Friday, December 31, 2010

Land of Cuti

The country gets a holiday today when the national football team won a minor title for the first time since the inception of the AFF Cup 14 years ago, a regional tournament in South East Asia. Malaysia has been known as one of the country that has the most public holidays. Winning the title is just another excuse not to go to work on the last day of the year 2010.

As I look out from my bedroom widow I noticed cars being park like on normal working days in front of the business office block across the road. I don’t believe they are unaware of the announcement by the Prime Minister on Wednesday night immediately after the match as I believe most of the staff working at the advertising and marketing firms are keen sports followers. Definitely dateline has to be met and year end stock taking cannot be put on hold on the last day of the year. These business concerns also seem to be open on Saturdays which has been declared a holiday in the public sector beginning 2010. So much for the private sector in contrast to the public sector.

Yesterday parents had to change their schedule and rush to school to make arrangement for their school going kid’s fees etc to avoid the inconvenience when schools reopen on the Monday 3 January 2011. When I return from Tanjung Karang early evening yesterday I noticed cars streaming out of the city, may be people are taking time off during the long weekend to greet the New Year away from Klang Valley. Strangely the roads were clogged with vehicles in Subang Jaya, and the supermarkets and shopping centres were crowded.

I suppose everyone one else is in holiday mood except those who has to attend to the datelines and appointments. They expect a holiday be announced when the football team captured the Cup.

The football team grabbed the imagination of the country and retiree like me came out to lend support after a long time. The Prime Minister took advantage of the mood by making the popular announcement to the chagrin of the distracters. Anyway the mainstream media did not bother to entertain their grouses.

Let’s hope the team keep up to their good showing and savour the reception they are getting for doing a good job. Keep in mind the same reception the Italian football team received when they won FIFA World Cup but when they lost the title they were pelted with rotten vegetables and eggs. At least in Malaysia nobody bother to greet them when they failed as mentioned by one of the member of the victorious team.

Enjoy the holiday and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Good Year Ending

It has been a long time that I sat in front of the TV set to watch the Malaysian team played both their full matches at the Nasional Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur and Gelora Senayan Bung Karno, Jakarta against regional rival Indonesia. For that matter I have never set foot at the Nasional Stadium since it was constructed but have been a regular at Gelora Senayan when I was a commentator and RTM’s Chef de Mission whenever there were Games or matches held there when I was with RTM prior to retirement.

The last time I went to watch a local match was when the Sarawak team played their matches in their heyday winning the FA Cup. Those were the days when the late Dato Taha Ariffin, a good friend lead the State FA. I never missed any of their matches at the State Stadium, Kuching when I was serving there 1992-3. They had a good team in the mould of the present “Malaysian Tiger” and I believed in them.

It was great to see the “Harimau” thumping the “Garuda” 3-0 at the Stadium Nasional on Sunday 26 December 2010 after a humiliating defeat at Senayan 1-5 in the preliminary round. I saw good football sense among the players, smart passing especially the long ones, and great stamina. They lacked the art of ball possession, losing to the clever and wily Indonesian. I am sure coach Rajagobal will work on that department. 3-0 lead to the second leg of the Finals was unexpected but all the goals were gems.

I didn’t expect the Malaysian to win the second leg but knew they would put up good resistance to deny the Indonesian the AFF Cup. Win the Cup the Harimau did with 4-2 aggregate. I expected them to defend solidly and use the long balls as counter attack which did produce the precious lead goal. Although the Garuda managed to score 2 goals to be winners at 2-1, the turning point was definitely the penalty that Malaysia custodian denied the Garuda skipper early in the first half. That must have disheartened the Garudas and their full house supporters.

That was a good ending to the year for the country’s football. Last year the same team took home the football gold at the Vientiane SEA Games. I hope the officials at FAM house are not gloating at these minor winnings and start sitting on their laurel again. They have to work hard to continue with the winning formula and revive Malaysia’s lost glory in football. They should make full use of the planned football academy. The biggest job at hand is talent spotting and revolutionising the league in the country.

A new dual league should be introduced base on the old method at district level for Clubs and Schools, the champions ending up at the national level competition. Let not it be politicised; make the District chiefs be in charge. The Majlis Sukan Negara should start a foundation towards this with the corporations of the FAM and the Multinational and GLC.

Now after the good win against Indonesia the Malaysia should jump up the ladder of FIFA ranking now at no 144 just ahead of Myanmar (149) and Philippines (150). Up the ladder are Singapore (140), Vietnam (137), Indonesia (127) and Thailand (121). So we are the best of the bottom half of ASEAN team. May be in January 2011 we should be in the top half after winning the AFF Cup.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

One Year of Blogging

It was a year back on 17 December 2009 that I put in my first posting in this blog. I still remain a reluctant blogger.

I have penned some of my experience at the work place, activities that I feel were affecting my life style, and some thought that I share with some friends on our past experiences in our career. I have not ventured into the political front as I prefer to be a bystander but I have no reluctance in revealing what I feel about the environment and social scenes affecting our daily life.

The last one year moved on at a fast phase, days turn into weeks and weeks into months in no time at all. It is difficult to believe that we are going into another new year soon.

I can easily recollect the losing of loved ones and good friends, the happiness of marriages and engagements of the younger generations, the arrival of the babies, and the occasional meetings of friends new and old. Then there are the regular visits to the hospitals, clinics and doctors, supplemented by the visits to “mandi wap herbal” at Tanjung Karang with my regular kaki Zainal Imam.

I do keep a diary just to be sure I remember the dates of the visits to the doctors and marriage invitations.

When I was introduced to the Facebook (FB) I kept some hours in the evening to chat with my group of friends. Initially we did it through the chat room at PVRTM website which was a wee bit slow and decided to move to the FB chat area. We manage to keep ourselves updated.

I feel there will not be much change in the New Year as far as my daily activities are concerned.

Here’s wishing everyone Happy and Healthy New Year.