Kumar, Gurmit Singh and Joanne Kam team up for comedy show
Ahead of upcoming comedy show, local funnymen Kumar and Gurmit Singh, and M'sian comedienne Joanne Kam take potshots at issues
Who is better at poking fun at one's country and its idiosyncrasies - Malaysians or Singaporeans?
Well, it's time to find out with Malaysian comedy production Laugh Die You, which will be coming to Singapore this July for a two-night show.
The line-up includes popular local comedian Kumar, local host Gurmit Singh, Malaysian comedienne Joanne Kam and Malaysian rock band Hydra.
The three-hour show, Laugh Die You - The Karaoke, will see Kumar, 48, and Kam, 42, serving their best burns while tackling hot-button issues in both Malaysia and Singapore.
The show combines pyrotechnics, song, dance and stand-up comedy.
Gurmit, 51, will also be debuting his new alter ego Hero Singh.
The trio of comics gave us a sneak preview on talking points here and across the Causeway at a media session yesterday.
ON THE HAZE
KAM: I think it's quite good because when you wake up, you don't know if it's night or day so you go back to sleep again.
GURMIT: I like the haze because when I wake up, I think I'm in Cameron Highlands.
KUMAR: I feel like I'm already dead.
ON THE FALLING RINGGIT
KAM: Why do you think I'm here? For every $100 (RM290) that (Malaysian production company Popcorn Studio founder Erik Ong) pays us (for Laugh Die You), we have enough for one month's rent.
KUMAR: It's a natural thing, everything is so expensive here. By the time we make ends meet, the government moves the ends even further.
ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN M'SIAN & S'POREAN WOMEN
KAM: I think Singaporean women are really stylish and they are a little bit more body conscious in terms of what they put into their mouths...
KUMAR: That sounds so wrong!
KUMAR: I don't think the word exists in Malaysia.
KAM: No, there is definitely a sense of competitiveness. If you have a big car, I want a better car. But we will not get to the point where we line up for two hours at a fast-food joint to get a toy. Not yet, and I hope it won't be like that.
ON AMOS YEE
KUMAR: I think they should lock him up and throw away the key. He doesn't even know what he's talking about. Is there something wrong with him? He needs to be put away.
KAM: I'm new to this, who is this Amos person?
GURMIT: Not Famous Amos, not that one.
ON THE INFAMOUS SMRT PROBLEMS
KUMAR:The problem is, how many MRT lines do we want to build? We're digging so much in such a small country that I don't know what is going to happen anymore. Are we going to go underground?
GURMIT: In future, we will build a tunnel and then when we emerge from the other side, we will see Australia.
GURMIT: I love the food.
KUMAR: For me, if something doesn't "cock up", it's not Malaysia. If the light in the hotel room is not working, then I'm like, "Welcome to Malaysia". Malaysia is like a breath of fresh air to me, no one is rushing.
KAM: We are so used to things not working that we expect them not to.
Laugh Die You - The Karaoke
July 9 and 10, 7.30pm
Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa
$68, $98, $128, $158 and $350 from Sistic (6348-5555 or www.sistic.com.sg). An early bird discount of 15 per cent is applicable for tickets priced at $128 and $158, valid until May 31. Tickets go on sale May 6.
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Saunders' tips for Singapore athletes on securing sponsors
Australian writer Saunders says Singapore athletes have 'abundance' of opportunities
There is an "abundance" of opportunities for sports sponsorships in Singapore, but you've got to do your homework first.
That is the view of Vickie Saunders, author of the book Sponsorship for Athletes.
"I have worked with athletes around the world who do not have as many opportunities around them but, here in Singapore, there's an absolute abundance for athletes and sponsors to connect," said the Australian, who partnered the Singapore Sports Institute and the National Youth Sports Institute to write the book.
Four hundred copies of the book, adapted for the Singaporean context from an earlier edition, have been printed and funded by Deloitte Singapore, which hosted the launch yesterday.
For the book, Saunders - who has worked with the Australian and English Institutes of Sport, as well as the English rowing team on sponsorship matters - spoke to Singapore athletes such as sprinter Calvin Kang, swimmer Tao Li and bowler Remy Ong to share their experiences in securing sponsorships.
Saunders has three top tips for athletes of all levels and sports who are looking to secure their own sponsorships.
She said: "Firstly, know the company that you're approaching and find out about them.
"See what they are marketing and advertising, and look at how you can help them do that better.
"Secondly, be really sure of what you want as an athlete.
"If you believe in helping the environment, look for companies who also share those beliefs and values.
"Lastly, take the time to plan. Don't just go in and ask anyone to sponsor.
"Take some time to do your research, find out what you can offer and then confidently go and make that offer to the companies."
Sponsorship in local sports have come into the spotlight recently, after it was revealed that S.League club Tampines Rovers are facing cash-flow issues, while Olympic-bound rower Saiyidah Aisyah resorted to crowdfunding to support her Olympic qualifying campaign.
Asian Games gold-medallist Tao Li believes that Singapore athletes can do better in packaging themselves to offer value to potential sponsors.
The 26-year-old said: The government cannot totally fund you for what you need, and where will the remainder (of the money) come from, especially when you're studying or training full time?
"Athletes in Singapore are under-selling themselves (to sponsors) sometimes, and lack people who can help them package themselves.
