Malaysia has been kicked out of the Asian Cup after being thrashed 5-1 by China and then mauled in a 5-0 defeat to Uzbekistan. I foresee a similar outcome for tonights match against Iran.

I still remember the time when Malaysian football was in a much better shape in the 80s. Of course we didn’t make it to the World Cup even then, but nevertheless Malaysia was a force to be reckoned with in ASEAN and Asia in general. But even during those times, our World Cup qualifying dreams are often shattered by South Korea; one of the most consistent World Cup qualifiers in Asia.

But now football is a national shame. It’s also more shameful that the person at the top of the FAMSultan Ahmad Shah, refuses to step down and let more qualified professionals take charge of the Association. Why? Because apparently he thinks that resigning now would be a cowardly move.

He had 23 years at the helm and during that time Malaysia’s football woes continue to become worse. Everything else had been changed; players, coaches (both foreign and local coaches had been given the opportunity), lower peons in the FAM, and so on. The only thing that didn’t change is the person at the top.

And somehow setting up an inquiry to find out reasons for the national team’s abysmal performance is going to help them? How? I think Sultan Ahmad Shah only needs to look in a mirror to see one of the major reasons why Malaysian football is in the dumps.

We need a proven, seasoned, and experienced professional to lead the FAM. Getting someone who had actually played football profesionally would be helpful. Is this too much to ask?

Business Intelligence (BI) technology adoption in Malaysia is growing at a healthy pace. More business organisations are becoming more aware on how a robust BI system will give them a competitive edge.

PIDM is one of the entities that are investing in BI technology with an aim to provide leading edge risk assessment and monitoring tools.

KUALA LUMPUR, 15 June 2007 – SAS Malaysia has been appointed by Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) to provide its Business Intelligence technology to develop leading edge risk assessment and monitoring tools to help it achieve its mandate as the national deposit insurer.

Mr. Jimmy Cheah, Managing Director of SAS Malaysia and Mr. Jean Pierre Sabourin, Chief Executive Officer of PIDMFrom Left: Mr. Jimmy Cheah, Managing Director of SAS Malaysia and Mr. Jean Pierre Sabourin, Chief Executive Officer of PIDM

The partnership between SAS and PIDM was announced at a closed-door ceremony in Kuala Lumpur today.

Jimmy Cheah, Managing Director of SAS Malaysia said that SAS’s wealth of international experience in providing solutions for specific industries coupled with its proven platform environment will be applied to help PDIM build the tools it requires.

“Today’s business climate calls for better and timely information to fulfill the increasing demands for transparency and sound corporate governance. As the volumes of data continue to increase exponentially, being able to intelligently analyze the right information and make the right inference is key. With SAS’s powerful yet easy-to-use reporting system, PIDM will be able to pull together critical information and be able to perform required analysis,” says Cheah.

“SAS is honored to have been selected by PIDM to help develop a risk and monitoring system to meet its needs.”

Jean Pierre Sabourin, PIDM’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), stated that PIDM’s role is to administer an effective deposit insurance system to protect Malaysian depositors. We believe SAS’ Risk Assessment solution will provide us the platform to manage our statistical data effectively,” says Sabourin.

Starting June this year, PIDM and SAS will begin the development of the first phase of the three-year risk assessment system project.

About PIDM

Perbadanan Insurans Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) was formed under the Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation Act 2005, with a mandate to administer the deposit insurance system in Malaysia. Deposit insurance is a system established by the Government to protect depositors against the loss up to RM60,000 of their insured deposits placed with member institutions in the unlikely event a member institution is unable to meet its obligations to depositors. As the national deposit insurer, a key aspect of PIDM’s work is to asses and monitor the inherent risk of providing deposit insurance and to promote and contribute to the stability of Malaysia’s financial system.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services. Customers at 43,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance through insight from data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better products and processes. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage, analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. www.sas.com

Alcatel-Lucent

Kuala Lumpur and Paris, June 11, 2007 – Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced that it has been awarded a 10 million Euro contract to supply a 10 gigabit next generation IP/Ethernet network to Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), Malaysia’s leading communications service provider. The network is being delivered through AirStar (M) Sdn Bhd, a local solutions provider in telecommunications and ICT.

Alcatel-Lucent’s solution will enable TM to offer highly reliable services such as Virtual Leased Lines and Virtual Private LAN Services to its business customers. This next generation network will also form the platform for future services, including triple play, allowing TM to offer the next wave of advanced services with minimal further investment.

