Hockey has, in the past, provided great times for Malaysians. In Malaysian context, hockey was the 1st team event where Malaysia had participated at an Olympics and that was at Melbourne in 1956. The 1st team event to win a bronze at Asian Games. It is the first team event where Malaysia had organised 2 World Cups i.e in 1972 and 2002. The list of hockey achievements are numerous.
On the other side there have been disappointments and most of these relate to failure to qualify for the World Cup and the Olympic. Hockey also contributed to the 2nd constitutional changes relating to Royalties following an incident that took place at a hockey game. Such has been the length and breath of hockey's influence on Malaysians.
On November 1st, the Affiliates of MHF would select the Office Bearers who would work with the new President,TM, who won uncontested on Nomination day. The incumbent Deputy President, 2 incumbent Vice Presidents and a well known hockey lover are eyeing for the post. of Deputy President. The most interesting part of the elections.
Strangest of all, the 2 incumbent Vice Presidents were initially supporters of the incumbent Deputy President in the previous election. The 1st to fall out was the Vice President who originates from Malacca. Indeed he fell out of favour with the current incumbent Deputy President on the eve of the previous election. Since then this Malacca personality has gone through hell in MHF as they have made his life intolerable. So much so he had been on a "war path" and promised for a long time that he would take on the incumbent Deputy President. He has been one of the 2 persons who has canvassed the Affiliates for the change. Something that has materialised with this election.
The other incumbent Vice President originates from Kuala Lumpur and is a medical doctor by profession. A man who played ball with the incumbent Deputy President for a long period of time. This was done despite of occasions where he was ceremonially removed from positions to put the incumbent Deputy President's loyalists. He was totally frustrated when he found that he was not in the original list of candidates prepared by the loyalists of the incumbent Deputy President. He used various renowned personalities, one of whom felt his presences in MHF would be helpful to him in his position in another organisation. This obviously did not go well with most of the Affiliates and there is a strong belief that he will withdraw before the election. Failing which he would be termed as a "spoiler".
As for the known hockey lover, it is a pity if MHF cannot find a place for this good passionate hockey reformist. He decided to retire early as a CEO of an Oil & Gas company so as he could pursue his PhD. This would give him the time to be of great assistance to MHF. Unfortunately KLHA who nominated him did not get a consensus from the other Affiliates and this did not go done well. He has very good hockey credentials including being the prime author of the "Wawasan Hoki", the only existing Master Plan which the current MHF refuses to comprehend. Like the Doc from KL, if he remains in the race, he may also be seen as a "spoiler"
As for the incumbent Deputy President, it seem he is pushing his luck in wanting to contest. Many hockey supporters have apportion the blame directly on him for the dismal state of Malaysian hockey. A lot has to do with the sort of advice he gets and the way his "henchmen" go around doing their work in MHF. A man who cannot find the time to attend MHF Management and Council Meetings still thinks he can contribute to MHF.
Rumours are flying around of the incumbent Deputy President"s unfulfilled promise at the last election 2 years ago. The promise of a grant of RM 5000 per Affiliate and 500 hockey sticks has left a "bad taste" and a "ear ache" with the Affiliates as they remember the verbal commitments.
Many believe that the incumbent Deputy President should voluntary withdraw from the contest, as this would be the most honourable thing to do. Unfortunately his interest in the Junior World Cup 2009 with Malaysia's venue being Johor Baru may be the stumbling block. That tournament itself is embroiled in its own controversy and it is coming under careful scrutiny. It is very much the incumbent's decision.
Seriously, moving away from the election and looking at the future of Malaysian hockey: Would the TM's leadership and with the other Office Bearers coming from the same old set-up, help to uplift Malaysian hockey to world standards? I cannot see that happening unless the TM takes on board an Agenda that can be driven by certain co-opted people to make the change. Good Luck MHF.