Teluk Bahang hit by worst floods in four years

GEORGE TOWN — Life came to a halt for some 1,000 residents of Teluk Bahang yesterday after flood waters inundated their homes following a downpour from Sunday evening.

Residents of Kampung Teluk Awak, Kampung Nelayan and Desa Marina claim it was one of the worst floods in the last four years.

They said rain pounded Teluk Bahang from 9.15pm on Sunday, lasting about 15 hours.

As flood waters started to rise at about 1.30pm, villagers moved their vehicles to higher land. The flood was about waist deep at its peak before subsiding from about 4pm.

More than 20 firemen from two fire stations were deployed to the area with several four-wheel drive vehicles and boats to evacuate the affected residents.

A spokesman for the Teluk Bahang Fire and Rescue Department said the continuous downpour was the cause of the floods.

“But we also do not rule out the possibility that it might be because of the condition of the drain and water could not run off efficiently,” he said.

Teluk Bahang village committee chairman Zainudin Yusoff said it was the first time Desa Marina was flooded.

“This is also the third time the floods happened at Kampung Nelayan after 1969 and 2012,” he said.

“The people here were cooperating well with the authorities in moving the affected villagers to the nearby Penang Island City Council (MBPP) multipurpose hall.”

Another resident, Iskandar Hassan, 43, said the water had covered the road quickly.

“I don’t dare to imagine what could happen if the rain continues until later in the evening (yesterday). Thankfully, the firemen were here quickly to help us,” he said.

Lim Theng Fat, 49, said his house was flooded from 2pm and he had to leave it in a hurry as the water was rising very fast.

“In a way, I am glad my family is not here when this happened. My wife and our three children went to my in law’s house in George Town,” he said.

Local government, flood mitigation and traffic management committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said rainfall of 190mm was recorded in Teluk Bahang, causing the flash floods.

He said the floods were also due to the high tide and the river near Kampung Teluk Awak bursting its banks.

Teluk Bahang assemblyman Datuk Shah Headan Ayoob Hussain Shah said hill clearing near the villages could also have caused the flash floods.

“Whether the land clearing is legal or illegal, it could have contributed to the floods,” he said.

Other low-lying areas affected by the floods yesterday were Relau, Bayan Lepas, Batu Maung and Sungai Tiram.

Air passengers get feet wet

GEORGE TOWN — Many passengers were believed to have missed their flights as they could not make it to the Bayan Lepas International Airport because of massive traffic jams in the southern part of the island.

Flight passengers were welcomed by a “watery floor” when they stepped out of the arrival hall on the ground floor of the airport. A spokesman from the airport said heavy rain started to fall at 3pm and it only subsided several hours later.

He said the rainfall in the airport area was 60mm at 3pm, 80mm at 4pm and 69mm at 5pm. He added that the flash flood caused a massive traffic jam from the roundabout near the airport and the service road to the terminal.

A total of 10 inbound flights and four departures were delayed due to the heavy rain and strong winds.

Over the past few years, there were several incidents of flooding at the arrival hall and the vehicles waiting area of the airport. This prompted the airport authorities to construct a drainage system that would pump excess water from the airport.

The drainage system was unveiled to the press a few months ago.

Batu Ferringhi hotels unaffected by deluge

GEORGE TOWN — The tourist belt in Batu Feringghi was spared the floods that hit Teluk Bahang although it was just a kilometre away from the closest hotel.

Bayview Beach Resort general manager Lawrence Perera said although it had been raining heavily since Sunday night only Teluk Bahang was affected.

“I came to know from several of my staff living in Teluk Bahang that water started to rise at about noon but subsided several hours later,” he said.

“Several vehicles and motorbikes were half submerged in the rising water.”

Perera said there were no cancellations of bookings and reservations.

According to the marketing and communications manager of Hard Rock Hotel Resort, Angeline Chen, the waters in Sungai Batu Feringghi rose but did not overflow to cause inconvenience to the tourists.

“We are relieved the flash floods did not affect our guests and everything is normal here.” she said.

Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH Penang chapter) chairman, Khoo Boo Lim confirmed that none of the Batu Ferringhi hotels was affected during the heavy rain.

“We are thankful the flash floods did not affect Batu Ferringhi hotels and the situation is normal except for the intermittent rain,” said Khoo, who is also the manager of Lone Pine Hotel here.

Luke who’s back

LONDON — Manchester United defender Luke Shaw said he did not have the words to describe how it felt to return to action 10 months after suffering a horrific double leg break.

England leftback Shaw sustained the injury against PSV Eindhoven in a Champions League group fixture and has not played since.

United took on Wigan in their first pre-season friendly this afternoon, and Shaw was named in the starting XI for Jose Mourinho’s maiden game in charge of the Red Devils.

