Saturday, August 30, 2008

MHF's peculiarities in organising Junior Hockey World Cup

Reading this morning's daily, I was shocked at how a major event like the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) somehow is not a priority item on the MHF Council's agenda for the mid August meeting. The fact that clarification to questions on the JHWC can only be answered at the September 2008 Council meeting, is intriguing to say the very least. The reason given is that the Deputy President was not in attendance at the Council Meeting. Mind you, he has been absent for nearly 3 or 4 of such Council Meetings, and thus how could it be possible to clarify?

Just to remind hockey lovers, in June 2008, the President of MHF had indicated to the media that there is no progress on the JHWC. That was 2 months ago and now, again, in mid-August, they are somehow still not in any position to clarify. It would seem only 1 person i.e the Deputy President knows what is happening and nobody else in the MHF Management Committee is aware including the President, 6 Vice-Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer. It gives the impression that insofar as the MHF is concerned, the JHWC is a "1 man wagon". Is it because this one man is the only person working in the MHF, or that he is such a personality that he chooses when and what to report? Whichever way the responsibility lies with the MHF.

Therefore, awaiting a report from the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) to know about the progress of the JHWC gives a further impression that the MHF may have abdicated the responsibility to the JHA. This is very strange as on Friday's Malay Mail one of the MHF Vice Presidents seem to have indicated the difficulties of affiliates in comparison to the good job done by Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (KLHA). Yet somehow the MHF has left an international event like the JHWC to an affiliate who may not be held in any great esteem by the MHF themselves. How strange and confusing

The JHWC seems to have revealed some peculiarities that may be taking place in MHF. Even if it is not, the manner in which things are being done appears to manifest something that is not normal. The fact that in January 2008 it was reported in the MHF that the JHWC was awarded to Malaysia, and that the Match schedules were prepared and approved by the FIH in March 2008, with Johor Baru and Singapore as venues, reflects the depth of work that has gone into it. The drama begins here with the following :
  1. Did the MHF endorse for the official bidding of the JHWC as co-hosts with the Singapore Hockey Association (SHA)?
  2. If so, was there a written understanding between the MHF and the SHA on the arrangements to the bidding and what should follow once an award is made by FIH?
  3. Why did the MHF nominate Johor Baru as the Malaysian venue, knowing that there are no hockey pitches there that fulfil FIH requirements?
  4. The NSC's support for bidding named Kuala Lumpur as the venue, so why did the MHF pursue with Johor Baru which did not have the facilities?
  5. On what basis did the FIH award the co-hosting of the JHWC, and why was such an award letter was not made available to the MHF Management Committee, the MHF Council and the NSC?
  6. What assurance did the MHF have that Johor Baru would have the 2 new hockey pitches well in advance of the JHWC?
  7. What is the "fall back" position for the MHF if Johor Baru does not have the facilities built in time, or fail entirely to build them? Would the FIH and the SHA agree to it?
  8. When would the FIH want to inspect the facilities at Johor Baru to sanction it as fit for use?
  9. Has the MHF and the SHA entered into a formal Agreement after the FIH Award of co-hosting, taking into account the basis of co-operation, the scope of work for each party, the responsibilities, undertakings, financial implications and other relevant matters?
  10. Did the MHF appoint an Organising Committee for the JHWC?
  11. How does the JHA fit into the co-hosting and was this officially endorsed by the MHF?
  12. Has the NSC been fully informed and are they assisting in the organising of the JHWC?
These above are merely the basics that need to be addressed, and it is shocking that an organization of the MHF's stature somehow has overlooked such key points. Instead, they seem to be intent on abdicating every responsibility and effectively making it the sole purview of a single man and the JHA.

Coming on the back of the MHF's dismal record involving the collapse of standards within the various National teams, it seems that the JHWC is the next to fall victim of the MHF's bizarre methods.