Built on a single unified IP infrastructure, Alcatel-Lucent’s IP-based solution is designed to support multiple type of services with superior scale, hierarchical quality of service and availability, critical for guaranteeing stringent Service Level Agreements on business-critical data.

“Alcatel-Lucent brings its worldwide experience and expertise in major IP network and service transformation projects in this partnership with Airstar and TM”, said Pierre Cheyron, Country Senior Officer and Managing Director of Alcatel-Lucent Malaysia. “Together, we are building the largest carrier class, MPLS-based IP/Ethernet network in Malaysia, which enables TM to adopt advanced technological solutions to meet broadening market demand and challenging targets.”

AirStar Chief Executive Officer, Zulkifli Osman, said: “The contract strengthens both Airstar and Alcatel-Lucent positions as key technology partners and suppliers to TM. Alcatel-Lucent’s global leadership in IP solutions ideally combines with our ICT expertise to support such global network transformation projects.”

TM’s Malaysia Business Chief Executive Officer, Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa said, “IP/Ethernet technology is definitely where the future of networks lie. Our deployment in key business centres nationwide is to ensure we are able to provide our corporate customers with the most cost-effective and flexible network solution to meet their growing needs. As the leading telecommunications provider of the nation, we need to be always forward looking in all our investments to ensure that we stay competitive and relevant to our customers.”

Alcatel-Lucent is deploying its industry-leading IP/MPLS portfolio, namely the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router, Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, Alcatel-Lucent 7250 Service Access Switch and the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager.

Over 160 service providers in more than 60 countries around the world have selected the Alcatel-Lucent IP portfolio as key elements for their IP transformation, including massive, multi-year projects at AT&T, BT and Telstra. In the past months, Alcatel-Lucent has announced new service provider IP transformation deployments at Cable & Wireless, China Mobile, CTM-Macau, Hawaiian Telecom, Indosat, SaskTel, Telefónica Latin America, Telecom Malagasy and Vodafone.

About TM

Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM), a leading regional information and communications group, offers a comprehensive range of communication services and solutions in fixed-line, mobile, data and broadband. As one of the largest listed companies on Bursa Malaysia with an operating revenue of more than RM16 billion, TM is driven to deliver value to its stakeholders in a highly competitive environment.

The Group places emphasis on continuing customer service quality enhancements and innovations. Currently, with investments and operations in 13 countries around Asia and globally, TM is focused on sustainable growth in both the local and international markets.

On the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) front, the Group has always been a major corporate contributor towards responsible activities in the belief that these practices are a fundamental tenet of good corporate governance. The Group promotes 3 major platforms i.e. education, sports development and community/nation-building. Under education, TM has spent some RM800 million to develop Multimedia University with more than 20,000 students. TM has also provided scholarships to over 10,000 graduates pursuing academic programmes locally and overseas. On the sports front, TM is actively contributing towards the upliftment of football at all levels while under the community/nation-building platform, the Group contributes towards causes that bring value to the community and nation at large.

For further information on TM, visit www.tm.com.my

About Airstar (M) Sdn Bhd

Airstar (M) Sdn. Bhd. (AirStar) is both a Bumiputra and a certified Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) status company. Having the MSC status, the Company had been participating actively in the development of the MSC projects, and is also actively pursuing the telecommunication industry. It is among the first group of Malaysian companies that obtained the MSC R&D Grant Scheme (MGS) approved by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in 2002. The Company focuses on R&D effort on wireless microwave Point-to-Point telecommunications system, catering to challenges faced in tropical climate area.

AirStar was incorporated in 1997, and is a registered contractor with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Defence, government linked companies such as Telekom Malaysia Berhad and Tenaga Nasional Berhad, and others including PLUS and Putrajaya Holdings. The company is embarking on strategic alliances and collaboration with multinational companies in providing a cost-effective solution to its customers.

For further information on AirStar, visit www.airstar.com.my

About Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprises and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications, and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved adjusted proforma revenues of Euro 18.3 billion in 2006 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. [All figures exclude impact of activities transferred to Thales]. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

This is not a rumour.

Malaysian Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be marrying Jeanne Abdullah this Saturday in a private function to be held at Seri Perdana (the official residence of the premier).

The press release, which is in Malay, can be read here.

For the benefit of those who can’t read Malay (or is it Bahasa Malaysia now), here is my translation of the text:

Press Release Announcing the Wedding Ceremony of The Prime Minister

With happiness, we’d like to inform that the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be marrying Jeanne Abdullah on Saturday, 9 June 2007 (23 Jamadilawwal 1428 Hijrah).

