How To Improve Sports In Malaysia?

Faizal Saari

[This in old post (1.07.2014) – Still relevant though. For your reading pleasure].

I love sports.  I not only watch sports, I also participate whenever I have the chance.  I seldom decline invitations from friends to play futsal, soccer, badminton, bowling or hockey.  Therefore, I follow the development of sports in this country and the world with much interest.

I watched the recently concluded Rabobank Hockey World Cup, followed the Malaysian Super League, The FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon Tennis plus many other sports.

I don’t think I have enough sleep during weekdays, therefore, weekend will always be a welcomed break for me.

Improving Sports In Malaysia

Recently, V. Thomas of Sungai Buloh, Selangor, has raised valid points in NST July 23rd, 2014, regarding the disastrous performance of Malaysia’s hockey team in the recent Hockey World Cup in The Hague.

Malaysia finished last among 12 nations. He cited:

Despite various local competitions, the quality of hockey has not improved and there is only a limited number of capable players. Previously, the bastion of hockey was in urban areas, especially in the secondary schools. Most of these schools have lost their hockey fields and hockey no longer played at these schools.

I must say that I concur with what V.Thomas has said above and also most of his article and therefore, I feel compelled to write this piece on my blog and hopefully someone will take notice and do something to improve the poor state of sports in this country.

The Poor State of Sports In Malaysia

Despite millions being poured into sports development in this country, the truth is sports are not taken seriously in Malaysia. 

Although there are Sports Science subject offered at the universities, sports itself is not a subject in school.

Yes, there is Physical Education (Pendidikan Jasmani) but it is not given much emphasis.

It is not considered a worthwhile subject even though it could do wonders to national unity and pride. 

There is 1Murid 1Sukan but there is no specially qualified sports teacher to guide the pupils. 

Some schools don’t even have a field big enough for pupils to play soccer, let alone other facilities such as hockey field as V.Thomas lamented in his article.

Some don’t even have any field at all or the size of their field is too small to be considered as a field.

While we wasted millions of ringgit on Sport Schools and other sports development programs that only concentrate on certain areas and children, why not expand it to the whole nation.

I’m pretty sure there are talents out there somewhere in the remote areas such as in Pahang, Sarawak and Sabah.

After all, our diving queen, Pandelela Rinong came from a Bidayuh village in Bau, Sarawak.

Yes, she was a product of Bukit Jalil Sports School, but imagine if someone hasn’t scouted her talent at a very young age.

What a waste of talent it could have been.

Improve Sports In Malaysia

More Coaches And Scouts

Therefore we need more scouts and more qualified coaches, especially at primary schools where it is easier to teach and assess children’s potential.  If spotted early, they would not have picked up too many bad habits in sports and therefore can be guided to play the particular sport the way it should be played.

All we need to do is to incorporate the proper training methods in 1Murid 1Sukan and give our teachers (who are interested in sports) coaching clinic or courses.

Cooperation and support from the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Education is required to ensure such program (1Murid 1Sukan) works effectively.

Coaches and scouts must also identify our future sportsmen with world class potential. Therefore, in certain sports like football, hockey, rugby or tennis, bigger physiques are required.

During the Rabobank Hockey World Cup, our boys were beaten not because of lack of skills but rather lack of size and were out-run by bigger and taller European players. 

It must be noted that, sports like football and hockey have become more and more physically demanding these days (do read my posting on: Kookaburras’ Hockey Master Class), therefore we need players that can cope with such demands.

Compete With The Best, Learn From The Best

If there is a sport person that any Malaysian should idolise, then it should be our Squash Queen, Datuk Nicol David.

She sacrificed her teenage life, training far from home and competed with the World’s best in order to become the best.

Not many Malaysians are willing to do that, right, especially our football players who very often than not ‘cannot tahan’ more than six months stint in Europe.

Rindu pada nasi lemak, rindu pada awek di kampung“.

nicol david

I don’t know what the exact problem is. But I do suspect it is because of ‘low self-esteem‘.

  • Our people do look up on ‘mat salleh’ and it is not just because they are tall but they are smarter and of course, the language problem.

  • That’s why Datuk Nicol doesn’t have such problems since she is already so smart and she speaks perfect English.

  • Maybe, we need to put some emphasis on this matter before sending players overseas. 

  • Kasi crash course English lesson dulu and maybe add general knowledge to their brains, baru depa tak takut dengan mat salleh.

Speaking about competing with the best, why not give our football team a chance to improve their ranking and play against better teams by giving away citizenship to those interested and want to be Malaysians.

People like Brazilian, Paulo Rangel and Argentine, Jorge Pereyra Diaz are quality footballers who will never ever play for their already star-studded national football teams.

They can certainly lift up our ranking, thus allowing our boys to play against better opponent, and hence lifting the standard of football in this country. This is just temporary measure.