However, while the failing national teams may be a dent in the pride of our country's hockey, the JHWC is an entirely different matter. Not only does the MHF's reputation hinge on successfully hosting the tournament, but as it is a Government supported event the entire country's reputation in the sporting world is on the line too. It would be nothing less than humiliating for our nation were the MHF's shortcomings to affect this international level tournament.

As such it seems only reasonable that the MHF set up a core team that is able to liase with the Government and ensure the success of the JHWC. Hockey is a team sport, not a one man show, and it seems like the MHF would do well to remember that.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Junior Hockey World Cup - "NSC being kept in the dark"

When FIH was in a quandary about having to suddenly find a host for the Champions Trophy, it was suggested that MHF should help out by agreeing to host it and in exchange negotiate for the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) with Singapore Hockey Association (SHA) as co-hosts. It was rumoured that SHA had the connection in the FIH Council and based on the understanding of helping FIH in its hours of need, it would help to swing the JHWC to this part of the world.

Is this "shop talk" or facts? It is difficult to confirm. What is definite is that MHF did organise the Champions Trophy and the performance in the field and on the "bottom line" was a disaster. Malaysia was last in the tournament and MHF ended with RM$1.3 m in debts. The only "silver lining" was Malaysia was awarded 135 points by FIH, which did assists Malaysia to hold its 15th position in World rankings until FIH releases its new ranking soon.

On the other side, good governance and transparency suffered as MHF summoned an urgent Management Committee Meeting to approve certain guidelines on dissemination of financial and accounting information. In future all MHF financial reports shall not be collated with the main report, instead it shall be a separate serial numbered report and handed out at the meeting and shall be collected back at the end of the meeting. The idea is to prevent any form of information being known to the media, especially after the"breaking news" of MHF's RM$1.7 m debts. Probably, bad news should never be made known!!!

So, Champions Trophy was done and dusted. Therefore attention was turned to JHWC and in January 2008 MHF was informed that they would be co-hosting the tournament with Singapore in June 2009. If there was a prior understanding, it would seem that this news fulfilled the understanding. What is interesting is whether at this point the Malaysian Government, particularly the National Sports Council (NSC), were aware that MHF were bidding for this tournament. This question had to be asked as FIH had approved the match schedules and venues as prepared by SHA representatives even before NSC gave a support letter for the JHWC. The "shocker" is Johor Baru is named as Malaysia's venue.

From logical deduction it would seem that MHF had not informed NSC that they were bidding for JHWC as co-hosts with Singapore and Johor Baru shall be Malaysia's selected venue. What is disturbing and the need for it to be determined is whether MHF had entered into any formal Agreement with SHA and/or with FIH on the basis of co-hosting, including which countries organise the opening and closing ceremonies plus the semi-finals and finals. Aspects of responsibilities, undertakings, sponsors, selection of consultants and contractors, financial implications and other logistic issue must be outlined. Another fundamental aspect is the question of infrastructure particularly the hockey pitches to FIH requirements. So does such an agreement exists?

MHF continues its communications with SHA including jointly appointing Total Sports as Event Managers for the JHWC, with Johor Baru as Malaysia's venue, even without pitches fulfilling FIH requirements. It would seem NSC has been kept in the dark.

NSC's letter of support to FIH in mid-March 2008 seem to advocate Kuala Lumpur as the venue and it was to be part of the attachment to the bidding document. Meantime, FIH had given its approval without NSC's letter, while Johor Baru does not have infrastructure i.e hockey pitches to FIH requirements. An utter state of confusion. The question: What is happening in FIH, MHF and SHA?

MHF is in a sad state of affairs and it seem that they are trying to "bite something that they may not be capable of chewing". It would seem that NSC is being dragged in without timely information or being omitted in receiving the proper information. Why "the clock and dagger" style of doing things?. The major source of funds and support for Malaysian hockey is the NSC and yet they are being treated strangely by MHF.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The confusions in co-hosting Junior Hockey World Cup.

