KUALA LUMPUR – April 15, 2016: Local football fans are apparently excited over the prospect of a debate between Tunku Mahkota Johor and leading figures of Malaysian football.
The debate challenge was issued by Tunku Ismail Ibrahim to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Malaysian Football Coaches Association president B.Sathianathan, National Football Development Program director Lim Teong Kim and Football Association of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Amin, three days ago.
According to Tunku Ismail’s statement in his official Facebook page, the debate was touted as a means to find a solution to the drastic drop in Malaysia’s “football fortunes.”
Malaysia is currently ranked at 171st place in world football ranking, the lowest ever for the country.
So far, Khairy, Sathianatan and Lim have accepted the debate challenge whereas Hamidin did not want to participate because he was not keen in such a public debate.
Many football fans have expressed their excitement in the social media following the willingness of the trio to have a debate with Tunku Ismail.
“It is better for the debate to be a public event because that way, all of us will get to know what is really going on with our football,” wrote Facebooker Ahmad Asyraf.
“If they make it a closed debate, then the media will probably spin the whole issue,” he added.
“Though some may argue that a debate won’t solve anything, I personally feel that an open debate is a terrific idea to identify problems plaguing our national football team and come out with a solution to solve them,” wrote Ma Mu.
“If it’s a closed and recorded debate then chances are that there will be gatekeepers to edit the recording and the public won’t get a clear picture of the real situation of our football,” wrote Nudin Senin.
“I hope this debate won’t turn out to be a mere contest of who is the better arguer…am really hoping that they will find the solution to heal our ailing football ,” wrote Ali Yamashita.
Despite the overwhelming excitement expressed by the majority of local football fans, there were also those who were sceptical that the debate is the right way to solve the problems plaguing Malaysian football.
“I rather they do a discussion instead of debating with one another because in any debate, some will win and some will lose…losing and winning is not important if you want to sincerely find a solution,” wrote Tuah Danail.
“I don’t think TMJ (Tunku Ismail) want to debate actually,” wrote Gim Bara, “I really think he just wants to prove that he has the best football club in Malaysia.”
“I wonder how he intends to turn around our national football team problems as most of the national team players, that has been losing this whole time, consists of JDT (Johor Darul Takzim) players,” he added.