The Singapore Sports Fan has been a long-time observer and fan of the local sports scene. He grew up on the sports pages of The Straits Times, The New Nation (now defunct), the Singapore Monitor (also now defunct) and The New Paper, as well as the sports programme World of Sport (back when Mediacorp was still SBC). He shares because he cares.

Please share your comments too (if you have any). It is only through feedback that we can create a bigger pool of knowledge of our local sports scene. Feedback is also a source of learning for me, to see if my opinions and observations are right on the money or whether they are off-track. Ony this way will I improve and serve your needs better.

Do note however that comments will be moderated . Your comment will appear only after  I’ve screened and approved it.

Finally, if you hear of anything newsworthy, which you think would make a useful addition to this blog, pease feel free to email me at sporesportsfan at gmail.com.


Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

20 thoughts on “About

  1. uncle sha says:

    Hi there

    Love your athletic entries

    I’ve a proposition, email me at shadragon@gmail.com


  2. Tony Lai says:

    I am one full supporter of local talent. One very good excuse of having foreign talent is that Singaporeans are not willing to sacrifice and are too soft to take up any challenge. That is total rubbish. Just look at our table tennis squad. Yes they have won the Olympic Silver Medalist. Are all Singaporeans rejoicing or just few. Li Jia Wei who was from mainland china and now being Singaporean married somebody from China. Guess where she will go for her next citizenship? Every Singaporean knows the answer. So many converted Singaporean gave up their citizenship after making big bucks from Singapore, and they went back to their very own country. I cannot see the logic. Why hire somebody who is unloyal to Singapore, where locals are loyal and yet they do not have the opportunity to represent Singapore. They are so eager , but no chance at all. What an irony. Is result is so important ?? Or the true loyalty ? Our sports organisation are so engross into results that they forgot about true nation building is in the heart. I do not say that all foreigners are unloyal, but majority of them are not. Since results is so important, why not just buy Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei for badminton, buy a whole group of brazilian soccer player and represent Singapore. We will be the World champion. That is the result we want. Instant noodle, why buy a medioche player. If you want “instant noodle”, we do it all the way. Singaporeans do not want result, they want to be identified. With their very own. True blue Singaporean.

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Hi Tony

      Thank you for your passionate comment. I enjoyed reading and re-reading it and I am really glad to know that there are people out there who share similar views and sentiments about the importing of foreign talent just to win medals.

      Thank you for visiting this blog and I hope to hear more feedback from you in future.


    • Herbert says:

      Hi Tony

      You have made many pertinent and relevant observations in your post and you should be congratulated.
      My feel is that the issue of why there is a dearth of home grown sports talent is purely because of leadership in the country.
      Sports, since time immemorial, has always been considered something that NO SINGAPORE child should embark upon as a career because it will NOT provide bread and butter on the table!
      My question to Singapore parents, how many of you will COMMIT your child to a sports career? I think the answer is very, very few.
      Singapore parents only have university degrees in their sights and nothing else.
      So, I guess to leapfrog the medal winning opportunity, the government has gone for the import solution.
      Perhaps, it is now ripe for both the government and parents to review this chase for scholastic achievements and review their commitment to sport.
      Majullah Sports Singapura!!

  3. Herbert says:

    Hi Tony

    Just a little bit more from where I left off about why very few Singapore children are into sports, in addition to what I mentioned earlier about no support from the country’s leaders and hence none from parents.
    The media in Singapore too gives NO support at all to local sports.
    Just go to AsiaOne.com today (May 29) and you will that under their sports sub-site, out of 70 stories on their list there is NOT ONE, NOT A SINGLE ARTICLE on Singapore sports!!
    So, how do we develop a sports minded culture among the younger Singaporeans??

  4. matt says:

    Being honest I like the idea of this site but cant get over the tone and semi racist comments.

    While I see the need for Singapore to give more support to its local sports, many people who contribute to this forum are misguided.

    To use an over quoted Singapore term, ‘foreign talents’ in sporting teams should be no issue. Any suggestion that those who meet the international criteria should not be allowed to ware red and white is blatant racism… racism usually stems from from fear or some sort of personal complex.

    People relocating to different nations and representing their new common is more common than you think:

    NZ Allblacks and Wallabies embrace players form Tonga & Samoa.
    Springboks have many from Namibia
    English Cricket team that won the Ashes a few years back had more people born outside England than natives by birth.
    Half the UK track cycling team were Australian at one stage.
    American sport is full of Cubans and Mexicans.
    Tennis and football have countless examples of men born in Eastern Europe who moved when young and had to make a choice to play for their country of birth or where they grew up. Plenty chose either…..

