Wednesday, January 27, 2010


There once was a magical place that when it rains, a thousand islands emerge from a sea of green. But this is no paradise.

It is the venue for hockey for this year's Sukma. Yes you guessed it right, it is the hockey stadium at Bukit Serindit Malacca, where the MHL matches were held on January 23.

Take a look at the islands that appear, and those will are worrying as this pitch was re-laid barely a year ago. There are many stories with regards to that, even to the extent of unpaid loans. But the picture paints a thousand words.


We have been informed of a turn around by Nur Insafi who have now agreed to play the quarterfinal matches in KL.

However MHF had sent out an email with only 3 quarterfinals listed and later they sent out another email, such fickle mindedness from Insafi and MHF.

Makes the clown act all the more real.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Update: Nur Insafi await decision of MHF with regards to request to play match in USM. They have yet to be notified in writing by MHF that their appeal has been rejected. (as of 11.30am)

The MHL circus delivered the coup de grace on the only non Klang Valley team when the hastily assembled Technical Committee of MHL decided to accept the withdrawal of Nur Insafi from the knockout stages.

The bone of contention was Nur Insafi requesting to play one leg of their last eight clash at home in Penang, but the jester in the kings court refused to budge and insisted that three meetings were held and no objections was raised.

But what the jester failed to reveal was Nur Insafi was not represented at the meetings and that the fixtures sent out never stated the venue but merely the dates of the quarterfinals, and mind you the second leg was to be played on Thaipusam day, ie Jan 30.

The biggest lie was the refusal of the Sapura team manager who used Thaipusam as an excuse to justify his teams decision not to consider playing a leg in Penang.

Suddenly the Sapura manager wants to. champion the cause of the Hindu players in his team, using Thaipusam as an excuse when he was in the meetings that initially agreed to play matches on Thaipusam day.

So it's best not to avoid the issue and cover the incompetence of the jester in order to be in the good books. Winning a place in the semis by default does not augur well the very essence of sporting spirit was thrown out of the window by the Sapura manager.

The Technical Committee this blog is informed also decided to refer S. Tatchana to the Disciplinary Board for his indiscretion in the match between UniKL and Nur Insafi in Johor Baru two weeks ago.

Ironically the incident was milder then what happened in Penang but no action was taken.

The decision to refer him to the DB must be an after thought since the matches in JB took place on Jan 15 and 16, so Tatchana is probably paying the price for taking on some people in MHF.

Two wrongs do not make a right and MHF have shot themselves in the foot by making a decision based on emotions rather then common sense.

And why was the Competitions Committee decision to utilize local officials in matches in JB and Malacca not carried out ? Should the jester also have his day infront of the DB?

After all the jester is upset with this blog calling the MHL a circus. Would you call it any different with your clowning glory in refusing to allow Nur Insafi a fair chance?

The joke is on you.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Former India hockey captain Pargat Singh on Sunday slammed the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President, Suresh Kalmadi, by blaming the latter for making attempts to occupy Hockey India (HI) chief’s position.

Pargat blamed Kalmadi for the Indian hockey players’ recent revolt and termed him a ’sports mafia’.

Pargat said that it was because of such sports mafia that players go to the extent of revolting against the federation.

‘No player fancies a situation like a revolt but when you don’t get the parental touch from the federation, you probably have no other way. Kalmadi has messed up Indian hockey and is playing dirty games,’ Pargat told media persons in the conference held at Delhi’s Punjab Bhavan.

‘People like him (Kalmadi) don’t even bother about the country’s image. Even if the World Cup is shifted out of the country, they would not bat an eyelid,’ said Pargat and appreciated former Hockey chief K.P.S. Gill for his term

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Nur Insafi are contemplating pulling out of the quarterfinal stage of the MHL if the Malaysian Hockey Federation are adamant to hold all the quarterfinal matches in Kuala Lumpur.

Team principal S. Tatchana said that MHF were being unreasonable by asking the Penang based team to play the two leg quarterfinals in Kuala Lumpur.

"We should be allowed to play one leg of the quarterfinal in Penang," said Tatchana.

"Is this the MHL or KL League since MHF are insisting we play our matches in KL.

"This defeats the very principle MHF were advocating by holding preliminary round matches in Penang, JB and Malacca as they wanted to popularize the league.

"We have made the request bit MHF are not budging hence we will refuse to play the quarterfinals unless one leg is staged in Penang.

