Monday, August 29, 2011


Ramadhan is coming to an end now with a day to go. And one of the biggest annual celebrations for all Muslims worldwide will commence.

It will be a celebration of victory for all who succeeded in completing their duties during Ramadhan as well as to welcome the month of Syawal.

I’ll be heading to my hometown for being in KL is like a shopping event or an eat all day session instead of the ambiance you get at our kampungs. Be it as it may I have to make the best of it and enjoy the long holidays.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my family, friends, colleagues and business associates Happy Holidays! and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, maaf zahir dan batin.

I would like to also apologize for any wrong doings or harsh comments I might have made to everyone. We are only human so are prone to making mistakes.

Do take care of yourself and your loved ones during this festive period, especially if you’re planning to travel long distances.

Check your transportation and make sure you allocate enough time for delays and congestion.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Hockey India on Saturday cracked the whip by slapping a two-year ban on star players Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh for repeatedly indulging in indisciplinary activities.

The national federation imposed the sanction on Sandeep and Sardara after a marathon meeting here on Saturday which was attended by the HI top brass, including its secretary general Narinder Batra.

The two players, who left the national camp in Bangalore reportedly after an argument with the coach, were also summoned to the meeting.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


With Belgium booking an automatic spot in the 2012 London Olympics after edging Spain for a place in the last four of the European Championships, the question for FIH to ponder is what will become of the Olympic Qualifier that was to be held in Belgium in March next year.

Already having issues with India to resolve, as there are two governing bodies there, the latest development of Belgium securing an automatic spot places FIH in a peculiar situation as they now have to find venues for TWO qualifiers.

The Malaysian bid was rejected as MHF had failed to submit a joint bid, to host both the men's and women's qualifier.

And now there is not one but two possibilities for Malaysia to play host.

However the decision by MHF to delay their merger from MHF and MWHA from September to December could well have put paid to our hopes of hosting the qualifier as this blog understands that even the approval for holding the Sultan Johor Cup was conditional.

Any comments MHF?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Please visit - the UNOFFICIAL website for the Malaysian Hockey League.

The 2011 Malaysian Hockey League is set to commence on September 17.And as was the case last year, this website is a stand alone website as negotiations with the MHF collapsed even before they could commence with various conditions being imposed thus we had to decline the offer to make this an official site. Still we believe that hockey fans will make this their first stop to follow the news on the MHL. Sponsors are welcomed and teams in the MHL are encouraged to adopt this website as their own. We are prepared to allow panel ads on the website by the teams or their sponsors for a nominal fee.
So it will be another journey without much assistance from the sponsors and we will thrive to bring you the news on the MHL, with a new feature of video interviews with coaches and players, both pre and post games. And now for some news on the forthcoming MHL that you would have only read here first.


Well the MHF will name their team for the inaugural AHF Champions Trophy on Friday and this blog has learnt that the following are the probables to make the trip.

If one notices the names of Kevinder Singh and Azlan Misron are conspicuously missing from the list below. We would love to be proven wrong and hope that TBH names them into the final 18.

Youngsters in the likes of Amir Farid Mohd Fuzi Mohd Fitri Saari and Mohd Firhan Ashaari are expected to be given the nod ahead the two experienced internationals.

Ironically the two players dropped are from KLHC. Point to ponder readers if all is well and if the best are actually being picked to represent the nation or is there another selection criteria that we are unaware of?

TBH should pick the best, without fear or favor. But will he?

By the way I was asked what my beef was with TBH. To be honest nothing personal but when one puts sand in my rice bowl, then how what kind of reaction would one expect?

I do not and will question his ability, just his pre-conceived ideas and his inability to differentiate the truth from fiction.

Have a blessed raya players as you carry out your responsibilities to the best of your ability whilst sacrificing being with your loved ones.

And if this list is proven wrong, then to TBH, Maaf, Zahir dan Batin.


S. Kumar, Faisal Saari, Mohd Fitri Saari, Roslan Jamaluddin, Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin Abdul Jalil, Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim, Baljit Singh, Mohd Shukri Abdul Mutalib, Amir Farid Ahmad Fuzi, Mohd Madzli Ikmar, Mohd Amin Rahim, Mohd Shahrun Nabil Abdullah, Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor, Muhd Marhan Mohd Jalil, Azreen Rizal Nasir, Izwan Firdaus Ahmad Tajuddin, Muhamad Azammi B. Adabi, Muhammad Firhan B. Ashaari

Manager : Stephen Van Huizen
Chief Coach : Tai Beng Hai
Asst Coach : Nor Saiful Zaini


There seems to be growing discontent with the manner in which the 1 MAS Program is being run.

