Happy 50th Merdeka, and Being a Professional Footballer

By the time of this writing perhaps more than half of this blog readers and subscribers have gone MIA and would not come back online until the weekend is over, but I guess it is still not too late for me to wish Happy Merdeka to fellow Malaysians. Yes, celebrating things for the 50th time is not something that you do too often. Incidentally, my school also celebrated its Golden Jubilee this year to mark its 50th of establishment and they have gone many miles to organize major events around the year. This morning the Headmaster and the Old Boys President appeared on MHI for some cover stories by the TV3 guys. I guess the current students will be happy with the development.

Back to the Merdeka celebration, it is quite a long weekend, so I hope whatever you do and whatever your plan is, do take care of yourself. If my memory is clear, I have never celebrated the country’s independence by going to the Dataran Merdeka (or any other countdown event), waiting for the 12.00am countdown and ride motorcycle with empty tins attached to the strings at the back. It was the same scenario today (now it’s 3.15 am, 31 August local time) as the 12am was spent with my neighbor’s kids watching the TVs and do some fun stuff together.

I guess gathering at crowded places is not my thing. Furthermore, I would not be able to stand listening to any independence speech past 12.30 am where half of my mind is already somewhere else. In fact, I hate speeches. I had enough listening of speeches for 5 years in secondary school. I also despise giving speech, and if I were to give one, I will make it different and does not sound like any other talks.

Malaysia Under-23 Deliver the Merdeka Gift.

After beating Singapore, the Malaysia Under-23 football team delivered the perfect gift for the 50th Merdeka celebration after beating Myanmar 3-1 in the Merdeka Cup (Pesta Bola Merdeka) final match to win the cup for the 11th time. Here, I must say that, again, it was a commendable performance. Suddenly the names like Safee Sali, Zaquan Adha, Khyril Mohymeen and a few others become the talk of the football fans.

Congratulations to the players and the fans. I can see FAM president, Sultan Azlan Shah is a happy man too, perhaps he deserves it for a while after getting a lot of sticks before. I also hope that there will not be much complacency after the triumph because the Korat Job is waiting in the coming SEA games in Thailand. If the team continues to achieve more and more success, then we will have more country men willing to consider becoming professional football players due to good prospect.

Malaysia Juara Pesta Bola Merdeka

After all, being a professional footballer is not much different than those who work full time in the office. Both are full time jobs where most income will cover their living. Both requires the trading of effort and time for money. If there is no effort and time spent, then no money will come. In corporation, if the company is doing well, then the employees will get rewards in bonuses and perks. Similarly, if a football team does well, so will the players. It is a well known fact that many professional footballers in Malaysia will not be long in the profession. In country like England, being a the striker for mid table club like Blackburn Rovers will allow you to drive the latest Porsche model. Here in Malaysia, being the country’s top player does not guarantee you anything yet.

In 2001, Terengganu became the Malaysia Cup champions after beating Perak in the final, and it was the first time the feat was achieved in the history of the Terengganu Football Association. The captain for the Terengganu team was my primary school mate, Zulharisam Awang, who is also my neighbor. A year before captaining his state team, he was also part of the team that won the FA cup, and a year before that, they became close to winning the Malaysia Cup the first time but was beaten in the final. In other words, it was one of the strongest and most successful Terengganu team I have seen.

Zulharisam was a young, big and tough defensive player that also played for national team until last year, when the Terengganu team decided at the age of 31, he would not be able to contribute to the team. He was dropped and led to a premature retirement in football. There can never be job security working for other people. He found himself having to find another job for a living. I hope he does well now.

9 Replies to “Happy 50th Merdeka, and Being a Professional Footballer”

  1. Malysian u23 football team make us proud!!
    =)
    they’ve done their best to b the best for the best result for so many years afta wut had happened 2 our senior football team…
    CONGRATULATIONS!!!
    i hope u’ll keep dis excellent performance
    keep up da gud work, GUYS!!
    THANX 2 zaquan, n safee sali 4 da goalss…
    defender!!!
    u GUYS r great!!..
    2 da captain… ur next MOKHTAR DAHARI…

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