In January 2008 at the MHF Management meeting, it was reported that Malaysia would be co-hosting the Junior Hockey World Cup with Singapore in June 2009. The Meeting expressed its thanks to the excellent work undertaken by the Deputy President who was accredited for the success. It was recognised that the Malaysian Government's support was required, and the Deputy President was to solicit for it, from the National Sports Council (NSC) to the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Strangely, even before NSC could provide the support letter, the FIH had already drawn the match schedule. Two places were named as venue and they are Singapore and Johor Baru. Singapore - yes but why Johor Baru. Maybe because the Deputy President is from the state of Johor and for logistic reasons Johor Baru would be ideal as a place to co-host. All these sound as good enough reasons until NSC's official communication to FIH.

NSC in its communication had indicated the wealth of experience Malaysia has in organising international sporting events and portrayed Kuala Lumpur as the ideal venue with excellent facilities including the Bukit Jalil Sports Complex. Johor Baru was not mentioned. So, why such a dichotomy position between NSC and FIH? What is the position of MHF on this?

The matter gets complicated as Johor Baru does not have hockey piches that could fulfill FIH's requirements to host such a tournament. It had been rumoured that Johor would build the 2 piches well in advance of the Junior World Cup and thereby fulfilling the conditions. It would seem to be a fair argument, especially as there would be more hockey pitches in the country and that Johor Baru would get to have international hockey matches. However, the Junior World Cup is in 9 months and the question is: can such facilities be built in time, and could the FIH both inspect, and approve it in advance of the tournament. The key issues are related to who is going to fund the construction, the availability of land and the period of construction. It would be a gigantic task but not impossible, provided the resources are available; and the whole constructionm, including managing, require near perfect skill without any margin of variation or error.

It would seem FIH had taken a major risk to sanction the venue as Johor Baru rather than Kuala Lumpur. I have come to this view as FIH had already fixed the match schedules and venues. Therefore if Johor Baru is not ready or the facilities is not up to FIH requirements would it mean that FIH would revert to Kuala Lumpur or withdraw the co-hosting from Malaysia. Both have serious implications.

If Kuala Lumpur is the replacement than the time and logistic cost scale significantly. The distance between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur compared to Singapore and Johor Baru is the issue of co-hosting, although in the 2002 Football World Cup there was not much of an issue for Japan and Korea. Here the difficulty is the sudden change at the last moment that could disrupt the organisational work.

The worst of the options is withdrawing the co-hosting completely from Malaysia. This would effectively mean that the National Juniors cannot participate as they did not qualify for the tournament and are only in because Malaysia is co-hosting. This would be a major blow to Malaysian hockey.

The other aspect we must be concerned is that Malaysia has always been recognised as great Organisers and things are properly done. If Johor Baru is not replaced by Kuala Lumpur and our status of co-hosts is withdrawn, it is a major dent in Malaysia's international image in the sporting world. Seeking other events in the future to be held in Malaysia would always have this as a negative stigma.

It would seem neither the MHF Management Committee nor the MHF Council is fully conversant of the issues. As late as June this year it was reported in the local media that nothing is happening insofar as the progress of co-organising the Junior World Cup. A very disturbing comment, yet there must have been reasons for it. Apparently, it is Johor Hockey Association (JHA) that is in the forefront of it.

If that is the truth then MHF is setting an unprecedented example that may unnecessarily drag itself into uncharted waters. It would mean personalities are using MHF's name to undertake activities without the proper approval and understanding of MHF. A typical example which seem to spread as "wild fire" is the appointment of the Event Manager. Apparently Singapore Hockey Association (SHA) had requested MHF to select among the 2 names they had forwarded. MHF's representatives choice was Total Sports. As to why they were selected was not made known particularly the details of the deal. The key question is what benefit would accrue to Malaysian hockey.

What seem to be coming out of this co-hosting is that bare minimum of information is being provided. It would seem that the Johor Hockey Association (JHA) personalities are involved in the main. This is a peculiar move by MHF, and is a dangerous trend. It is a national event and the Government is fully supportive of it. Therefore, it must have the involvement of everyone capable, and not just from one state. It is not the JHA that is organising. It must be understood that it is the MHF and Malaysia.

