HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor Speaks his Mind

February 1, 2016

HRH Tunku  Mahkota Johor Speaks his Mind

As my humble advice for the Government, the first step in trying to improve the system is by removing the few ministers who are considered a joke. Our country needs intelligent ministers who can serve the people, not to serve their own pockets. I pray that our political situation in this country and the education system will improve for the benefit of the people…Do not let ourselves fall into the political games that will divide us and influence our minds.–HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor

Good afternoon to my fellow Johoreans, JDT fans and Malaysian football fans.I believe that yesterday JOHOR Southern Tigers posted a video of me saying ‘The smarter you get, the less you speak’. That particular video is my way of replying to some of my competitors and a few negative groups.

I would like to take this opportunity today to highlight some matters on politics, FAM and football in general.


When I voice out about politics, you have to understand that it is never about me. It is never personal. It is always for the people. I cannot deny the fact that I’m extremely concerned about the political situation in this country. The people have to get involved to make this country a better place for our future generations.

I care for the welfare of my people in Johor as well as the rest of Malaysia. There are some parties that are trying their best to keep me quiet. But being in my position, it is my responsibility to voice out my genuine opinions for the betterment of my beloved state and the nation.

When I voice out my opinions, it is not to create tension with the Federal Government but it is with the intention to work together to make this country a better place. I am not a politician and I do not need votes. I am just a prince who loves his people and whatever I say or do, is for everyone’s well-being.

As my humble advice for the Government, the first step in trying to improve the system is by removing the few ministers who are considered a joke. Our country needs intelligent ministers who can serve the people, not to serve their own pockets. I pray that our political situation in this country and the education system will improve for the benefit of the people…

I vow that I will speak up for the people not to create unnecessary tension but to work together and improve certain areas of weakness, because it is my duty and responsibility as the Crown Prince to serve the people of Johor…


Football should unite the people, not divide them. When you are divided and argue with each other on the social media, you not only let certain individuals run away from issues larger than the country, but also show the weaknesses of the Malay race. It is as if we prefer to kill each other than work together for a common cause. I need to remind all social media pages including those from Johor to respect each other. Do not let ourselves fall into the political games that will divide us and influence our minds.

To all football supporters of Johor and other teams, you must always respect each other and not focus on provocations aimed to divide the people. As someone who loves football, I wish all the best to all the teams in the country. Last but not least, to all my respected and beloved JDT supporters, the difference between me and some of my rivals is that I’m not here for popularity, I’m here to achieve success.–HRH Brigadier General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Crown Prince of Johor 

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Wake Forest University Honours Arnold D. Palmer

January 17, 2016

Wake Forest University Honours Arnold D.Palmer


Arnold D. Palmer (born in 1929) was responsible for making me a golfer with “Go for Broke” golfing style. I started playing golf when I was a graduate student at The George Washington University in 1968-1970. I had the opportunity of meeting him during one of his visits to The White House. My classmate, Guy B. Meeker, who went on to be a very successful Investment banker in New York City,  encouraged me to play the game.  And I have been hooked on the game ever since.


Guy Meeker and I admired (and we  were also inspired by) Arnold Palmer, the handsome and charismatic golfing friend of President Dwight David Eisenhower, who was on the way to being named Player of the Decade for his contributions to the game of golf and American sports.  It  is the indeed appropriate that his alma mater should  honour of this outstanding athlete and pride of Wake Foresters. My rather belated congratulations to the “King”and his family.–Din Merican

Fond Farewell, Jonah Lomu–Rugby’s First Global Superstar.

November 30, 2015

Fond Farewell, Jonah Lomu–Rugby’s First Global Superstar.

The Chairman of World Rugby says Jonah Lomu “will forever be a big part of rugby’s story.”Bernard Lapasset travelled from France to pay tribute to Lomu at an emotional public memorial for the All Black legend today at Eden Park. He was among several rugby identities that delivered moving eulogies for the sport’s fallen star, including former All Black coach John Hart and Eric Rush.

Jonah Lomu's casket as he arrives at Eden Park. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Jonah Lomu’s casket as he arrives at Eden Park. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Mr Hart spoke of Lomu’s prolific sporting talents, but added most of all “you were a lovely, lovely man”. While Mr Rush, who played alongside Lomu in both the All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens side, delivered a humorous speech before breaking down at the end as he farewelled his good friend.

All the speakers addressed Lomu’s wife Nadene, their sons Brayley and Dhyreille and his mother, Hepi and his sisters, acknowledging their grief. Pride and sadness permeated the ten thousand-strong crowd of people young and old that turned out to farewell the All Black legend, who passed away suddenly 12 days ago.

The memorial brought together many members of the sporting community, with the entire Blues rugby squad and Warriors team in attendance to pay tribute to Lomu, along with many of his former teammates from all levels of his rugby career.

