Friday, June 20, 2008

"Hockey Fixers" per Malay Mail

Yesterday, I said that Johnson Fernandez's appearance in hockey news for the front page of Malay Mail means that he has obviously "smelled "out that something is wrong in Malaysian hockey. I honestly thought that things were moving the right way. However, after reading this morning's newspaper, I was rather shocked with what the MHF Secretary had to say of the scheduled meeting on Monday 23rd June. Strictly to do with the poor performance at the Olympic Qualifiers in Japan, was his view for the meeting agenda. My God! This is completely different from what i read in yesterday's Mail. It would seem that the MHF Secretary is unable to comprehend the very intent of the President of MHF to hold the Monday's meeting. It would seem another "spanner" is being thrown into the works.

Johnson Fernandez did not mince words with today's Malay Mail's headlines. "Hockey Fixers" and the story is told in 2oth June 2008. Game fixing has finally arrived to Malaysian hockey. Was it a long awaited period for the greedy players to enrich themselves?

The disgust churns the tummies of a number of former internationals. They cannot understand why players get involved and "sell out" matches they play. "Sell out" means they put bets in the matches they play and determine its outcome. Accordingly, they are able to enrich themselves. It is all about greed and is nothing to do with the pride of playing in National colours. I just cannot understand this as they are given good monthly allowance and other perks, which former hockey players would be envious of. Purely greed!

It would be interesting to see whether the Malay Mail will expose the growth of money lending business in hockey. Again it would seem officials, coaches, players and consultants are all involved parties. The other aspect is "kuttu" or what some refer to as "chit fund". Indeed to some this is a saving scheme, which gives a lump sum payout when the investor is due for his monies. Are all these distractions necessary at the hockey field? More so, as the lines of responsibility, roles and functions become so intermixed, everybody becomes a business partner or associate, how can one than expect anything else to be done?

National Sports Council (NSC) has come under tremendous pressure. Honestly, they could have done a lot. NSC was like "Santa Claus", handing out their funds without MHF giving them details, timeline, budget and targets. Everything is ad-hoc e.g. now the Senior team proposes to go to Hanover in Germany for a tournament during Puasa month or a China tour. Justification - " ta ada". If the hue and cries had not started someone would have just signed a cheque and a few in NSC would have also hopped on the trip too. It is the same people in NSC that have been involved in hockey and they do not seem to bring any fresh breath or ideas. For them it is another day of work whether Malaysia wins or loses.

So, when the Director General of NSC pointed fingers at the Deputy President of MHF as one of the parties to be blamed for the current scenario, I thought he was a very brave man. He would be more brave if he could also reshuffle his own setup and ensure his officials could also justify and account for the funds with the results of National Sports Associations(NSA) like MHF.

We must congratulate Mail Mail for having the guts to speak out with the necessary evidence. Without a doubt an experience hand like Johnson knows where to "tickle" to get the breaking news. Excellent work Johnson.


lazarus rokk said...

Dear Gandhi,

I always believe that there are two kinds of journalists -- one who writes about what happens, and the other who makes things happen and writes about it. Having highlighted johnson's news breaking story, what is your next step. Apart from your comments on it, are u calling for the resignation of the MHF top brass. I know Johnson has the scrotal gumption to challenge Tengku Majid's credibility and credentials as a sports leader. But the question is my friend, are u going to lead a crusade to get rid of those wo are hurting the sport. Are u going to be that category of media man who makes things happen. Cheers!!!

Gandhi, said...

Lazarus Rokk,another renowned name in the sporting fraternity had posed an interesting question to me.
Am i just a commentator or a person who is going to work for a change?
I am a sports lover and when i started this column, my objective was to use it as a forum to discuss about sports in this country.It is my hope that it would contribute in its little way to improving standards.
A crusade to throw officials out had not crossed my mind.More importantly,throwing people out maybe the easiest thing to do, justifiable or not but are the replacements better enough to do the job.It may further contribute to the demise of the game.
So, Mr Rokk at this stage it is impossible to answer your question fully.So, for the moment i will continue striving to be critical including praising parties where necessary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Gandhi,

It is nice to know that Mr Lazarus Rokk is also concern with regards to the latest development of Malaysian hockey.

The sad part about all this is that all those journalists who make things happen and writes about it took the VSS earlier.

I can only think of this reason as to why Sports Associations gets away with the way they managed the game.

Mr Rokk it is even sadder when some allegations are directed to one of your colleague who was in Japan. His allege involvement in some way affected the team’s performance.

I guess when a journalist can’t write about what happens then his role and responsibility to the public is as good as none.

To those journalists who make things happen and write about it, welcome back to the real world and please push for the benchmark in journalism.

Again Mr Ghandhi your comment is very relevant. When we make things happen and force for a change it could be the demise of the game.

What if the replacements are not good enough to do the job?

lazarus rokk said...


Honestly, are you telling me that MHF can do worse than the present leadersip, if you can call it one that is. Seriously my friends, do u believe that if anwar and Tk majid step down or are coerced into doing so, it will cause further damage. This leadership must surely go down in the history of the MHF as the worst ever. I bet even if they bring in A R Badul for president and Achappan for deputy, they will do a better job. On hindsight i feel johnson and i could have made a mistake in calling for the resignations of sultan azlan and tan sri alagendra. but i had told Ali then that he had made a mistake in not grooming someone to take over the reins. which is why MHF is suffering a crisis in succession. And this is prevalent in other sports too we do not seem to have administrators of that calibre anymore. even if we do they dnt want to get involved because of the politics and the politicking.

Gandhi, said...

According to Lazarus Rokk, even our local comedians can do a better job.In a way i think he must be feeling "guilty" of calling for the resignation of Sultan Azlan Shah and Tan Sri Alagendra.
I think seeing where hockey is today,Lazarus must be finding the avenue to make amends.Why not? It takes a person with great courage and responsibility to indicate such a thing.
Indeed,i always have had great admiration for Lazarus.A man who gets straight to the point and is prepared to be honest about his views.
I wish i had some of his courage too !