After being taken to task by Negri Sembilan Hockey Association at the council meeting on the different standards that apply to staff and coaches that are involved in coaching, it seems more trouble is brewing with regards to the 1 Mas camp that was held in Seremban in June.

While the Chairman of the MHF Development Committee Ken Pereira had gone on record to thank NSHA for their assistance in helping with the hosting of the said camp, the written report , presented at the Council meeting however had not too kind words to say about the hosts.

And this has riled up NSHA and MHF Vice President M. Gobinathan.

" We are writing to the Task Force to seek clarification with regards to the report that amongst others label us as unfit hosts', said Gobinathan who is also the Assistant Manager of the National Team.

" We were not aware of the contents of the report as it was only given to us at the meeting and it's not easy to go through a 70 page Council documents in a matter of minutes.

" Having read the report, we are shocked at it's contents despite us extending our co-operation.

" What irks us more is the fact that the person who wrote the report was not even present at the camp for the duration of the entire program.

" And on the top of that our President, who happens to be the Menteri Besar of NS was not even invited to the launch as well as the dinner that night.

" And not surprisingly there was Jo mention of the fight and throwing of files between staff of the 1 Mas Program."

It will be interesting to see how the Task Force or now known as the Steering Committee looks at this development as the Post Mortem report would surely have been presented and endorsed by them.

And in a related development it is also perplexing to note that the MHF Treasurer finds it difficult to be included as a full member of the Task Force/Steering Committee as stated in the minutes.

With all payments being the responsibility of the MHF Hon. Treasurer, the delay or rather keeping him out of the committee infers that there is something to hide and if transparency is the key word, then the Chairman of the Committee Dato Zolkples Embong would surely have no qualms about making that decision.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


The main stream media had reported yesterday that the MHF had set a top four finish, or in other words will be happy with a fourth placing at the inaugural AHF Champions Trophy in Ordos early September.

Despite unveiling a six year plan only months ago, the target is surely a shame for a team that 10 months ago collected a silver medal at the Asian Games.

The lofty target will definitely be welcomed by coach Tai Beng Hai as finishing fourth is an easy target.

Malaysia were runners-up at the Asiad, so has our standards dropped so fast within a 10 month period or has the MHF now changed it's mind and states that our silver medal last November was not really an indication of our ability but merely a flash in the pan?

By setting such a target, some officials within MHF are making a mockery of the plan that they unveiled in January, a plan that they have published on the MHF website, a plan that even they have no confidence in.

So where does that leave Malaysian hockey?

If we want to progress then we ought to aim high, not set targets that are of lower standards and then claim that the target was achieved.

The team has benefitted from playing in the Azlan Shah and had a twenty day playing tour of Europe and not forgetting the five Test matches against Japan.

Are we lacking in confidence that we have set a top four finish as the target?

Will the coach be brave enough to change the target to a top four finish or is he comfortable with the insurance that MHF has bought for him?

And why is it that everyone just sat back and accepted the target of a top four finish at Ordos?

Will heads roll if the team finishes in the fifth or sixth spot? Or will it be the same excuse that we are trying out certain things, players not used to the system of play , lacked finishing, our planning was not satisfactory, too much rats cookies, players did not follow game plan or simply admitting that the best players were not at the tournament representing Malaysia?

Whatever it us MHF has bought the insurance and paid for the premium as well for the coaching staff as well as for themselves for Malaysia has no business finishing lower then the target. After all we are the second best in Asia if one cares to remember.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


This blog had promised yesterday that it will reveal some issues that were raised during the MHF Management and Council meetings held on Saturday.

And in our first segment we reveal the double standards practiced by the 1 Mas administration and Task Force, which headed by NSC Director General Dato Zolkples Embong, has since be re-named the Steering Committee.

Yayasan Negri Sembilan had signed up K.Rajan to take charge of their team in the forthcoming MHL.