The icons of New Zealand sport performed a rousing haka, led by All Black legend Buck Shelford, at the end of the service as Lomu’s casket was carried from the stage and into a waiting hearse.

Former Wallabies George Gregan and Tim Horan made the trip across the Tasman, joining the family, close friends and dignitaries sitting under a canopy next to the stage.

Lomu’s casket was carried through the players tunnel onto Eden Park as members of the Ngati Whatua cultural group performed an emotional haka and powhiri. His pallbearers included former teammates Frank Bunce, Michael Jones, Joeli Vidiri, Dylan Mika and Eroni Clarke, along with Blues captain Jerome Kaino, Warriors star Manu Vatuvei, and Dr John Mayhew.

The body of Jonah Lomu is carried onto the pitch at Eden Park. Photo / Nick Reed

The body of Jonah Lomu is carried onto the pitch at Eden Park. Photo / Nick Reed

The procession was followed by Lomu’s wife, their two children, and his extended family. Mrs Lomu wiped away tears as she and her two sons placed flowers on his casket, pausing to reflect before taking her seat.

Lomu’s father-in-law, Merv Quirk opened the service with a prayer, speaking of “our dearly beloved son, father, wonderful husband and good friend”.John Campbell, who MCed the proceedings, opened by outlining the impact Lomu’s death has had on New Zealand and the world, before turning to Nadene, Dhyreille and Brayley.

“Thank you for sharing your Jonah with us for one last time.

“We all feel loss but the most immense loss is yours.

“Dhyreille and Brayley, these are just some of the people who loved your dad – that’s how amazing he was.”

Jonah Lomu's wife Nadene Lomu with sons Dhyreille and Brayley are supported by her parents at Eden Park. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Jonah Lomu’s wife Nadene Lomu with sons Dhyreille and Brayley are supported by her parents at Eden Park. Photo / Brett Phibbs

Prime Minister John Key, who is currently at a climate summit in France, delivered a video message.

“Everyone recognised Jonah as an outstanding rugby player, but it was his actions off the field that I will remember most fondly,” he said. He spoke of Jonah’s charitable work and his sportsmanship, that saw him last signing autographs for fans and shaking the hand of every last opposing player after the Rugby World Cup final loss in 1995.

Mr Lappaset said Lomu was the game’s first global superstar.

Maori warriors rush across the field as crowds gather at the funeral of Jonah Lomu. Photo / Nick Reed

Maori warriors rush across the field as crowds gather at the funeral of Jonah Lomu. Photo / Nick Reed

“As well as being a giant in the game, he was a giant of the game. He took our sport to a new level of profile.”

“He will forever be a big part of rugby’s story.”

Mr Lapasset made special reference to a message of solidarity Lomu sent to the French people in the days after the Paris terror attack. Former Wesley College principal Chris Grinter, who Lomu described as a “father figure” to him, spoke of the All Black legend’s athletic prowess.

From winning 10 out of 13 events at school athletics to his entrance into the first XV at age 14.

“I saw a troubled young man influenced by his college, challenged by rugby and fuelled by a positive attitude and high expectations of himself.”

He said Lomu turned challenges and adversary “into incredible strength”.

Mr Grinter repeated his final sentiment twice: “Too big, too fast, too much”.

Family spokesman John Hart chronicled Lomu’s meteoric rise from the schoolboy wonder of Mr Grinter’s words to world rugby superstar.

“Power, pace, skill and grace were all part of the gentle giants performance,” he said, listing Lomu’s incredible sporting achievements.

“There has never been a player like Jonah and there will never be another like him.”

Nadene and her two boys say goodbye. Photo / Nick Reed

Nadene and her two boys say goodbye. Photo / Nick Reed

He spoke of Lomu’s kidney disease as “a huge medical handbreak” and gave special mention to Lomu’s doctor, Dr John Mayhew and his “Angel” kidney donor, radio personality Grant Kareama.

“You were a freak on the field and a huge caring giant off it.

“A loving husband, father, son and brother but most of all you were a lovely, lovely man.

“Officially we salute All Black number 941 but to the world you will be known as the All Black who made number 11 his own.”

Mr Rush often laughed and had the crowd in stitches at times as he recalled his friendship with “the beast”.

“He was like two different people. He was such a humble guy and such a beast on the field but off the paddock he was such a humble, respectful, generous man.”

Weaved between jocular tales from rugby tours and trainings, Rush spoke of Lomu’s love for his family.

“I felt sorry for the guy…he was one of the best rugby players in the world but he was also one of the loneliest rugby players in the world too.

“That all changed when Nadene came along and have him his two sons.

It was the first time he saw “real joy” in Lomu’s life, he said.

“Nadene, I’ve been around him a long time and it’s the happiest I’ve ever seen him.”

He also had a very close bond with his mother, said Rush.

