Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Dr Alban Can’t Cut It Anymore, A Has Been?

Dr Alban used to be a star, well that's what I thought in my schooling days. I mean who could ever forget "It's My Life" booming through the radio in shopping complexs (back in the days in Seremban - where got malls, but complexes...), in school during Teacher’s Day and car stereos, especially those ‘feng-tao’ fellas in their modified cars.

But now, I hear that Dr Alban singing on Hitz.FM with Sasi The Don? What? Yea, you got that right,B! I mean Dr Alban’s star quality has gone down so much that his he has to team-up with our local guy who of course is the reggae man, but from somewhere in Klang or Kajang?

This is like a demotion of Dr Alban, I guess he can’t cut it anymore that he needs to come down to a small country (music-industry wise) like Malaysia to con innocent Asians like us into listening his new track?

Anyway nothing great on the song, just chorus of some local Malaysian girls singing, with reggae rap in between both Dr Alban and Sasi. I don’t know why Hitz.FM is playing it up so much like as if it’s the next big hit in the world!

Of course, our singers tak sedar diri lar, one thinks he is from Jamaica while local rapper Kraft (sounds cheesy if you get what I mean, and also catchy Kraft cheese wrapper?) thinks he is from somewhere in South Central, LA.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

1Malaysia F1 Team Going to be A Good1?

Today, I don’t know whether to feel happy or sceptical of our new F1 team called 1Malaysia F1 team.

While the funding seems to be coming from both government and private sector, as a tax payer, it would be good to know how much of our (read you and me ) money is going to be contributed towards this venture which our PM says is not merely a sporting activity but an element of marketing for Proton, Malaysia and also, Air Asia and Naza brand names to be popularised.

To me, why do we need an F1 team and also one that has the 1Malaysia to it? To me, the recent things which happened (shall not say it as everyone knows what happened recently) is not 1Malaysia as our PM envisioned. I think, 1Malaysia needs to start working on this at home first and must be successful, before shouting it loud to the whole world.

Ok, back to sports, now, reading today’s reports – looking for a suitable Malaysian driver. Hmm, we all know what happened to Alex Yoong at Minardi, slowest driver and what an embarrassment to us. Remember all the hype of him joining the team and how Mark Webber was treated like the so-called 2nd driver in the team but now, look at where Mark Webber is!

Another name is Fairuz Fauzy but can any our Malaysian drivers hack it? Every time we read in the media, same story, “our drivers has the potential to make it, a star in the making and etc”.

Even Japan for all their technology and history in F1 is struggling to get a world-class driver to regularly win points. Let’s not talk about regular podium finishes. Can we do it?

We have always been know as world-class organisers but having this F1 team made me think what tangible benefits can we gain from it other than being a supporter of F1 sports, marketing Malaysia to the masses and a feel good factor of having an F1 team based away from Europe?

Another interesting point is that our technical and pit crew of 200 will all be Malaysian… can this be done? Also getting UTM and U of Petronas involved to participate – the sceptic in me is questioning getting this local cast involved in this project in a short juncture. I mean, our universities are not really rated highly overseas judging by our rankings which we are even behind Singapore’s NUS.

Can’t we maybe get our people to ‘belajar’ from the Mat Salleh experts first before we go ahead on with a somewhat 100% local flavour?

Well, let us just watch on how our new F1 Lotus team shapes up and I for one would be interested to see, number 1, who is the local driver and number 2, can we perform and not just make up the numbers.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Elia, Oranje's Latest Star

Elia in full flight
Eljero Elia is a name many football fans do not know but after scoring his first goal for Holland in their 1-0 win over Scotland last week, my guess is, he will be a name teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United will come a calling by next season.

A winner of the Johan Cruyff award which is awarded for the best young player in Holland, Elia is now starring for the Dutch-flavoured Hamburg in the Bundesliga.

Before heading to Hamburg, Elia was with Steve McClaren’s FC Twente before making the move in July which somehow helped him in a way, get a call up for Bert van Marwijk’s national side.

Making his debut against Japan on Sept 5, Elia proved to be an excellent wide player, coming on for Bayern Munchen star Arjen Robben at half time and producing two superb assists to help the Dutch clinch a 3-0 win over the former Asian champions.

His second match though opened many football pundits and fans’ eyes with the only goal in their win against Scotland in a meaningless World Cup qualifier as the Dutch have already qualified for the World Cup.

