Welcome to Singapore, Jermaine Pennant, congratulations on putting pen to paper with Tampines Rovers to be the S-League’s highest paid player.

Biggest boos to Rovers former chairman Teo Hock Seng, the very experienced football guru with more than two decades of pro football experience, who showed the way to Pennant, the first two Singlish phrase, commonly heard at football matches: Referee Kayu!

Shame on Tampines Rovers.

Is this the way, Mr Teo, you baptise the former England striker to make a mockery of the men-in-black, the judges of S-League, at a full-house press conference on Tuesday at Komoco Motors?

Is this the disgraceful, dishonourable, disreputable and degrading way, you slap the referees in the face the Pennant-way, knowing very well that the 33-year-old footballer already has an ill-mannered repute with his unsporting behaviour in his decade-long career?


How do you think, Mr Teo, the men-in-black will react to the S-League’s highest paid player when he jeers them publicly and the major newspapers and websites, from Singapore all the way to London, carried your shameful, sickening, stinking showmanship?

The Straits Times reported: “And egged on by former Stags chairman Teo Hock Seng, Pennant even revealed that he had learned a Singlish phrase commonly heard at football matches in Singapore: Referee kayu.”

Is this how you offer Pennant a true assimilation into local culture, by “demonstrating that one essential skill everybody who visits Singapore must possess”.

Shame on you, Mr Teo. Shame on you, Tampines Rovers.

In my view, this public rendition of “referee kayu” is as demeaning, derogatory, dispicable and distressing as how an Israeli Embassy staff in Singapore last month used a Singapore flag as a table cloth at a party, which immediately drew an apology from the Israeli government.

Now I think it is only decent that the S-League takes a serious view of this public outcry of “referee kayu” and demand a public apology from Tampines Rovers and Mr Teo Hock Seng.

Mark my words, the public disgrace and disorderly whack on referees, on the eve of the 2016 season, is a very, very serious offence.

All S-League clubs, players and officials must be reminded that football judges, who do a volunteer night S-League job after a regular day’s work, must be respected and never ever humiliated in public.

May I repeat: Shame on you, Tampines Rovers!

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