    My point is, Singapore is a great place with some amazing facilities. The School sports program is good but to fight against and suggest people not born here dont have a right to represent us is narrow minded, stupid and more than a little bitter.

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Hi Matt

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I feel that what has gotten many people up in arms is the way some national sports associations have abused the ‘foreign talent’ system to the extent that the capture of any honour in any major tournament has become meaningless. For example, things got really farcical at the Singapore Table Tennis Association before Lee Bee Wah’s team was voted in in July 2008.

      The focus was on importing foreign talent to win medals and that resulted in the marginalisation and neglect of local talent. It reached a ludicrous stage where the teams competing in major events like the Asian Games, World Championships and Olympics would feature all foreign talents. On the other hand, teams competing in smaller and lower-standard meets like the SEA and Commonwealth Games would feature one or two local-born athletes as a form of token representation.

      I think there is something intrinsically wrong with going abroad to scout for foreign ‘talents’ at the expense of local development. And as I have said it before, I would much rather not achieve sporting glory this way because of the holow feeling that accompanies such achievements.

      A sporting culture is subsequently damaged in Singapore because
      a) the locals now think they will never be good enough to represent their country,
      b) there is no sense of identity with the foreign ‘talents’ since the FTs hardly make the effort to integrate with society and
      c) because of the “so what’s there to be proud of?’ sentiment that often accompanies such achievements.

      Frankly, I don’t nderstand why there is a need to import foreign ‘talents’ into sports which Singapore has never had any history of doing well in. Some say that we should try to reclaim our place as a badminton giant and Thomas Cup champions.

      But the truth of the matter is, Singapore was part of Malaya when we won that string of Thomas Cups. And if Malaysia today can still be a badminton powerhouse, then where did we go wrong on our own all these years? Or is it just our destiny to produce one top player every now and then ie Zarinah Abdullah, Wong Shoon Keat, Kendrick Lee. If so, why can’t we just accept it? Why must we manufacture a false situation by bringing in foreign shuttlers, developing them and gving them citizenships.

      And then there’s table tennis. I seriously cannot recall any major achievement by our national table tennis teams prior to the advent of the foreign-born paddlers, save one – when Patricia Kim won the women’s singles title at the 1993 SEA Games. So why was it suddeny decided that we should become a maor power in table tennis? And why was it decided that the national teams should be filled to the brim with foreign-born paddlers just to achieve this aim?

      That is why I always hark to our national bowling and sailing teams as prime examples of how we can succeed with just local athletes and talents. If they can do it, why can’t the others?

      Is being against the importing of foreign-born sportsmen racist? I think that people acually want to have a sense of pride in Singapore’s sporting achievements. And I think they are willing to compromise ie they will still have pride when national teams feature just one or two foreign-born athletes.

      But it’s a different thing altogether when teams are fully filled with foreign-born players, who were scouted and developed at the expense of local talent.


  5. matt says:

    I’ll reply to every question and retort to every FT statement on this site by asking one simple question…. Why is this considered such an issue by Singaporeans when most other cultures have no problem accepting new citizens to there sporting teams?

    Even the home grown athletes from sporting super powers like USA, Australia UK and NZ (rugby) deal with it…

    My tip to athletes from Singapore is as follows:

    If a superior athlete from another country moves to our Island, dont start whinging and claim some sort of right to be selected first. Think about what you might learn from those people and get better at what you do….

  6. ballsandiron says:

    wow, this blog started back in may 2008 and I discovered it now only!

    Anyway, these are my 2cents(personal opinion) on FT:

    FT is certainly alright, but only for the beginning. I believe the main reason for importing FT is because they are more talented than locals and thus, more likely to win medals.

    Learn from the FT, let the FT pass on their skills and knowledge to the locals/juniors. When the FT wins in a competition, NSA and media must do their best to promote the sport and athlete. Use the win to boost the sport, engage the public etc.. \

    From there, groom the locals/juniors and once they become good enough, slowly decrease the FT or even stop using FT altogether.

    To be honest, how many feel proud when you see a FT winning a medal? There is hardly any connection.

    Keep this blog alive!

  7. matt says:

    “To be honest, how many feel proud when you see a FT winning a medal? There is hardly any connection.”

    Exactly my point….do you think the English somehow felt disconnected when Mike Catt (born in South Africa) got his medal at the 2003 RWC? What Percy Montgomery (Born in Namibia) for the South Africa in 2007? What about the Yanks when Martina Navratilova (Born in Eastern Europe) won all those Slams?

    The answer is NO….they were embraced by the public and other sportsmen! These are developed and powerful sporting countries who have no issue accepting them.

    Show some respect Singapore and get the chip of your shoulder.