Jeanne Abdullah was born in Kuala Lumpur on 29 July 1953 and is the first of four siblings. She received her education from Assunta Secondary School and is well experienced in the field of administration and hotel management. She has been involved in the management of some of the most well-knowned hotels in Malaysia including Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Pan Pacific Hotel. Jeanne has also served as a supervisor of the official residence of the Deputy Prime Minister as well as being a manager of the Seri Perdana Complex.

Jeanne has two children, Nadiah and Nadene.

The function will be held at Seri perdana and will be attended by close family members only.

There’s an unconfirmed picture of the soon-to-be Mrs PM here. Please note that I cannot confirm nor deny that that is really her picture!

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 May 2007 – Dr. Jim Goodnight, founder and CEO of SAS Institute, the world’s leading business intelligence (BI) software provider, has been appointed to the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for MSC Malaysia. The MSC Malaysia IAP has been set up to provide counsel to the Malaysian Government on legislation and policies, develop MSC Malaysia-specific practices, and set breakthrough standards for multimedia operations.

Jimmy Cheah, Managing Director of SAS Malaysia, lauded this latest MSC Malaysia-IAP appointment as a synergistic catalyst for both SAS (currently the BI leader in Malaysia with 29 per cent market share for 2006 as reported by IDC Asia/Pacific Business Intelligence Software Tracker, 2H 2006), and the MSC Malaysia to achieve their objectives.

“The vision of the MSC Malaysia is to transform Malaysia into a knowledge society by 2020; and SAS’ initiatives to develop local talent in ICT via SAS’ accreditation programs can serve to meet this very vision. In addition, our championing of predictive analytics in Government and the private sector will see effective use of information as a competitive edge to raise the level of performances against global players.”

“Indeed, the appointment of Dr. Goodnight to the MSC Malaysia-IAP is very significant for SAS Malaysia because in addition to SAS contributing towards policies and decisions concerning the development of ICT in Malaysia, SAS is able to advocate the fact that in Corporate Malaysia today business intelligence is now one of the top boardroom priorities to gain competitive edge,” he adds.

Multimedia Development Corporation CEO Badlisham Ghazali said the MSC Malaysia IAP Organising Committee welcomed Goodnight’s appointment as a strong addition to the already solid MSC Malaysia IAP team.

“As we progress to the next stage of development and propelling forward aggressively, I’m sure we can tap on Goodnight’s experience and skills for the betterment of MSC Malaysia and ensure it continues to be the choice of investors looking at talented K-workers with balanced mix of expertise, industrial knowledge and experience,” said Badlisham.

Created in 1996, the MSC Malaysia is a government-designated district comprising nearly 300 square miles of land and now home to more than 1750 multinational, foreign-owned and home-grown Malaysian companies.

The MSC Malaysia advisory panel consists of corporate leaders, scholars and top members of international think tanks who offer counsel to the Malaysian government in managing the MSC Malaysia. Members of the panel work to ensure that Malaysian officials implement policies that encourage companies from around the globe to invest in the MSC Malaysia. Thanks to the guidance of its panel members, the MSC Malaysia has grown into a hub for information and communication technology companies, regionally.

Dr Jim Goodnight will be making his inaugural visit to Malaysia on June 28th, and is expected to leverage his new MSC Malaysia-IAP council appointment as a platform to meet with key officials in government and MDeC.

Dr Jim Goodnight

Dr Jim Goodnight has been at the helm of SAS since the company’s incorporation in 1976, and has overseen an unbroken chain of revenue growth – feat almost unheard of in the software industry. SAS is among the world’s largest privately owned software companies. Today, SAS is best known for sifting massive mountains of data for FORTUNE 500 companies and other organizations most people have heard of; and is renowned for its corporate culture, which has made SAS a fixture on “Best Places to Work” lists – including FORTUNE’s.

Dr. Goodnight is an active speaker and participant at the World Economic Forum, and was appointed to the Atlantic Council of the United States President’s International Advisory Group in dedication to this excellence in Business. In 2004, Harvard Business School named Dr. Goodnight as one of the “20th Century’s Great American Business Leaders” for his three decades of leading a business that has changed the way Americans have lived, worked and interacted in the 20th century.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services. Customers at 43,000 sites use SAS software to improve performance through insight from data, resulting in faster, more accurate business decisions; more profitable relationships with customers and suppliers; compliance with governmental regulations; research breakthroughs; and better products and processes. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage, analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. www.sas.com