MHF must take a cue from SHA, as they seem to get all the right people involved including their Government representative. They have qualified people who know exactly what they are doing and what they want. So, MHF do not let down Malaysia's name as you have the track record of your national teams performing badly in the field. Please do not repeat it here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

MHF - "A coach is a teacher"

Reading the comments on the article about Coaches, it somehow brought me back to my schooldays. My teachers had such great influence on me that till today the skills they had taught me has prepared me to take on the challenges in life. Obviously there were "ups" and "downs" but all that is part of the challenges. Everything is an experience to fortify ourselves to be stronger each time.

So when I read Patricia Cross's phrase on teachers i felt how right she was as she portrayed the essences of an "excellent teacher". I felt this could be adopted also to fit an "excellent coach" as both the jobs are very similar.

Replacing the term "teacher" with "coach" and "people" with "players" , Patricia Cross phrase would now read:

"The task of an excellent coach is to stimulate apparently ordinary players to unusual effort.
The tough problem is not identifying winners: it is making winners out of ordinary players."

Lets ask ourselves whether the Chairman of the Coaching Committee, the National Coaches for the Seniors, Juniors and Age Groups have such instinctive qualities in them. I ask this because I have not seen any "herculean" performances in any of the National teams i.e the absence of making winners in ordinary players.

Therefore in what categories are our National Coaches? This is best seen in a phrase of William Arthur Ward. It is about teachers which I have readopted for coaches. It is as follows:

"The mediocre coach tells. The good coach explains.The superior coach demonstrates. The great coach inspires."

Do I have to state it? Surely you should know the answer. I think it is just about "mediocre".

This probably explains why the various Malaysian National teams are not performing and Malaysian hockey is in this dismal state. What makes it sad is that MHF is not too concerned about all this or it is unable to comprehend the matter. Maybe, and maybe they may not have had great teachers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Viewpoint: "MHF National Coaches"

This is an anonymous comment for the previous article titled Part 2 - "The takeover plot". I have posted it again as a main article for the full view of the visitors to the blog. It is good to note the different dimensions to the various arguments. It does encourage a thinking process and calls into question what is happening in Malaysian hockey.

Below is the text of the anonymous comment:

"Dear fellow internationals, its time to rise and protect the wonderful game of hockey. We cant be just sitting back and see the game going down...oops we are already there. Probably we are waiting to see Iceland to the forefront??? please....

Let me take you straight to the point. We read the bias papers and everything is blamed to either the development programme or our players are not good enough for international hockey. Trust me its Bullshit!!! Basically, the coaches are not qualified. Look at the Juniors coach he is the coach who has been with the boys since they were in Bkt Jalil sports school. He nurtured them since then. Five years is a long time for a coach to know where the boys stand. But all we hear is we dont have the players to play in big games. The training programme for the last 5 years merely simple contact game, transfer, pc and goal shooting. Big games are not as simple as that. Tactical approach is the order of the day and our trainings must be skewed to that. We are no where to that and there is no planned set moves or any of that sort. No individual hockey specifics are embedded in the training programme. That is the reason we don't develop a champion or in the olden term "Hockey Wizards.

Why he is not doing it? We cant blame him. The answer is simple. He need to know it himself to teach those advanced skills. He must be able to pick up and correct it during trainings. He need to analyze and find the right match. Guys you and I know that. The juniors coach don't even know how to scoop or flick. Its not a can check yourselves. The coach must be savy enough to be creative or design what best suit his players instead of using some German's training template day in and day out. Boredom eventually sets in and the thinking diminishes. That's the reason the players jam during tight situations. Next we go to U-16 squad. The coach was a waterboy for a Razak Cup and National League team. Never was he involved directly in a game proper. Cheerleader perhaps. Next we have this bald headed coach. For me he is no coach.