“He feared no man but he did fear one person and that was his mum. When his mum said things, he acted.”

In between the speeches, there were several musical tributes.

Students at Mangere’s Favona School – Lomu’s former primary school – performed a specially written song – with upbeat lyrics that told of the pride he instilled his South Auckland community.

“You showed us how to follow our dreams, never give up and just believe.

“You showed us to always give it your all, Favona we will always stand tall.
A message at the end of the video by teacher Heather Harvey, who taught Lomu, also reinforced his “legend” status.

The crowd turned into a sea of waving flags as Adeaze performed You’re the Inspiration. Classical singer Lizzie Marvelly close the proceedings with a rendition of How great thou art, with many of the crowd joining her.It was followed by a rousing haka by the Wesley College Old Boys, before Lomu’s former All Blacks teammates, the Blues, and Warriors followed suit as the casket was carried to a waiting hearse and Lomu passed through the tunnel of Eden Park one last time.

NZ Herald

GOLF: Great News for NIR’s Rory Mcillroy at Dubai

November 23, 2015

Great News for NIR’s Rory Mcillroy  at Dubai

by BBC Sports

DP World Tour Championship: Final leaderboard
-21: R McIlroy (NI) -20: A Sullivan (Eng) -15: B Grace (SA) -13: BH An (S Korea), M Fitzpatrick (Eng), E Grillo (Arg), F Molinari (Ita), C Schwartzel (SA), D Willett (Eng) -12: M Kaymer (Ger), S Kjeldsen (Den), P Reed (US) Selected others: -9: L Donald (Eng) -7: J Rose (Eng) -3: I Poulter (Eng), L Westwood (Eng)
Full leaderboard

Rory McIlroy wins the World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The Northern Irish former World Number one shot a six-under-par final round of 66 to finish on 21 under, one clear of England’s Andy Sullivan.

Victory means 26-year-old McIlroy retains his Race to Dubai title, the third time he has won it in four years. England’s Danny Willett finished tied for fourth in Dubai, and second to McIlroy in the season-long standings.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 2nd hole during the final round of the DP World Tour Championship golf tournament in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

McIlroy said: “It’s the best way to finish 2015 and I can’t wait for next year.”

The four-time major winner carded eight birdies in Sunday’s first 15 holes to open a two-shot lead over Sullivan, only to find the water with his tee shot on the 17th. But McIlroy holed a 30ft putt to salvage a bogey and stay a shot ahead of overnight leader Sullivan.He maintained that advantage down the last to win his fourth title of the year and first since May.

McIlroy missed three tournaments this summer, including the defence of his Open title at St Andrews, because of an ankle injury sustained while playing football.

That meant he needed an exemption to compete in the European Tour’s season finale, having not played in enough events.

McIlroy said 29-year-old Sullivan, who finished eighth in the Race to Dubai, would be an “asset” for Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

“Luckily I came out on top but he’s a fantastic player,” said McIlroy, who added a £822,828 bonus for winning the Race to Dubai to the £934,599 he banked for his World Tour Championship victory.

“He kept holing putt after putt and I just kept chipping away, and thankfully I holed a few good ones of my own coming down the stretch.”


Golf: Cristie Kerr captures CME Group LPGA Tour Championship

November 23, 2015

Cristie Kerr Captures CME Group LPGA Tour Championship

by Amy Rogers.


NAPLES – Cristie Kerr captured the 18th win of her career Sunday at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a share of the 54-hole lead, Kerr posted a final round 4-under, 68 to win by one stroke at 17-under par.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s a lot of different honors,” said Kerr. “That’s what the year-end is about. It feels pretty cool to win the last tournament of the year.”

Players took advantage of the soft course conditions following overnight rain that continued into the morning and delayed the start of play by one hour. But Kerr got off to a slow start, making par on her first eight holes before making back-to-back birdies on the 9th and 10th holes.

“Didn’t seem like a whole lot was going my way early.  All of a sudden at the end, I was there when I needed to be,” Kerr said.

She then drained a 35-footer for birdie at the par 4, 15th to stay in the hunt and move back into a share of the lead with Ha Na Jang at 15-under par.

“I knew that I was leaving putts short and I knew I had to get it there,” Kerr told the media. “When it left my putter and it was going towards the hole, I’ve had so many that were in the heart of the hole that I left a foot short this week.  It just kept going and I was like get there, get there, get there.  It went in and I was like, this was the first bit of momentum I’ve had almost all day.”

It was at the reachable par 5, 17th where Kerr closed out the tournament, draining a long putt for eagle to take the outright lead heading to the final hole. Kerr’s victory is the second of the season, having also won the Kia Classic in March.

Both looking for their first career wins on Tour, Ha Na Jang and Gerina Piller finished T-2 at 16-under par. In contention for much of the day, Lexi Thompson finished fourth at 14-under par.

