Jan 13, 2010


After having been privy to the idiosyncrasies and modus operandi of the Ministers who have attempted to give form and dignity to the sports portfolio, I am more and more convinced that a politician should not be a sports minister, or a sports minister should not be a politician.

For, in their haste to turn sport into his or her launching pad, politician sports ministers wittingly try to promote their political agendas, and unwittingly sentence the quality and future of sport to the gallows.

Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, a rank outsider to sport, is today charting the course of Malaysian football on his stunted perception of the term “football management”.

That he is unqualified to handle this portfolio is easier to accept as poor Ahmad Shabery could be a man thrust into a position through no fault of his. But what is harder to accept is the fact that he seems to have placed his faith on those self-proclaimed sport experts whom he surrounds himself with, and who themselves can’t tell you whether they are coming or going.

For why else then would Mr ill-advised and ill-informed former Information Minister be planning a trip to London to meet FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah to discuss plans for club attachment for our national players?

You don’t have to be a football genius to see that a bunch of “donkeys” are certainly not going to gel with a team of pedigree “horses”. You can’t soar with the eagles when you are turkeys. Or you can train a plough horse to run faster but it will never be a pedigree race horse.

I could go on and on, but I believe even Ahmad Shabery Cheek would have got the drift by now. Unless of course he believes our striker Amri Yahyah or Zaquan Adha can stand shoulder to shoulder with your Rooneys, your Van Persies, or even your Drogbas.

If Mr Minister knows who these EPL players are or has seen them in action often enough to form an opinion, wouldn’t you think he would have seen the wisdom of aborting this cockamamie plan of his to attach our national players to foreign clubs?

I guess not.

Let’s simplify this Mr Minister. We won’t even take this argument onto the pitch. Let’s just begin with the dressing rooms. Do you know Sir that the dressing rooms in these clubs don’t have bathroom doors and everyone is in full sight of the other proudly displaying their respective family jewels?

Do you seriously see our introverted, shy, kampong boys doing that? Even in the FAM hostels, our boys have their showers with their shorts or towels on. His is their culture, their mindset, their sense of inferiority. When they don’t even qualify to make their stand with the EPL players in the dressing rooms, do you seriously believe they can match them on the pitch to earn a place even in their junior teams?

In 1997 six players were sent to Arsenal for attachment for six weeks, and they were struck with inferiority complex that they never took their showers after the training session. That’s how mentally weak our players are.

Let’s take this forum into the “dining area”. Food, in the perception of the highly-trained professionals apparently is poison to our kampong boys, who must have their nasi lemak, roti canai, rice and curry, and all the lovely Malaysian delicacies.

Maybe NSC should also take a cook along with them when our players ever get to leave for these attachments.We also should take all cooking items from here, and maybe you can speak to Manchester United to allow the Malaysian chefs to use the kitchen, because our players are very special. By eating local dishes we won the SEA Games gold medal, and I am sure the way to the World Cup finals is through their stomachs too.

But as our Sports Minister and his self-proclaimed experts lounge in their Business Class passage to Europe in the name of “Lawatan Sambil Belajar”, Datuk Ahmad could mull over another option that though may not improve his political career immediately, but will certainly be good for the future of Malaysian football.

You see Mr Minister, as you are a politician yourself, perhaps you could use the good offices of the Foreign Ministry and its Minister Datuk Anifah Aman, a former football administrator, to get this job done.

In all of Europe and South America, I believe we have an embassy or a consulate. What we could do is to have every one of our ambassadors or consuls to help get our 12 or 13-year olds attached to a leading club in their respective areas.

We need to start with the young as habit-forming plays a crucial part in the development of a player. We have to ingrain the expectations and tenets of professionalism in our players at this age and not when they have already formed all the bad habits at age 26.

Can you imagine, if 1Malaysia had one 12 year old boy getting a sound football upbringing in each of these football-developed nations, we would eventually have 1Helluva Malaysia football team.
If parents are worried about their 12-year-olds growing up on foreign soil, well we have our embassies and consulates looking out for them, or even funding them.

This will require a political will, but then what the heck, after all we have politicians as Sports Ministers.

Oh one other thing, are you Mr Minister going to make public the cost of your grand inane plan. If there is nothing to hide, if there is justification, why the secrecy. What has happened to transparency?

I wish Mr Minister and his entourage a pleasant and of course please don’t forget to take your cameras along as England could provide some really good “Kodak Moments” for you.

Bon Voyage.


  1. Bro damn good story la. We been telling this politicians dont waste tax payers money and yet they dont want to listen. Whack them somemore

  2. 逛到你的部落格,第一個感覺就很好,希望每次更新都是美好的開始,也祝你天天都都開心喔........................................

  3. Don't forget dude...PRU 13 is 2 years away. This T'ganu lad surely wanted to see some snow before that. Why should the meeting between M'sia Sports Minister and M'sia Football head-honcho to be held in LONDON!!!!!??? My standard 2 kid can answer this better...


  4. Chris, you have a point there. But I met the Minister the other day and he told me he was going to the Birmingham Motorsport Show on his own accord and ticket via AirAsia. Since Sultan Ahmad Shah is in London, the English capital is part of the itinerary. He insisted the travel is borne out of his own pocket. We argued on several points live on Astro Awani on Sunday, pointing out that he was looking for a holistic approach behind the stint.

    As for the cultural differences and showering in the birthday suit, you can ask our track and field athletes who were in Germany, Akmal/Juzaili in France for two years, Rudie/Fadzli in Germany and others how they coped. That should not be an excuse.

  5. Jaiho! Give the Minster of Sports a break la, he is going out of his owm pocketla. Look in Air Asia X , the poor Minister want to makan have to pay his own. Want to recline his seat also have to pay his own la.
    I take your point above, the plan is disasterous, but that is the way it will be and you know la as a politician he has many problems to trouble shoot.

    His biggest headache now is OCM especially the old man there who refuse to retire. Poor Taekwando is in big shit now because of that leaking Umbrella body that OCM started but does know how to patch it up.

    Please give the poor Minister a break la and in this case a tenny winnie sorry to him is in order.

  6. loose cannon to believe that these people are spending their own money to travel. You are so naive. Don't tell me for one second that you believe your beloved Sports Minister from 2004-2008 does not bat for the other team!

  7. Dear Anon 2:14 pm your comment is totally unfair, you are suggesting that the Sports Minister in his office does not spend his own money to travel. In short you are saying that a good soul pays for the trip and by logical extension if nothing is free in this world, the trip is a trade off for some benefit - what you are suggesting is corruption.
    This I think is unfair to the Minister or the office of the Sports Minister and you are hitting under the belt. If you have proof show to us and we appreciate your allegation with substatiation. If there is none, you are being cynical. Look this is a sport forum and Jai Ho in his blog expresses his opinion strongly. You may disagree but the points raised are valid and cogent. I meant no disrespect to your views but give it more meat instead of shooting blanks.

  8. semuanya membazirkan duit tax aku, kalau nak lentur buluh dari rebungnya dan bukan dengan ambil yang ada. kita tengok macam mana dengan team ni lagi 6 bulan

  9. Sekarang I baca Jaiho dan Malaysian sports saja, blogger lain dah jual maruah mereka. Ada yang jadi buat business dengan KBS.

  10. Hello friends,

    Good idea from Jaiho on getting embassies to help football networking. Also interesting to discover feedbacks from Rizal and Hawari. I noticed their 'sway' regarding KBS related issues lately...I think TonyM realised that too..
    Jaiho, i wonder if those 'so-called' experts surrounding Dtk Ahmad Shabery, are some of our new and politically involved sportswriters that we have today.