On first thought I would agree with such a conclusion. However, this is only a superficial position and on deeper analysis the scenario has not changed because the processes involved have shown flaws which call into question a number of matters.
Firstly, what has the President of JHA got to do with the JHWC Tournament? My impression is the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) is the co-hosts and for all purposes it is Malaysian Hockey Federation that is suppose to be organising it. My understanding is the Deputy President of MHF is suppose to be responsible. Although the Deputy President of MHF and the President of JHA are one and the same person, the fundamental question is, why is he undertaking the task in the name of President of JHA. Maybe because the requisition for the hockey stadiums was undertaken by JHA and since the issue is about the hockey stadiums, it seem appropriate for JHA to have their President reveal it to the world.
Again the argument sounds fair except when it comes to the question of funding. So long as Federal and State funds are utilised then it becomes a question of the Government being a party. The matter gets confusing because the Government through NSC may have been misled on the issue of JHWC. As i have outlined in my earlier article, FIH awarded the co-hosting of JHWC in November 2007 and the matter came to MHF's Management meeting in January 2008. At that meeting the efforts of the Deputy President in successfully getting JHWC for Malaysia was recognised. The meeting also took note of the Government's support for the tournament.
The question is, were all the valid facts carried in the reports? Firstly, what was reported was Malaysia was awarded as co-hosts and the venue was not stated. Then the aspect of Government support that was obtained may not reflect what followed. NSC in mid March 2008 addressed a letter to FIH supporting Malaysia's bid and stating that Kuala Lumpur has the facilities to organise the JHWC. This was 4 months after the award by FIH to co-host the tournament, and NSC is of the opinion that MHF is still bidding for the event. This in fact raises a number of questions:
- Why was NSC having such an opinion that JHWC was still at bidding stage?
- Why did MHF report something different i.e that Government support had been obtained at the January Meeting and still requested for a support letter from NSC in March 2008?
- NSC's letter supported Kuala Lumpur as the venue, yet Jahor Baru was named in the Match Schedules as approved by FIH in late March 2008. How come?
Therefore, the cost of the Johor Baru stadiums which is stated to be around RM15 million may be part of the funds that is required from the Government. Sources indicate that there is a major request from Johor to fund the stadiums at around RM50 million. I must state that i am unable to confirm the figure and do apologise if they are exaggerated. Mind you, other stadiums around the same size are in the RM5 to RM6 million range. Even providing for a 100% rise in material and labour cost, it is still RM10 to RM12 million. Whether it is RM50 or RM15 or RM12 million, the vital question is: "Should the Government fund the cost of building the stadiums, considering how NSC may have been misled in providing the support letter?"
The other issue that has clouded matters pertaining to organising the JHWC is how MHF was not kept informed of the progress. Indeed releasing the matters to the media before informing the MHF Management Committee and the MHF Council shows how much of contempt the Deputy President has for MHF. He does not brief the various meetings of the progress and more importantly he seem to be absent for a number of the meetings. It seem that only certain personally selected people are privy to the information, despite the fact it is a MHF "baby".
It is rumoured that it is being kept at JHA level so as to avoid the full details being disclosed or questioned. Further, if the results of the MHF BGM elections in November 2008 does not go the way of certain party, the belief is it would still protect their involvement in JHWC. It seems to be a well thought out plan.
It would seem that in all of this maneuvering, hockey has become a tool for the benefit of certain group. The genuine interest in hockey and how the nation fares is a secondary matter. So do we have the right people to do the job? I hope both the Government i.e NSC and the Affiliates understand this.