"Nur Insafi are the only team outside Klang Valley and one would expect MHF to be more considerate."

What irks Tatchana more is the fact that they have go pay for accomodation and transport for the knockout stage, and that will cost them a bomb as the team has to stay in KL for at least three nights.

And while all teams received transportation allowance and were provided with accommodation for matches in JB, Penang and Malacca, Nur Insafi had to pay their own for two out of the four trips to KL for the preliminary round matches.

"That is downright unfair as the other teams get their expenses covered each time they play outside KL", said Tatchana.

"Why are we given RM2,500 for transport while teams who went to Penang were given RM3,000?

"I am just fed up with the double standards and will withdraw from the knockout stage as we have been unfairly treated by MHF

"The consequences could lead to Nur Insafi being banned, but we can live with that as it has become pointless playing in the MHL if it is run unprofessionally."

Thursday, January 21, 2010


That image was taken from the MHF website on this particular page

Nevermind the fact that the MHF website is not updated since May 2009. But the fact that they have listed down the name of the late S. Satgunam as Hon. Secretary of MHF in their organisational chart is downright disrespectul to the family of Satgunam. For those who may not know, Satgunam was one of the more distinguished, efficient, honest, dedicated and sincere personalties to have asumed office in the MHF over the past few decades.

It is an error that shows the true capabilities of those helming the MHF as they have listed the MHF Deputy President lower in heirachy then the Vice Presidents. The fact that the organisational chart has HRH Tengku Abdullah as President shows that this chart was only done after the MHF BGM in 2008.

So someone in MHF has to be held responsible. Nevermind the fact that the website is outdated, but such blatant disregard and mistake is an insult to the memory of the late S. Satgunam.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


It may well be a Sunday for many of us, but there was a hive of activity in as so far as the Malaysian Hockey Federation were concerned.

Two meetings were held in Bukit Jalil, while at Bukit Persekutuan, a MHF official virtually took the whole of Malaysia for a ride when he went live on air on Astro Awani.

At the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, the MHF Coaching Committee met and a list of coaches was presented to the members by the Chairman Dr. Balbir Singh for consideration to fill up the coaching positions of the various teams, from the Senior National Team, National Juniors and National Under 16.

Amongst the names of the list were Tai Beng Hai, Nor Saiful Zaini, S. Vellapan, S. Prakash, Wallace Tan, Stephen van Huizen, Colin Sta Maria and K. Rajan. Conspicously missing was the name of K. Dharmaraj while Sarjit Singh whose name was on the list asked to be left out.

But the MHF Coaching Committee decided not to name the coaches as they were not presented with the reports of the coaches of the various teams in 2009 and hence requested that they be furnished with reports to consider and evaluate the ability of the current coaches of the teams before preparing a list for the consideration of the MHF Council.

The MHF Coaching Committee meeting ended at around 2.00pm and an hour later the MHF Team Management Committee commenced their deliberations at the National Sports Council, a stone throw away.

And it is here that the situation gets more confusing, read on and try to get a grasp of things. This Committee, the legality of which has been the subject of debate since it was formed a year ago, was chaired by MHF Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad.

They decided to name six coaches for the various teams, somethng that the MHF Coaching Committee had deferred to do. The six named are Tai Beng Hai and Stephen van Huizen for the Senior Team, K. Dharmaraj, Nor Azlan Bakar, K. Gobinathan for the National Juniors while Nor Saiful Zaini was named for the National Under 16 Team.

Usurping the powers of another Committee? Well it gets more interesting as these six names have to be deliberated by the MHF Coaching Committee this Tuesday. So how is it that a Sub Committee, whose terms of reference do not exist in the first place, name coaches and order another Sub-Committee to hold a meeting to endorse the list so that it can be presented to the MHF Management Committee that is to meet in Malacca on January 23?

And yes, before I forget, the Committee, meaning the Team Management Committee, has left it to the President, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, to determine if MHF is to go ahead with the hiring of Dutchman Roelant Oltmans as a Coach or as a Consultant. Either way all these coaches are to report t Oltmans, should he be hired, a decision which will be made by January 23.

Next came the issue of appointing the Team Managers of the various teams and here is something for readers to ponder.

For the Senior Team, George Koshy and Ow Soon Kooi have been named as Team Managers while for the National Juniors, the task will be handled by Mirnawan Nawawi and M.Gobinathan. Johari Abd Aziz is the sole name for the National Under 16 team.

