Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A note from Mr. Liew: An Interview By NST Journalist

Mr Liew's note:

"This afternoon I was interviewed through phone by a gentleman from NST asking my involvement of basketball activities in MCKK.  Briefly, I told him that it all started way back in 1974, interestingly at a public phone booth in Kuala Kangsar.... for details please watch out this interesting article in NST later.

Anyway, I would like to highlight a few key points that I had elaborated in the said interview:

  • All Cagers that have been trained by me thus far are well disciplined, committed and obedient.  These qualities have given me the strength to continue in coaching them for the last 30 over years. They not only performed in the game but they also excelled in their studies. I am truly proud of these group of 'budak Koleq'.
  • All along I am harbouring a humble dream i.e. to promote racial integration and enhance national unity through basketball. Towards this end I have found a platform in coaching the Cagers in pursuing this dream.  I have to a certain extent fulfilled this simple dream mainly because the Malay College basketball team has become a crowd favourite particularly in Chinese villages/communities (Liman Kati and Kg Station in Kuala Kangsar, Sg Siput, Berchem, Mengelembu, Jawi, Subang Jaya, Seberang Jaya, Setiawan, Pulau Pangkor, and most recently Kg Raja, Tanah Rata, Ringlet and Cameron Highlands.)
  • With the full cooperation and support rendered to me by The College and its Pengetua, PIBG and its President/Exco, MCOBA and its President/Exco, Old Cagers and Oldboys, all but leave me with no choice to stay put as the coach.
  • In my reply to a question posed by that gentleman how do I feel for being accorded as an honoury member of MCOBA, my answer is "TERHARU" as I have never expected such a distintive honour would be accorded to me. I really appreciate and treasure it very, very much.  Of course, without the strong support and assistance from Quest-for-Glory team namely, Riza Beg'76, Ise'80 & Ana, Cikgu Jimie'91 and so many other good samaritans, I hardly can imagine all these good things could have been happened to me.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Relaunching the Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION and MCKK Cagers Facebook group

The Old Cagers came back to KK during the XMas weekend to launch their facebook group and relaunch the Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION.  The Old Cagers from 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's came back to test their basketball skills against the Cagers.  Some of the younger ones still have the skills and abilities while the older ones still have their skills, but the bodies refuse to cooperate.

They played several games against the Cagers.  They were overwhelmed by the Cagers on the first day (friday).  The next day, the reinforcement turn up and managed to outlast the Cagers in a 6 quarters game.  The Old Cagers outnumbered the Cagers and they used the advantage well. A rematch is on later this afternoon.  Lets hope the Old Cagers will enjoy themselves with KK food (pau, cendol etc). The Cagers are resting and will have their revenge.

Update:  The Cagers lost again to the old Cagers 67 - 73.  The Old Cagers took advantage of the evening drizzle and the wet court.  The Cagers couldn't use their speed and fitness advantage due to the slippery wet court.  The game were played cautiously at a slow speed, this tempo suited the old boys better.

Thank you to all the old Cagers who made the effort to come back for the weekend.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Piala Dato' Seri Nazri: KK Open U18

Cagers are playing in the Piala Dato' Seri Nazri Aziz:KK Open U18 in Kuala Kangsar.  They've won their first game against Sg. Siput 58 - 54 on Sunday. Tonight, 23 Dec, they won their 2nd game against GBBM 72 - 34.

The Cagers played well to outlast GBBM. The Cagers outran GBBM in the second half after leading GBBM by 9 points at the half.  Cagers managed to hit 7 3-pointers in the game and their pressure defence gave GBBM problems through out the game.

The next game will be on Friday, 25th Dec.  Followed by several friendlies with the oldboys during the weekend.  The old Cagers will be back in KK to launch their MCKK Cagers Facebook group and the relaunching of "Quest-4-Glory:REDEMPTION.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Article in NST 14 Dec pg 11

MCKK old boys enrol first non-Malay member


KUALA LUMPUR: The perception that racism rules the daily lives of Malaysians was quashed on Saturday when a retired police officer was given the rare distinction of being the first non-Malay to be inducted as a member of the Malay College Old Boys Association (Macoba), an exclusive all-Malay alumni group.
Liew Yong Choon coached basketball at the residential school for more than 20 years and brought big successes along the way to Malay students in the Chinese-dominated sport.

