Apr 4, 2014


Recognition comes in many ways and nothing is far more meaningful and appreciated than to receive awards and medals conferred in conjunction with the birthday of a state ruler.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) General Secretary Dato’ Alex Soosay will receive the Darjah Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (DSAP) and his immediate assistant, Windsor Paul John, the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP), both of which carry the title 'Datuk'. They will be among 172 recipients of various awards tomorrow in recognition of their contributions to society.

Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, will present the medals at an investiture ceremony at the Istana Abu Bakar in Pekan on behalf of HRH Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah. 

For the record, Dato’ Alex Soosay was conferred the Darjah Indera Mahkota Pahang (DIMP) on Oct 24, 2011. He has seen the entire spectrum of the beautiful game of football as player, coach and administrator. He was appointed as General-Secretary of AFC on July 15, 2009 after the resignation of Datuk Sri Paul Mony Samuel.

Windsor, who was Executive Director of AFC in 2012, and later appointed assistant secretary-general last year – a move seen by many in the Asian football governing body as recognising Windsor’s ability in the administrative field as the man has been performing his jobs rather diligently, and with so much passion.

Of recent, football’s world governing body, FIFA, had so much of faith in Windsor’s ability too. He was appointed by FIFA to ensure that the Confederation Cup which was held from June 15-30 was managed and organised well in Brazil. Come this June, Windsor will once again head for Brazil as General Coordinator of the World Cup.

The former teacher started his career as an assistant coach in Selangor under the supervision of Dato’ M. Chandran, one of the most accomplished footballer Malaysia has produced, before taking on an administrative job in the Football Association of Malaysia.

I can only congratulate Dato’ Alex Soosay and Windsor on their latest accolades and am strongly convinced they will carry on in their jobs as ‘great administrators’.

As much as they appreciate the recognition bestowed upon them by His Royal Highness Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, I believe both are humble human beings who will not allow this auspicious occasion to bloat their egos, as we have seen in several individuals who have changed for the worse!

To Windsor’s wife, Jane, who has been very active in community service for the church alongside her husband, and her deep understanding of Windsor’s love for the development of football worldwide, this is just another way of good things happening to great people.

GOD works in mysterious ways no doubt. But in life, we reap what we sow. Gentlemen, you truly deserve it.

Feb 26, 2014


I first met Joe in 1995 when I was the Media Officer with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). Two individuals who had guided and encouraged me in my infancy days in FAM were Joe, who was the Sports Editor of Utusan Malaysia,and Vijesh Rai, a senior sports journalist at that time with the New Straits Tines Press. They taught me the intricacies in dealing with the local and foreign media and also corrected me when ever I had derailed along the line in my course of work. The rest of it is plain history.
Joe looking sharp in his FAM suit with Dato M Chandran,
Dato Rajagobal and Windsor Paul 

Joe and I had a common topic of interest for discussion or experiences to share and that was 'JESUS'. But Joe went one step further. He enrolled into Bible College and became a Pastor to lead the people in various walks of life towards knowing GOD. I have never seen Joe getting upset over trivial matters. He always kept his cool and had a broad smile on his bubbly face. He was truly a very understanding gentleman and believed that people will change for the better as time passes by. We had a small group of friends who had always supported his work for GOD and the church.

This group never said 'NO' to God and to Joe in his quest to ensure people came to know JESUS.  An excellent writer in the Bahasa Malaysia language, Joe clocked many years in sports journalism and continued his church work by reaching out to Indonesian construction workers at the “Kongsi” every Saturday without fail,. He would bring them bibles so that they are able read, understand and get closer to GOD.

He loved his youth days very much and often spoke of his burning desire of forming a musical band, buying musical equipments and producing albums for the church which all happened in HIS time. He had that zest for Christ and people around him.

