Monday, November 05, 2007

friends in futsal

Okay, I'll say it: Sadly, I didn't make the cut for the first-ever international tourney for our first-ever national ladies futsal team. Loads of politics surrounding this--as with many other sports in Malaysia, sigh--but anyway am proud of my fellow trainees who did make it to the 2nd Asian Indoor Games in Macau recently.

Though our results were a tad scary (see below), but hey we gotta start somewhere! Plus we did draw into the tough group (read: Thailand, Iran, and eventual '07 champs Japan) so the fact that newbies-us did manage to sneak some goals past the more experienced teams is pretty good, I reckon.

Here're Malaysia's scores:

Iran vs Malaysia 13-1
Thailand vs Malaysia 17-0
Malaysia vs Japan 0-5

4th of A vs 3rd of B: Malaysia vs Philippines 2-5
3rd of A vs 4th of A: Iran vs Malaysia 17-2

In the final matches, Uzbekistan beat Vietnam 2-1 while the Japs overcame SEA giants Thailand 5-3.

I've gotta admit that we have a LONG way to go, but if we don't try then we'll never advance in the sport, innit.

Nways, below are some pictures of my fellow lady futsallers in action. Oh, and I'm proud to announce that my team, Sports Barn Wildcatz, had one rep in Raveena who also scored one for Malaysia against Iran. Yay her!
Back L-R: Mex, Aishah JB, Tom, Sasha, Kheeday, Raveena
Front L-R: Adik, Diana, Anies, Futsaller from Kelantan, Rhynnda, Futsaller from Kelantan

Back L-R: Futsaller from Kelantan, Tom, Zurl, Kheeday, Rhynnda, Raveena
Front L-R: Futsaller from Kelantan, Adik, Futsaller from Kelantan, Anies, Diana, Aishah JB

Malaysian skipper, Sasha, shaking hands with the Japanese captain

Sasha doing her thang versus the Filipinas! This girl is truly something, seriously

Raveena (pivot), Diana (left ala), Kheeday (right ala) and Adik (last man) in action against Iran

Raveena terrorising up front. She didn't score in this one, but she did put one at the back of Iran's net!

Diana letting one slip by the Thai goalie. Supporting her on the right is leading scorer for Malaysia, Sasha, who contributed 2 out of our 5 goals. The fifth was courtesy of Aishah Kelantan

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Was watching The Incredibles (one of my favourite cartoons of all time) again the other day and noticed the uncanny resemblance between Incredi-Boy aka Syndrome and Wayne Rooney...
... innit?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

allium sativum

… a.k.a. garlic.

Ah, few can compare to its sweet smell and taste. It’s a must-have ingredient in Italian and Chinese cooking, little wonder why.

I, for one, am a huge fan. My belief is that one can never have enough garlic in one’s food!

Okay, okay, so your breath and sweat might be slightly pungent after consuming a considerable amount of it, but trust you me, the medicinal plusses seriously outweigh this little calamity.

It is claimed that garlic can prevent a miscellany of life-threatening diseases, such as heart problems, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (though its wonder might not work so well on people already with high levels of cholesterol).

Regular use of raw garlic supposedly also helps regulate blood sugar levels, improves the immune system, and have properties that will fight against the common cold and coughs.
Best of all, some studies have shown that garlic may also protect against cancer!

But, you know what? I digress. The point of this entry was actually to educate the world on a common misconception:

A “clove” of garlic does not mean the whole garlic bulb (proper term: “head”)—it refers to just one piece of garlic. Remember that the next time you cook...

left: a clove of garlic, right: a head of garlic

Oh, btw, if you’d like to enjoy the medicinal properties of garlic but can’t stand the smell, there's always the “odourless” pill options!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

yet another incest case

A MOTHER not only allowed her four daughters to be raped by their father and three brothers but also used a bomoh to cast a spell to get them to willingly become prostitutes, reported Harian Metro.

The tabloid said the four teenagers were forced to prostitute themselves to relatives and foreigners in Johor Baru.

