Sunday 31 October 2010

The Red Warriors

They come for a state which is known for many things. The cradle of Malay culture, passion for politics as such that state government could be booted out of office if they failed the people and great food. I am describing the state of Kelantan, the state where the newly crowned 2010 Malaysian Cup champions comes from.

Known fondly as the Red Warrior with the battle cry "Gome Kelate Gomo" or "Fight Kelantan Fight", the Kelantanese soccer team finally found its glory when it beat Negeri Sembilan 2-1 in the Malaysian Cup final last night. Ironically, it was Negeri Sembilan that denied Kelantan an early glory as champions last year when Kelantan lost 1-3 to that team in last year's final. 

What is intriguing is that for the second time a team whose state has just seen a new King been proclaimed won the Malaysian Cup in the last two years. Coincidence? Well, for the skeptics, the fact that Kelantan scored the equaliser when a key Negeri Sembilan defender was treated at the side line seems interesting enough! Notwithstanding that, I don't think it is fair to deny Kelantan the glory it deserves.

Kelantanese are very serious when they are serious. Judging from the behavior of the ever fanatic Red Warrior supporters, the state has a lot of potential, if properly coordinated and directed at the right course. Sometimes, their passion could lead into events which we would like to avoid such as damages to property (which happened especially when Kelantan lost). 

It would be great if this year's success could be maintained if not enhanced in future years. It would be interesting to observe the response from the state government towards this championship as the Kelantan Football Association is headed by the group from the opposing political side. After all, Wayang Kulit, or shadow play is well preserved in the Kelantanese culture.

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Sunday 10 October 2010


Today, for some, is certainly a special day. Yes, today is the 10th day of October the year 2010 or 10.10.10. I am sure most of you could vouch this by the number of wedding invitations that you received. Even our only Angkasawan is getting married today.

The best that I could do to mark this date is by posting a Twit at exactly 10.10.10:10:10. I thought I got it right. But hang on, those in Melbourne and Sydney would have experienced it 2 hours earlier. I am sure those in London would have more time to think of how they would make their 10.10.10 meaningful. The further we go to the west, the later people would be embarking on something to mark 10.10.10.

Perhaps this is what Alvin Toffler meant by desynchronisation, where, even time is not really synchronised as what we thought. The same applies to knowledge and space, three important elements which chart the future. To be successful in managing our future, we need to master knowledge, deal with time and compete on a wider space. Not east and many people hate this reality. That is why some are starting to build false sense of comfort though slogans and claims which may excite some of us for a while but essentially delayed us from sorting our our real challenges.

The fact remains that there are people who are comfortable living in a centrally control environment where people are expected to heed instructions from one source. Enter the internet, where knowledge is shared across communities and countries at close to no cost and could spread even with the highest level of censorship. The future is about being comfortable with chaos and learn how to create higher value to mankind out of all the confusion around us.

Again, without knowledge, we could not build competency in taking up competition which could come from many angles at various speeds. For Muslims, they should remember that the first revelation to Prophet Mohammad is the directive to read or in the modern sense - to seek knowledge. I am sure various other religions and civilisations accord knowledge at a very high position as well.

So, we might want to think about KNOWLEDGE, TIME and SPACE on this special day of 10.10.10.

Sunday 3 October 2010

Real Champions

Spain is one of the countries which produces many world champions lately. Winning the World Cup certainly is the icing on the cake for this country with long history of success. Fernado Alonso from F1 and Rafeal Nadal from the world of tennis certainly remind us of how successful Spain is in sports.

Last but not least, among the long list of champions representing Spain is Real Madrid, the famous soccer club with the home in Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid. I had the opportunity to visit the home ground of Real Madrid recently and the experience was certainly amazing, even without meeting with any of the stars of the club. While not a Read Madrid fan, I thought paying homage to this great club is worthy investment. 

One needs to pay 16 Euro to be able to wonder around the empty Santiago Bernabeu, indicating the ability of the club to capture the value of its success in being one of the champions in the world of soccer, not to mention 12 Euro for a photo with the European Cup and 70 Euro for a Real MAdrid jersey without name and number of players. Perhaps this is the meaning of success. People want to know about you and want to be associated with you. On the other hand, if you are not competitive enough, begging and shouting emotional slogans could be the only way to attract attention! 

The business model of a sporting club is not much different from any other business. However, I see emotional factor playing a greater role in making clubs like Read Madrid a successful one. Hence, investing millions of Euro in world class players is really a necessity. In soccer, minus match fixing, winning is about how you perform on the pitch, no two way about it. No quota, no special preference. How would you treat a soccer club playing in a league where all better teams are not allowed to play just to ensure a designated club to win? 

There is a price to be won with real success and judging from the trophies displayed at Santiago Bernebeu there is no doubt Real Madrid, at least in the hearts of its fans around the world, is the real champion.