Let’s return to the Malaysia Cup

The S-League has proven to be quite a failure, to the point where the only people who watch it are those who have placed bets on the matches. It’s no point continuing to pour money into a losing venture. A little bit of compromise and humble-pie eating will be in order to get our teams back into the Malaysia Cup.

I like Aymeric Lim’s letter to the Straits Times Forum on Saturday 17 October. Like many Singaporeans, he called for Singapore to return to the Malaysia Cup football league.

He offered a new suggestion which I hadn’t heard before: Instead of returning as the Singapore national team, our current clubs in S-League could go in separately on their own. There could also be stricter caps on the number of foreign players allowed on each team. This could dispel the Malaysians’ fear that our over-funded national team will overwhelm their state teams and malu them again. I think the Malaysian teams and fans will welcome the competition. I’m sure sponsors on both sides will  definitely support it.

I think this is something that our sports officials, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and politicians should seriously look into. Like Mr Lim pointed out, the Kallang Roar is more effective at fostering national pride than catchy National Day songs. I would add that it is more effective than us winning Olympic table tennis medals with the help of “foreign talent”. It also fosters racial harmony, because football is a sport that cuts across all races.

Furthermore, what better way to build up relations with our neighbours up north than through football? With dozens of matches going on, Singaporean fans will have an excuse to visit Malaysian states they never typically go to. I’m sure this will dispel lots of misconceptions they had about Malaysia.

It’s sad that a whole generation of young Singaporeans has missed out on experiencing the Kallang Roar. I remember going to the Malaysia Cup football matches at the National Stadium in the 80s and early 90s with my dad. The atmosphere was simply electric, with Singaporeans from all walks of life cheering in unison for our team.

Not too long ago, I returned to the Stadium to watch a Singapore-Malaysia match during the Tiger Cup. I noticed that the crowd didn’t even know how to cheer anymore, or at least everyone was shouting their own thing and there was no united voice.

I’m not really sure why we left (or were booted out) of the Malaysia Cup. The official reason seems to be that the Football Association of Malaysia wanted to impose a levy on the gate receipts of matches played in Singapore. Rather than accept the levy, the FAS decided to withdraw from the Cup and set up the S-League.

Well the S-League has proven to be quite a failure, to the point where the only people who watch it are those who have placed bets on the matches. It’s no point continuing to pour money into a losing venture. A little bit of compromise and humble pie-eating will be in order to get our teams back into the Malaysia Cup.

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

10 thoughts on “Let’s return to the Malaysia Cup”

  1. Not while LKY is still around. It’ll be too much of a slap on his face if S’pore returned to the Malaysia Cup – with the Merlion’s tail between its legs. So to speak.

  2. Smashing idea!

    Increased competition would certainly improve the standard of football here. And it would be nice to take a weekend off to, say, Kedah, for footballing purposes – boosting tourism and in turn the economy. Likewise for the visiting Malaysian fans.

    I like this idea a lot.

  3. man if u wanna go back to malaysia cup,
    might as well we merge back wit malaysia.

    with EPL, i dun thk many will switch to malaysia cup.
    sleague will never closed down. NEVER!
    no matter how u hate it.
    surely the govt will help.
    if nt soccer in singapore is dead.

  4. The people want the Malaysia cup competition back , but the FAS dont. Who wants to watch the Sleague. You just dont get the same rivalry as you do with our boys playing against Malaysian teams. It has been said that sport is another form of war. People need to come together and get SG back in the Malaysia cup comp.

  5. What makes you think the fans will return to watch Singapore play against state teams? Just look at the Sultan of Selangor Cup. How many bother to turn up? S.League is the way to go, whether you like it or not. Stop asking FAS to get a Singapore team to play in the pathetic Malaysian League, cos it will never happen. Moving back to M.League/Malaysia Cup is taking 100 steps backwards. Tell me when is the last time a Malaysian club manage to beat our local sides. Still want to go back to the M.League? ;)

  6. i use to play in the S League from 1997 till 2007…i’ve got this to say..let’s play in Malaysia Cup…we players sometimes fell like as shit playing in a dead stadium fill with punters…those who said that S League is the way to go..doesn’t know what they are talking about…

  7. Sorry Sir, I still think we need to focus on our own domestic professional league instead of going to other people’s backyard and causing our progress to halt.

    S.League is for long term. It is a must if we want to be successful in football.

    Sorry for bumping this old post..

Comments are closed.