We entrust our future of hockey to all these clowns?? No way mate!!! Well one skil they are really excelled in....pussy footing. Sorry to use that phrase on men but similiarities appears here. They adore the chief coach of the National Team. Chief coach became a chief after dropping the senior players and manintained the younger players. This even became easier having the clown coaches around him . This makes him clever. The joke is none of them has a FIH accredition. LOGIC, tells to be top 10 hockey nation, our coach must be top 10. Do we have one? None of the coaches in the line up will qualify for FIH accredition. Next question is what happen to our FIH coaches? Well those with such qualifications were move out tactically to pave the way through for the clowns and the politician. We have two coaches whom were in the same batch with Hendriks in the FIH coaching course . Till date they exchange notes on coaching aspects. None of our clowns has that ability to exchange ideas with the best. Why? Infact, lately one of our up and coming coach attended a FIH coourse conducted by Hendriks and few others. He was also given a opportunity to present a paper for a group. Where is he know?

Mind you all these FIH coaches are olympians and intelectually sound. And MHF rather have an illiterate or a waterboy as the coach instead. Where do you think we are heading to then? MHF least bothered on the quality of coaches. They are more interested in organising tournaments instead. Perhaps they have more important agenda? "

It is sad when the comment engages in "name calling" and some form of personal attack. It kills the message. One may be angry at what is going on, but that does not permit one to indulge in such comments. Nevertheless, the massage is that there is something wrong with the coaches and their training program.

I wonder whether the National Coach for the Senior Team and the Chairman of the Coaching Committee may help shed some light. Surely they have a lot at stake and this blog can provide them with the opportunity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MHF - Part 2: "The takeover plot".

Yesterday I posted Part 1 of the article I received from someone who visits this blog regularly. The article is provoking and it is important that one reads it with care. If what is stated is happening or had happened, then hockey is the ultimate loser.

Below is Part 2 and it too reveals some interesting "stories". Facts or fiction is for one to analyse based on logical thinking taking account of the prevailing scenario in Malaysian hockey.

Part 2

"If they know the term “prudent management” why MHF did incurred the heavy debt hosting the Champions Trophy? When in most sporting events the host seem to be pocketing millions in revenue.

Obviously when the final contract was drawn, the representative from MHF did not understand the terms and clauses in the contract. They could be illiterate in the vetting of the contents in the contract. The “Bodoh Sombong attitude” may be the cause for not engaging a lawyer to act on MHF behalf hence the “Laywer Buruk” was in action. Even the construction of the cameraman platform, MHF has to fork out what is believed to be around RM 30K. Additional speakers were installed, does it make any sense when the NHS 1 which already have the existing speakers from Commonwealth games cannot cater for the Champions Trophy. Why when the speakers are good enough for Commonwealth games why are they not good enough for Champions Trophy?

To add on, some close with the current group who are now loosing faith said that MHF representatives did not understand the contract contents because of their low English proficiency and IQ level. The regular used vocabulary like no problem lah, brother, what time tea?, besok cuti, letih kah, bodoh, why cannot? Sure can lah...etc did not find its way to the contract. One was said not having the knowledge to even start-up the computer. So these are the hard facts from the Champions Trophy MHF contract negotiators who are responsible for the RM1.7 million debts the Government/tax payers has to bear eventually. Some have also questioned why a Bangsar restaurant since the official hotel was Palace of the Golden Horses. Who was the restaurant owner? Who actually dinned there since the bill from the Restaurant was also eye popping matter but covered-up?

Well the deterioration of Malaysian hockey did not matter to them as the second class businessman continues to milk MHF. It was rumoured that a 10% commission was paid to this group since some money transaction was under one of their names. The MHF Constitution was probably amended otherwise they have abused their powers. State affiliates please do the right thing! Ambition by this group to make more money continue to be their fantasy with rumours brewing that they have formed an Event Management company to bring in finds in return for 30% commission. Why an event management company, when all along NSC is funding everything from A to Z.

