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"Are we MUTE?" (in the first place)

Over the last weekend, I posted two youtube clips (below) of those visiting Malaysians who travelled across to the Causeway to catch the "Harimau" in action against defending S.League champions Etoile FC in a friendly match with proceed being channelled to the Japan quake relief effort.

Visiting Malaysian fans singing (part 1)

Visiting Malaysian fans singing (part 2)

These visiting fans announced their unexpected arrival at the stadium amid the match between Courts Young Lions and Albirex Niigata (S) with their chanting, singing and drumming that took everyone inside the ground by surprise.

"I thought it was some stadiums in Malaysia. I tell you, they never stopped singing. Really hard core. Only stopped when the teams heads for a break." said Neo Chee Seong, who was one of those surprised at the stadium for the double-header, feedback on the thread where I posted the footage .

One of the members of the blog Facebook Group, Ahmad Ridhuan, detailed some background info of these fans: "This is a new breed of fans who call themselves 'Ultras'. It started with the Ultras Malaya who support the national team irrespective of what happen on the pitch.

"To join their ranks you have to prove yourself worthy such as chanting and singing for the whole ninety minutes. Soon almost every state in the M-League began to have their own 'ultras' intimated by the fans though with varying degree of success. They certainly add colours to the football." added Abang Ahmad, who is a native from the northern Malaysian state of Terengganu.

Generally the feedback on the antics by the Malaysian fans (pictured above, while outside the stadium) have been lauded and positive with one fan, however, bring up a point which everyone should take a moment to ponder.

"These Malaysian fans who were cheering when their team played Etolie FC are not any of those young cheer girls we are seeing in S.League matches in recent years.

"I do admit that the need of some noises during the games. But I think as a neutral fan, you will scream and shout with a bunch of hardcore fans than some young girls and wonder why aren't we seeing such stuff in S.League?"asked a fan by the name Wu Ke Ying.

Pertaining that comment, Johnathan A. Francis, the Chairman of Hougang United FC Supporters' Club shares his thoughts with this blog.

"(It) doesn't matter if there are hardcore fans or girls cheering. If it's not my club playing I prefer not to waste my voice. When it's against a team from across the Causeway, I'd lend the local team my silent support." said Francis.

Together with his U4U comrades as the backbone of the Cheetahs' fans club, Francis admits that the group's English terraces-styled of cheering has been attracting both positive and negative responses.

(Pictured above) U4U's members showing their appreciation to Hougang Utd's players after a S.League game.

He said: "We've received our fair share of praises from our own fellow supporters and rival fans, but we are frowned upon by others as well.

"As long as our own players are affected in a positive way by it, I see no reason for us to bother too much about what is being said by others. This is our style, we like it, we are used to it. We've had local elements added in as well, but those are all done spontaneously."

Which is why at the same time, Francis has his own theory on the lack of spontaneous and passion shown by local football fans at games.

"The local culture is something we are up against because Singaporeans are generally shy and do not find it comfortable to be jumping up and down and acting psychotic like us" he explains

"But as more people are used to us, the number of people singing will surely rise. The atmosphere grows better and better at every home game. we will surely look into more ways to teach our fellow fans more songs." he concluded.


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