Saturday, August 20, 2005

Email: MAIL@TIMESPORT: Where’s the justice?

Aug 20:

AS one of the thousands of parents in Malaysia whose children are in taekwondo (WTF), I am deeply concerned and confused by the status of the Malaysian Taekwondo Association that was de-registered by the Sports Commissioner on May 6, 2005.

While we are informed that the MTA is no longer in existence and therefore non-functional, yet the office in the Olympic Council of Malaysia building is still open, and its officials are still calling the shots.

I say they are still in charge as on Aug 4 a group of five people calling themselves the Council Members of MTA came to the Pusat Cemerlang in Puchong where the Juniors were training and warned the children that they would not be allowed to compete in the 3rd Asian Junior Taekwondo Championships in Kazakhstan from August 19-21, if they competed in the LG 6th International Clubs Open championships that ended at Genting Highlands August 11.

We didn’t think much of that as we believed MTA were no longer in power by virtue of their de-registration. So our children competed in the LG tournament under the banner of Bukit Jalil Sports School and won 7 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals and the Overall Champion Award for the Junior Category. One of them also won the Best Player Award for the Junior Category (14-17 years) after beating Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong and Jordan respectively for the gold.

But to our dismay, true to their threats the Juniors were informed by their coach on August 12, the Asian Taekwondo Union had barred the Malaysian team from competing as they were not sanctioned by the MTA.

And this directive came a week after an invitation to compete was sent by the organisers to the Minister of Sports namely, Datuk Azalina Othman Said.

Sports Minister Datuk Azalina immediately approved the trip. Visas, passports, flight tickets and budget for the campaign were acquired within the shortest of time with lots of help from friends and well-wishers to get these enthusiastic Junior Players to Kazakhstan on time.

To all these good people, I can only say "THANK YOU VERY MUCH".

But what we would like to know is why weren’t the WTF informed of the de-registration by the Olympic Council of Malaysia, and why is the Sports Commissioner’s office allowing the de-registered MTA to function and ride roughshod over helpless children and their parents who want to see taekwondo prosper in this country?

We would like to know where the OCM stand in this matter, because we feel they were not really passionate about wanting to see the kids competing in the Asian tournament.

Because if they did, they would have done everything they could to convince the WTF that MTA was de-registered and therefore there was no necessity to seek the latter’s sanction.

Their letter to the WTF which stated that while the OCM doesn’t have the jurisdiction, however has no objections about the Malaysian team competing in the Asian tournament.

That’s like saying: "We know they are going but it’s up to you to decide."

So what we have right now, is a bunch of eager kids in Kazakhztan devastated because they have been officially informed by the organisers that they can’t compete.

I don’t know, who to blame for this. But I know one thing, that we as adults have failed miserably in our duties.

In the old days, when people are obstructed from defending their country, the offenders could be punished for treason. But I guess, it’s more acceptable now.


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MALAYSIA: Juniors’ hopes shattered

S. Selvam
Aug 20:

THE dreams and hopes of 14 junior taekwondo exponents were shattered when the Malaysians were barred from competing in the Asian Junior Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan late Thursday night.

Despite frantic appeals from Malaysian officials, the organisers, the Asian Taekwondo Union (ATU) could not accommodate the request as the decision to bar the Malaysian team was made by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF).

Malaysia was represented by the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) with a team of seven boys and seven girls.

"The WTF said that we cannot compete because we did not go through the national association, the MTA (Malaysian Taekwondo Association)," said coach K.M. Rajendran in a telephone interview from Almaty, Kazakhstan yesterday.

"As far as they (WTF) are concerned, no official notification has been sent to them informing of MTA's de-registration.

"As such, WTF still recognises MTA as the national association."

The MTA was de-registered on May 6 by Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar for hindering the development of the sport.

The MTA also did not make use of the 30-day window to appeal the decision. However, MTA has taken the matter to court and is currently waiting for their appeal to be heard in the Court of Appeal after their leave for judicial review was dismissed by the High Court on Aug 9.

"Although we explained that there was no national association as the MTA has been de-registered, it (the explanation) was not accepted," added Rajendran.