He played the first 45 minutes of the 2-0 victory, which was secured thanks to strikes from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira.

Shaw tweeted: “Can’t describe how I felt today (Saturday) being back out on the pitch again.

“Thank you to all the fans for the support I received.”

Mourinho said he was pleased with his players after the match, and thought they were starting to buy into his way of thinking.

“The result obviously is not the most important thing, but is important,” Mourinho told MUTV. “I’m happy with things that we tried in training.

“Some principles of our play defensively and offensively, that we work on in training and I could see them there.

“Obviously not in a perfect way the condition is not the best 10 days of training sessions, accumulation of fatigue, no sharpness, this takes time but i could see different things.

“They start thinking of football in the way I think and that pleased me. Everybody played and everybody had a positive performance. I’m happy.”

Separately, Jesse Lingard is in talks over a new £40,000 (RM210,259 )-a-week Manchester United deal.

The 23-year-old Old Trafford winger was earmarked for a contract upgrade at the end of last season but with the sack hanging over former boss Louis van Gaal, negotiations were put on hold.

Now, though, talks have resumed after Mourinho was consulted over the process and gave the green light for Lingard’s
new deal.

It’s believed Premier League clubs including Tottenham, Everton and West Ham showed interest in Lingard.

But while Lingard is in, defender Marcos Rojo could be on his way back to Spain.

Villarreal have made an enquiry about the defender, whose future is in doubt.

The Yellow Submarine are interested in signing the versatile Argentina international who can play at centreback and leftback.

Villarreal will attempt to sign the 26-year-old on loan if United hold out for the £16 million(RM84.1 million) they paid Sporting Lisbon two years ago. — Daily Mirror

West Brom are next Chinese takeaway

LONDON — West Bromwich Albion will become the latest Premier League club to fall into foreign hands in the next fortnight.

Owner Jeremy Peace is “close” to sealing a £150 million (RM789 million) deal for the Baggies as he brings to an end a process that has been on-going for the past two years.

The newcomers are reportedly monied Chinese — and will have significant cash to spend on a club that has been prudently run since the out-going chairman assumed control 15 years ago.

Peace himself is set to quit with chief executive Mark Jenkins likely to follow. It is understood sporting director Richard Garlick could move into a boardroom position to help smooth the transition.

At present, exact details are difficult to glean with the Baggies’ hierarchy determined to keep as much information as possible under wraps.

However, even though it is relatively late in the summer to complete a handover, West Brom have been finalising their arrangements for
several weeks.

They have been to sanctioning a deal with investors from the Far East before. But a source said: “You’ll be able to measure their wealth in billions, not millions.”

Rumous have been circulating the Black Country for some time that Wang Jianlin — China’s richest man — has been looking to build up a stake in an English club.

He already has a 20 per cent interest in Atletico Madrid and a move into the Premier League would be the logical next step.

West Brom chief Tony Pulis has been relatively quiet in the transfer market so far, adding only Matt Phillips from QPR to his squad, along with re-signing James Morrison (pic), who was able to quit the club on a free transfer.

It fits with negotiations taking place in the background as Peace — along with Spurs’ Daniel Levy — is possibly one of the most hard-nosed owners in the top-flight has been keeping his cash close to his chest in case of a possible exit. — Daily Mirror

‘Retired’ Zafuan hints of return

PETALING JAYA — Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) star Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak, who surprised football fans last week by announcing he had quit the national team, hinted yesterday of a change of heart.

Zafuan has won 68 international caps since making his debut in 2007 and said although he has quit the national team, his heart is 100 per cent with JDT.

The 29-year-old defender said he wanted to “rest” and declined to reveal the reasons that caused him and three of his JDT teammates to announce near simultaneous retirements from Harimau Malaysia.

The three are Safiq, S Kunanlan, both 29, and Amirulhadi Zainal, 30.

Last Tuesday, Zafuan announced his retirement in a statement posted on the Facebook page of Johor Southern Tigers.

National team captain Safiq Rahim made his announcement an hour after Zafuan. Both players said they wanted to make way for new blood.

Two days later, Kunanlan and Amirulhadi proceeded to announce they too were quitting the national team, and chose the same social media outlet to put across their decision.

Inevitably, speculation arose the quartet were coerced into quitting because Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has issues with those running FA of Malaysia (FAM) and national coach Datuk Ong
Kim Swee.

Tunku Ismail, who owns JDT, has been critical of FAM, the latest spark for his ire being several JDT players reportedly returned from national duty in poor physical condition.

“I have not been pushed by the Crown Prince or anyone,” said Zafuan about speculation he quit the national team at the behest of Tunku Ismail.

“It’s my own decision that I’ve been thinking of since early this year.

