Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing - can it be us one day?

SKIP the superlatives. None would be good enough to describe the opening of the Olympics in Beijing last night. The date - 080808 - aside, it was definitely an historic and auspicious occassion for China.

To see the mass of humanity within the Birds' Nest, it was simply stunning. Nothing compares to the sight of such an open display of friendship, organisation and skills. I'm quite sure more people will be taking up tai chi after this.

But I couldn't help comparing the sight in Beijing to that of our backyard. To think that it was in 1998 - only 10 years ago - that we hosted what we believe to be our biggest sporting event - The Commonwealth Games.

My question is simply this - have we built on that? Are we anywhere near Ella's song - top of the world? Have our athletes built on their achievements from Sukom '98?

But what is more worrying for many of us is - have our country built on what we thought was our crowning glory? Do we still have the same organisational skills? Do we still have the courage and conviction to compete with the world's best? Where are we today - on 080808 - politically, economically, socially?

Do we still have what it takes to be a nation of achievers, of champions of the poor and be the voice of conscience against the world's imbalance? Can our leaders, hand on heart, assure us that they are doing everything possible to take us out of this unpredictable situation we are in?


Anonymous said...

che mat, olympics in malaysia? hmmmm

anyway, check out the latest minister to blog:

rizal hashim said...

I believe the answer to all your questions, datuk, is a resounding YES!

But with conditions attached.

We need to be led, guided and inspired by leaders who effectively take charge.

All else will fall into place.

Anonymous said...

Dear Saudara AAT,

This is my first comment in your blog.While I frequently comment in Rocky's and PP,your subject matter prompted me to do my 2 sens worth.
Our sports scenario is not as rosy as it used to be in the 70's and 80's.
Look where we are in football,hockey and athletics.
When RTM screened the clip on our great super Mokhtar Dahari recently,....tears streamed all over my face.
Rashid Hassan,Lim Fung Kee,Jamal Nasir,Mohd Bakar,Wong Choon Wah,Syed Ahmad, Roshidi Shaari, Abdullah Ali,Ahmad Tarmizi,Shukor Salleh,N.Thanabalan,M Chandran, Santokh are some of the names that created ripples and fear to many a teams in the Asian region.I am 55 now and at any given time I can reel off the names of our great soccer stars of yester years.
The present team......the less we speak the better it is....I can't even recall a single bloke's name.FAM stinks to the core and the state FA's are no better.Now we have a new egoistic chap at the top and God only knows what will be our fate.I am very pessimistic after reading the resolutions they passed recently.Will we be able to beat Timor Timor ?
Hockey is another sport that has taken a free fall.25 years ago we were the 4th ranked team in the world....and China did not even know how to spell hockey....but today....I will bet my last ringgit that China will beat the broadlights out of us.
Khairuddin Zainal,Poon Fook Loke,A.Francis,Sri Shan,Mohd Azraai, Sulaiman Saibot and a host of players were playing for the love of the nation.And some of them were even picked for the Asian All Stars despite India and Pakistan having their fair share of superstars.
Where are we now ? Our juniors huffed and puffed just to draw with...of all teams...Singapore !
In the 60's and 70's we did not have BJSS or Bandar Penawar Hockey Academy.Then, we had dedicated teachers, coaches and administrators who polished the uncut diamonds that emerged from estates, kampungs and villages.We did not have sports scientists, psychologists or national institutes of sports.School fields,railway quarters fields, public fields were the places all youths knocked about with ex-state players guiding their basics.
Athletics......while China has made great strides in many track and field is almost 30
years now and our 200 metres record still stands at 20.5sec.And its also almost 30 years or so since a Malaysian has dipped below 10.3 secs in the 100metres.
And some lesbian had the gall to spend millions to set up a training and development centre in London!!
The present Sports Minister ?
The less we talk about this clown of a gatekeeper of Merdeka Stadium the better it would be.And he goes around asking people to resign and choking the opposition held states of the funds.He still doesn't know where to draw the line between sports and politics.
We are only good at organising international sporting events....Monsoon Cups,CYC's,F1's and so forth.
If I have a chance to speak to the IOC President, I would beg him to award Malaysia a GOLD medal for ORGANISATIONAL capabilities....nothing more and nothing less.

Thank You.

Hi&Lo said...


Sorry to say greed of our national leaders has sapped our country's energy and drive to strive for excellence. Each man for himself.

The positive side, we are united by anger and exasperation.

Anonymous said...

Alas, the new EPL Season is here! Seen the Community Sheild tie last night... MU not very convincing. But this is just the start. Can't wait for all the matches to begin.

Mohd. Ramesh

Ahmad A Talib said...

Sdra Mano,

I'm in agreement with you. Sports is simple and wonderful. It becomes complicated when politicians THINK they know more about managing sports. And politicians have different agendas. They all talk about holistic approach lah and whatever else. They should just get on with their political work and leave sports to those trained, exposed and paid to do the job ie managing sports. Senang saja kan? tq

Anonymous said...

Saudara AAT,

I'm an optimist that one day Malaysia will host the Olympics. I also believe that one day Malaysian sports will rid itself of the "bad apples" maligning the sector currently.

Malaysia has already shown the world that it had the capacity and capability to host the world's second biggest sporting event, the Commonwealth Games, in 1998.

Have we built on that? Definitely no at this moment. Many have blamed the "bad" politicians for this sad state of affairs in the sports arena. Which I concur. But I also believe that there are good" politicians among us who would like to see Malaysia become an Olympics host one day.

Let's look at the good than the bad. I'm sure the bad and the ugly among us will be dead one day, and the good ones will rise from the grave.

I'm ready to give a helping hand.

Ahmad A Talib said...

Sdra Othman,

There are so many people passionate about sports. Some are passionate when playing and some are passionate as spectators. There must be genuine interest in the improvement of sports before we can go further. And it's a full-time thing, not a part-time effort. Even with a RM1 million carrot, I'm still not convinced...

Anonymous said...

China and Malaysia? Wurf..We are faaaar behind them, waaaay too faarr, belive me, China inject billions just to get the right info for their R&D but in here, Malaysia, our R&D officers JUST used an internet as their MAIN resource even they knew the outcome is a RESEARCH for their COUNTRY! This is why I never believe the figures printed out from BNM, MATRADE, MIDA and etc.