"We also showed the supporting letters from the OCM (Olympic Council of Malaysia) and NSC (National Sports Council) but to no avail.

"The students are demoralised and some are in tears as they will not be eligible (overage) for the next championships in 2007.

"We appealed, begged and tried everything possible but could not get the go-ahead to compete.

"I will be submitting a report to the NSC upon our return to KL (Kuala Lumpur) and whatever transpired here will be included in the report."

The team will return on Monday.

Source fron

MALAYSIA: Exponents barred from taking part in Asian Junior meet

Saturday August 20, 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: The 14-member Malaysian team who arrived in Almaty, Kazakhstan on Wednesday for the Asian Junior Taekwondo Championships were shockingly barred from taking part in the meet which started yesterday.
Team coach K.M. Rajendran said in a telephone interview that the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) stopped the team from taking part as they did not have the necessary endorsement from their national association, the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA).

“The Asian Taekwondo Union, the organisers of the meet, gave us a verbal approval to participate. We also had letters of endorsement from the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) and the National Sports Council (NSC).

“But when we landed in Kazakhstan, the WTF stopped us from taking part as our trip was not endorsed by the national body.

“I informed them that MTA was deregistered by the Malaysian Sports Commissioner in May. WTF said they had not been informed and thus will not allow us to take part without a letter from MTF,” said Rajendran.

“The ATU were willing to allow us to compete.

But ATU said they needed WTF's approval. Since WTF did not give their approval, we were not allowed to compete,” added Rajendran.

The team will be returning from Almathy on Monday.

Rajendran added that he will submit a report to NSC on what happened.

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TAEKWONDO: Malaysian juniors all fired up

S. Selvam
Aug 18

DESPITE lacking international exposure, Malaysia’s 14-member team to the Asian Junior Taekwondo Championships are fired-up to better the country’s record in the meet when the competition gets underway in Almaty, Kazakhstan tomorrow.
Malaysia’s best performance was one silver and one bronze medal achieved in the 2003 edition in Vietnam.

And with Ryan Chong and Koh Jen Li, silver and bronze medallists respectively in the last meet still around, head coach K.M. Rajendran believes the team are capable of rising to the occasion.

"Our aim is to better our achievement in this tournament. In the first championships (in 2001), we returned with three bronze medals and in the last edition, we got one silver and one bronze. This year, we want to improve on that," said Rajendran after the flag handing-over ceremony at the Bukit Jalil Sports School in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Malaysia’s contingent to the three-day Championships comprise students from the BJSS.

The Education Ministry’s Physical Education and Sports Department’s director of policy and sports development Jalaluddin Othman handed the flag to team manager Dom Amy Hussain.

Also present at the ceremony were BJSS senior assistant (student affairs) Suhaimi Abdullah and assistant coach Mohamed Azlan Abdullah.

"We are banking on Ryan and Jen Li to lead the way as they were both medallists in the last championships," added Rajendran.

"In fact, hopefully, Ryan will become the first Malaysian to win an Asian junior taekwondo title as he has shown greater maturity and experience in training.

"However, the only setback is the lack of international exposure and competitive matches.

"To date, they have only competed in the National Youth Championships, the Selangor Open and International Clubs Championships in Genting Highlands.

"But the students have vowed to put up a strong display and we are optimistic of a good outing."

The squad left for Kazakhstan last night.

THE SQUAD — Boys: B. Sathiyswaran (finweight), Mohamed Haziq Hazwan (flyweight), Ryan Chong (featherweight), Abdul Majid Mohd (welterweight), Jeffrey Kiang (light-middleweight), Nicholas Nathan (middleweight), T. Janagaraj (light-heavyweight).

Girls: Tang Meng Poh (finweight), Wan Nur Latifah Wan Mohd Yussof (flyweight), Nurul Asfahlina Mohamed Johari (flyweight), Koh Jen Li (featherweight), Erni Syazwani Azman (lightweight), Nurul Afiqah Harun (welterweight), Norazlinda Mohamed Johari (light-middleweight).