"This needs to be changed."
The SIM Global Education and the University of Stirling announced yesterday that they will be offering bond-free sports scholarships for two local athletes to pursue a Sports Studies and Marketing degree.
SIM Global Education director for higher education Ho Soon Eng said: "Local athletes will be able to train and compete and at the same time pursue their degree aspirations, by taking advantage of the flexible and modular nature of the Stirling programme offered locally through SIM Global Education."
Tao Li to take over from Leonard Tan at Swimfast
National swimmer to replace Leonard Tan and take on senior squad coach role at local club
She already has her hands tied, juggling her undergraduate studies in business management with running her newly formed swimming club.
Asian Games gold-medallist Tao Li is about to get busier next month, when she takes on a senior squad coach role at the Swimfast Aquatic Club (SAC).
The 26-year-old will fill the void left behind by current head coach Leonard Tan, when he takes on the National Youth Sports Institute's head swim coach role in the coming weeks.
SAC founder David Lim, who passed on the head coach mantle to Tan last July, will assume head coach duties again, but will be on deck only initially to set the general direction before leaving the coaching part of the job to Tao Li.
Tao Li said she was approached about a month ago by Lim to join the club, who have produced many national swimmers in recent years, such as Quah Zheng Wen and his siblings Ting Wen and Jing Wen.
She said: "I didn't have to think too much. Uncle David has helped me a lot since I've arrived in Singapore, especially during those times when I was down.
"He was always there for me and it's time for me to pay him back.
"If other people had asked me to do the same thing, I wouldn't (have done the same) because I have my own business."
"But anytime, or anywhere he (Lim) needs my help, I will do it, even if he doesn't pay me," added the newly crowned Singapore Swimming Association Female Swimmer of the Year 2015.
Tao Li, who finished fourth in the women's 100m fly at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, had started her own Taoli Swimming Club last December, and is still studying at the Singapore Institute of Management.
But she is confident that she can manage her time well.
She said: "My learn-to-swim programme takes place during the weekends and, at other times, I am doing stroke corrections, so I would be fine.
"I have a lot of experience as a swimmer and learnt a lot from the different coaches who have coached me during my career, so I know what programmes are suitable for Asians.
"I want to pass this knowledge on to good swimmers and bring them on to the next stage."
"I am very excited about this role, and I really want to do it well," added the butterfly specialist, who's been coached by the likes of Peter Churchill, Barry Prime, Ian Turner and Sergio Lopez in her career.
When contacted yesterday, Lim said the recruitment of Tao Li fits into the club's ethos of developing local coaches.
The former Olympian said: "We've always given local coaches the opportunity to work and explore themselves at this level.
"Tao Li did some coaching at CSC (Chinese Swimming Club, where Lim is technical director for swimming) last year and some of the parents really liked her.
"She has a natural advantage because, as a swimmer, she's been to the highest levels.
"She has a lot to offer as a coach, and she's eager to pass on her knowledge to the younger swimmers."
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Warriors' Madhu wary of wounded Tampines
Madhu wary of hurt Stags, but urges Warriors to pounce
TAMPINES ROVERS v WARRIORS FC
(Saturday, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
The wounds are fresh, blood still soaking through the band aids, and things are not looking good for Tampines Rovers.
The Stags have dominated recent headlines with their cash-flow issues, and their performances seem to suggest that the boardroom infliction has spread to the pitch.
On Tuesday, V Sundramoorthy's charges suffered a 3-2 away defeat by Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi - a team they beat 4-0 just two months ago at Jalan Besar - in the AFC Cup.
They turn their attention to the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League again, to face Warriors FC on Saturday, and Madhu Mohana is looking forward to giving the proverbial kick in the gut to a downed man.
"They are tired from the travelling, their morale will be low after losing that game in Bangladesh, and I think this will be a good time to play Tampines, we are eager to play them," said the Singapore international.
However, Madhu is also aware of how dangerous a wounded beast can be, with his team also struggling.
The Warriors are sixth in the nine-team league, having amassed just nine points from eight games. They are four spots behind second-placed Tampines, who have 17 points.
Their last win came more than a month ago, a 2-0 victory over league leaders Albirex Niigata, and Jorg Steinebrunner's side have been winless in their last three fixtures.
"We are definitely not doing well ourselves... We've had open chances to score, we don't score, and then we concede and lose the game - that has cost us in three games already," said the Warriors centre back.
"We're all feeling down at the moment, and we must stop being shaky in the final period of games, we must keep our concentration… and not concede goals, that's very important.
"We've worked hard (since last Friday's 2-1 loss to Home United), and we are eager to bounce back, and there's no better way to do it than get a win against Tampines."
The Stags have eight players from the disbanded LionsXII side on their roster, and Madhu believes the familiarity he has with his former teammates will help his cause.
Besides Madhu, the left-sided Shaiful Esah is the only other LionsXII alumnus on the Warriors' books.
"They've got several of my former teammates there, and I know them well from all the time we spent together, their strengths and weaknesses. I think that is to our advantage."
Although the Stags are on a low, Madhu knows they will be just as eager as his Warriors to bounce back.
He said: "We're not sure how true all the talk about financial issues are, but we cannot be complacent.
"They are not going to roll over for us. They are still a good side, and we must be at our best."