So both the Senior and Junior teams will have two team managers, wow! How politically correct can you be by doing this. Ever consider a career in real politics Mr. Chairman?

Next we move to the studios of Astro Awani where Nur Azmi came under the microscope during the live interview.

When asked if what were the MHF priority, the Commonwealth Games as opposed to Asian Games, Nur Azmi correctly stated that it was Asian Games. But when confronted with the mistaks of 2006 where Malaysia won bronze in Melbourne but went on to play badly in the World Cup Qualifiers, he started blabbering about the 2006 Asian Games instead.

And the icing on the cake was when he was asked about joint accountability if the team fails at the Asian Games since MHF wanted a foreign coach, the Deputy President side stepped it by saying the coach will be sacked if he fails.

Next stop - Tuesday as we await for more surprises from the Standing Committee of the Coaching Committee. And then on it will be Malacca this Saturday.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Sapura will be without the services of the Mohan brothers , Jiwa and Jivan, for the crucial match against KL Hockey Club today as the former is tying the knot in Kuala Lumpur.

The absence of the duo will not only weaken Sapura considerably but also put paid to TNB hopes of trying to take the league title to the wire in Malacca next week as the electricity boys need Sapura to create an upset to give them an outside chance.

KLHC will most likely be crowned champions in four hours time.

Our congrats to Jiwa.

On another note Maybank coach S. Vellapan underwent a surgery in JB yesterday after it was discovered he had urinary problems due to stones.

We wish him a speedy recovery

Friday, January 15, 2010


The much talked about foreign coach that MHF want to engage, Roelant Oltmans is not going to be making an appearance for the MHL matches in Johor Baru this weekend.

And the reason, it is said, has to do with the fact that MHF has yet to revert to the Dutchman with regards to the terms that he had laid out during his visit in Kuantan last November.

And the bone of contention is the amount to be paid to his assistant who reportedly wants Euro 6,000 monthly.

While some quarters in MHF are not too bothered about the financial aspects as they feel that the President will be able to raise the money required through his own resources or the NSC, the more sensible officials have stated that Oltmans will have to let his foreign assistant go should there be no marked improvements in the fortunes of the national team.

The impasse is said to be the main drawback in securing the services of the 55 year old who had coached Pakistan in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

With the asking salaries totalling Euro 16,000, culminating with a total package that will end up around Euro 22,000 per month, MHF really should be asking themselves if it is worthwhile hiring foreign help that cannot guarantee a place in the 2012 Olympics.

And if they are adamant on hiring him, then MHF and Oltmans should be held jointly accountable if Malaysia fails to win gold at the Asian Games this December which will give us an automatic place in the 2012 London Olympics.

Not only should Oltmans leave but so should the MHF officials in the name of accountability and shared responsibility.

The fit and proper thing to do is to get a local coach to handle the team, plan for the qualifiers and use the next 24 months to expose the team.

And besides it's a whole less cheaper!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Though KL Hockey Club remain unbeaten in the ongoing MHL, they will not get to match the achievement of the Yayasan Negri Sembilan team of 1996 who not only remained unbeaten but did not draw a single match in the season where they bagged the treble, the Charity Shield, League and Overall Cup.

Times have changed and the class of 1996 will continue to set standards for other teams to follow. And for those who followed the MHL those days may well remember that the Tun Razak Stadium was filled week in and week out.


Byline : By C. Navaratnam

Column Name : Nava's notes

YAYASAN Negri Sembilan (YNS) deservingly emerged champions in the Malaysia hockey League
winning all three titles in style.

It's indeed an achievement to have remained unbeaten throughout the year.

While players got their share of the RM60,000 prize money, their joy was tinted with news that
their manager Mustapha Kamil, also a director of YNS, will be leaving them next year.
Mustapha's contract ends on Dec 31 and he is not renewing it after being
16 years with YNS.

He together, with his hard working assistant team manager Satwant Singh had been mainly
responsible in building this well-balanced side over the years.

Mustapha, 49, served as a NSHA vice-president and in 1994 played a key role in sponsoring
the State champion schools competition in which 11 teams took part.
Although he contested for one of the vice-presidents' post in the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF)
election last month, it came as a surprise to many that this man, who could have made useful
contributions to the game, was not voted in.

Now that he will be parting from YNS, it remains to be seen if the game will continue to
get the same moral and financial support from his successor.