They were also beaten, abused, and had spells cast on them if they refused to submit to their father and brothers.

One of the victims, known only as Wani, 19, said she started being raped seven years ago after completing her primary education in Ulu Tiram, Johor.

The teenage victim claimed that the mother had threatened to poison them if they resisted.

She said she was “cured” of her mother's spell after she visited a bomoh.

“Although I am now married and live elsewhere, I still get threats from my family,” she said, adding that in the middle of last year, her father and brothers broke into her house and photographed her while she was bathing.

They threatened to put the pictures on the Internet if she did not return home.

She said she had lodged eight police reports to protect herself.


Astaghfirullah! What is the world coming to? And the saddest and most eerie part is that more and more of like stories involve Muslims…

- 16-year-old boy rapes a goat in Kelantan

- father and grandfather raping their 3-year-old daughter/granddaughter

- educated and certified preacher raping his own daughters, resulting in three pregnancies and forcing the poor daughters to abort because “I don’t want you to give birth to my son-slash-grandson”

To say that things are getting rather sad is a disgusting understatement. You know, though I myself am not the most pious of Muslims and do not necessarily support hudud laws fully, I nevertheless reckon Islamic punishments for such hideous crimes should seriously be taken into consideration.

In this case, stone the wrongdoers to death... and make it be seen by the masses as an unforgettable reminder of one's doom should he choose to tread this damned path, I say.

During the time of the Prophet (saw) punishment was inflicted on the rapist on the solitary evidence of the woman who was raped by him. Wa'il ibn Hujr reports of an incident when a woman was raped. Later, when some people came by, she identified and accused the man of raping her. They seized him and brought him to Allah's messenger, who said to the woman, "Go away, for Allah has forgiven you," but of the man who had raped her, he said, "Stone him to death." (Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

Incest & Child Abuse

The Quran clearly outlines those with whom marriage is not permitted, we can extrapolate from it that any sexual relation with these would be unacceptable.

Surah an Nisa 4:23:

Prohibited for you (in marriage) are your mothers, your daughters, your sisters, the sisters of your fathers, the sisters of your mothers, the daughters of your brother, the daughters of your sister, your nursing mothers, the girls who nursed from the same woman as you, the mothers of your wives, the daughters of your wives with whom you have consummated the marriage - if the marriage has not been consummated, you may marry the daughter. Also prohibited for you are the women who were married to your genetic sons. Also, you shall not be married to two sisters at the same time - but do not break up existing marriages. GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.

This includes your foster parents, siblings and children.

Al Hasan reports: ‘If somebody commits illegal intercourse with his sister, his punishment is the same as for any other person who commits such a crime’. (Bukhari Vol. 8 pp 526)

Thus, these same laws mentioned above in cases of rape would be equally applicable, and incest can be prosecuted as a crime within the bounds of Islamic law.

According to Islam, all aspects of life, ie: the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, are sacred and must be respected. No gender or relationship has been given the power or right to hurt or harm the other. Domestic violence, rape and incest are all violent and criminal abuses that are outside the bounds of what is permitted in Islam and there is absolutely no justification for it whatsoever.

-- lifted from: “Rape & Incest: Islamic Perspective”

Monday, June 04, 2007

it's back to bahasa malaysia

Bahasa Malaysia will again be the official term to be used to refer to the national language. The Cabinet felt that reverting to the term Bahasa Malaysia would help inculcate a sense of belonging for all citizens irrespective of race, said Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the move “is to show that the language does not belong to just one race.”

“This is for national unity,” he said.


Gee, you think?

You know, if we—from a nation that's turning fifty—are still ding-donging about the name of our national language, then how do we expect respect and credibility from the outside world?

While we're on the topic, why are we continually bastardising our beautiful language with ridiculous words such as "ras" (i.e. the translation of "race;" isn't it just disgusting?) when we already have the word "bangsa?"

