• Wednesday, June 15, 2005

    Malaysia's Flying Sikh might be driving for another country

    Malaysia's most successful rally duo.
    Posted by Hello

    Karamjit Singh-Allen Oh are Malaysia's most successful rally duo, having won the 2002 World Rally Championship production car title and three-time overall winners of the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships.

    Karamjit is seriously contemplating taking up an offer to drive for a foreign team.
    This is what the MAN has to say:-

    I have received offers from two factory teams and I have had initial discussions with them. But I can only say more after I finalise a deal. I hope that everything could be sorted out before the year is over.
    If a deal goes through, I will get to continue racing in the production car category of the World Rally Championships (WRC) and defend my overall title in the Asia-Pacific Rally Championships. I understand that the organisers of the WRC are willing to give me special consideration and extend the closing date of entries to Dec 15. The teams who have made me offers will be using factory cars and that will present me with fresh challenges.
    I may have to bring in my own sponsors as well. But I am certainly keeping my options open. I have no intention to quit yet because I feel I can still race at the top level for five years more.

    My first choice will be to continue driving for a Malaysian-backed team. That was the reason for staying with the Petronas Eon Racing Team (PERT) for the last 17 years. But the team will cease operations at the end of the year.
    Getting sponsors have been the big problem. If there is sponsorship overseas, why should I discard the opportunity? We had to raise money to complete the last two rounds of the APRC in China (Oct) and India (Dec).
    I thought that after winning the Rally of Japan in September, we would not have any problem raising sponsorship. But that was not the case. It was only through the government that we secured the backing to compete in China. For that, we are very grateful indeed.

    A lot of people overseas have asked me why we still find it so hard to get sponsors at home even though we have won the production car world title. And we are the only Asians to have done so.
    They thought it should not be a problem because the sponsors get (advertising) mileage each time we take the car out. I am an A-seeded driver and I start out at the front. Therefore TV coverage is not the problem. I just don't know what to tell them. I appreciate that people outside the country are more appreciative of us. For example, India-based JK Tyres, who have chipped in with some sponsorship for the last two rounds

    Having to deal with the uncertainties was also a reason that prompted Allen to decide to quit. For my new partner, I would prefer him to be a Malaysian. A few people, including foreigners, have approached me. The first few races next season will be a learning process for me. I have to adjust to working with a new partner."

    Alot of comments and dissatisfactions actually have been voiced concerning this matter. refer
  • PaulTan

  • Malaysians have been and are very mad concerning the fate of our Flying Sikh....I myself have voiced my 2 cents worth at paultan.org...
    Alot of us were blamming race as the major issue and the whole lot of red tape at the govt...but after reading what Karamjit had to say, it's good to know atlease the govt did help him and Allen secure sponsorship to compete in china! But thats not gonna do, the govt should go the WHOLE 9 YARDS!!!
    Does Malaysia actually wanna loose a true Champion that has proven his worth numerous times?? I for one wouldn't wanna see that happening!

    here are some rants from
  • PaulTan.org

  • Well we hope ur sponsorship problem gets remedied soon by Malaysians be it by the govt or ngo's ...If it doesnt we wish you all the best with whatever direction you choose....Mr. Karamjit, You'll always be a TRUE MALAYSIAN CHAMPION!!

    posted by paradoxx at 11:03 PM


    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Now you know why Malaysians are migrating in droves. I expect even more will come to live in Australia which does not discriminate and allows you to get on with your life. I migrated after qualifying as a lawyer and haven't looked back altho the early years were tough. Funny thing is that I now help others migrate altho at the back of my mind I live in(forlorn,probably) hope that Malaysia will change. After 50 years of Malay rule, there is no hope that policies like the the NEP will help malays out of the rut they are in. BN types will continue with the "Malays are in danger" stories for as along as they can. I am glad I left.

    3:54 PM  

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