"We do not actually know the future of hockey when he (Mustapha) leaves. The players
hope that they will be able to continue playing together and bring honour to the state," said Satwant.

"We have been successful because the players and officials have been working closely
like one big family. The management has looked after the welfare of the players and they
(players) have always given their best on the field.

"The team would not have done well if not for the support from Mustapha and other YNS officials.
He was a great motivator and always gave help when needed," he added.

This year YNS was the only side to rope in a foreigner into the side. Indian Olympian
Mukesh Kumar had played a big role in the success of the side.
He returned to India last week to join the national squad to prepare for the Champions
Trophy in Madras, starting on Dec 14.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Hockey India (HI) on Monday set February 7 as the new date for its elections

HI president Ashok Kumar Mattoo, after an election-related meeting with world body FIH vice-president Antonio Van Ondarza, said the groundwork for the elections has been done.

"We have done the documentation work for the elections and it is for the FIH observer and the government-appointed observer to look into it now. We have made substantial progress in today's meeting. There were some issues and that have been cleared now," he said.

Mattoo also said that Delhi and Punjab have been affiliated to the national body.

On the ongoing national camp boycott by the men's team in Pune, he said: "We are still in a dialogue with the players and will sort it out soon."

The elections have been postponed twice. They were supposed to be held last year, but were pushed back to Jan 29, and had to be deferred again after HI was not able to give 21 days' election notice to the sports ministry for the elections.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Wondering why such a heading? Read on and you could well be eligible to represent your state in the "maybe" National Indoor Championships this June.

While the MHL continues its circus like atmosphere, with hardly any spectators in Penang, and where an ex-Assistant Hon. Secretary of MHF was reduced to playing the role of a ball boy in the MHL matches on Jan 8, and where kids are deprived of decent rain coats while the MHF officials continue to warm their chairs with complete disregard of their obligations, some interesting decisions were made today.

The MHF Competitions Committee met today and some of the decisions that they have taken are as follows:

- Razak Cup - will be in JB, all teams must register 4 Under 21 players and any two must be fielded at any given time. However the format of the two divisions remnains unchanged.

- Junior League reverts to its old format.

- Under 16 in Sandakan

However while we applaud the decision with regards to the Under 21 players in the Razak Cup, the refusal to change the format is unjustified. Teams will continue to ignore the Razak Cup if this format is maintained.

Another bone of contention is the complete disregard for states whereby the MSSM, Sukma and the National Indoor Championships are to be held at the same period in June.

One has to understand that Sukma is for the Under 23 this year and thus we will see mostly veterans playing the Inaugural National Indoor Championships.

But then again it could be another ruse by MHF, as no Indoor Championship has been held despite being in the MHF calendar year in and year out.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Roelant Oltmans has virtually agreed ( for I cannot use the word certain as MHF are known for last minute bloopers) to handle the Malaysian National Hockey Team and will be in the country to watch the players in action during the Malaysia Hockey League matches scheduled for the weekend of January 15 and 16 in Johor Baru and January 23 in Malacca.

This blog was made to understand that the Dutchman is expected to go thru the finer details of his contract during his stay here and also identify the players needed for the national team.

He is also expected to hold negotiations with MHF on his role, which will not be limited to the national team, but will also provide input to the other age group teams within the ambit of NSC and MHF.

His visit, besides to look at the players will also give him an opportunity to view firsthand the accommodation ( to be provided by NSC) and the vehicle ( to be provided by MHF).

Oltmans will also bring along an assistat coach and MHF/NSC want him to have two local assistants. One of them is Tai Beng Hai while the other coach has yet to be identified by MHF.

Surprisingly MHF and NSC have not mentioned Nor Saiful Zaini in any statements so far so that leaves the TNB Head of Sports Unit in a limbo.

Perhaps MHF should consider naming Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj as the assistant to Oltmans as he is one of the more successful local coaches in recent months.

While all of this is going on, the MHF Coaching Committee has yet to convene a meeting to discuss the so-called three foreign coaches that the Hon. Secretary had made a statement about last month.

However the all too powerful, yet illeagal Team Management Committee is set to hold a meeting this Saturday to discuss the positions in the national team set-up, right from the team manager to coaches, and is also expected to usurp the authority of the Coaching Committee.

And yes, the MHF Management Committee will meet on January 23 in Malacca, the home turf of the Deputy President.