The money lending and gambling allegations remains unsolved. Can these characters stand for elections in the first place? With these allegations lingering over their heads, the issue of credibility shall be the question the authorities would like see the change in the candidates contesting. Is this the actual reason why the investigation cannot be closed? And regularly the reason that police is still investigating the case is used as an excuse when these issues are brought up for discussion. Are they buying time until after the election is over to announce the findings? Are facts from the police investigation so damaging to these characters that they need to mitigate by the late announcement of the truth?

Never mind those allegations that are still being investigated. What about those offences which these characters were guilty of in the past. One was suspended for hitting an umpire with a stick but got his sentence reduced by pulling cables in MHF. One character settled out of court his assault case on a hockey player after the match in the changing room.

These are the notorious characters going to run the association and represent Malaysia at internationally platform. As we approach October the full take over plot is high in their agenda. To get out of the RM1.7M financial crisis, rumours are that anyone who brings in RM3 million sponsorship will be guaranteed of the Deputy Presidents post.

With the above facts and view, in no circumstance can this group of unethical individuals continue to manage MHF. The need to have a complete “overhaul” is very timely and necessary. The existing Council members must make way for others to redeem Malaysian pride and restore the standard of Malaysian hockey back to its prime. With issues of Integrity and Credibility in MHF current set-up the authorities and public will not back them to carry on managing MHF.

Note: - Please do not be surprised if you are the state association and find 500 hockey sticks delivered to your office doorsteps in the next few days. This could be the result of their excellent fire fighting technique since this article have exposed the empty promises syndrome which is at the moment rated with a score of 10.

Hockey enthusiasts let’s take the bull by the horns to stop the rot!

Malaysia Boleh!"

Is there truth in what was outlined above? This information in a way has frozen my brains. I always thought that people were seeking positions in National Sports Associations (NSAs) to serve the sport, the nation and of course for a bit of glamour too. Surely only a minority must be engaged in such activities, and hockey may be an exception. Whichever way, it is still bad and something must be done so as it does not spread like a "cancer" and ultimately it become "terminal".

The Affiliates of MHF must ensure that MHF is "clean" of such things as it is their responsibility. Anything otherwise would mean that the Affiliates are blameworthy for permitting it.

MHF - Part 1 : "The takeover plot"

The regular visitor to the blog e-mailed me a 2 Part article of which i am posting only Part 1 today. It is his views and i think it is something hockey lovers should read. He seem to have titled it strangely, as though there is sure certainty of the outcome.

Below is the text of Part 1

“Stage 1 takeover plot completed and secured?”

Part 1

"With rumours that the President of MHF is not seeking re-election have raised questions on last year’s election compromise between both, the incumbent President and Deputy President. It must be true now since the decision not seeking re-election is construed as delivering his part of the bargain, thus relinquish the position for the Deputy President’s taking. What seem to be power sharing and transition period at the beginning was actually the reversed of things after the last elections. Without any doubt, it was clearly seen that the President was not in control of the situation after the last election, thus the slide in Malaysian hockey was not his direct doing as a matter of speech. Nevertheless he condoned to almost every demand made by this new group.

The Deputy President in fact was already calling the shots, and as seen in public function exerted his position just like the Champions Trophy, where against protocol he was seated as the of Guest of Honour during the official dinner. In the prize giving ceremony, he was giving away the prize to the Champion. Where does the President fall in? Coincidently, the FIH President was reported to have left the country to due to some urgent matters.

Having witness the existing catastrophes, can the present group be proud of their actions? How on earth are they going to continue managing Malaysian hockey and bring us back to Olympic and World Cup level? I guess the vision and plans will continue to be on an ad hoc basis and orchestrated by a group of money lenders and a blind free thinker who is a state coaching chairman, who also exerted his powers beyond his boundaries.