The sports fraternity knew Joe extremely well as he was the Sports Editor in Utusan Malaysia before moving on to join the Olympic Council of Malaysia and later on FAM as Media Officer respectively. Each time I bumped into Joe at Wisma FAM he would call out to me and say: "Sit down la ... where are you running off to?"  I would tease him by inviting him to a cup of coffee instead but Joe's instant reply was:: “Ask the General”, referring to FAM General Secretary Lt Gen (Ret) Dato' Azzuddin Ahmad. 

If Joe was not busy we would meet up for coffee or tosai in Bangsar with several other common pastors as friends, or have a banana leaf meal and continue our conversation about life and GOD.  Joe worked 365 days a year. He could be seen on Monday to Friday in FAM while Saturdays and Sundays were reserved for the Church. Whenever he took leave he would  travel to various places in Jakarta to preach the word of GOD.

When Joe broke the news that he was diagnosed with a brain tumour I was totally in a state of shock and sad. But Joe was quick to assure me that he will be back on his feet as he trusted God always.  When I visited him after the operation, Joe felt a sense of renewal and I thought he was out of the danger zone. But just how wrong was I indeed. GOD had a better plan for Joe.

He would always update me on his his work, his mission and what he intends to do through emails. Ironically, he totally surrendered himself to GOD. Many came to say their farewell to Joe on Saturday. Pastors travelled from far and near to say kind words of the man who had divided his time between work, family and his mission for GOD.    

As much I was saddened that I have lost a dear friend,counsel and Pastor, I was proud to see his youth praising, worshipping and talent in music, I met some young church leaders who attributed  their growth much to Joe's tutelage.  Many media friends also attended his funeral to say 'Thank You' to a man who was simple in his ways of life but yet always generous to share his knowledge with those who sought his advice. ALL those who went on stage spoke well of Joe which only described that he had touched the hearts of thousands and changed peoples lives.

Today we are at a loss for words and feel his absence. To his wife Josephine and daughter Janell, please be strong in times like this as Pastor Joe enjoyed a good life and did everything he could for the church and humanity. He has left us ONLY to be with the Creator, 

Thank you for the support, love and friendship Joe. You will  ALWAYS be remembered. 

God Bless

Jan 14, 2014

PUMA and Pahang FA forge three-year sponsorship deal

Malaysia Cup champions Pahang signed a three-year sponsorship deal today worth in the region of close to RM1 million per year with one of the world’s leading Sports Brands PUMA
Pahang ended a 21-year drought to emerge 2013 Malaysia Cup champions following a 1-0 win over defending champions Kelantan in the final, watched by an estimated 85,000 fans at the Shah Alam Stadium.

Describing the sponsorship deal for three seasons with PUMA as a really ‘significant boost’, Pahang Football Association president, Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, said it will only spur the players and management to greater heights for the new season.
“I am delighted with PUMA coming on board as sponsors with long lasting cooperation. Such bond can only take us to new horizon in the 2014 season,” said Tengku Abdul Rahman after witnessing a signing ceremony of the sponsorship deal.

Pahang FA chairman of branding, marketing & promotion, Mohd Fahrizal Hasan, signed on behalf of the state football association while PUMA was represented by Melvin Siew, PUMA Malaysia country manager. Also in attendance were Miguel Andrade, PUMA general manager for Southeast Asia, and Dato’ Johari Hussin, the Pahang State Government executive councillor & chairman of Youth & Sports.

“We last won the Malaysia Cup in 1992 and I have waited too long for this moment. We will do everything possible to cash in on this success to make things happen for Pahang more regularly with PUMA on board,” added Tengku Abdul Rahman, who has held the presidency post for the last 10 years.

Pahang won the Super League in 2004 and FA Cup two years later. The Malaysia Cup now completes the three titles in Malaysian football during Tengku Abdul Rahman’s reign as president of the state football body.

The 2014 Malaysian Soccer League season kicks off with the curtain-raiser Charity Shield match between Malaysia Cup champions Pahang and Super League champions Lions XII on January 17 at the Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan.