His Oranje career started with the U-19s in 2005 and with rapid progression, made his U-21 debut in the beginning of 2006. On the club scene, he excelled at ADO Den Haag’s youth team and made his professional debut when he was just 17-years old. Problems in ADO Den Haag’s team saw FC Twente take advantage by signing him and the rest as they say, is history.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Celtic's Asian Stars


Clockwise : Koki Mizuno, Ki Sung-yong and Zheng Zhi

Shunsuke Nakamura probably paved the way for Asians to make its presence felt in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) and thanks to him, we have Zheng Zhi and Korean starlet Ki Sung-yong making their way to Glasgow Celtics, on top of Japan's Koki Mizuno who has been there since last year.

It also makes interesting reading that as usual, the East Asian are showing the way forward. We wonder when the West Asian players who have the talent and physical attributes, will make a smiliar journey to Europe? Back to home, for all the talk that we performed superbly in that dubious friendly (note friendly) against Man Utd, when are our players going to make moves such as this?

We are not asking them to go to that level, even if they can play in UAE, Saudi, Japan or Korea, it would be great. Ok enough of digressing about our football team, which I am doing out of frustration!

Let's start about Zheng Zhi - China's national team skipper and natural all rounder! The twice China's Player of the Year has a chance to resurrect his career at least in the SPL after Charlton were demoted and he would only be the second player from China to feature in the SPL after Du Wei, who sadly, never found his footing there.

Mizuno on the other hand came in last year from JEF United and is quite comfortable on both sides of the flank and has a few caps on the Japanese national team. However, he hasn't really set Celtic on fire like his compatriot, Nakamura, who happens to be yours truly's favourite Asian player.

Ki is only 20 but I think a move to Celtic now is better to cut his teeth before looking at the more challenging EPL few years down the road. His worth is so great that his ex-club, FC Seoul is reluctant to transfer him now but would only send him in January as his team sits on top of the K-League. This is FC Seoul's second transfer after selling another star Lee Chung-yong to Bolton.

With Celtic out of the Champions League, these Asian players would at least need to ensure the SPL title does head to Rangers since Scotland has only two teams... right!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Time To Get The Bigger Boys

The National Banks Sports Council (NBSC) had its bienal AGM yesterday as true to some whispers in the background the same team (2007-2009) was retained after yesterday's AGM which looked more like a "Saya Setuju" meeting where every motion was passed without questions.

I may be wrong as the papers for the AGM was done perfect or just the attendees was not too bothered to ask or probe any questions on it. But never mind on that, it's done and dusted.

Looking at the team for the term 2009-2011, the President comes from Exim Bank while the Deputy President comes from Bank Rakyat. The questions that boggles my mind is the pedigree of the financial instituition's sporting background, not the individual.

We all know how rich Maybank's sporting history is while CIMB are hiring people to narrow the gap in inter-bank sports.

Why sports people from Maybank, CIMB or even RHB are not in that high level appointment (meaning the president and deputy president positions) beats the hell out of me. In this era of cost cutting, getting the right people from those financial instituitions can assist NBSC to cut cost, especially hiring venues for the their sports organisation.

In fact, they can probably get those venues for free, and in turn, they can lower the entrance fees and encourage more members to participate in the various sports they organise. Maybank has an excellent sports facility which can house athletes to live and train there, so why nobody ever though of putting a senior Maybank person there?

An insider told me that they have approached many high level (read:senior management) people from various instituition but all declined due to work commitments. If that is the case, I think the committee needs to put in more thought and find out why these key decision makers are not interested to take on this job? What are the reasons? Can somebody tell us? Is there a stumbling block within or outside the organisation that is making things tough for senior management to come in?

Also, a little bird told me that NBSC don't make much cash or normally break even - so it will be a mystery what the new exco or old exco (not much difference?) are going to do about this moving forward? As bankers, can't we think of various way to raise more capital?

In this age where sports are moving towards profesionalism, maybe NBSC can do simple things and not move one step back to please different cliques or factions within the organisation. The first thing to do is to get the right banks at the top and more senior management presence to move it forward in looking at ways to increase its financial status and also keeping the cost of participation low.

Maybe the new committee needs to sit down and brainstorm on getting CEOs and MDs of each bank to be in the exco - that will be a start though....