolkiah for capturing five golds at the KL Sea Games.

He represented the nation in three Olympics: 1968 (Mexico), 1972 (Munich) and 1976 (Montreal). He was a semi-finalist in the 110m hurdles at Montreal.

Goodbye my dear friend. May your soul rest in peace.

C. Sathasivam Sitheravellu

Ishtiaq Mobarak – an obituary

It was during the late 1950s that I had the good fortune of being associated with two potential sports talents in Pasar Road English School, KL when these two boys about nine years old joined the teachers in bowling them out in cricket batting practice after the children’s sports activities were over for the day. They were Ishtiaq Mobarak and Zainon Mat. They were natural sports talents who could excel in any game. Both represented the school in many games.

Ishtiaq who excelled in Hurdles event represented the school at athletics, hockey, football, cricket and rugby and turned out to be one of the nation’s greatest ever hurdlers. Zainon represented the school at athletics, football, hockey, cricket and rugby. He later turned out to be  Malaysia’s top spin bowler and eventually the captain of the national team.

I write this on receiving the news that Ishtiaq had passed away aged 65. His father Mubarak Ahmad was then a senior police officer and a former Malayan sprinter and president of FMAAU (predecessor of MAAU) was very often at the school field witnessing and later discussing with teachers on the progress of his son.

Mubarak was especially responsible for the hurdles training of his son. He confirmed with that he had trained his son on hurdling in the compound of his senior officer’s government bungalow. Ishtiaq was already Primary Schools Selangor champion at hurdles, when the school entered him for an under 16 Selangor schools events. He created a sensation by winning this event!

Just before leaving for the next school The father discussed with me about choosing just one sports and  we both agreed that it should be hurdles. There were no regrets later. Then on it was glory all the way. His school days at the Victoria Institution saw him setting new 110m hurdles at both state and national Schools Sports Council records. MAAU sent him to Germany for special training and he continued to win SEAP Games and Asian Golds.

His height of  achievements was the qualifying for the semi finals at the Olympics in 1976. He joined the Malayan Bank and was jointly responsible with several coaches for Maybank being continuously Champion Bank in the then popular Inter Bank Athletics meet. His Bank achievements in coaching made him a national coach for hurdles bringing him to being appointed as a full time coach in the National Sports Council.

Being a national hit in the sports world has the build up of high expectations from all concerned. The fans, the admirers, the MAAU, the NSC, the employers, etc., are not groups which can be pleased easily when successes are not forthcoming all the time! Ishtiaq, like many other ex athletes or coaches faced lots of emotional strains . Fortunately, for Ishtiaq, his ex national athlete wife, Selvarani, became the stabilising factor in the tumultuous wold of high expectation!

To make matters worse a nasty motorbike accident caused him immense pain in a torturous  way forcing him to take non stop pain killers. The trust Selvarani  and the children, the close family and friends had in him cleared him of allegations made unjustly on an athlete who was once hero worshipped as an international Hurdler inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

Only a few weeks ago he rang me to express his gratefulness for my understanding for him. Alas! I sent him a Raya message yesterday and the answer I received yesterday morning that he is no more with us! The great individual he was, though a legend, depicted the life of many of our national greats who endure much agony and hardship after bringing glory to the nation. May the Almighty God Bless his soul.

Ishtiaq Was A Dedicated, Caring And Responsible Husband And Father - Shamimi

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 9 (Bernama) -- The late Olympian hurdler Ishtiaq Mobarak was a loving, caring and responsible husband and father said his wife Shamimi Selvarani Abdullah, 52.

Though he was busy with his duties as a coach, he was always concerned with the welfare of our children, she said.

"Though my daughter was pursuing her studies in Hotel Management in Dubai, he never failed to call her to find out how she was progressing," she told Bernama at her house in Taman Zooview, here, Friday.

According to Shamimi, her husband Ishtiaq, 65, who had suffered a stroke about three years ago, fell in the bathroom of their house and passed away at 9.55am, today.

Ishtiaq's remains were buried at the Taman Batu Muda Muslim Cemetery, Jalan KL-Karak at 6pm, today, after the prayers at Masjid Al-Ridhuan, Hulu Kelang.

She added that her husband was a kind and dedicated person who always led a moderate lifestyle but had a passion to collect high powered motorcycles.

He (Ishtiaq) however, had to sell off his collection of high powered motorcycles after suffering a stroke and decided to quit his coaching job in January.

Shamimi said her husband was very cheerful when celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri yesterday, especially with the arrival of family members to the house.

"He was very happy to celebrate Aidilfitri with the children, family members and relatives," said Shamimi who works in a bank.

The late Ishtiaq leaves behind his wife and two daughters - Shaniz and Shakira Mubarak who are 26 and 22, respectively.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A great athlete who will long be remembered

CHUA Boon Huat had touched many hearts and some, including this scribe, are still shell-shocked at how his young and energetic life was plucked, leaving a vacuum hard to fill.


We met at a Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) buka puasa cum incentive function at the Park Royal Hotel in Bukit Bintang roughly seven hours before his death.

There was never an inkling that it would be the last time I would meet him.
I remember how I made my way to the dinner table after a press conference with MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and noticed no available chairs. I picked one up from the back of the banquet hall and coincidentally, or by fate, placed it next to Chua.

