Saturday, May 15, 2010


I was having dinner at Lucky Garden Bangsar last night when I noticed that most of my fellow-patrons did not pay much attention to their food. Malaysia was playing China in the Thomas Cup semifinal. Malaysia lost but not for the lack of cheering from fellow-Malaysians. The stadium crowd roared at every shot and every smash. We still lost.
It warms the heart to see that Malaysians cheered for Malaysia. There is hope yet for this country of ours.
A few days before the badminton match, I got hold of "Invictus", a film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood. I thought it was all about Mandela ( played convincingly by Morgan Freeman) but it was not. It was about the Springbok, South Africa's national rugby team. When Mandela became President of South Africa, the Springbok played against England's Roses. The whites cheered for Springbok while the blacks cheered for England. Mandela, who dubbed his country "The Rainbow Nation", noticed this and he set about changing the perception. He succeeded and when Francois Pienaar, the captain of the Springbok was interviewed after they beat Lomu and the NZ All-Blacks, he disagreed that 63,000 South African in the stadium supported the team. He told the interviewer that all 43 million South African were behind him. I hope one day, this would be true of Malaysia too.
Before the BAM prepare for the next Thomas Cup, let me remind everyone of what Muhammad Ali, the great boxing champion once said:
Champions aren't made in gyms,
Champions are made from something
they have deep inside them: a desire,
a dream, a vision. They have to have
last-minute stamina, they have to be
a little faster.They have to have the skill
and the will . But the will must be stronger
than the skill.