I remembered back in 1992, I was only 9 years old back then. My dad was telling me that it was going to be a very important night for the country and I couldn't understand why. Back then I was still living in Melaka and we actually made our way to KL to watch what became the start of my passion of the country. The second that Malaysia was crowned champions of the Thomas Cup, taking in an unlikely championship from the favorites that time, the euphoria that came from the crowd was so deafening and for any 9 year old, it should have scared the living daylights in his/her wits.
But I just stood there. Did nothing. Looked in awe.
I saw every man, woman and child screaming in joy and let everything out, showing how proud they were of the boys representing them, representing the country and representing the very root of their home. Thats when I realized, sports made people proud to be Malaysian.
[someday is now...]
Bring back time to 18 years later on, we see ourselves reliving that day once again. After all those years of waiting, disappointments, accusations of corruptions and lack of mental strength, we finally face a familiar foe once again to clinch what we honestly believe belongs to us.
In the past couple of days, we have witness our boys pulling a feat that no one, not even majority of Malaysians here would honestly believe. Against an Indonesian side, strong in every department, quality of players that can match to almost any country here in Asia and clear favorites to win the competition and had the amount of support of almost 180 million people in their country. Yet against all odds, we did this:
Watching the video again brings back memories of the many Malaysian games I actually attended (back when they were playing in Stadium Shah Alam which was only 10 minutes walking distance from my house) and for most of the moments, I screamed and cheered with the thousands of supporters there. I had to hold back tears with so many strangers in the stadium when we failed to achieve anything in our game. Those were the days.
Today, in less that 12 hours our boys have earned the right to fight the final fight for glory and believe you me, so many of us here back home will be watching, cheering and screaming their lungs out, finding a way to at least do something for the team to push for the win. In less that 12 hours our boys, playing in a ground where hostilities and hate will sure be thrown at the players and in an environment that would definitely be in an advantage to our opponents.
But I remembered once one of my teachers told me in school:
"You compete, you fight and just when you think that you've done enough to deserve victory there will be millions of those will try to take it away from you. Fight for what you think is yours, because they will sure as hell won't just give it to you"
Would it matter if millions doubted us for our own ability to win? Would it matter that for the past couple of days we have seen a hoard of people threatening and accusing us of cheats, branding us with names that would shame the very nature of the game itself? Would it matter if so many would believe that we will choke in the dying minutes as always and falter at the very end?
As far as I am concerned, we owe nothing to this people except of putting them in their places but showing what we can do. Let them talk about how bad we are, let them call us what they want for at the very end if we can blow the final nail to the coffin, nothing can be said anymore. If we really what to shut morons up, I only know one way to do it and its not from talking, I can assure you that.
It would be a miracle for me to think that even one, let alone the entire Malaysian Football Squad would ever read what I wrote here but what it is worth, we Malaysians will do everything we can to support you. Even if we have to stay glued on the TV, watching either TV1 or StarSports at 8pm tonight, we will be behind you through thick and thin. If ever you think what exactly are you fighting for, here's a reminder:
Go for it boys.
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