And why, also, are we not speaking what I'd like to call "proper BM" by way of baku pronunciations? I don't know about you, but running around babbling in bahasa pasar is not my idea of an impressive national identity.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

mawi shilling?

LATEST NEWS – “SEKALI lagi Mawi atau nama sebenarnya Asmawi Ani mencatat sejarah industri muzik tempatan apabila wajahnya dipilih untuk dicetakkan ke atas wang syiling yang bersalut emas.

Mawi merupakan artis kedua di dunia selepas mendiang King Of Rock And Roll, Elvis Presley yang mempunyai syiling cetakan muka oleh Royal Mint.

"Memang sukar untuk mana-mana artis mahupun ahli politik di dunia untuk mempunyai wajah mereka di atas syiling.

"Untuk Mawi. kami menganggap bahawa susksesnya amat luar biasa dan patut diberi penghargaan," ujar Y. Ibrahim selaku wakil daripada Royal Mint ketika pelancaran Medalion Mawi di Bora Ombak Ampang baru-baru ini.

"Sememangnya tidak dapat kita nafikan bahawa Mawi mempunyai dinamiknya yang tersendiri berbanding dengan artis-artis yang lain.

"Oleh itu, setelah berunding serta melakukan perbincangan di antara kami dan pihak Royal Mint, kami bersetuju untuk mereka syiling berwajahkan Mawi," ujar Y Ibrahim lagi mengenai projek yang julung-julung kalinya dilakukan di Malaysia.

"Bukannya mudah untuk meyakinkan mana-mana pihak untuk mencetak wajah seseorang individu ke atas siling. Kami mengambil masa untuk mendapatkan kelulusan untuk projek ini," ujar Y Ibrahim lagi.

Ketika ditanya pemilihan mereka berdasarkan populariti ataupun pencapaian seseorang artis yang melayakkan wajahnya dicetak ke atas siling, Y Ibrahim menjawab, " Kedua-duanya penting dan pihak kami melihat bahawa Mawi mempunyai kedua-dua ciri-ciri tersebut."

Dengan keyakinan yang tinggi pihaknya terhadap Mawi, adakah mereka engetepikan kredibiliti artis-artis yang lain yang mungkin lebih senior serta sudahpun mengecapi penghargaan yang banyak daripada Mawi?

"Bukan niat kami untuk mebeza-bezakan artis yang lain di Malaysia dengan Mawi. Malah kami terbuka dengan idea untuk mencetak wajah artis-artis yang lain.

"Mereka boleh datang berjumpa dengan pihak kami jika mereka berminat untuk melakukannya," jelas Y Ibrahim lagi mengenai pihaknya yang tidak mempunyai sikap bias dengan mana-mana artis di Malaysia."

-- from

What rubbish! Though I’m no fan of Datuk Siti’s, I reckon she would be a much better candidate than Mawi, for serious! And what about Tan Sri P. Ramlee?

When you read between the lame lines, you can decipher that: contribution has little relevance to us. Mawi was chosen because he’s loved by young girls and older women alike, and this target market would definitely spend money to get this "limited edition" item. So basically, profit was our utmost priority–we don’t wanna lose out on the monetary goodness of the tsu-Mawi!

the courts vs lina joy

I’m probably going to get shot for this, but I need to spill my mind about the Lina Joy case.

You know, I’m a firm believer of Islam. Yes, admittedly I’m not the most pious of Muslims: I don’t wear a headscarf nor cover my aurat properly. I don’t pray five times a day, though I know I should. I have sinned in the month of Ramadhan. I have consumed alcohol and daging katuk (though I've never touched pork).

But at the end of the day, these are choices that I make. And at the end of the day, only Allah swt has the right to judge me, not anyone else.

Granted, I do know that each and every Muslim bears the responsibility to advise fellow brothers and sisters in Islam to repent and hurry back into the righteous path. My parents, for one, have ensured that I grew up with unending religious teachings, and would without fail lecture me about my not satisfying the daily must-dos.

