November 1st 2008, the MHF Management Committee was elected with a new leadership helmed by TM of Pahang. A seasoned sports official having been involved with Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), still in Asian Football Confederation (AFC), serving President of Malaysian Polo Association and Asian Polo, TM is not new to the game. However he is new to hockey and this probably explains the sense of careful and slow approach. Sometimes I wonder whether it is so excessive that it may seen to be lethargic.
I take this view based on what has been happening or not happening for the last one and the half months. The Management Committee that was elected at the BGM has not met. Strangely naming the various Committees and their Chairman was done after a discussion with the Deputy President and Secretary only. The list was not endorsed by the Management Committee before it was announced at the Council Meeting. Indeed some officials were shocked to see their names there. Rumour has it that the person named as Chairman of Coaching Committee does not want to take up his appointment. This seem to put MHF in an embarrassing position.
Now I understand that there is a Seminar on Malaysian hockey. Yet again I have been informed that the Management Committee is in the dark. They have yet to meet since the election. It would seem the President, Deputy President and Secretary seem to be the only elected office bearers of MHF and are functioning as though their decision is final. There is no official consultation with the other elected office bearers and determining if they have a view on the matter. Some say it is early days and given time matters would settle down properly.
Now the question is who is organising the Seminar, its Agenda and finalising its findings. One must take note that barring the President and one of the Vice President the rest are from the "old guards". Their past performance does not speak highly of them.
There are issues brewing. The timely intervention by TM on the Junior World Cup 2009 infrastructure issue in Johor Baru is highly commendable. Yet, the Management Committee is in the dark as to the progress. Why? Simple reason - no Management meeting. Then there is the issue of the National Coach. Apparently before Beijing Olympics, the Korean coach for China's national team was keen to come to Malaysia. After the Olympics he was suppose to talk terms. Now the rumour is that he would not be coming or his demands for a package is unrealistic.
Not surprising there is another Korean already in town trying to work his way to secure that position. He has circulated his bio-data to various people in and out of MHF so as it can reach the
the right persons in NSC. On the other side TM has openly come out to state that they are looking for a European coach. What a brilliant move but I hope TM does not close the doors on Australian coaches. Again others in MHF are caught out not knowing what is happening.
TM having named people to various position, it would seem some "jerry mandering" has taken place when the official letters were sent. Those who were to be in the Consultative Committee have ended up in the Wawasan Committee and the reverse in other cases. Why the fiddling after the announcement? Further the functioning aspect of these Committees are not clearly detailed while the integration aspects to the structure of MHF is not defined. The President of MHF is named as Advisor to both these Committees. A most peculiar arrangement i.e the President advising personalities who are fully conversant with hockey. A diabolical scenario!
Those who have hockey at heart believe that the TM is being advised by one too many groups and seems to be caught out with the maxim that " too many cooks spoil the broth". Many of them also believe some among them is doing it for their own benefit to safeguard their own territories. The TM has to be cautious, for in wanting to help hockey he must have the right advice. This is something he can only decide and he must do it soon. On the meantime he has to regularise the meetings with the Management Committee and define the roles and positions of the Consultative & Wawasan Committees.