I believe the Japanese did this before and once they managed to produce their own world class players, they do away with such measure.

So, kita pun jangan sombong ya!

Everyone Must Work Hard To Improve Malaysian Sports

To improve sports in Malaysia, everyone must work hard and serious about it. Cannot just ‘cakap mulut sahaja‘. I remember, a few years ago (during the time of the previous Sports Minister, not KJ),

I had the opportunity to participate in a ‘forum’ organised by the Ministry of Sports.  In my mind, I expected a forum to be a place where there will be exchange of ideas, specifically for the purpose of enhancing or promoting the development of sports in the state.

However, after a few looonng speeches and cultural performances, the ‘hot’ topic for discussion was about tenders for building sports facilities

Undeterred, I raised the issues that most Sports association faced at that time: the feeling that the Sports Ministry was not working together with the associations instead it ran its own programs which were competing with the associations’ programs.

What did we get? 

A call from the Ministry, complaining that I was disruptive during the event.

Unfortunately, I still see the same thing happening now. When it comes to handling critics, our people tend to be defensive.

Everybody ‘nak jaga saham aje’.

costa rica

As a true sports fan, I’m really saddened to see the decline in sports plaguing our country since the 90’s. If nothing is done to improve sports in Malaysia, we will continue to be left behind.

As I sit in

front of the TV, watching Costa Rica, a nation with only 4.8 million populations, moves to the quarter-final of FIFA World Cup, I can only wonder when we will ever see Harimau Malaya compete in the biggest stage of the world.

Look likely – not in my lifetime [sigh].

– How To Improve Sports In Malaysia?

18 thoughts on “How To Improve Sports In Malaysia?

  1. The society didn’t look up at sports just as they look up at academics. Young kids with talent in sport, seldom being looked down if they didn’t performed well in academics. The English part, yeah, crash course will do, more importantly, confidence. I find it hard to understand some of the sports star that are not English, when they speak in English, but the confidence, it covers the lacking.

    1. Certainly in Malaysia our society still think that success in academic is the gateway success to better life in future. Even UPSR result pun buat mak bapak tak tido malam [sigh].

  2. Assalamua’laikum

    Apa yg ambe nampak, peringkat paling awal pastinya kat sekolah rendah macam yg titan cakap, tapi takat manalah sangat cikgu nak buat semua benda.

    So, kalau betul2 nak sukses, cikgu sukan yg benar2 tahu dan terlatih dan sistem kejurulatih yg bagus mesti ada..kalau takleh buat kat semua negeri…boleh buat kat satu2 sekolah dulu..

    budak2 ramai yg berbakat tp dibiarkan berkarat..besi lama2 berkarat pun boleh rosak jadinya..

    nice bro!

  3. bakat rasanya masih boleh didik lagi. cuma rasanya kat malaysia ni bukan nak kata takde semangat, tapi pembangunan tu sendiri tak betul daripada akar umbi. dana yang diberikan tu pun bukan semuanya disalurkan. cakap je bajet berapa juta untuk bola sepak bagai, tengok sama je. cuma baru-baru ni lah mula nak start masukkan bajet dalam perbelanjaan Negara eh, lupa la apa nama dia.

    sedangkan kalau ikut sejarah, kita pelopor sepak taqraw, juara bola sepa Asia sampai Jepun and Korea mintak cara pengurusan bola sepak kita. mungkin lepas tu diorang upgrade sistem pengurusan cara eropah pulak kot. kita? masih bangga dengan apa yg kita capai DULU.

    betul la kata titan tu, cikgu busy kat sekolah. mana ada masa nak monitor sekor2 bebudak tu nak main apa. harapkan pemilihan yang diadakan setahun sekali tu pun kalau ada pertandingan. kalau tak, takde latihan. macamana nak pupuk minat sukan kalau macam gitu. bagusnya dekat SBP (boarding schools) diorang training setiap petang untuk game yg diorang suka. tapi tu peringkat umur berapa dah. dapat asah pun sikit je, yang bebetul berbakat. yang masih tumpul tu, possible gak nak jadi power cuma makan masa lah kot. belakang parang diasah pun boleh tajam, inikan pulak manusia yang lebih flexible.

    1. Baca betul-betul bro,

      Jika kita laksanakan 1Murid1Sukan secara betul dan masukkan dalam sylabus, ia tidak akan ambil masa tambahan cikgu pun. Ia jadi sebahagian dari korikulum sekolah dan diajar mengikut waktu sekolah. Boleh gantikan masa PJ dan apa-apa subjek yang tidak beri manafaat jangka panjang buat murid-murid. Mana-mana guru-guru yang BERMINAT sahaja boleh diberikan kursus berELAUN untuk meningkatkan pengetahuan dalam bidang kejurulatihan agar pelajar-pelajar dapat diasah dengan skill atau teknik yang betul dan bukan secara sembrono sahaja. 😀

      1. kalau aku jadi guru besar nanti..memang aku ubah jadual sekolah.

        waktu pagi..mesti aktiviti kelab/persatuan atau sukan. At least 1 jam pertama. Lepas tu..masuk kelas macam biasa. Semua murid wajib terlibat. Haha..

