Sources indicate for MHF and Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) to bid for the JWC 2009, certain personalities in both these set-ups concocted a plan to enhance both the countries positions. This related to the Champions Trophy which in 2007 was to be held in Pakistan. In view of prevailing problems relating to public safety, the tournament was cancelled and Malaysia became FIH's saviour i.e the new host. This action by MHF was apparently the concocted plan and reached the ears of FIH because certain official of SHF sits on the Executive Board of FIH. Essentially it is a reflection of a "smart partnership" between MHF and SHF.
So what came out of this partnership:
- For MHF
- Organising and participating in the Champions Trophy and incurring a debt of RM1.3 million.
- Being given the right to co-hosts JWC 2009 with Johor Baru as the venue.
- Automatic qualification for the National Juniors or not they would not have qualified for the tournament.
- Providing a "piggy back" for Singapore to ride on Malaysia's past organisational capabilities on international hockey tournaments.
- For SHF
- Assisting Malaysia's case in FIH to co-hosts JWC 2009.
- Singapore can display their professional skills in organising a major sporting event and add it as another "feather" to their country's "curriculum vitae".
- Singapore Junior hockey team automatically qualifies for the tournament or not they would be decades away from qualifying.
- It is a "kudos" to a certain official in SHF for bringing JWC 2009 to Singapore.
Sometime in August 2008, the then Deputy President of MHF invited the media to Johor Baru and proudly presented the new hockey stadium supposedly with the 2 pitches. It caught a number of people by surprise as most were not expecting any progress including myself. It was a brilliantly kept "secret" and in a way silenced the most ardent critics of the then Deputy President. Interesting was the cost and it was quantified at RM15.0 million.
A joint meeting was held in September 2008 between MHF and SHF and the then President of MHF made a "turn around" and indicated to the media that the hockey stadium in Johor Baru is on track and will be ready well before the JWC in June 2009. Similarly, in October 2008 an FIH inspection team visited the site and indicated they were fully satisfied with the progress and there is no jeopardy to the JWC 2009.
TM, the new President of MHF has moved fast to check out the facilities at Johor Baru. The shocking news is the work on the 2nd pitch had not commenced and another RM5.0 million is required. Even more shocking is why such information is "worming" its way so late? Why was this not raised at the recent BGM or the various Council Meetings prior to the BGM? Why did FIH inspection team not raise this officially with MHF? There are more questions but then it shows that the MHF set-up just allowed matters as important as JWC to be in one person's hands. Mind you, it is in the former President's tenure that all these prevailed. Yet! he is heading today's MHF's Consultative Committee.
Whatever excuse can be given, but it is a known fact that a FIH award must have stated the requirement of 2 pitches. This cannot just surface overnight.. On the issue of cost, Malacca Hockey Association (MHA) can vouch what was their outlay for a hockey stadium with 2 pitches. One thing you can be sure, it is not RM20.0 million. It seem everything related to JWC from the start was not right.
TM and a team has to take full control of the JWC organising committee and ensure things are put right. Failing which we are only permitting the destruction of the creditability and image of our country. TM could easily know the truth as most of members in the old Management Committee are still in the new Management Committee. Facts cannot change but people can "colour" it and that is where TM must be careful.