But it is learnt that 1 Mas Project Director Lim Chow Chuan informed KLHA that Rajan cannot take up the appointment as he is the head coach for the 1 Mas Program in KL. Rajan this had to either relinquish his coaching job, which in actual fact is a part time job, with the 1 Mas or decline the YNS offer.

Now the NS Hockey Association representative raised this matter at the Council meeting and asked why 1 Mas had practiced double standards as the Project Director himself had coached the National U16 squad since April this year .

As expected, Ken Pereira, who is the Chairman of the Development Committee and sits on the 1 Mas Steering Committee retorted that it was different. And he even defended his Project Director for leaving the inaugural camp in June to take the National Under 16 team to Germany.

This is clearly a case of double standards practiced by 1 Mas as was the case in the last MHL where the then Development Officer Shaiful Azli was allowed to coach the UITM team in the MHL but K.Balakrishnan was forced to vacate his 1 Mas post in Malacca when he took up a coaching role with Sapura.

And the tale gets even more murkier as Dato R. Yogeswaran had, as reported in the 1 Mas Task Force Minutes, raised his concern with regards to the Project Director taking up the coaching position while rightfully he should be concentrating on his responsibilities to the 1 Mas Program.

That Ken Pereira is double standards and while we value the contributions of the Project Director, it should be a case of what's right for me is not right for you.

And before I forget, the issue of coaches in the various national teams being involved in teams in the MHL was also raised. And the decision was none of the coaches getting paid by MHF or NSC can be involved with teams in the MHL.

So the likes of Tai Beng Hai, Nor Saiful Zaini, K. Dharmaraj, K. Gobinathan, Not Azlan Bakar, Lim Chiow Chuan, Lailin Abu Hassan and also Saju Joseph should not been seen in the vicinity of the team benches, changing rooms or training sessions right.

And to enforce this the MHF needs a Task Force, or better still a Steering Committee that will close one eye lah.


The video is the proceedings of the MHF Press Conference after the Council and Management Meetings that were held for well over three overs today at a leading hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Please listen carefully as this blog will bring you some of the issues that were discussed and not revealed to the press by HRH President of MHF.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


How ironic MHF has turned out to be. For the affiliates, who in reality are those who make up MHF, were housed at the Olympic Hotel while the office bearers of MHF, the very same persons who were voted into office by these same affiliates enjoyed themselves as they were provided accommodation at the regal Royale Chulan Hotel.

Why on earth there are different standards baffles everyone, especially when the office bearers actually are also from states, perks that go with the position looks more likely.

And it does not stop there for the powers of the affiliates who form the council has also been usurped by the MHF Management Committee as well, for many decisions affecting the states with regards to domestic competitions were brushed aside by the Management Committee with the Council today merely a rubber stamping body,

Serves you right affiliates for changing the constitution blindly, have you not heard the adage, power corrupts , absolute power corrupts absolutely.


The MHF Management Committee that met this afternoon has decided that the Malaysian Hockey League will be held from September 17 until October 23 and that the national players are allowed to represent their clubs.

This decision is in contrast to what national coach Tai Beng Hai had been campaigning since June and he changed his tune after it was decided that the MHL will be held without the national players.

But with this decision, which in actual fact is nothing new, given the fact that the MHF original calendar had scheduled the MHL for those dates at the beginning of the year, must make some officials look like fools as the hungama ( charade or drama ) came about after the national coach had objected to the MHL being held.

Well the MHF us still deliberating on other issues and more details later in this blog.


Remember that national coach Tai Beng Hai stated that he never opposed to national players playing in the MHL? Well just read the email he sent and decide the truth and fiction please. It makes it very clear that over time he has changed his mind. Now if this email was re-worded differently, then there was no necessity for any form of confusion, as stated by some clubs in today's NST.

Now had TBH stated that conditions were to be imposed on clubs with regards to the players release and attendance of training and that he had no objections to the MHL being held, then there would not have been an issue.

The issue is simple, why shift the goalposts now coach? All you had to do was state your stand from the beginning, simple. If now you say national players can play and that conditions need to be attached to them being released, then there would not have been such a fiasco. 

To: GM MHF , steve, koshy , saiful zaini , N Azlan
Cc: Dato' Azmi, Zainal, Arrifin Ghani

Dear All,

Further to the Council Meeting in Seremban, I would like to put forward the National team program for approval.

