Updated: The Malaysian National Football Team lost the World Cup Qualifier matches against Singapore on 28 July with a 6-4 aggregate after losing 5-3 on 23 July in their first round clash. So much for the AFF Champions.
PM Najib surprised the entire Malaysia when he declared Friday 31st December 2010 a public holiday.
The reason – the Malaysian football team won the Suzuki AFF Cup 2010. Yes, kudos to our boys who finally found a way to win a tournament.
Did you know that AFF stands for Asean Football Federation? Yes, it’s not Asian and we won a small cup against many minnows of the footballing world. This is not putting down Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore who ranks respectable but so what that Malaysia beat our friendly neighbors in this AFF Cup? It’s like winning gold at the SEA Games. Will Najib announce another public holiday if we won gold in football at the SEA Games?
I know for a fact that Malaysia will win many gold medals in the SEA Games. In fact, we won many gold medals in the recently concluded Asian Games. That placed us at Asia class level but we didn’t get any public holiday announcement.
Winning at the Asean level hardly justifies a public holiday. Even winning at the Asian level should not. These are nevertheless major milestones towards being the best in the world. Winning the world cup at football, yes, we must announce a public holiday!
But we only won the Asean Football Federation cup for goodness sake!
What does this say for Nicol David being World Champion for the 5th time on 30 September 2010. This is what greatness means to Malaysia when The Star reported (read here):
Today, she is widely considered as one of the greatest squash players of all time and she can achieve squash immortality in 2011 by becoming the first woman to capture six world titles since the inaugural tournament in 1976. [emphasis mine]
Do you see this said about our Malaysian football team? Even after winning the Suzuki AFF Cup 2010? It seems that all our world class teams and sportsmen/women who have won gold medals at world competition mean nothing to PM Najib. I purposely watched the reply on TV and my reaction was that the match was not impressive at all. That’s because they were not play at world class level, just Asean class.
By announcing a public holiday on the Friday right before the start of a new school term and also the last financial day of the year as well as a party celebration day, PM Najib had inadvertently messed up the lives of many working people as well as businesses across the country.
Businesses are rushing to close their last sale, finish the last job, and suddenly, contracts will not be signed and many will miss the sales targets and financial year numbers.
Factories and the service industries suddenly have to pay double and triple because it is a public holiday and budgets are out of whack! Their cost of doing business just got “screwed” so to speak and instead of making a profit, they may be looking at a loss.
Parents taking their children to orientation at the schools had half of them turned away because many schools decided not to open.
Patients having appointments at clinics at Government hospitals had them cancelled, even after travelling long distances and after having to wait a long time for these appointments to be confirmed.
Thanks to PM Najib. A well intention turned sour for many Malaysians and we will always remember him and this fateful public holiday.
We are all expecting a public holiday when Malaysia wins the gold medals at the next SEA Games in Palembang and Jakarta, Indonesia. Let’s go cheer our boys and hope they win us a public holiday again!