Apart from voluntarily coaching the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) basketball team to become school champions in the late 1970s and 1980s, Liew spent a lot of his free time with the students, acting as a counsellor.

He also gave his charges tuition in English, Maths and Science and would set academic targets for them, failing which they would be suspended and not able to train with the team for several days.

Liew took pride in bringing an all-Malay basketball team to play in Chinese tournaments and made the team a crowd favourite.

He was named honorary member at the Macoba annual dinner in front of royalty and luminaries who included the Sultan Perak Sultan Azlan Shah, the Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and former national police chief Tun Hanif Omar.
The appointment reinforced a statement by association president Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas in his speech at the start of the function that the old boys of MCKK, despite their upbringing in a closed community boarding school environment, were never known to be racist nor racial fanatics.

"Why this outlook, why this cosmopolitan outlook which one would not normally associate with an enclosed one-race environment?" he asked and went on to answer it by quoting a popular belief among old boys that they were not racists because of their exposure to a multiracial teaching faculty.

However, today, Megat Najmuddin added, the teaching staff is totally Malay and the question he posed was how do MCKK students escape the embrace of racial fanaticism.

"This is a genuine concern and perhaps we have travelled along the communal paths far too far that somehow we have to come together again as 1Malaysia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Honorary Member of MCOBA

Last night, MCOBA honoured Mr. Liew as an honorary member of MCOBA, the second honorary member and the first, probably the last Chinese to be honoured. I was given the honour to read Sir's citation to introduce him to the members.

In 1977 MCKK won the Tun Hamdan Cup (National SBP Basketball Tournament) for the first time.  From then onwards, MCKK Basketball team; popularly known as the Cagers, continued to win the cup 13 times in its 33 years history.
It all started in 1974 when Mr. Liew Yong Choon helped a first former, Aziz Salleh, make a phone call from a booth in KK town. Knowing Aziz was keen in basketball Mr Liew, being a Perak basketball player, volunteered to coach basketball at MCKK starting with the Form one on a part time basis. Mr Liew began coaching the juniors regularly, and every weekend from 1974 he would go back to Kuala Kangsar from where he was posted, as a police officer, for the next 14 years till 1988.  Due to work commitments, he took a break from 1989 till 2002, although he made a short comeback in 92 & 93 to help the Cagers win the Cup again.
After his optional retirement from PDRM in 1997, he came back to MCKK in 2003.  Together with the old Cagers, they set up the Quest-4-Glory project.  Mr Liew, not only coached the Cagers basketball but gave the junior Cagers tuition in English, Maths and Science and arranged extra tuition for the seniors.  Mr Liew would set academic targets for the Cagers and help the Cagers to achieve them.  Failing which they would be suspended and not able to train with the team for several days.
Yes, Mr Liew, has given his time, money and expertise to the Cagers.  His dedication and commitment to uplift the Cagers was not because of money, it was for the love of the game and devotion to the boys.  It was his dedication over a period of 32 years, and his devotion to the Cagers, that has made the Cagers a force to be reckoned with and respected not only by the SBP teams but other basketball teams in Perak and Penang.  He took pride in bringing an all Malay basketball team to play in a Chinese community and became the crowd favourite.
This ex police officer who was one of the youngest promoted to SAC II and a Perakian, born in Kuala Kangsar deserves special mention for his tireless and selfless effort in not only uplifting the Cagers to what it is today, but also as a role model for all to replicate. 
For his contribution to MCKK and for his exemplary devotion to a noble cause in the spirit of ‘FIAT SAPIENTIA VIRTUS’, it is with great pleasure that MCOBA award him the ‘Honorary Membership’ of MCOBA.  Mr. Liew Yong Choon, Sir, you may now proudly wear the college tie, as a member of MCOBA.