As a child, I even got punished if I refused to listen and perform. Oh, how painful those canes/hangers/leather belts were on my skin! Even today, as I stand tall (ok ok, not that tall ;Þ) at 28, my mum especially would tirelessly preach the teachings of Islam to me. But they don’t punish me with any more than just words for they know that I am an adult who has the right to make my own choices, an adult who will later herself face the music for these choices.

So, what I really don’t get is when cases such as Lina Joy’s and Bibik Neo surface, the Muslims of Malaysia act out in anger and disgust. Even worse, they decide what the fate of those who have murtad should be.

Now, if these people are not of age, then I would understand what all the hoo-hah is about. Not just that, I would also agree that a certain amount of action should be taken to ensure that these not-yet-wise “children” don’t easily get derailed and change something as major as religion so blindly.

But in the case of Lina Joy, she decided to become a Christian at the age of 26 (or was it 36? It doesn’t matter anyway). Since then—she’s now 42—she’s been believing in the teachings of Christ. She managed to get rid of her Muslim name given to her at birth, but had her application to drop the word “Islam” from her identification card rejected.

My question is, if the woman has lost all belief in Islam and now lives and breathes Christianity, then why in the world should she be forced to live with having her former religion on her IC?

And why must everyone make such a big deal out of her case, anyway? What good is forcing her to insaf when evidently, any and every trace of the religion she was born into is long gone from her body and soul?

Let Lina Joy be, I say! And let others like her live—and die—in the peaceful bliss of the religion that they actually have faith in.

Oh, and hurry it up so they can marry, for goodness sake! We wouldn't want more sin in the world, now, would we?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

let’s talk about love, baby

This post is in response to something from a fellow blogger (and ex-colleague). A piece which questions what the notion of "love" means. I quote sikapitan:

" I correct in saying that love is something like a car? To keep you moving and heading towards your destination, you need the various parts of the car to perform its function. Sometimes you lose parts like side view mirror, or the wiper, or the seat cushions are all torn up, but the car still moves along, right? But what if you were to lose a tire, or if the engine is broke... should you still stay in the car or find another one?"
To that, all I can say is if it causes you major pain and agony, then there's little room for love.

To me, love is more like playing tennis doubles...

You gotta seek for and try out different partners because staying with your first pairing just might never produce winning results.

But don't dump before you've tried hard. Remember and realize that loadsa trial and error are needed in order to achieve immaculate understanding.

And it definitely requires good teamwork for you to score big, innit ;p

Monday, April 23, 2007

and… exhale

Just when I thought my world was gonna crumble (read: Man U drew 1-1 with Boro at Old Trafford on Saturday), Chelsea made it possible for me to breathe again (read: The Blues failed to capitalize on the golden opp to close the gap to just one point, drawing 0-0 with Newcastle yesterday).

Obrigado, senhor Mourinho! ;)


Another Portuguese totally made my weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo, currently English football’s “hottest” winger, swept both the senior and junior Professional Footballers' Association “Player of The year” titles.

He who’ve also recently silenced all speculations regarding his exit from Man U by signing a five-year contract with the Red Devils.

Nós te amamos muito muito, número sete. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

manchester united to play in kl on 27 july 07


with soap, please!

Was listening to Fly FM this morning (what can I say; am a Fly Gal, huhu) and something really caught my attention. See, they have a daily segment called “Fix It” where people would write in with a particular prob and PhatMan & RoBen (read: alter-egos of Phat Fabes and Ben) would try their very best to solve it.

Now, today’s predicament involved a dude who supposedly doesn’t wash his hands after doing his “bizniz” (read: tha shiznit, ya dig?). The sender of the email, a colleague of this dude's, also mentioned that he’s witnessed Mr Shiznit going about his routine straight after—hands filthy and all—doing things like eating nasi daun pisang (eew!) and even shaking people’s hands (double eew!).

Mr Shiznit got all defensive and shiznit and eventually told the sender to mind his bizniz as “it’s my own mouth that I hand-feed and thus it’s got nothing to do with you!”