Looking at the events leading to the lack of matches going into the CC1 and thereafter the Olympic Qualifier, I as Head Coach of the National Hockey Team would like to recommend that the MHL to be postponed as recommended by the NTMC.

At the meeting, both the Senior Team and Junior Team Management have collectively propose and recommend to the Chairman of NTMC that this season MHL league to be postponed allow both teams the best chance to achieve the KPIs set in the MHF Strategic Plan.

1. The attach proposal are based on the players condition during the SAS Cup after the last MHL League. At this moment we are behind the timeline in our preparation and lack of games going into the OQ.

2. The minimum 5 weeks requested may not be sufficient. The minimum 2 days condition to train with the National program may cause injury.

3. The big possibility of clubs/players providing reasons for not attending training may continue.

 Attached the senior team's 2011-2012 proposed plans. The 2011 and especially 2012 may require further improvements.


Friday, August 19, 2011


It seems like the hatchet game continues in the national hockey team as sources have indicated that once national skipper Azlan Misron and Kevinder Singh, ironically both from KLRC, are not in the team that will board the flight on the night of Merdeka for the inaugural AHF Champions Trophy in Ordos China.

The omission of Azlan is indeed surprising as he is one of the more experienced players in the national set-up while Kevinder was doing well in the recent Europe Tour that saw Azlan missing out as well.

Now another interesting tale was related to me upon my return from London, that national coach Tai Beng Hai was summoned by the MHF President Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah after the teams final match against Japan that ended in a 2-2 draw.

And the first question, I am told that the President put forward to TBH was, " what's your excuse now"?

Now we have always heard TBH say that he is building a team for the future, but what future do we have if we fail to make it to London 2013? Suffice to day that the task at hand is qualify for the Olympics. Building a team for the future is not your task TBH and let's leave that to the millions that the 1 MAS program has and is being spent woefully.

Your task, when you accepted the appointment was to deliver a berth at London, nothing less then that. And yes while we are at it, please read the email that TBH sent with regards to the MHL that this blog willublish in the next posting.

That email will show what his stand was and if only he had not stated bluntly what he said, then there would have not been a state of confusion within MHF.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Well the same very coach that called some members of the media to campaign for the MHL to be postponed, claiming that the national players will not benefit from playing in the league, that his program will be affected in preparing a team capable of winning the Olympic Qualifier, that clubs will not support the national cause, has now made a complete U turn by wanting national players to compete in the MHL for their respective clubs.

At the Joint Committee Meeting between NSC and MHF, where coaches of all national teams were in attendance, Tai Beng Hai made a peculiar request, that the MHL be held in the five week duration, as was the original decision and that national players be allowed to play in the MHL and that they will be in national training but released to play for their clubs.

This U turn is indeed baffling for someone who claims that he stands by his decision. And since you have made such a drastic U turn, this blog challenges Tai Beng Hai to select the best players to represent the country and not only players that will adhere to rules drawn up by him and his assistant coaches.

Well for the information of readers, there was a meeting between TNB and MHF a week ago and even though TNB, being the sponsors of the league, had put pressure on MHF to postpone the MHL as they will be affected by the ban on national players participating, MHF officials stood firm, despite the fact that the national assistant coach sat on the opposite side of the discussions, wearing the cap of hid employers, although his current employers are the MHF.

So why and what has brought about the U turn by TBH?

The fact that MHF opted to send out information on the eligibility of national players following the decision at NSC this morning also raises another question. Are there committees in MHF and what I'd their jurisdiction?

Is the decision of those in the NSC/MHF committee binding or should they have let the matter bs decided by the Competitions Committee?

Let's leave those issues for a different discussion as we ponder why TBH has now made a U turn, when even reasoning with him at the terraces during the Razak Cup in Malacca irked him to such an extent that he made it clear he will not speak to this blog.

So TBH please go to the media and state your case as to why you dud a U turn now when really you could have handled things better.

And yes on that excuse that you constantly bring up when Malaysia fails / that you are building a team for the future/ well your target is the Olympics and not the future.

Maybe this U turn is to buy insurance should we fail as you will have a ready made excuse.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hockey in the land of Mongols (I)

By Zakir Hussain Syed

As a student of history, I have been fascinated by various events including the westward march of the Mongols and the Tatars when they swept everything that came their way leaving behind a trail of unparalleled destruction and savagery until they reached what is now called modern Beirut. In a small valley near Beirut lived a tribe called the ‘Druz’.

