The Malaysian Football Story

taken from
as much as i love to read it, i’d like to share it.

As promised, we’re going to talk about, yes, Malaysian football again.

We begin with this simple task. Just take a look at some of the names of the players in our national teams when we were a football force. At least in Asia a long time ago.

In the 1950s and early 60s,we fielded the likes of Abdul Ghani Minhat, Arthur Koh, G.Govindaraju, Robert Choe, Edwin Dutton, Stanley Gabriel.

ghani_minhat_b.jpgAbdul Ghani was rightly nicknamed Raja Bola or Football King.He and his teammates did justice to the yellow and black stripes jersey of Malaya. They were real Tigers.

Moving on, the Malaysian team which won the Merdeka soccer tournament in 1968 comprised the Abdullah brothers, Namat and Shaharuddin, Wong Fook Chuan, N.Thanabalan, Zulkifli Norbit and skipper Abdullah Nordin.. Just to name a few.
“Are the Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, others lousy football players?”

They beat the strong Burma side powered by the famous Sukbahadur 3-0 in the final.

The Malaysian team which played in the Munich Olympics had among others Lim Fung Kee, Soh Chin Aun, Wan Zawawi, Wong Choon Wah, Dell Akbar , M.Chandran, Bahwandi Hiralal.

sohchinaunmemegangpialakemenan.jpgThe team demolished Japan,South Korea , Taiwan, the Philippines en-route to Munich in 1972. Those days, countries were represented by senior sides, unlike now where under 23 sides take part strengthened by three “overage’ players. In Munich, Malaysia even went on to beat the United States 3-0 before bowing out.

Malaysia qualified again for the Olympics in 1980 with the services of R.Arumugam, Santokh Singh, Khalid Ali, Hassan Sani, James Wong.there were others of course. They did not go to Moscow, however, because of politics. Malaysia decided to join many other countries in boycotting the games in protest over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan,

And we had super Mokh – Mokhtar Dahari. mokh2.jpgWith him in the team Malaysia even beat Arsenal and drew with the England B side which fielded some of the best names from the old English division one( the Premiership as we know it now)

We also had Yip Chee Keong, Abdullah Ali, K.Kanaraju ,K.Rajagopal, Our Chow Chee Keong Wong Kam Fook, Lim Fung Kee played pro football in Hong kong. Lim Teong Kim was good enough to be a professional in Germany playing for Hertha Berlin.

The last time we won the SEA Games football gold medal, we were represented by Rashid Hassan, Zainal Abidin Hassan, Serbegeth Singh Wong Hung Nung, among others. That was in 1989.

I can hear all of you screaming – we know all that lah. So just what’s my point here ? Like I said earlier, take a good look at the names of the players. What do you see ? Players representing Malaysia when we were strong made up of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, Eurasians, even Gurkha. A truly Malaysian lineup.

The strength of Malaysia, in football, other sport or every other thing lies with its multi racial people.

Now take a look at the recent or current Malaysian team lineups and one will ask this question. Are the Chinese, Indians, Sikhs, others lousy football players ? Or they simply do not like football ?

We’ll talk some more next week. (By MOHSIN ABDULLAH/ MySinchew)

Mohsin Abdullah is Editor in Chief News and Current Affairs ntv7 & 8TV.

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