I mean, what the hell kinda lame-ass excuse is that? I really don’t get it when people just don’t clean their hands after visiting the loo. Don’t they know how much bacteria and God-knows-what-other-filthy-beings lurk in such a place? Urgh, even the utter thought of it is giving me chills and goose bumps all over my body—dis-gus-ting la brader!

The thing is, you’re bound to touch something that doesn’t belong to you/is shared with all, i.e. the door, the phone, the computer, the lift buttons, other people’s hands, your girlfriend’s face…
So, please. Be considerate of others and WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

Other scenario which should end with a good hand-cleansing action:
- After mopping/sweeping
- After touching/taking out the garbage bag
- After touching your pet
- After digging your nose/ears/whichever parts which I refuse to mention here
- After cleaning your nails
- After flossing/picking your teeth
- After sneezing/coughing
- After blowing your nose and wetting your fingers…

Thursday, April 12, 2007

random thoughts

Heard this please-save-water community message on Mix FM this morning. One of the lines goes like this:
"Use a bucket not a hose to wash your cup"

Is it just me, or do you find this thought extremely disgusting?


I am SO into the Beyonce and Shakira duet, "Beautiful Liar." Haven't seen the video yet, but I'm pretty sure it will be even hotter than just listening to the song.

Can you imagine how much ass-shaking will be involved? Crazy stuff.

"Beyonceee, Beyoncee... Shakiraaa, Shakiraaa"

Still finding it hard to believe that three out of the four semi-finalists for this season's Champions League are made up of English sides.

No disrespect to Liverpool, but the possibility of all the finals that concern my Red Devils will be a showdown between the EPL current leaders and the defending champ is truly exhilirating... but friggin annoying at the same time.

I bloody abhor Chelsea, urgh!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

hot hot hot

Dude! My long-time dream has come true: Mackers has finally finally brought over their yummylicious Hotcakes (pancakes they are, really).

As a child, I often walloped them whenever the family was overseas cuz hey, being Muslims it ain’t easy to find halal breakfast. When we’re back on home soil, I used to fantasise about sinking my teeth in those fluffy round thingies coated with their whipped butter and syrup.

Ah, the simple pleasures of life… now in KL. It’s about time, I say!

(btw you can also opt to enjoy them with sundae, mmmhmmmm…)

scintillating seven

After a week of heartbreak (what with the 2-1 losses at Italy and Pompey respectively), my boys in Red proved to the world that they’re still champion material by cruising through to the final four of the Champions League last nite.

Though I set my alarm at 3am, gotta admit that the 2+ hours only of slumber prevented my eyes from staying open. But I finally crawled out of bed at half-time, and boy, is there a better way of losing sleepiness: The scoreline was FOUR-zero and the game was already half over.

How not to wake up?

And then the goals just kept on coming: Ronaldo’s second, Evra’s first-ever and Carrick’s first- and second-ever. But it’s not really the goals that made it blissful. It’s the quality of play—penetrative, adventurous, menacing.

I really like.

But in my joy and all its glory, I couldn’t help but feel helpless for such a high-caliber team that is Roma. To get your behind majorly whopped in such a manner in the quarters of the CL is way to cruel, if you ask me.

And some of the goals, gorgeous as they were, should have been easily saved by their goalie. It’s as if on this one somber night for Romans, Doni forgot one of the crucial basics of keeping—ALWAYS GUARD YOUR NEAR POST.

Whatever. I’m just happy that we’re still in the race. And even happier that my Red Devils managed to prove utterly and terribly wrong the notion that Italian defense is indestructible.

But curse Essien for stealing Chelsea’s victory in the 90th minute (another near-post blunder, sheesh). Now no Spanish team is left, urgh.

Oh, wait. Liverpool’s the favourite to advance tonight, innit?

Sikit latinos pun jadi lah ;)

Monday, April 09, 2007

who says music won’t make you money in this country?

