Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When fans are forced to take a backseat

I went through the agony of watching in embarassment from the National Stadium stands in 2001, when right after Manchester United thrashed Malaysia 6-0 and the referee blew the final whistle, a mob of Malaysian players fought off each other in pursuit of David Beckham for his jersey.
I remember very clearly how ex-colleague Sheridan Mahavera and myself were left dumbfounded by the players' antics. It was as if they'd just went on the pitch to buy time for 90 minutes before going for what they really wanted.
I would have never imagined something similar happening within the super safe confines of the Sepang Circuit. But eight years on, it did. Right after the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
I was cursing the marshalls who just lost themselves, their professionalism, everything that came with those orange outfits they wore during arguably what was otherwise the most successful ever edition of the Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix hosted by Sepang.
A number of photographers had briefed us of what exactly transpired and it was quite an embarassment on the part of us all as hosts.
The photographers had gathered along with members of Rossi's official fans club, most of whom had flown in from Italy in anticipation of his ninth world title victory celebrations. And Rossi gave them what they came for.
As usual, there'd be Rossi's signature trackside ritual with his fans on his victory lap. This time the fan club came in t-shirts with the number nine emblazoned on their sleeves. They also brought a hen, along with a mock egg with the number nine on it, to symbolise his number of world titles and the saying that an old hen doesn't lay eggs and it's only good to be eaten.
So, the photographers made a deal with the fan club, to follow them and snap away as they performed the rituals. Prior to Rossi's arrival on the scene, the marshals, medics and service crew personnel stood guard, still like professionals, not allowing anyone onto the track.
But then, when Rossi finally arrived.....

Well, now we know why the marshals stood guard and protected Rossi's fan club and photographers, who were there to do their job, from any untoward incident. It was obviously because they wanted Rossi for themselves first.

Sepang International Circuit did a fantastic job of selling the race this time around. This scene was aired live on television throughout the world. And we can't blame SIC for this incident because it was beyond their control.

But the whole world saw how we had jakuns for marshals.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Equaliser


Stumbled upon this banner along the roadside near Kelab Golf Negara Subang tonight.
Following the mass poster wars between Ah Longs or money lenders (both licenced and unlicenced), that have coloured lamp posts, sidewalks, bus stops, pillars and public toilets around the country, this comes as a breath of fresh air.
Now, you not only have a chance to get those fast loans whenever you require, you can also depend on these yet-to-be-nicknamed entities who provide recovery services for your convenience. This is an equaliser.
Imagine the possibilities and opportunities this brings to all of you. Not only will this be an industry that lives off Ah Longs, who will generate the demand for freelance debt collection services, this will provide a sense of stability within the Ah Long industry.
Ah Longs themselves will no longer have to be the tough, armed-and-dangerous characters they've always been presumed to be.
With this kind of service just a phone call away, all those makciks with extra cash and the will to invest in the fast loan business can now sleep with a little peace of mind knowing that there's someone who can take care of unscrupulous borrowers.
If Air Asia can thrive, so can this. Soon we can probably do anything we want!