A Beautiful Game
Imagine if the matches had actually been manipulated to not favour our Harimaus; if the rules were bent as and when the referee and linesmen chose; if the goalposts were moved each time our strikers took a shot… How would Malaysians react to this disturbing scenario? Would this still be a beautiful game?
By Nurul Izzah Anwar
Last night, Malaysians proudly celebrated the victory of our Harimaus in the AFF Suzuki Cup finals. This is the first time we’ve hoisted this trophy, and I pray and hope that it shall not be the last.
As with all good victories, let us not forget that this was the result of months and years of hard work and dedication, not just of one or two individuals but by an entire team.
To K Rajagopal our national team’s coach, we bestow our deepest gratitude for the wisdom and faith you’ve placed in picking the best and brightest (not to mention among the youngest) players to represent our country. If nothing else, this proves that it is the young, guided by the wise and learned, who continue to create history for this nation.
To all our players, heartiest congratulations for the stunning performances you’ve put in particularly in the last few games. You deserve the country’s accolades. I’m sure that you will continue this effort and dedication to take Malaysia’s football to greater heights.
To the fans, let us continue supporting our team through thick and thin; through sweet victories and bitter defeats. Only with such sustained support can our young Harimaus continue to rise.
It is the youth, when given a nurturing environment to grow, create a change for the better. It is the youth, when given the chance to perform on a level playing field, who will turn an uphill challenge into a golden goal of an opportunity. It is the youth, when provided with the best kind of support and encouragement, who will bring glory to this nation.
But as we celebrate this joyous victory in the final days of the year, let us be reminded that this beautiful game is only meaningful because it was played on a level playing field.
Now, imagine if the matches had actually been manipulated to not favour our Harimaus; if the rules were bent as and when the referee and linesmen chose; if the goalposts were moved each time our strikers took a shot… How would Malaysians react to this disturbing scenario? Would this still be a beautiful game?
I imagine that for the majority of Malaysians, this disturbing scenario reminds us of our current political ‘game’.
Well it is good to see that when our Harimaus won, all Malaysians without regard for political affiliations are united and proud in victory.
And just as our Harimaus worked hard together to rehabilitate Malaysian football, let us also work hard together, to rehabilitate democracy for our beloved nation.
We can start by passing the Democracy Rehabilitation Act which is being offered by Pakatan Rakyat to Barisan Nasional as a bi-partisan effort to be jointly tabled and passed in the next parliamentary session.
Because, like football, shouldn’t Malaysian politics also be made a ‘beautiful game’?