You know Fly FM’s “End Bits” contest which runs on weekdays in the Big Bang Breakfast Show segment? Well, for those not in the know, this involves the DJ playing a short snippet of the end bit of a song (hence the name) and you gotta guess which song it comes from.

For the looooooongest time, no one managed to come up with the correct answer and so the cash has snowballed to a whopping RM16,000!!!

I don’t know about you, but I reckon what we have here is totally INSANE stuff!

If you think you’ve got what it takes to walk away with that indecent amount of prize money, visit and go claim your cash.

Oh and if you do win, faster pay me the 10% royalty ya ;)

Friday, April 06, 2007

trouble, too, at the home front

I’ve been thinking of the right words to express my feelings about the current state of our Malaysian futsal team for a week now, but I guess there’s no fancy way to say it so I’mma just give it to ya straight:

We are in serious trouble, mister.

Last week, my friends in the national squad battled it out at the bi-annual AFF championships in Thailand. This time, they were lead by local chap, Coach Bala (whom, I believe, was their trainer prior to the arrival of Silvio Machado in December’02).

Now, a little history lesson. We met the Thais in the last two AFF finals (2003 & 2005). Granted, we lost both of these matches but the goal difference were only a mere 4.

This time, though, we met our northern neigbour at the semis, and we <<>> 13-0.

THIRTEEN! And to none! Now this, ladies and gents, was the fact that I found truly hard to stomach over the past 7 days.

Sigh. I wonder what Lula (as Coach Silvio is known) has to say about this. All his hard work to lessen the gap between us and the Thais, and now it’s almost back to square one. It’s as if he never came. Sad, very sad.

But know what? Perhaps I should laugh instead. I mean, what the hell was FAM thinking? That by eliminating a Brazillian coach, a local coach can take us further?

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not one of those who glorify the abilities of foreigners and look down on Malaysians. But it is important for us to sedar diri if we haven’t sufficient knowledge nor experience in a certain field, for serious. It’s simple, plain logic, really.

I don’t mean to live in the past, but if someone can tell me how to better the fate of futsal in our country, then only shall I stop dwelling on the memory of a greatness that touched Malaysian futsal once upon a time, but have since been lost and greatly missed…

Prior to the Brazillian’s arrival in December 2002, what we thought was futsal was actually a bunch of footballers plucked from the outdoor fields and planted onto the smaller indoor courts. (Read: futsal knowledge=zero.)

So, what has the past 36-or-so months brought in terms of accolades to Malaysian futsal?

Under Mr Machado’s guidance, the Malaysian futsal contingent joined seven international tournaments, out of which a total of 31 matches were played. Our boys pushed themselves to three finals, losing to SEA’s big guns Thailand twice (AFF Futsal Championship 2003 & 2005) but more importantly, clinching their first-ever Champion title from rivals Indonesia in front of a beaming home crowd at the KL World 5s 2003 (Bowl category).

All in all, Lula and his boys battled their way to a total of 13 wins, 1 draw and 17 losses. Make that just 13 losses, since the other four friendly-match call-ups in Chinese-Taipei should not be taken into consideration. Why? Well, I’ve discounted the said games because our squad only had one weeks’ worth of training.

Since we’re on the topic, I would like to open eyes and dawn some realisation onto the less learned. In his three-year reign as Head Coach of the Malaysian national futsal team, Lula only got to train his boys for a collective amount of 6.9 months. That’s a shocking 19.2% out of 36 months!

Thus, how anyone can expect—or worse still, demand—huge successes when the resources are puny is beyond me. Think about it. You’ve got a team which is less than 3 years old, and you get only, what, a week or two max to train (which includes preparing your players both physically and mentally, and revisit as well as introduce new technical and tactical stuff) prior to a major tournament!

That, coupled with the sad fact that Malaysia has neither professional futsal players nor national/professional leagues—a vital avenue of keeping players’ forms up during off-season—I find it amazing that the national team has come thus far. As Faarhad Masraf, a fellow active futsal fanatic (who also coaches team Dinamix, made up of budding junior futsallers, as well as men’s club side, Samba FC) cites: “Before this, we were only third string in AFF [Futsal Championship] and always were being outclassed by the Thais and Indos. But now, the Thais can only score small-margin wins over us, and they know for sure that given a bit more time (and with proper guidance), we can overturn the tables on the Thais and even compete among the best in Asia.”