With a wide smile, he greeted me: "Bro, how have you been keeping these days?"
"Not too bad," I replied, and just then, Tengku Abdullah walked by and said: "You are looking good Chua. You have lost some weight (since the World League semi-finals in Johor Baru). Keep it up as we need you at your best in Ipoh."

Turning to the scribe, Tengku Abdullah looked at my pot belly and said: "You have also lost some weight."

And I replied with a joke: "Tengku, did you know that Peter Butler has tweeted that he wants to be the director of coaching for FAM (after news broke that the Malaysian football team had lost 5-0 to second division Japanese club Tokyo Verdy)."

Tengku Abdullah, who had, at the press conference, earlier said he did not want to talk about the football team as it would only spoil his appetite, gave this reporter an annoyed look and remarked: "Well, he can apply, anybody can apply."

Tengku Abdullah walked away, and Chua pulled at my sleeves and said: "Bro, he just told you in the press conference that he did not want to talk about football and now you have spoilt his appetite!", to which I replied: "That only means we will have a bigger share of the spread."
Chua let out a hearty laugh. Getting serious, I asked him if Malaysia really needed foreign coaches in football and hockey.

Chua looked around and then told me a shocker, and when I told him I would write about it, he said: "No lah bro! Don't write that because it will only hurt many people.
"But if you ask me about hockey, I feel we did the right thing with Paul (Revington). You know bro, I am not the type who enjoys training, but under Paul, I am actually enjoying every moment as there is never a dull moment.

"Also, you know, it's something funny, but I'm learning things that should have been taught to me 10 years ago, but only now under Paul am I learning!

"Everyone in the team is enjoying training and is motivated. Before this, we entered the pitch and played to our own strengths, our own special skills, and nobody before this told us even how to trap the ball properly on the run and attack.

"Things are changing and bro, you can also see that we were just unlucky in the England and Pakistan matches in Johor."

Chua wore a big smile when I asked him about playing in the Asia Cup at his favourite hunting ground, the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.

"Ya lah bro, I have scored some super goals in the Azlan Shah (Cup). The Ipoh crowd is super. Let's see how I can make them cheer even louder (in the Asia Cup)."
Just then, a television crew walked up and asked Chua for an interview, to which he obliged, and they recorded his last moments.

He was the only Chinese in the senior side for the last two decades, and you would want him on your side in a match, and also a party.
Coach Revington had this fitting finale to say: "Since I came to Malaysia, not a day went by when I was not extremely thankful that Chua was in our locker room and on our side.

"I have admired Chua since I first watched him in the 2000 Olympics, then in Hobart 2001 and always secretly hoped I would get an opportunity to coach him.
"A great athlete and warrior, he was."

Gone today my friend, but you'll be forever remembered.

Rest in peace, Chua Boon Huat

KUALA LUMPUR: NATIONAL hockey player Chua Boon Huat's untimely death has sent shockwaves to not only his teammates, but also the entire hockey loving fraternity in Malaysia.


File picture of the late, Chua Boon Huat (number 3, in yellow) after scoring a goal at the TNB MHL 2012 match at National Hockey Stadium, Bukit Jalil. Pix by Goh Thean Howe 

 The 33-year-old midfielder-striker who spotted jersey No 3, died in a motor-vehicle accident at 3am in Kuala Lumpur. His car number was CBH 3350.

  Tragically, or some see is as a blessing, Chua met all his teammates and hockey officials including Malaysian Hockey Confederation President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at a breaking of fast function seven hours earlier.

  He was his usual jovial self, and could be seen speaking to his teammates, and was also interviewed by this scribe as well as television channels on his Asia Cup aspirations.

  National goalkeeper S. Kumar was shattered by the news and said: "Chua is normally a reserved person, but at the breaking fast function, he spoke to me for at least 30 minutes about various matters and this is very unusual of him.

  "He also spoke and joked with many people at the function. This  is a tragic loss. The news has shattered the entire team," said Kumar.

  His teammates were at the University Malaya mortuary early in the morning, and even coach Paul Revington was inconsolable.

  Social sites have been on fire paying tribute to the player who made his debut as a 17-year-old in the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games.

  Some of his closes buddies like former national skipper S. Kuhan wrote on his Facebook: "Good bye my dear brother. Shattered and broken I am. I will miss you dearly and cherish the good and bad times we experienced together. Till we meet again... We LOVE you!

  And another skipper who played longside him in the KL Commonwealth Games Mirnawan Nawawi penned this: "My friend and former teammate in the national hockey team, you are too young to go. Great lost to his family and country. RIP Chua Boon Huat. U'll be missed!

  Former National Sports Institute director general Datuk Dr Ramlan Aziz had this to say on FB: "Extremely sad to hear of the demise of one of our great hockey players, Chua Boon Huat. ..so tragic. I was his team doctor for many years..so friendly and approachable with a ready smile and kind-hearted. We will miss him badly. My deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

  Chua, born May 3, 1980 in Malacca, capped 330 times for the country, surpassing the appearances made by Nor Saiful Zaini (325) and his best friend S. Kuhan (327)

   He has played at the World Cup, Olympics, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and Asia Cup.
  And he also captained the 2001 Junior World Cup side in Hobart.