Some will buy their ideas and believe that this group can still do the job, as there are many pending implementation. Sadly even after 1 year in office all these ideas shall remain in the pipeline without being executed due to their incompetence. Or maybe it is due to time and effort needed in their daily fire fighting routines. Ideas will continue to be painted applicable and the group will continue to market their claim to be capable. But are these ideas feasible to rectify Malaysian debacle. In the first place, Malaysian Hockey deterioration is actually their doing. In any transparent and civilised organisation, their resignation would have deemed appropriate. How can there be check and balance if the same group of people who are being audited for wrong doings, are actually the auditors themselves if they stand for office?

Looking back, immediately after the last election, the road shows to visit the “alliance states” were done. Sarawak, Sabah, and Kelantan were the lucky states to have the new council members visiting their backyard. Problems were discussed at length. Kelantan was promised a new turf immediately. All affiliates were promised 500 hockey sticks, as the personal contribution by the Deputy as a gesture in promoting development at the states before the elections. All states were also promised an artificial turf then. But sad to note, these remains dreams yet to be fulfilled after nearly 2 years in power and probably will never be fulfilled. The new turf for states can be the secondary matter at the moment, but what about the important Junior World venue in Johor Baharu with only 8 months to go is still no where to be seen. Will we loose our Junior World Cup hosting job just like what Malaysia tried to influence India’s 2010 World Cup hosting campaign? After all India have a full 1.5 years and nearly lost the job and MHF has 8 months to-date to fulfil the conditions set by FIH.

We will continue to witness more promises being made and these similar cycles will be seen again after the coming elections. Not withstanding all these undelivered promises, new promises will continue to be added on it, and all promises shall remain a mystical dream for sure. Out of the many promises it is evident that they have exercised to the best of their interest in delivering 2 promises in order to safe guard their positions. Two major areas were given extreme emphasis, appointment of managers for both national, junior and under 16 teams’ overseas assignment, and the appointment of coaches to the national team’s attachment program. Out of these arrangements, the states top brass casting the votes are probably the ones gaining personally. We see hockey at states suffers because MHF’s only promise to take care of the state top brass but no promises were given to kick-off any development programs. Rotation system was cleverly implemented, just like the “Substitution Rule” in the game as to upkeep their promises to reward the cronies. Development program for age group involving the essential tournaments proper has been abandon by MHF and pushing for MSSM to take over. What kind of National body will resort to this and wash their hands of development? But in the midst of this the Coaching Chairman was quoted saying in the local papers that the coaching committee is keen to help the schools by providing technical officials and qualified development coaches so that we can arrest this problem as soon as possible.

Going forward their triumph card strategy of buying vote couple with the existing unsolved allegations and the national team’s poor performance will surely affect the quantum of funding by NSC and corporate companies. Both NSC and TNB the main corporate sponsor having a heavy responsibility to answer to the public and shareholders cannot continue to commit to MHF demands. As such, can MHF continue with this luxury arrangement in funding their overseas training without depending on others? This practise of giving managers “free trips” as how the players put it because they only get to know the manager at the airport and if they are lucky on the day of departure at NSC car park. The sponsors will definitely disassociate themselves from this negative publicity. TNB the main sponsors was extremely disappointed when the press release on claims by MHF that TNB being a corporate company owed MHF, RM500K. Sapura the other sponsor was also in the same boat having given sponsorship from time to time was also mentioned in the press release owing MHF monies.

All these will temporary be forgotten when the elections draw nearer. Rounds of drinks and “brotherhood gathering” with the press, cronies and runners will be strategies to market for them. As always there will never be integrity and accountability in the gathering as money normally changes hands like the last elections. To some these are the facts of life but on the other side of the coin these are disgraceful act, should they know the meaning of it! "

Please note Part 2 is to follow.

Is Malaysian hockey heading that way? It is a dangerous trend if what is stated are FACTS. Sports m,ust be governed by people who know the sports and have the time and commitment to do it. It should not be seen as a platform for personalities to hold the post for power and glamour.