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MALAYSIA: Ryan, Koh out for better show

Thursday August 18, 2005

KUALA LUMPUR: Ryan Chong and Koh Jen Li are aiming for an improved performance in the Asian Junior Taekwondo Championships, which begin tomorrow in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

And they hope to return with gold medals.

At the last championships in Vietnam two years ago, Ryan and Jen Li were the only medal winners for Malaysia. Then, they competed in the flyweight category and Ryan won silver in the boys’ competition while Jen Li took the bronze in the girls’ category.

ALL FIRED UP: The national junior taekwondo team pose for a group photograph before leaving for the Asian Junior Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Wednesday.
Malaysia will again bank on the duo to win medals and they will be competing in the featherweight category this time. Both of them will be making their last appearance in the championships.

“I will not be eligible to compete in the next championships and I hope I can bow out with a gold medal,” said the 17-year-old Ryan.

“I will be moving up in the category of competition. I am ready and I believe I have a chance to get among the medallists.

“I am stronger, more experienced and more confident now compared to two years ago.”

The 16-year-old Jen Li feels that she has a chance to return with a gold medal.

“Two years ago, I competed against much taller exponents in the flyweight category,” she said.

“The girls in the featherweight competition are relatively shorter. This makes it easier for me to fight against them. It will be my last Asian Junior Championships and it will be great to come back with a gold.

“But it’s better to take one bout at a time instead of thinking so far ahead.”

The 14-member Malaysian team of seven boys and seven girls left for Almaty last night.


BOYS: B. Stahiyswaran (finweight), Mohd Hafiq Hazwan (flyweight), Ryan Chong (featherweight), Abdul Majid Mohd (welterweight), Jeffrey King (light-middleweight), Nicholas Nathan (middleweight), T. Janagaraj (light-heavyweight).

GIRLS: Tang Meng Poh (finweight), Nurul Asfahlina Mohd Johari (flyweight), Wan Nur Latifah Wan Mohd Yussof (bantamweight), Koh Jen Li (featherweight), Erni Syazwani Azman (lightweight), Nurul Afiqah Harun (welterweight), Norazlinda Mohd Johari (light-middleweight).

MANAGER: Dom Amy Hussain.

COACHES: K. Rajendran, Mohd Azlan Abdullah.

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MALAYSIA: Chew Chan Eliminated Controversially In First Round

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 (Bernama) -- Taekwondo exponent Che Chew Chan was eliminated controversially in the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey, Tuesday.
Chew Chan, who competed in the women's middleweight category of below 72kg, was edged out 3-4 by Thailand's Wasitte Prasopsuk in the first round.

Malaysian Universities Sports Council (Masum) said in a statement here today that Chew Chan clawed back from two points behind to level the points 3-3 after the second round of her bout.

In the third and final round, she managed to hit Prasopsuk's chest many times which caused the Thai to suffer an injury.

However, the final result was not in favour of the Malaysian as the kicks were not counted by the referee.

National taekwondo coach R. Dhanaraj lodged an official protest to the Games' technical committee but was unsuccessful.

Another exponent Elaine Teoh, who competed in last year's Olympic Games in Athens, is the best bet for Malaysia's first medal in the flyweight category tomorrow.

In the previous Games in Daegu, South Korea two years ago, Elaine won a bronze in the bantamweight category.

Apart from Elaine, also in action for Malaysia tomorrow will be Leong Mun Yee in the women's 3m springboard while Lim Wen Chean and See Hui Yee will begin their campaign in rhythmic gymnastics.


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MALAYSIA: Ryan Targets Gold At Asian Junior Championships

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 (Bernama) -- Taekwondo exponent Ryan Chong is targeting a gold medal in the three-day Third Asian Junior Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan which begins on Friday.

Ryan won a silver in the featherweight category in Vietnam two years ago.

"I am prepared to take on the challenge. My aim is to go higher than silver, and certainly not below what I achieved two years ago.

"In the Genting Open two weeks ago, I bagged the gold in the same category and in the Selangor Open last month I got a bronze...but I was competing in the senior category and lost to a national exponent," the 17-year-old told Bernama Wednesday.

The slim Ryan said his performance at the Asian meet would chart a new chapter in his career as it would be his last outing in the junior meet.

