Manny2a

FACE OF THE CHAMPION

Manny ‘Pac-Man’ Pacquiao raises his hands in triumph after knocking out Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur to be crowned World Boxing Association welterweight champion at the age of 39. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

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Hodak’s boys inspired for World Cup

PETALING JAYA — Striker Hadi Fayyadh, emboldened with a taste of international success from Malaysia’s first AFF Under-19 title on Saturday, believes the feat should propel the country’s goal to eventually qualify for the World Cup.

Malaysia secured their maiden Under-19 title after beating Myanmar 4-3 in the final in Indonesia.

“The title is truly meaningful to us as this is our first international title, having failed in five previous finals,” said Hadi, 18, yesterday.

“It’s an incredible feeling and I’m confident we can go far. Qualifying for the World Cup is possible, some day.”

The victory is a boost for Hodak’s side ahead of the AFC Under-19 Championship, also to be held in Indonesia, in October.

“Our next objective is to qualify for the AFC semifinals but we need to overcome some weaknesses to achieve that,” added Hadi.

Meanwhile, newly elected FA of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Amin announced the appointment of Stuart Michael Ramalingam as general secretary yesterday.

Stuart, 41, was Hamidin’s preferred choice due to his experience in football administration for a decade with local and international organisations, including world governing body Fifa and Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

He was Fifa’s “professionalisation consultant” in 2008 and also had stints as AFC Club Championship Director as well as their head of marketing and social responsibility.

He served as chief executive officer of Malaysian Super League (MSL) in 2010.

“With his wide experience at Fifa, AFC and FAM and other global sports agencies, Stuart is seen as the most suitable candidate to become general secretary,” said Hamidin.

“I sincerely hope he can carry out his duties with the utmost professionalism and in order to grow the sport in the country.”

Stuart begins his duties at Wisma FAM today. — By Wan Noriza Meor Idris

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VIVE LA FRANCE!

TWENTY years ago today, well nearly — France beat defending champions Brazil 3-0 to claim the World Cup for the first time on July 12, 1998, two days before Bastille Day. Les Bleus won the trophy a second time yesterday.

Kerber reborn after 2017 misery

FORMER world No 1 Angelique Kerber said her Wimbledon triumph on Saturday would not have been possible without experiencing the lows of last year’s slide down the rankings.

The 30-year-old produced a superb display to beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 and become the first German since Steffi Graf in 1996 to lift the Venus Rosewater Dish on Centre Court.

Kerber also beat Williams in the 2016 Australian Open final and is the only player, apart from Serena’s older sister Venus, to beat her twice in a Grand Slam final.

She also won the US Open in 2016 and lost to Serena in the Wimbledon final, rising to No 1 in the WTA rankings.

The lefthander struggled to deal with the added focus last year, though, when she failed to win a title and slid from No 1 to 21 in the rankings.

It was a time for soul searching but the experience made her stronger and she has rebounded in style, reaching the Australian Open final and the quarterfinals at Roland Garros.

“I think without 2017 I couldn’t win this tournament,” Kerber, who will rise back to world No 4, told reporters.

“I think I learned a lot from last year, with all the expectation, all the things I go through. I learned so many things about myself.

“I also needed to find the motivation after 2016, which was amazing. To make again such a year is impossible. But I just tried to improve my game, not think too much about the results.”

Meanwhile, Williams said the latest chapter in her tennis life was “just beginning” after seeing her hopes of a record-equalling 24th Grand Slam title dashed by Kerber.

It also stopped her joining Court, Evonne Goolagong and Kim Clijsters as the only mothers to win Grand Slam titles in the professional era.

Williams only gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia 10 months ago, and while she looked close to her best at times throughout the fortnight, she could not find her A game against the German.

“I feel like I have a ways to go,” Williams said. “This is literally just the beginning, literally just the beginning.

“I didn’t know a couple of months ago where I was, where I would be, how I would do, how I would be able to come back. It was such a long way to see light at the end of the road.

“I think these two weeks have really showed me that I can compete. Obviously I can compete for the long run in a Grand Slam. I can come out and be a contender to win Grand Slams.” — Reuters

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Remarkable return

NOVAK DJOKOVIC raced to a fourth Wimbledon title and 13th career Grand Slam crown yesterday when he defeated a battling but exhausted Kevin Anderson 6-2, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3).

World No 21 Djokovic added the 2018 title to his wins in 2011, 2014 and 2015 as he became the lowest-ranked champion since Goran Ivanisevic in 2001 — ending a two-year Grand Slam title drought.