The elders of this tribe begged the Tatars not to attack their homes as they were basically very poor and had no hidden wealth. The Tatar commander refused and led his army into the valley which was the habitat of this tribe. For the first time since the beginning of their westward march, the Tatars were defeated and suffered heavy casualties. When this news reached Mongolia and conveyed to the Emperor, he was so shocked and upset that he had the messenger beheaded.

This Druz tribe is the same that in recent times defeated the Israeli forces during the conflict in Beirut a few years back. Their conviction is their strength but more importantly, they are not afraid to die which makes them one of the most fearless fighters of modern times. When the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) announced the holding of 1st Men’s Asian Hockey Championship and the 2nd Women’s Asian Hockey Championship in Ordos, the home of Mongols in upper Mongolia, it immediately aroused my interest.

It has a population of around two million and is one of the largest cities in the inner Mongolia autonomous region of China. The name Ordos comes from local language that refers to “Guardian of the Tent.” It lies in the southern part of the region and is embraced by Yellow river that is often referred to as the cradle of Chinese civilization. When Emperor Genghis Khan and his family moved westward across Ordos, he was so deeply impressed by the peace and beauty of this land that he decided to be buried here after his death. Although, his last earthly habitation is still one of the biggest mysteries in human history, his soul is believed to be attached to white camel hair and buried in the silver coffin underneath the Genghis Mausoleum in Ordos.

However, what intrigued me more than the historical perspective of Ordos inner Mongolia, was the tradition of hockey in that region. According to China HA/Cultural China: “Inner Mongolia is the birth place of the ancient game of Boical as hockey was then called in China. Boical was played since more than 1400 years ago in that region. Scribes of the Tang dynasty (618-907) had written of a popular game called ‘ball game on foot’ among the Qidans, and it flourished during the Khitan Empire (907-112500) that covered Manchuria, Mongolia and parts of northern China. The hockey stick of the traditional Daur game was made by grinding and polishing fine oak wood from trees with crooked roots and straight trunks. There were several types of balls – wooden, hairy and fiery ones with bone balls occasionally used. Wooden balls were made of polished oak tree wood, hairy balls were made of twisted threads of domestic and wild animal hair and fiery balls were made of hardened white fungi on birch trees. The hairy ball, made for night matches, was hollow inside with several holes on the hard shell and a pine torch was placed within. The ball remained lighted after the torch was ignited. But as time went on, the game was almost lost among other ethnic groups of China than the Daur ethnic minority. In 1974,the first men’s hockey team in modern China was founded in the same region.”

That is where late Brig Manzoor Hussain Atif and myself stepped into the picture. The Chinese government had gone out of the way to commit the construction of Sports Complex in Islamabad despite our inability to host the 1978 Asian Games which had been allotted to us. We invited a batch of six Chinese to train them in the art of hockey coaching. I still remember my welcome speech to these coaches. “When the cat teaches the leopard tricks of trade, it does not teach him how to climb the tree to ensure its own safety. I promise you gentlemen, that we shall teach you even that trick.”

Late Sheikh Rehmaullah and Nabi Kalat were initially assigned to coach them followed by Nabi Kalat’s coaching assignment in China. This step was then followed by an unparalleled sports exchanges with China, a level that has never been reached again.

To Be Concluded

(Zakir Hussain Syed is Pakistan’s internationally renowned sports administrator, sports broadcaster and sports analyst)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Seems that two of our national hockey players who were participating in the Australian Hockey League have been told to get work permits if they want to continue representing their Australian club.

Mohd Shukri Mutalib and Faisal Saari have been told that they need to secure work permits, and this raises the question if they had violated the terms of their visa in the first place when they left to play in the Aussie league in May.

And who should be held responsible for the violation? If arrangements of attachment were done by out officials, then they should own up for we have officials fast to take credit for the attachment program so why not be quick to claim liability now.

On the same note I have a question I would like to pose to National Coach Tai Beng Hai - how come it's ok for the duo to skip national camp to play in that league but when it comes to out MHL Beng Hai claims he does not want disruptions to his training program?

And mind you these players missed the Europe Tour as well.

So the clubs have to cater for you Beng Hai while you cater for the overseas market?

Or will you be bold enough to say that the MHL has no standard?