His coach K.M. Rajendran said Ryan has matured and been given the right exposure to excel at the top level.

"If things go smoothly and there is no injury, I believe he can strike gold," he said at the Jalur Gemilang handing over ceremony at the Bukit Jalil Sports School.

He said Malaysia were aiming for at least three medals from the Asian championships.

"In 2001 in Taiwan, we won three bronze medals and in 2003 in Vietnam we took home one silver and one bronze. I hope they can deliver at least three medals this time around.

"Everyone is in high spirits. Hopefully we get a favourable draw in the early rounds and avoid opponents from Iran, Taiwan and South Korea, as they are the strong countries in taekwondo," said Rajendran.

The 14 exponents comprising seven boys and seven girls will leave for Kazakhstan, Wednesday.


Boys -- B. Sathiyswaran (finweight), Muhammad Haziq Hazwan (flyweight), Ryan Chong (featherweight), Abdul Majid Mohamad (welterweight), Jeffrey Kiang (light middleweight), N. Nicholas (middleweight), T. Janagaraj (light heavyweight). Girls -- Teng Meng Poh (finweight), Nurul Asfahlina Mohamed Johari (flyweight), Wan Nur Latifah Wan Mohamad Yussof (bantamweight), Koh Jen Li (featherweight), Erni Syazwani Azman (lightweight), Nurul Afiqah Harun (welterweight), Norazlinda Mohamed Johari (light middleweight).


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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

MALAYSIA: OCM to save the day

S. Selvam
August 16:

BITTER, frustrated and disillusioned. That sums up the sentiments of the group of parents and the 14 Asian Junior Championships-bound taekwondo exponents from the Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
Although the decision by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to support the BJSS team’s participation brought some cheer to the parents, feelings of uncertainty and apprehension still prevailed.

The 14 BJSS exponents were supposed to leave for Almaty, Kazakhstan tomorrow to compete in the Asian Junior Taekwondo Championships. The meet starts on Friday.

However, their participation in the championships was in limbo as the World Taekwondo Federation, the international governing body, wanted an endorsement from the national association or the national Olympic committee.

However, there is no governing body in the country as the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) was de-registered by Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar on May 6.

But OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar confirmed that a letter will be sent to the WTF stating that the OCM has no objections to the team competing in the championships.

"We hope that the WTF will accept them (the exponents) into the championships," said Tunku Imran yesterday.

But for the parents, it was hardly a guarantee.

"We are grateful to the Sports Minister (Datuk Azalina Othman Said) and the OCM for assisting our children but we still don’t know whether they will be able to compete or not," said one parent Nik Zainal Nik Manshor at a Press conference organised by the BJSS Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

ANXIOUS: Concerned parents and taekwondo exponents from the Bukit Jalil Sports School meeting its PTA chairman Dom Amy Hussain to seek clarification on the team’s participation in the Asian Junior Championships. — Pic: KHALID REDZA

"As parents, we hope this will be enough to let our children compete in the championships."

Another parent, R. Tiruvalluvan, who lost his left leg three months ago, said: "My dream was to see my son become a Malaysian sportsman. But now it looks like he may not be able to represent the country.

"He is my eldest child and was excited at the prospect of bringing honour to the country and his family. Now, I just don’t know what is going to happen.

"One third of my earning goes towards supporting his dream, so I hope he will be able to compete."

But for some parents, the bureaucracy involved in sending the team to Kazakhstan is simply to difficult to comprehend.

"Some of our children are in Form Five, and yet when they were offered a place in the school, we agreed to let them come here," said another parent.

"The officials presented a rosy picture but now we don’t even know what is happening to the sport.

"Their studies have been affected, and now it looks like their performance in the sport is as well."

Source from

MALAYSIA: Sport is alive and kicking

S. Selvam
Aug 13:

THE governing body may have been de-registered, but as far as taekwondo in Malaysia is concerned, the future looks solid.

And the just concluded 6th LG International Clubs Taekwondo Championships at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands hammered that point home in the best possible way.

Even organising the championships in Genting, not the cheapest of places in Malaysia, hardly deterred the clubs from supporting the event.