“I’ve even discussed it with my family. However, I do not reject any circumstances I might rejoin the national team one day,” he hinted.

As of now, the door is closed as he said he cannot give full commitment to the team as his heart does not belong there.

“It’s a waste of time to stick with something you’re not in love with,” he explained.

Zafuan also refused to comment on rumours several senior players from other teams were not happy with Kim Swee’s training methods during the recent tour of Oceania which resulted in a 2-0 loss to Papua New Guinea, a 2-1 victory over New Caledonia and a 1-1 draw with Fiji.

On Saturday, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin revealed he had a heart-to-heart talk with Tunku Ismail and confirmed the prince had not influenced any of his players to quit Harimau Malaysia.

Khairy said Tunku Ismail is in fact hoping Kim Swee would call up younger JDT players such as Brendan Gan and Junior Eldstal.

Panthers hope to roar after rare win

GEORGE TOWN — Despite an inspiring performance away to T-Team in a Super League match on Saturday, Penang were urged to keep their feet on the ground until they are out of the bottom.

Chief executive officer Bojan Hodak said the Panthers who triumphed 4-3 had shown glimpses of good play but there was still room for improvement, especially in defence.

“It is a great win and we are happy the new foreign signings made an instant impact even though they were just here early last week but bear in mind we are still at the bottom,” said Hodak.

“We would want to build on this win as the competition will get tougher.”

Nigerian Ranti Martins and South Korean Jeong Seok-min stole the show by scoring two goals each.

The team held for their first away win in the Super League this season.

The victory was only their second in the league, their first a home win against Pahang.

Hodak is banking on a packed stadium for their next match against last season’s runners-up Selangor who are third.

In the away clash, Selangor won 1-0.

“The support from the fans is crucial as a motivation for our side,” said Hodak.

“They can give that extra energy which would help us win on Saturday.

“The home crowd is our 12th player and I hope the support will be bigger than before,” he said.

Penang are still rockbottom with only 10 points from 13 matches in the Super League and only two points separate the
bottom four.

There are nine matches left and Penang are confident they can pick up enough points to remain in the top tier.
— By Mohamed Basyir

Negativity is unfair, says downcast Spieth

TROON — Twice Major winner Jordan Spieth suggested the critics were being “unfair” to him and urged everyone to be less negative about his performances after returning a one-over 72 in the British Open third round on Saturday.

The young American enjoyed a remarkable season last year, landing the US Masters and US Open crowns as he surged to the top of the world rankings.

The golfing gods have not been so kind to Spieth this year, though he did win the Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in January and the Colonial Invitational in his native Texas in May.

The 22-year-old suffered a late meltdown at the Masters in April, squandering a five-shot lead over the closing nine holes.

“It’s been tough given it’s been a solid year. Had last year not happened, I’d be having a lot of positive questions,” Spieth said.

“Instead, most of the questions I get are comparing (my performances) to last year and, therefore, are negative because it’s not to the same standard.

“That’s almost tough to then convince myself I’m having a good year when, even if you guys think it is (good), the questions I get make me feel like it’s not,” said Spieth.

Spieth wielded his putter last year like a magician waves his wand but this season his form on the greens has dipped and that has been the story at Troon.

“I’ve been hitting the ball great, I’m just really struggling on the greens this week,” he said.

Spieth made a fast start on Saturday with four birdies in the first seven holes but the gusty 20mph winds began to affect him and he dropped five strokes in seven holes to the 15th.

Separately, fellow American Phil Mickelson is still dreaming of becoming the oldest winner of the British Open in the modern era despite describing his third-round performance as “terrible”, “awful” and “jumpy”.

The 46-year-old American started the day at the top of the leaderboard with a one-stroke advantage over playing partner Henrik Stenson but ended it one behind the Swede after returning a one-under 70 for an 11-under aggregate of 202.

“The game of golf, it just comes and goes,” Mickelson said. “Some days it’s easy and it looks pretty … some days it’s hard and it looks terrible. I didn’t have my best stuff. I was a little bit jumpy and my rhythm wasn’t very good.”

Mickelson, aiming to become the oldest Open champion since Tom Morris senior won at the age of 46 in 1867, illustrated what he meant by offering a wayward two-iron off the tee at the 12th that finished just short of a gorse bush as an example of his in-and-out display. — Reuters

Hyo-joo enjoys outscoring Ko

SYLVANIA — Kim Hyo-joo (pic), held off world No 1 Lydia Ko in a fun duel with a burst of birdies that carried her to a seven-under 64 for a three-shot lead after three rounds of the Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Ohio on Saturday.

Hyo-joo, who began the round tied for the lead with 19-year-old Ko, edged in front with a birdie at the fifth before the pair matched three birdies in a row from the seventh at Highland Meadows.

