MHF Council meets on 16th.August and this meeting could decide the fate of Malaysian hockey. The key question is whether the Council is prepared to accept the deteriorating performance of Malaysian hockey at all levels in the international arena . The Seniors, Juniors and the Under 16 have shown how pathetically they have performed including with minnow hockey nations. Will MHF still remain in denial or just find excuses that it is just a "bad spell" and that performance would improve with time?
I raise this question because a number of MHF officials seem pre-occupied with undermining the efforts of others (eg the 102 former hockey internationals) rather than doing constructive work to improve national hockey. With such a prevailing environment anything is possible in MHF these days.
An important matter here is also the 3-man Panel that is to be chaired by the OCM Deputy President. It was reported as per the MHF Secretary that the Report of the Panel shall be forwarded to the Council on 16th.August. I myself am eagerly waiting to see if that happens, especially as the Chairman of the Panel is at the Olympics and the 3rd person is yet to be named. I wonder who is preparing the Report? Further it would be interesting to know what is the scope of work for the Panel.
While Malaysian hockey has reached its "lowest level" in performance, I hope that the Council does not forget the aspects of the allegations that is part of the Police investigation. I do hope the Council would do the proper thing of instituting its own investigation including liaising with the Police. This is important as the Police would see it from a different perspective i.e criminal or equivalent, while MHF would incorporate matters from players' discipline, officials' primary focus and management of rest hours during training and tournaments. Not undertaking such an investigation by MHF would mean we may, by act of omission, condone such alleged activities if they had really taken place. If this is done it would put to rest any doubts and send a message that MHF is prepared to do what is needful to ensure Malaysian hockey's image is not tarnished.
On the question of image, the MHF Council have to take cognisance of what is happening with the co-hosting of the World Cup Junior Hockey with Singapore. In June 2008, the MHF President gave the impression that nothing much is progressing. The Tournament is scheduled in June 2009 i.e 10 to 11 months away. At this point, it is believed Johor Baru shall be Malaysia's venue except there is no hockey ground there that could fulfil FIH requirements for international tournament. Talks that a Hockey Stadium is to be built in JB seem to have created more a "mirage" rather than a reality. Even if the "mirage" can become a reality, the question is whether there is sufficient time and resources to undertake such a project. The MHF Council need to satisfy themselves of this and ensure both Malaysian hockey and Malaysia's name is properly safeguarded.
The MHF Council has its work cut out. The Council must ensure that they are not "steam rolled"and left in an unenviable position of being blamed for not doing the proper things at the right time. After all the Affiliates make MHF and therefore it is your responsibility. Good Luck.