While Inbee Park and Lydia Ko came up short in winning this week’s event, they both will go home with new hardware. Ko takes home the $1 million dollar Race to the CME Globe for the second consecutive year. She is also the 2015 Player of the Year and tops the money list.

Park captures the Vare Trophy for 2015 with the lowest scoring average for the season. With that she earns the 27th and final point needed to earn her way into the LPGA Hall of Fame. She will be eligible in her 10th active season on the LPGA Tour. This is her ninth season.

Congratulations to New Zealand and The All-Blacks–The World Rugby Champions

November 1. 2015

Congratulations to New Zealand and The All-Blacks and Thank you, Australia for your Grit and Sportsmanship


New Zealand (16) 34 Tries: Milner-Skudder, Nonu, Barrett Cons: Carter 2 Pens: Carter 4 Drop-goal: Carter

Australia (3) 17  Tries: Pocock, Kuridras: Foley 2 Pen: Foley

New Zealand held off a fierce Australian comeback to win a thrilling World Cup final and become the first team to retain their title.

Wonderful tries from Nehe Milner-Skudder and Ma’a Nonu had given the All Blacks a 21-3 lead early in the second half before David Pocock and Tevita Kuridrani struck back.

With 15 minutes to go there were just four points in it, but a nerveless long-distance drop-goal and penalty from Dan Carter snatched back control.

And when replacement Beauden Barrett sprinted away on to Ben Smith’s clearing kick at the death history was made, with New Zealand also becoming the first three-time champions of the world.

Beauden Barrett scores for New Zealand as they beat Australia

Beauden Barrett’s last-gasp try was the icing on the cake for the world champion All Blacks

A fitting farewell

The achievement is a fitting farewell to their phalanx of retiring greats. Carter was outstanding under a ferocious Wallaby assault, landing 19 points from the tee, and his captain Richie McCaw was not far behind as their side was tested to the limit.

They have been the outstanding side of this generation, and once again found a way to win when the heat came on from their great trans-Tasman rivals.

Wins graphic

All Blacks seize control

The All Blacks came out at pace, McCaw smashing opposite number Michael Hooper, Wallabies’ skipper Stephen Moore bloodied in the face and Carter curling over a testing penalty from out wide for 3-0 before Bernard Foley’s simpler effort levelled it up.

Australia were targeting the great fly-half, Scott Sio lucky to escape a yellow card for a late hit and Sekope Kepu giving away a penalty for a high tackle that Carter popped over to retake the lead.

Matt Giteau was next to feel the intensity, clattered trying to tackle Kieran Read and unable to continue with what looked like concussion.

It was often messy and never less than flat-out, New Zealand dominating territory and possession but having to content themselves with a third Carter penalty, this time from way out right.

Then it came, a wonderful team move of magic hands and sweet timing – Conrad Smith finding space down the right, Aaron Smith popping up on his inside, McCaw taking his pass at pace and putting Milner-Skudder in at the corner.

Another perfect kick from Carter added the conversion for 16-3 at half-time and the Wallabies were sinking fast.

Wallaby fightback

Ma'a Nonu scores New Zealand's second try

Ma’a Nonu’s fine try looked to have put the All Blacks out of sight

No team has ever scored so many in the first period of a World Cup final, and the brilliance resumed a minute into the second half.

This time it was Sonny Bill Williams, on for Conrad Smith, who sucked in three defenders before off-loading to Nonu, the wrecking-ball centre careering past the despairing Kurtley Beale and Drew Mitchell on a 40-metre run to the line.

Despite Carter’s missed conversion the All Blacks appeared unstoppable, but when Ben Smith was sin-binned for tip-tackling Mitchell, Australia struck back – driving a maul off the line-out, Pocock at the back for the try, Foley curling over the conversion for 21-10.

Suddenly the men in gold sensed a chance and when Will Genia dinked a kick into the wide spaces in the right-hand corner, Ashley-Cooper was there to feed Kuridrani and send the huge centre away through Carter’s tackle for another splendid score.

Tevita Kuridrani scores Australia's second try

Tevita Kuridrani’s try gave Australia real hope, but New Zealand regained control

With Foley’s conversion sailing over, 14 unanswered points had come in 11 minutes, and a thrilling contest was wide open once again.

Carter would have his revenge. From 40m out he struck the sweetest of drop-goals to extend the lead to 24-17, and then nailed a penalty from just inside the opposition half with seven minutes left.

Australia kept pressing, but when the ball was turned over in the New Zealand 22 Smith kicked clear, Barrett out-paced the despairing Pocock and the party could begin.

Man of the match – Dan Carter

Dan Carter--All Black

After missing the 2011 World Cup final through injury, this was the perfect ending for world rugby’s perfect 10. Carter could not dream of a better finale to his 12-year, 112-cap All Black career, and few would deny him the moment after what he has given the game down the years.

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