It also took his Slam total to within one of Pete Sampras and just four behind the 17 of Rafael Nadal who he defeated in the semifinals.

Anderson, bidding to become the first South African to win the men’s title, had spent 21 hours on court to reach his first Wimbledon final and his tank appeared to be empty in the opening two sets as a clinical Djokovic dominated.

Having arrived in the final with 172 aces to his name, Anderson managed just 10 yesterday.

He also failed to convert any of his seven break points.

Djokovic, who had been required to finish his epic semifinal with Rafael Nadal on Saturday, lost some intensity at times in the third set and saved five set points as Anderson hinted at an improbable comeback.

Djokovic, who had suffered a dip in form and fitness in the past two years and was seeded only 12th for the championships, made only 13 unforced errors in the final as he offered more evidence that he is back to his best.

“It feels amazing because for the first time in my life I have someone screaming ‘Daddy Daddy’,“ Djokovic said on court as he cradled the trophy with son Stefan having joined the rest of his family and entourage.

“This was my first Grand Slam final for a couple of years and there is no better place to make a comeback.

“Congratulations to Kevin, he has had an incredible run.” — Agencies

PM confirms ex-judge Ariff as speaker nominee

KUCHING — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday confirmed that former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof will be nominated to be the speaker of the Dewan Rakyat when the first meeting of the first session of the 14th Parliament convenes today.

Asked by reporters if there was a candidate for the speaker’s post, Dr Mahathir said: “We have already. It will be announced soon. He is an ex-judge. Yes, he is Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof.”

Earlier, Dr Mahathir attended a closed-door briefing on the development of Sarawak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg and the state Cabinet ministers were also present.

An English language news portal reported that Mohamad Ariff confirmed he will be attending the new Dewan Rakyat session today, but said he is not yet the speaker.

He clarified that he is only a nominee and that the MPs in the lower House will still have to take a vote to decide if he will be appointed.

“I have not been appointed, only nominated. I am an outsider. We will see what happens tomorrow (Monday),” he was quoted as saying.

Others shortlisted previously include another former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamuddin Yunus and PKR lawmaker Datuk Seri Johari Abdul.

Johari, who is both the Sungai Petani MP and Gurun assemblyman, later bowed out of the selection. The constitution states that the speaker must not hold any state assembly role.

The first session of the 14th Parliament is highly anticipated as it will be the first time the Barisan Nasional — now left with its original three founding parties of Umno, MIC and MCA — will occupy the seats for the Opposition, along with PAS and Sarawak’s ruling parties.

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Impartial and well versed in law and commerce

KUALA LUMPUR — Former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, who is the Pakatan Harapan’s choice for the ninth speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, is well versed in commercial law, banking, securities, arbitration, constitutional and administrative law.

Mohamad Ariff, 69, from Sungai Petani, Kedah, who graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from University of London (London School of Economics), started his career in 1974 as a law lecturer before becoming an associate professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Malaya.

The father of five left the academic world in 1986 when he ventured into legal practice as an advocate and solicitor, and was one of the founding partners of Cheang & Ariff.

From 1993 to 1995, Mohamad Ariff took leave from legal practice to join the then newly formed Securities Commission of Malaysia, and became its first Market Supervision Department director.

During his foray into the world of commerce, Mohamad Ariff also served as director of the Kuala Lumpur Options and Futures Exchange (1995-1996), member of the Rating Review Committee of the Malaysian Rating Agency (until 2008) and member of advisory board, Companies Commission Malaysia Training Academy (2007-2008).

Mohamad Ariff’s career in the judiciary came in September 2008 when he was appointed a judicial commissioner of the High Court of Malaya, and within a year, he was appointed a High Court judge, in October 2009.

In September 2012, he became a judge of the Court of Appeal before returning to Cheang & Ariff as a consultant after his retirement from the judiciary in early 2015. He had also been a member of the Judicial Academy, Judicial Appointments Commission (2012- January 2015).

Mohamad Ariff is not known as an active participant in politics though he is now a member of Parti Amanah Negara.

During his days in the judiciary, he displayed great sense of impartiality. He even recused himself as the judge in the Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin vs Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir case in 2009 during the Perak constitutional crisis.

He withdrew himself on the grounds that during his days in private practice he had represented PAS in several election petitions, as well as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in several matters, besides representing the Barisan Nasional in election petitions in Sarawak.