Let’s study a comparison between us and our northern neighbours, who, after years of building futsal in their country, have been dubbed the honorary title of “The Brazil of Asia.”

Thailand has its own pro- and semi-pro leagues. Malaysia has "liga haram" A lot of Thai players train in Brazil. We had one Brazillian coach coming here to educate and make ends meet with limited support. Thailand constantly has international friendlies, in their country and overseas. Here, we only have "exhibition matches" (which is a rare occurrence) as well as friendlies with the top “liga haram" teams. In Thailand, futsal is part of the curriculum in schools and universities. In Malaysia, futsal is known only to a select group of people.

You’d probably be thinking “well, the Thai national futsallers deserve all that for their proven successes.” But get this: even Indonesia, considered at par with Malaysia in futsal years, is going out of their way to inject more power into their national team. A month before this year's AFC Futsal Tourney, their first team was flown to Spain (or was it Brazil? either way, this is a big deal as Spain are the current reigning World Champs, and Brazil is regarded as one of the globe's best as well) to train and gain overseas exposure. And what do our boys get? Fourteen days of centralised training after months of inactivity. Well, Hallelujah!

Despite the hardship and lack of support, Lula fought on. With approval from FAM sans monetary allowance, Lula drafted and implemented futsal developments plans for various levels. Keep in mind that as national coach, he was only responsible for the national senior team. But the Brazillian was all too happy to go beyond his job scope, all in the name of ensuring that futsal—proper futsal, mind you—flourishes in our country.

With the help of other coaches, some national players and money dug out of his own pockets, Lula carried out programmes for the national Under-23, U-20, U-17 and even one called “Futsal For Beginners.” Other than that, he also shared his wisdom tirelessly with local club teams who seeked him out. Even small-fry ones like my ladies’ team, the Sports Barn Wildcatz, have had the honour of this great man gracing our training sessions. Slowly but surely, those who were monitoring the progress of their beloved game were both delighted and impressed by the kind of improvement that was unfolding before their very eyes.

In return, Lula expected nothing but commitment towards his cause; he wouldn’t even accept loot in exchange for coaching hours. It is this grand display of selflessness and fervour that earned him the adoration and respect of his players (who stuck with him despite receiving painful daily cursing and tongue-lashings) and many other devoted local futsal followers. It’s obvious that he does everything for the pure love of the game.

Why? Because Silvio Sergio Astor Guimaraés Machado, three-time Futsal World Cup winner, has pure faith in the talents that he’s seen in this country.

If only our own people have the same passion and belief embedded in them.

*Taken from my farewell tribute to Lula entitled “Still can’t believe it’s over” at

Thursday, April 05, 2007

what’s with the ultra violence?

Made sure I went to bed by 10+ last nite so as to not miss Man U’s Champions League quarter-final match.

Yes it is at 2+ in the AM, and yes I am a working chica, and yes since I got married I am awakened daily at 6+ by The Hub’s alarm clock, but hey, miss this glorious and rare chance of witnessing a grand clash between my Red Devils and Totti’s Roma side? Now that's a crazy thought!

And so up I was at the wee hours of the night, very groggy… and very heartburnt.

Plopped myself flat on my front with a cushion under my upper-belly (trust you me, the next time you suffer from heartburn or excessive gas, this is the way to go people! A pillow would do just as good) and watched in double agony as old boy Paul committed totally idiotic, totally unnecessary tackles. And my boys in white were forced to see Red.

While the pain in my tummy was subsiding, the torture on my tired eyes increased soon after with a weak deflected goal from Taddei. 0-1 down and we’re left with ten men?

I was thisss close to succumbing to the pain and switching the telly off.