        Dan masalahnya..bukan semua cikgu PJ minat. Kalau lelaki, ok lagi. Bersemangat lagi. Kalau perempuan..takdenya la..tak ramai yang sanggup.

        1. Ya, bukan semua cikgu minat. Tapi surely ada yg mahu mcm cikgu Titan 😀 . Cuma perlu sedikit insentif dan jadual waktu yang lebih sesuai, insya-allah boleh buat.

  4. They must have the fighting spirit in them. Never give up and always aim to be better. Hard work pays. Sometimes I feel that our players are too pampered especially after winning. Instead of working harder to be better, they start enjoying the glory and their performance start to get worst.

    1. Indeed. That’s because most of us feel comfortable with what we had achieved now. OK lah takat sukan sea. kan? That’s not good enough! To push to a higher level, we need a breakthrough like Nicol did in squash and Azizol Hasni in cycling. They had shown to the world ‘Malaysia Boleh’! We need to produce more Nicol and Azizol Hasni. Therefore, we must start move away from our present system because it does not work! We must start think out of the box and try new things, especially in sport where we are legging far behind.

  5. serius..

    aku cuma leh bantu peringkat sekolah rendah aje.

    sebab bila dah masuk peringkat daerah dan ke tukar dan suasana juga berubah.

    So..masa tu la bebudak kena adapt dan struggle untuk survive dengan budak-budak sekolah sukan yang lain yang memang berbakat dan hidup dengan peralatan yang super canggih berbanding budak kat hujung kampung atau bandar kecik.

    Majoriti..budak tak survive sebab banyak kekangan. Mak bapak tak bagi lah..budak dah tak semangat..yang bagus plakk..selalu injured. bila injured..moral down..takut nak involve lagi..pelajaran terabai dan segala macam lagi termasuklah awek tak bagi aktif sangat dalam sukan. Hampeh tul.

    So..bagi aku..bagus dah cikgu-cikgu didik kat sekolah. Yang selebihnya..memang atas coach baru diorang dan juga galakan pada mereka yang berterusan. Nak harap cikgu pj kat sekolah aje..tak dan sangat. Masa tak ada. cikgu ada banyak kerja lain kat sekolah. Tak leh nak tumpu kat satu dua orang murid aje..

    Last resort..memang aku push mak bapak budak-budak berbakat ni..hantar anak diorang ke sekolah sukan. Itu je yang mampu sekarang.

    1. Untuk push ibu bapa bukan mudah terutama sekali jika mereka tidak nampak bakat pada anak-anak mereka. Cadangan yang boleh kita laksanakan adalah dengan memberi elaun dan imbuhan pada guru-guru yang minat dengan sukan dan ada keinginan membimbing pelajar2 berbakat menjadi ahli sukan berjaya. Selain dari elaun, guru2 sukan diberikan kursus dan coaching badge agar dapat membentuk bakal2 ahli sukan kita dengan cara yang betul dan sistematik. SKita boleh nampak ada guru2 yg minat sukan dan bersungguh-sungguh cuba membantu pelajar-pelajar, namun mungkin teknik mereka boleh dipertingkatkan lagi. Begitu juga dengan fasiliti di sekolah-sekolah perlu ditingkatkan lagi.

      1. Yap. Cuma majoriti mak bapak budak tak faham. Diorang fikir..bila budak minat dalam sukan..tak leh nak cari kerja nanti. Dan..diorang takut anak diorang cedera sebab memang ada kes budak cedera bila bersukan..terus dah mak bapak tak bagi bersukan..siap bagi amaran lagi kat salah satu sebab menyebabkan kita terpaksa harap kat sekolah sukan aje.

        Dan cikgu-cikgu memang tak banyak masa sangat. Aktiviti kat sekolah terpaksa diutamakan. Nak mengajar lagi, kelas tambahan lagi..itu lom campur aktiviti kat luar. Serius..memang penat jadi cikgu PJ nih.

        1. Rasanya ramai ibu bapa zaman sekarang yang semakin faham.. Cuma mereka takut sahaja kerjaya anak2 mereka terbantut lantaran tiadanya kesungguhan dari pihak tertentu memajukan sukan negara. That’s why kawe rasa 1Murid1Sukan jika dilaksanakan sebaiknya akan beri keyakinan tersebut pada ibubbapa.

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