In fact, apart from the 19 local clubs, clubs from 14 other countries made the three-day championships a memorable one.

Among the countries that made an impact were Jordan, Vietnam, South Korea and Taiwan. In fact, Jordan emerged as overall champions with a total haul of 13 gold, six silver and 14 bronze.

SHINING STARS: The Gemilang team that competed in the LG International Clubs Taekwondo Championships at the Arena of Stars, Genting Highlands recently.

But more importantly, it was the strong presence of parents to cheer their children and their respective clubs that showed why taekwondo is so popular in the country.

And the de-registration of the Malaysia Taekwondo Association (MTA) hardly caused a ripple.

For the record, the MTA was de-registered by the Sports Commissioner's office on May 6 for hindering the development of the sport. Although the MTA took the matter to the High Court, the case was dismissed last Tuesday. The MTA, however, has stated that it would appeal the decision.

Meanwhile, some 500 exponents competed in four categories — the Open, Junior (14-17 years), Minor 1 (9-11 years) and Minor 2 (12-13 years), and there was little doubt where the most number of entries were in — the lower age groups.

And these exponents were accompanied by their parents and siblings, lending a wonderful 'Family Day' atmosphere at the Arena of Stars.

"We don't care about the politics in the MTA. As long as there are competitions and our children are not affected or victimised, we are happy," said one parent who declined to be named.

"Hence, we are grateful to the organisers (International Clubs Taekwondo Organisation) for organising this meet and bringing in foreigners to compete as well."

Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) coach K.M. Rajendran, who led his team to the Junior category title, said:

"We need more competitions that will expose our athletes to international exponents."

"The BJSS students, who are among the top juniors in the country, only competed against a foreign field twice this year, at the Selangor Open and here (International Clubs Championships). And this is hardly sufficient."

And that is what basically what the parents and coaches are clamouring for - more local competitions with an international flavour.

Sadly, for all the support and logistics at its disposal, there are only two championships which have international participation - this and the recent Selangor Open.

Which brings to fore the question - What are the rest, whether it is the MTA (before its de-registration), State taekwondo associations or other clubs doing?

Or is the national body and officials from the State only interested in overseas competitions so that they can tag along?

For that, ICTO, and sponsors LG Electronics, should be applauded for making this championships, a reality.

ROLL OF HONOUR — Overall Champions: Jordan (13-6-14); Minor 1 (9-11 years) Champion: Gemilang (3-2-3); Minor 2 (12-13 years) Champion: Jordan (6-1-4); Junior Champion: Bukit Jalil Sports School (7-2-3); Open Champion: Taiwan (4-0-0).

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

MALAYSIA: Azalina: Discard ‘territorial’ attitude

August 4:

THE "territorial attitude" ofseveral national sports associations is depriving the nation of its best athletes.

While enforcing the Sports Development Act 1997 is an option, Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said emphasised that it was up to national sports association officials themselves to initiate and implement changes to open their doors to more affiliates.

A more open affiliation system, as far as Azalina is concerned, will enable more people to take part in the decision-making processes for the benefit of all parties.

"I believe we should work on an inclusive basis, not on an exclusive basis," said Azalina in Putrajaya yesterday when asked whether long staying sport officials are depriving the younger generation of opportunities to lead an association or sport.

"If the members themselves don’t want to see changes taking place, there is very little that we can do.

"We can use the Sports Act, but this creates a lot of hostility from national associations.

"Sports is about selecting the best athletes. Meritocracy is about selecting the best.

"But as long as some national associations are territorial in their belief, we cannot select the best athletes to represent the country."

Citing silat as an example, Azalina said Pesaka (National Silat Federation) was to be lauded for accommodating the different factions in the sport when it comes to selecting the best athletes for the country.

"If they can do it (select athletes from different factions and schools), I don’t see why other sports cannot do the same," added Azalina in obvious reference to taekwondo.

In Malaysia, only those practising the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) system are allowed to represent the country in multi sport Games sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) like Sea Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games.

There are two other factions in Malaysia, Global Taekwondo Federation and Malaysian International Taekwondo Federation.

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