Andrade said the sponsorship deal with Pahang FA is ‘more than just a business relationship’, adding that it will ensure early preparations for the coming season.
“We are very happy to be associated with Pahang as our partners. We will provide kit and apparels to Pahang Super League team for three years and PUMA is confident Pahang, being the Malaysia Cup champions, are the best ambassadors of our brand,” said Andrade, adding that this ‘marriage’ between PUMA and Pahang fits in perfectly.

Pahang will be coached by Ronald Smith, a former technical analyst for the Australian national team. Smith is no stranger to Malaysian football having coached Sabah (1995-97) and Johor FC (1998-99). He was also the technical director of the Football Association of Malaysia from 1999-2002.

Keeping faith in their current local line-up, Pahang signed only one player - President Cup goalkeeper Muhammad Saufi Mohd - for the 2014 Super League season but the 21-year-old will have to battle Khairul Azhan Mohd Khalid and Nasril Nourdin for a spot in the first eleven.

Former Kelantan striker Dickson Nwakaeme has also signed with the Malaysia Cup champions. The 27-year-old will be paired with Argentine striker Matias Conti while joining the duo will be former Fulham and Queens Park Rangers defender Zeshan Rehman, who is expected to play alongside Damion Stewart.

Dec 12, 2013

Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search 2014

The Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search 2014 unveiled its first batch of 14 potential drivers on the sideline of the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race today.Forty enthusiasts attended the ‘by invitation only’ selection process with Hypertune, Shift and MYC! This also includes fans from the Red Bull Facebook page.

Among those selected by four independent judges were Ili Syazana Jamal Azmi, a University of Malaya final-year medical student, Putri Mardiana Zainal Abidin, a single mother with a ‘burning passion’ for motorsports, Daphne Choo Lynn-Wey and Penang-born Jessica Ann Selvadurai.

Red Bull Malaysia Executive Director, Jyn Wee, said these 14 female drivers were selected after a six-hour evaluation process by the independent judges. Personality and interest in motorsports were some of the criteria in picking the right candidates.

“We had initially decided to select only 10 drivers but the judges felt that we increase the number to 14 as some of these candidates had shown the right aptitude, personality and good knowledge of motorsports. They had shown a tremendous interest in the programme,” said Wee, adding that several of them had travelled from as far as Penang and Perak to join the Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search for 2014.

“However, all is not lost for those who did not make the grade today. They can still join the Red Bull Female Rookies Drivers Search roadshows throughout the country as we will be inviting 20 more drivers, bringing the total to 34. We hope to complete the process in June,” said Wee.

“This programme is about searching potential drivers for the 2014 Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race. They will undergo training and the programme’s curriculum includes Defensive and Tactical Driving Courses. They will be trained and evaluated by Asia Advanced Driving Academy chief trainer, Kenvin Low,” said Wee.

However, from the 34 candidates, five will be shortlisted for the final phase of training but only two will be selected for next year’s all-female Red Bull Rookies team to compete in the Sepang 1,000km Endurance Race.

Apart from Ili Syazana, Putri Mardiana, Daphne Choo and Jessica, the others selected today are Alydia Ab Wahab, Audrey Tan Poh Yuen, Emilia Nabila Abdul Majeed, Valerie Effendi Atkinson, Kan Kit Po, Imee Nadia Abdul Hadi, Lee Sue Ai, Hazwani Husaain, Nursharina Nor Ramlle and Kang Yue Shern.

“I have been following F1 for a long time and you cannot imagine my passion for motorsports. I had always wanted to race at the Sepang F1 Circuit,” said Ili Syazana. “With this opportunity knocking on my door, I hope to go all the way to be the next Red Bull Female Rookie Driver,” added the 23-year-old, who graduates in April next year.

Red Bull Rookies programme was initiated in 2008 based on the Red Bull Female Driver Search 2007. In 2009, the Red Bull Female Driver Search conducted road shows on a nationwide scale, leading to official formation as well as participation of the Red Bull Rookies Team at the inaugural Sepang 1,000