Neighbourly love – 11 sensational Southeast Asian imports in Malaysia
Many Singaporeans have played in Malaysia, either with an invitational side from the Republic or a local side, but none are as decorated as this Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) star.
Having won the 2013 MSL with Singaporean development side LionsXII, Hariss was no stranger when he signed for the Southern Tigers in November 2013. The rest has been history.
Hariss, who is among the best midfielders in the region, won another three MSL titles to make it four consecutive league winner’s medals in his trophy cabinet. He also added the 2016 FA Cup and his most coveted medal will certainly be from the 2015 AFC Cup after JDT became the first Southeast Asian side to lift the continental trophy.
Hariss is still under JDT’s book but was loaned out to Home United in the S.League after talks of sending him abroad fell flat. He is expected to return to JDT in 2018.
A name that needs no further introduction in the region, Kiatisuk actually did not win anything during his time with Perlis in the late 1990s.
Yet Thailand's all-time leading goalscorer and most capped player (71 goals in 134 matches) left a lasting impression on the Perlis fans as he carved opened defences in the league and entertained the crowds. He was a favourite with the fans and reporters by the time he left for Huddersfield in July 1999.
His English adventure did not go well and he returned to Thailand before successful spells with Armed Forces in Singapore and Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Vietnam.
Kiatisuk, who is often referred to as ‘Zico’ in relation the Brazilian superstar, has since become a successful coach with the War Elephants, winning the AFF Suzuki Cup twice, the SEA Games gold medal and taking Thailand through to the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
He hasn’t forgotten his ties to Perlis though, going on to embrace former coach Bakri Ibni and refer to the latter as his “father and teacher” when the pair met at a hotel after Thailand lifted the 2014 Suzuki Cup in Bukit Jalil.