    • ballsandiron says:

      i don’t know what is the exact reason for the majority of locals not being ready to embrace FT.. culture?

      what about athletes who represent foreign countries just for their own career and for the money? and once they are done, they leave for good?

      personally, i don’t care if FT take over the locals because they are more talented. It is the connection between the athlete and the people that matters. Like what SSF said, there is no sense of identity with FT. There is no racism involved at all.

      so.. culture perhaps?

  8. matt says:

    How can anyone say that ‘not connecting’ with someone because they were born in another country isn’t racism?

    Maybe that’s the point. Maybe it’s not about sport at all?

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Dear Matt

      “Not connecting’ does not neccessarily mean ‘racism’.

      It just means what it says – one is just not able to relate to the naturalised national athlete, and as such, not able to appreciate whatever victories these athletes may win for Singapore.

      According to the Oxford Dictionary, “racism’ is a) the belief that certain races are better than others and b) discrimination or hostility towards other races.

      Has there been outright hostility towards the FSTs?

      I think it is more a case of local sports fans getting frustrated and angry with NSAs for neglecting the development of local talent and choosing instead to focus on bringing in and grooming foreign athletes.

      Has there been discrimination? Actually, in the case of some NSAs, local athletes have ended up being discriminated against, simply because the people running the show felt they would never be good enough to turn Singapore into a world-class power in certain sports.

      In fact, these NSAs even resorted to fielding local athletes as a form of token representation, one in a squad of five, just to show that their national teams are not completely filled with foreign athletes ( a form of reverse racism)?

      I can’t fault people for feeling angry or frustrated under such circumstances.
      And I can’t call them racists – not when they are the ones being discriminated against.


  9. matt says:

    That’s actually fairly funny.

    Now it’s the Singaporean athletes being discriminated against? because the lost their spots to better athletes….

    Mate, if your going to use the ol’ ‘Oxford Dictionary’ quote you might want to get use it properly.

    your words “a) the belief that certain races are better than others and b) discrimination or hostility towards other races.

    Has there been outright hostility towards the FSTs?”

    No mention of “outright” hostility in the book mate…there arent degrees or a threshold of racism.

    So hostility and discrimination …yes plenty. The rugby team walk out, local min quotas in may sports even at club level even this site has many quotes that are poor…

    Your title to the rugby story is “are too many expats spoiling the broth” If a news paper in NZ ran a story saying “are too many Islanders spoiling the brew” people would riot in the street.

    Like I have said before, I am a citizen born elsewhere, I run a business that employs many many locals, do I deserve less respect because of my birth nation?

    The answer in no, but I am afraid most SG locals do not give me as much respect because of their fear and dislike of others doing better than locals. I dont mind at all really but it is common place for FT’s or even guest to comment how much of a chip many locals carry toward outsiders.

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Dear Matt

      Unfortunately, it is not even remotely funny.

      It definitely hasn’t been funny all these years seeing how some NSAs have been abusing the FST system at the expense of local development of talent.

      It hasn’t been funny seeing a national team filled to the brim with foreign-born athletes, some of them parachuted in just months before a major Games, while a token spot being reserved for a local-born athlete. All this just for the relentless and vain pursuit of sporting excellence.

      Finally, I stand by what I’ve said previously: I do strongly believe that national teams should have quotas for foreign-born athletes.

      Foreign-born athletes or FSTs are supposed to help strengthen the team and in the process, help to bring up the standards of their local-born teammates.

      That has always been the publicy-stated purpose of the FST programme. These athletes should not be used to fill up all the slots in a national squad.

      In the end, the people running the NSAs that have opted to abuse the FST programme this way are, perhaps, the ones who should be blamed in the first place.


  10. matt says:

    A protectionist culture will never help.

  11. matt says:

    why has no one every answered the question I have asked a couple of times….. in all the places I have lived in, why has this only been a problem in Singapore?

    I totally agree more support is needed to sport in Singapore but dont block or dislike others success just because they weren’t born here.

  12. ahsiao says:

    I just want to thank you for your posts. I stumbled upon them while googling tang ngai kin

    I run a small page here. http://www.fb.me/ahsiao69

    Truly support local talents. And in no small way, I appreciate that there is someone out here in sillypore who supports our local talents like that. Your posts are very informative and interesting. Please keep blogging.

    thank you

    Ah Siao

    • singaporesportsfan says:

      Thank you for your kind words, and my apologies for this late reply. I have not been blogging for a long time.
      But Ah Siao, I just thought I’d let you know however that I really dislike the word “Sillypore”.
      I feel that the description is degrading, and I feel that while some/many of us may not agree with some of the things that are being done in our country, or with the way some things are run, there are still many things to be happy and grateful for.

      Best wishes

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