‘You’re in then you’re out’ – Singapore & the Malaysia Cup

Posted on July 13, 2011


“Cause you’re hot then you’re cold/You’re yes then you’re no/You’re in then you’re out…We fight, we break up/We kiss, we make up” It’s doubtful that Katy Perry was talking about Singapore and the Malaysia Cup in her 2008 single Hot N Cold. But she might as well have been. style mesti ada takes a look at 20 years of quotes from Singapore football’s men in power, on the Malaysia Cup.

“It will be a sad thing. But if I shed a tear, will that satisfy you? We must be practical and realistic. If we cannot afford it, we should not participate.”

Hsu Tse-Kwang, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president, June 1991. The FAS had been mulling over withdrawing from the M-League and Malaysia Cup due to financial costs.

“The direction has definitely been set. That the (Singapore) Premier League takes precedence over the (Malaysian) Semi-Pro League until we are ready to go fully professional, possibly in three years’ time. Our plans should revolve around building the Premier League and not our participation in the Semi-Pro.”

Steven Tan, FAS executive secretary, September 1991

“The trouble is we have been obsessed with the Malaysian competition for too long, hindering the development of our own competitions. The relegation is a blessing in disguise. Now it will give us a chance to place greater emphasis on the Premier League and other competitions – just like we had planned at the start of the season before it faded off because of the money involved in the Semi-Pro matches.”

Hsu Tse-Kwang, FAS president, August 1992. Singapore had just been relegated to Division II of the M-League.

“Can we play in the Semi-Pro League without subordinating our own efforts to develop local soccer? FAM evolves for Malaysian soccer. The FAS must have this representation for Singapore soccer.”

Hsu Tse-Kwang, FAS president, September 1992

“The FAS has taken this decision after carefully reviewing the events which took place recently and, most importantly, in the longer term interest of soccer in Singapore. This is because we want to promote our own league.

Ibrahim Othman, FAS president, February 1995. Singapore, the 1994 M-League and Malaysia Cup champions, announce their withdrawal from the Malaysian competition.

“There’s not going to be a change of decision. Let’s look at the long term interest of the sport in Singapore.”

Ibrahim Othman, vice-president FAS, September 2000. Then-Malaysian Sports Minister Hishammuddin Hussein had mooted a return to the M-League for Singapore.

“You are married and then you are divorced and then you want to get married again.”

Abdullah Tarmugi, Minister for Community Development, September 2000. Tarmugi’s comments came after Hishammuddin’s words.

“That’s not going to happen. The Malaysia Cup days for Singapore football are over as we move forward in search of our own identity and success. To go back to the Malaysia Cup days is like taking a step backward.

“Furthermore, I don’t think we can rekindle the kind of interest shown by the fans even if we take part in the Malaysia Cup. There is a new set of fans and a new generation of players in Singapore who grew up not knowing the magic of the Malaysia Cup when we were a part of it.

“There is no way that things will return to the Malaysia Cup days. Many Asian teams have qualified for the World Cup, but we are still some way from achieving that. We want to challenge the world. Returning to the Malaysia Cup is not the solution. We should be looking at the bigger picture.’

John Koh, FAS general secretary, February 2006. Media in Singapore and Malaysia had quizzed Koh on a Singapore return after the Young Lions had participated in the Malaysian FA Cup.

“We are actively pursuing the idea of returning to the Malaysia Cup, that’s for sure. But as a sovereign country, it is not right to send our national team to play in a foreign domestic competition. The Lions are also now playing at a higher level in the international arena and it will be a step back to do so.”

Zainudin Nordin, FAS president, December 2010

“There is always a special romance between Singapore and Malaysia football.”

Zainudin Nordin, FAS president, July 2011. The FAS announces that the Singapore Lions, a team of 5 national players over the age of 23, a complement of foreign players and U23 national players will participate in the Malaysian Super League and Malaysia Cup from 2012.


“(The Malaysia Cup) to me, this is a small domestic tournament, made available to Singapore by special invitation from the Football Association of Malaysia.

“All participating teams are merely state teams within Malaysia, with the exception of Singapore – the only national team. If we cannot win the Malaysia Cup, we may as well pack up!

“We have to be realistic in whatever we do in soccer. I said this a long time ago. I will say it again and again. Let me be blunt: We cannot improve our standard by competing in the Malaysia Cup year in and year out, even for another 100 years.

“We cannot gauge our standard by taking the Malaysia Cup results as a yardstick. Our goal should be the very pinnacle of Asian soccer.”

Choo Seng Quee, former Singapore national team coach and 1977 Malaysia Cup winner, June 1978

“Someone call the doctor/Got a case of a love bi-polar/Stuck on a roller coaster/Can’t get off this ride”

Katy Perry, 2008

Posted in: history