One of the prominent cases he handled during his days with the Court of Appeal was on the open verdict relating to the death of Teoh Beng Hock, a political aide to a DAP assemblyman, while being questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

The three-man panel he led overturned the open verdict and ruled that the death resulted from an unlawful act by a person or persons unknown, and called for a further probe into the death.
— Bernama

Kit Siang: Appointment will make Parliament world class

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia will have a “world class” Parliament if Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof is voted in as Dewan Rakyat speaker today, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said.

Lim, the Iskandar Puteri MP, welcomed the retired judge for the role, saying the Pakatan Harapan’s electoral pledges for reform in lawmaking will be delivered under Mohamad Ariff’s watch.

“I have no doubt that with the new speaker of Parliament, Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, the 14th Parliament can fulfil its promise and potential to be a world class Parliament for reform and innovation.

“Under Ariff, Malaysians will have a Parliament they can feel proud (of), a Parliament which understands the Dream of all Malaysians and not one which is like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouth that speaks not,” he said in a statement, taking a swipe at the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Lim also lashed out at former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who he accused of perpetuating toxic politics despite leading the BN to its biggest defeat in the 14th general election.

He claimed Najib and the Umno leadership have not shown any contrition or remorse since losing the elections, but continued to use race, religion, hatred and lies to spread fear and divide the multi-ethnic, multi-religious populace.

Lim dared the other BN leaders to “stand up to Najib and others of his ilk”.

“Is there any Umno MP who is prepared to break ranks in the 14th Parliament and apologise for these two toxic Najib legacies?” he asked.

“Will the MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong do it; will the new MIC president direct the two MIC MPs to do it?”

Wee is the sole MCA leader to keep his parliamentary seat in the May 9 general election, while MIC kept two federal seats.

Kula pushes for press freedom in Parliament

IPOH — One of the first things the new Dewan Rakyat speaker must do when he is sworn in is to allow journalists back into the Parliament lobby, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said.

He said previous speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin had banished media personnel to a room on a lower floor that had been decribed as a “dungeon” by some reporters.

“This ruling was in line with the former BN government rule which prevented the truth of many issues from surfacing,” Kulasegaran, the Ipoh Barat MP, said in a statement yesterday.

“Just look at the amount of debt the new government is dealing with and you will get my point.

“The new Dewan Rakyat speaker needs to review this and allow reporters the freedom to roam the lobby to interview MPs and ministers, which will be in line with the new government’s assurance to uphold democracy.”

Kulasegaran also called for the new speaker to end any restriction that prevents the freedom of the press.

To ensure decorum, the speaker can just tell journalists to follow the existing rules and regulations, he said.

Media groups should also have the chance to give their input before any decision or law is made concerning them.

“The media and its personnel should be consulted through discussions and even town hall sessions,” he said.

Kulasegaran also suggested the press be allowed to use the minister’s press conference room to conduct interviews.

He said this was part of the sweeping political changes Malaysians voted for to put the country back together after what he called the “disastrous mismanagement of the Datuk Seri Najib Razak-led BN rule”.

“Malaysians voted for change, some big and some small,” he said.

“I want to see Malaysia’s press freedom improve and to voice out against crackdowns of journalists.”

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Dr M tells Sarawak: Tap potential of rivers

KUCHING — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad proposed that Sarawak harness its rivers as best as possible, saying these assets have great potential to provide benefit for the people.

Dr Mahathir said rivers could serve as a means of transportation and they could also be utilised to generate power.

Sarawak boasts many big and long rivers.

“Land is still big in Sarawak because the population is quite small. By comparison to the river, development of land is now subject to environmental considerations. But with rivers, we can come up with many things — transportation, generation of power,” he told reporters after attending a briefing on the development of Sarawak at Wisma Bapa Malaysia in Petra Jaya yesterday.

“From the briefing that was given to me, I see the potential for Sarawak’s growth. Much depends on how we make use of the assets.”

The briefing, lasting about 45 minutes, was given by Sarawak State Secretary Tan Sri Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani. Also present were Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and state Cabinet ministers.

After the briefing, Dr Mahathir was presented with a cake in conjunction with his 93rd birthday last Tuesday.

Elaborating on the briefing, Dr Mahathir said he was also informed about foreign investment in Sarawak.

“I learned that development is not restricted to Kuching. Industries have also come up in other areas and there has been much foreign investment. I am sure the foreign investment can be stepped up,” he said.

Asked about the relationship between the federal government and Sarawak, Dr Mahathir said there was good cooperation between the two governments.

“We have already met several times, and we find that there is good cooperation between the federal and Sarawak governments,” he said. — Bernama

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