But my tum-tum was still only half-better, so on I went with my “pillow therapy” (uhm, perhaps I should warn you that if you plan to relieve your ailing tummy this way, best do it in the bliss of solitude. Please, have mercy on other souls) wishful about both my own struggle and that of my Red Devils.

Wahey! Keeping the faith paid off when Rooney decided to end his CL goal drought in sheer composure and Man U leveled, thanks to the undisputable skills and speed of Ronaldo (please pleaseee don’t leave us next season..!)

Unfortunately, this joy was shortlived when Roma sneaked in another just six minutes later. Friggin Italians, urgh.

But hey, a 1-2 result away is not too bad I reckon, better than a 0-1 loss ‘cause that would mean we don’t have a precious away goal, which might make all the difference later.

And so my heartburn only converted into just a teeny weeny heartbreak for my team’s first loss since December.

Now, where’s the violence, you ask? During half-time there was a major fracas going on in the stands. I watched in complete horror as ugly scenes of Italian police wildly batoning the hell of some spectators were played. The post-show later revealed that it was just the Man United fans that were being “disciplined”—nada of them even lifted a finger to the Roma fans, even with the latter launching missiles over to the fans of The Sir’s side.

Today’s reports state that ten United fans are in hospital due to stab wounds (one on the neck!) and as many as 18 others are suffering injuries received during the nasty brawl which continued at the stadium.

Reminds me of the controversial AC Milan-Inter CL clash two seasons or so ago when goalie Dida got hit in the head with a firecracker, and the game had to be aborted because the fans got overly out of hand.

Sigh, seems this kind of embarrassing display (am talking Europe here) only happens in Italy, innit? Next time anyone goes there, I reckon the “Ultras” (as Italy’s footie hooligans are known) should be contained in a bullet-proof cage with huge signs that say “CAUTION: ULTRA VIOLENT ITALIANS!”

Monday, April 02, 2007

doing my bit for society

Anyone who knows me would know that futsal and I are synonymous. And those who know me well would know that I truly believe we have tremendous talent in this sport that’s just waiting to be discovered and polished, if only Azalina would bloody well do something about it.

Well, to wait around for any menteri to actually practice what she preaches about "developing futsal at grassroot level" is like waiting for khinzirs to fly, for serious. And so to not waste any more time just hoping on our behinds, a few of my fellow Wildcatz plus a good futsal mate from Carroad ventured early on Saturday morning to SM Bandar Utama, with the objective of teaching some wide-eyed teenage chicas to play ball.

There were five of us, 29 of them, and only 12 balls. A rather dodgy equation, this we were fully aware of, but hey the show had to go on!

We started with the boring-but-vital basics—make sure your ankle is locked, use the side of your foot to pass, stop the ball with the sole of your foot, etc.

We let them get comfy with the ball and taught them very basic movement with it (We said, "Imagine that it’s your little sister; you gotta make sure that she’s always with you—don't let her get in front of you, nor behind. You gotta always be in control." Their response? "Ahh, we’ll treat it like our boyfriends." Cheeky lot!)

We tortured them a little (heh) with sprints. And tormented them (heh heh) by playing "monkey."

And finally, we divided them into four teams and watched while they went wild against each other.

Gotta say that all the delight and excitement on their faces more than made up for me having to wake up at ungodly hours that morning, for serious.

One-up to us—you ain't got nothin' on this, Dato'!

*Note: the obvious discontentment with the Sports & Youth Ministry stemmed from the cancellations of major sporting events in KL (namely the Asian X Games and especially the KL World 5s) for the lame-ass reason of "these events take up too much money; money that would be better off spent for developments at grassroot level." What development?!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Did you see Datuk Siti's outfit at the Grammy's? Though it was a lovely ensemble, I can't help but rant a little on it.

I mean, come on... Call me old-fashioned but when you've been given the rare honour of representing Malaysia at such a major international event, shouldn't you promote our very own beautiful batik and gorgeous, intricate kebaya?

After all, if we don't show off our heritage, who will innit ;)