Prior to this meeting, the MHF President in his own words to the media in June and August 2008, stated that he was not aware as to what was transpiring. It would seem that he was "shut out" from such information. I do not blame him for the actions that were taking place in Johor Baru and Singapore. The Johor Hockey Association (JHA) had strangely acquired "national" status to enter into discussions with the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF). This was not difficult to understand as the MHF's Deputy President is also the JHA's President and the whole matter of the JHWC suddenly became a "right" of the JHA.
The question is how far all of this maneuvering to create a certain perception would have enticed the Johor State Government to approve an allocation of nearly RM$40 million for the construction of 2 hockey stadiums. Indeed it is rumoured that there is a further request to increase the allocation by another RM$10 to 12 million. This would bring the total up to about RM$50 or 52 million.
The Johor State Government in making the original allocation must have been guided by the FIH Letter of Award to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), with the condition that 2 new hockey stadiums had to be built for the JHWC. This would have been a key turning point in the decision making for the Mentri Besar of Johor, who was also a former Sports Minister. He would have assumed that the necessary process and procedures had been adopted in MHF's bid including the necessary support from the Malaysian Government. This is a prerequisite by the Malaysian Government before any National Sports Associations bid for international events especially if they want the Government support.
The question is where did FIH get the idea of the 2 new hockey stadiums? They cannot just "pluck" it out of the sky. It must have come from the bidding papers of the MHC (for all purposes it is the MHF) . The FIH would not stipulate such conditions unless the MHF had provided such undertaking.
Now comes the interesting question: On what basis did the MHF provide such an undertaking?
Before anyone contemplates an answer, the following facts must be known:
- In November 2007, the FIH awarded the co-hosting of the JHWC to the MHF and the SHF.
- In January 2008, the MHF at its Management Committee reported the the FIH's decision on the JHWC and that the Government's support had been obtained.
- In March 2008, the National Sports Council (NSC) on behalf of the Government provided a support letter for the MHF's bid for the JHWC. The letter was addressed to the FIH Secretary and stated that Kuala Lumpur has the required hockey facilities and had the experience of organising major international sporting events.
- In late March 2008, the FIH approved the match schedules and Johor Baru was named as Malaysia's venue.
In summary, it would seem that the Federal Government and the State Government through NSC may have been misled on the JHWC by the MHF and/or JHA. As such the capital expenditure allocation of approximately RM$50 million for the 2 stadiums need not necessarily be borne by the Government as they had not consented for the construction of the 2 hockey stadiums in the 1st place.
Seemingly the entire organisational process of this tournament is to cater to the whimsical fancies of a few who appear willing to drag both country and tournament through the mud in the process. In the meantime, there is no white knight to take on the MHF and demand the truth that they should have provided from the get go. Is it any wonder that hockey is in a shamble?