Earlier Posting

This blog will reveal certain details with regards to Roelant Oltmans and his impending appointment as the next Malaysian coach later today, it's much more interesting to read as I believe MHF have tried their best to plug the leak.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Normally it will take just three months to replace the turf at a hockey stadium. But it is learnt that the both the hockey stadiums at the National Sports Complex Bukit Jalil will be closed for a period of 8 to 10 months, thus severely disrupting the preparations of the national teams as well as the domestic calendar this year.

The question is just what other repairs are necessary at this time when the economy of the country could well do with prudent spending.

The Stadium Board have to make public the plans on the renovations they intend to carry out and if MHF was told in advance of the closure of the stadiums.

More ironic is the delay in laying the new pitch as the two stadiums have had their share of problems since last August.

Next to the two stadiums, there is only the Tun Razak Stadium available, and this must be shared by the various national teams as well as schools and clubs within Klang Valley.

The KLHA Stadium has lighting problems, something that DBKL is slow to act on despite various requests and next to them is the MOE turf, which will also see it being re-turfed.

The MMPJ Stadium it is learnt will also be re-turfed soon, heading off an intention by the local authority initially to change it to a futsal centre.

Someone out there is making mega bucks from the re-turfing excercises but what I want to know is where will the pitches removed from the national stadiums head to?

And since all the turf re-laying went to one company, including the work at the Sarawak Stadium, were unseen hands hard at work, a certain personality can enrich, oops sorry, enlighten us,

Monday, January 4, 2010


It is with sadness that we announce the death of S. Naveen Shanmuganathan, eldest brother of former national skipper S. Kuhan this afternoon.

Having known Mr. Shanmuganathan for the last 20 odd years, my heart goes out to him and the rest of the family for their loss.

Below are the details with regards to the funeral arrangements and our prayers and thoughts are with the family in their time of grief. May god bless his soul.

Age : 40 years

Passed away suddenly on Monday 4th January 2010

Leaving behind beloved:


R. Shanmuganathan & Sivamani Tharmalingam

Brothers: Sisters-in-law:

Indran Shanmuganathan Shanti Jaganathan
[Shearn Delamore] [Harry Elias Partnership]

Kuhan Shanmuganathan Rubini Arasalingam
[Sapura] [Sapura]


Rohan Shanmuganathan

Relatives and friends to mourn their loss.

Cortege leaves for cremation at Jalan Templer Crematorium Seremban on the 5th January 2010 at 2.00 pm from residence, Lot 2575 Taman Sentosa, Batu 3 ½ Jalan Seremban, Lukut, 71010 Port Dickson.

For details, please contact:

013 - 3690416 [Indran]
012 – 2736867 [Kuhan]

Sunday, January 3, 2010


First he had to serve as an "interim" coach for a year. And now Tai Beng Hai has been verbally informed that his contract has been extended by MHF.

But that decision Beng hai was told was still subject to approval from NSC and that a meeting will be held between NSC and MHF soon to iron out the details.

Beng Hai who has opted to stay under the radar since the World Cup Qualifiers in Invercargill was met in Penang during the MHL matches.

"I was told by the Secretary and General Manager that my contract has been extended but I have no details on my role," said Beng Hai.

"All I know is that I am to wait for the joint NSC and MHF meeting that will determine what my responsibilities are."

When asked if he was watching the MHL to identify or monitor players for the national team that is due to assemble in February, Beng Hai said that he was in Penang on his own accord, and that no one had told him of what he has to do since the team returned from Invercargill.

Ironically MHF did not bother booking Beng hai a room and he was returning to Taiping after the matches.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


To be sure of what transpires as the circus moves outside Klang Valley, I made the long trip to Penang to have a first hand look at what the reception of the locals will be to the MHL.

I will sum up the weekend in Penang on Monday but since I here I might as well provide readers with some highlights on what's happening.

But I shall not provide detailed accounts of the matches as some tend to utilize my jotting for their papers without even crediting this blog, a transgression I had initially not bothered about but when it becomes habitual, you tend to get cheesed off.

And why should I bother giving publicity to the MHL when Kandasamy even does not care despite heading the Media Committee.

In the first match Sapura took a 4-0 lead at halftime and frankly UniKL play like novices.

Final result Sapura 4 UniKL 0

In the second match KLHC took a first minute lead via Chua Boon Huat and built on that lead with a strong display of attacking hockey.

Final score KLHC 3 Maybank 1

Final score TNB 2 NurInsafi 1

Please return for updates every one hour or follow me on Twitter SatwantDhaliwal.