“She’s younger than me, but I learned a lot of things playing with her and I had so much fun,” said Hyo-joo. “I didn’t feel much pressure, I just enjoyed it with Lydia Ko.”

Hyo-joo also seemed to get a kick out of their rousing finish to the front nine, but the fun ride ended there for Ko, as Hyo-joo birdied the 10th for her fourth in a row and made two more at 14 and 17 in a bogey-free round that took her to 15-under 198.

Ko birdied 17 as well and looked like she might close the gap to two shots when she faced a three-foot birdie putt at the last, which she lipped out to remain three back at 201 along with 21-year-old American Alison Lee, who posted a 66.

“I let one — it was a very dumb one — slip on the last hole,” said Ko, whose birdie putt caught the left edge and spun out.

“There were so many putts that were so close but didn’t end up falling, so hopefully a few more fall.”

Still in striking range another shot back at 11-under were American Stacy Lewis (65) and Thai Ariya Jatanugarn (66).

American Brittany Lang, winner of last week’s US Women’s Open, slipped nine behind with a 68. — Reuters

Doping report threatens unity

PARIS — The Olympic movement faces division in a critical week ahead of the Rio Games with a report today to set out whether Russia manipulated doping samples, followed quickly by a sports tribunal verdict on 68 Russian athletes demanding to compete
in Rio.

A World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) decision on whether to let the Rio doping laboratory reopen could also hamper International Olympic Committee (IOC) preparations.

“It’s an incredibly important week that could crack the unity built up on doping,” an international sports federation president who is also a senior IOC member said.

A report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren has caused divisions before it is even released in Toronto with the United States and Canada leading calls for a potential complete ban on Russia from the Rio Games which start on Aug 5.

McLaren has carried out an independent investigation for Wada of allegations made by former Moscow doping laboratory director Grigory Rodchenkov that even Russian secret services took part in an operation to manipulate Russian doping samples at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

The Canadian investigator said last month the early results of his work had found “credible and verifiable” evidence to back the allegations made to the New York Times by Rodchenkov who is now in hiding in the United States. He is wanted by the Russian authorities who have strongly denied any state role in doping.

Paul Melia, president of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, which carries out anti-doping efforts in Canada, said countries must be ready to ban Russia completely from Rio if the McLaren report confirms the Rodchenkov allegations.

Melia said in a blog the report “could paint an unprecedented picture of state-supported corruption and subversion of the anti-doping system” in Russia.

“If the report confirms the Rodchenkov allegations, then IOC will have no choice but to ban all Russian athletes from this summer’s Olympic Summer Games in Rio,” Melia wrote.

“It must be the same consequence for the Russian contingent at the Paralympics in September.”

European Olympic Committees president Patrick Hickey said he was “shocked”, however, by US and Canadian efforts to press for a ban before the McLaren report is even released.

Hickey said Beckie Scott, the Canadian chairman of the Wada athletes commission and an IOC member, had sent out an email appeal to back a letter from the US and Canadian anti-doping agencies to IOC president Thomas Bach.

“This letter calls upon the IOC to instigate a wholesale ban of the Russian Olympic Committee team in Rio 2016,” according
to Hickey.

“My concern is that there seems to have been an attempt to agree an outcome before any evidence has been presented,”
Hickey said.

“Such interference and calls ahead of the McLaren Report publication are totally against internationally recognised fair legal process and may have completely undermined the integrity and therefore the credibility of this important report.

“It is clear from the email and letter that both the independence and the confidentiality of the report have been compromised,”
he argued.

“Any proposal for a blanket Russian ban would cause a major split within the IOC,” the international federation president commented on condition of anonymity.

Despite Hickey’s comments, some European countries are known to support a ban. IOC president Thomas Bach only said last week the Olympic movement would wait for the report before making a decision.

Russia are already barred from international athletics by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). But the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) could rule as early as tomorrow on an appeal by 68 Russian athletes who say they should be allowed to compete in Rio.

The IAAF has said only long jump athlete Darya Klishina could compete in Rio, and then under a neutral flag. Bach said last week Klishina should be allowed to take part under the Russian flag.

Pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva is among the 68 hoping for a last-minute ticket to Rio from CAS.

Whistleblower and 800m runner Yuliya Stepanova, who has refused to race for Russia, must wait to see if an Olympic ethics board accepts her request to take part as a neutral.

With the Rio countdown becoming more urgent, the IOC also face having to send thousands of Games samples out of Brazil for testing unless Wada renew the licence for the Rio de Janeiro anti-doping laboratory.

The Rio lab was suspended on June 24 for not meeting international standards and a Wada commission is due to rule this week on whether to give a new permit. — AFP

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