The article posted is very provoking in view but i felt it need to be posted in view of the sad state of affairs in Malaysian hockey.

Monday, August 18, 2008

All round dismal performance in MHF including at its Council Meeting.

The MHF Council Meeting on Saturday 17th August should have been well represented by the Affiliates, especially based on the dismal performance of national teams at all levels. One would have thought that everyone would make time to attend this meeting and ascertain the problems, so as solutions could be found.

Maybe the hopes we have for Malaysian hockey are not shared by certain parties who cannot even attend such Council meetings when hockey is at crossroads. The MHF Deputy President, 5 Vice Presidents and 10 Affiliates were missing. I am told that some of the Office Bearers have missed more than 3 to 4 Council Meetings, yet they want to hold on to the positions.Indeed it is rumoured that some of these personalities are busy putting together a team for the next MHF elections.

This probably explains why the performance of the national teams had been deteriorating. Being elected Office Bearers they seem to have mislaid the trust that was bestowed on them to carry out their jobs properly. This being the case, it would seem the lack of interest and commitment in them has permitted the slump in Malaysian hockey.

On and off the fields our performance had brought a bad image and now at the decision-making Meetings there is a sign of the lack of commitment. Every aspect of Malaysian hockey is caught in a state of rot and the continuous decay could see the very end of Malaysia's involvement in World hockey. That is the price we have to pay for this unhealthy state of affairs in Malaysian hockey.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Malaysia within striking distance of its 1st Olympic Gold

Lee Chong Wei, the Malaysian ranked No 2 in the World Badminton, has booked himself a place in the Olympics Men Badminton Singles finals. In the semi-finals he took on South Korea's Lee Hyun Il and defeated him 21-18, 13-21, 21-13.

Chong Wei's persistent fighting spirit held him together in the 3rd set as the Korean tried to narrow his lead. His jumping cross court smashes, his delicate net play and his stubborn defence was a delight to watch. The South Korean just found it difficult to match Chong Wei's skills as he raced away to win the 3rd set.

Syabas! Chong Wei as you have made Malaysians proud by ensuring that the Jalur Gemilang would be hoisted at the Olympics for the prize award ceremony. All Malaysians would be praying for the glittering colour of gold to be hanging down you neck.

All Malaysians shall be with you as you go to secure the gold in the Olympic Badminton Singles Final.

Malaysian Hockey - "The Power of Money".

Yes! another article that was e-mailed to me from the regular visitor to the blog. The title of the article is appropriately fitting, as money seem to be a determining factor to many things. It has become such an essential ingredient in everything that it can dictate exactly what happens.

Today's hockey seems to be heavily flavoured with money, but still the performance of the national teams do not reciprocate the level of investment that has been put into it. Maybe that is what the writer may mean when he states, "money failed to fix". How can it be? Especially when money seems to dictate matters. Surely something must be wrong somewhere?

Read the article below and judge for yourself if what is written represents the prevailing predicament in Malaysian hockey.

“The Power of Money failed to “fix”?”

Barter, is defined as "a trade or exchange of goods or services without using money." Its origins are traced back to the dawn of mankind.

With civilisation, Barter is often regarded as an old-fashioned means of exchange that was superseded because money is far more efficient.

The power of money is so devastating that we often see how some teams influence various players to hop around from one state to another or from club to club in the Malaysian hockey scene just because the irresponsible characters uses money to entice the players.

The hot questions are; Can money buy shortcut to success? Can shortcut to success be sustained? Is the current debacle as a result of “shortcut” and “money abuse”?

I strongly believe in context of Malaysian hockey, how money spins the game is clearly “an abuse”! In fact it is contributing negatively and retarding the game. To some it is a noble contribution. Taking into consideration the current complication, Malaysian hockey is surely paying for it. Those practicing it without realising their ambitions, couple with the wrong advice by a key “hockey expert” is creating catastrophes to Malaysian hockey. The expert who also has his own agenda in fact is tarnishing these nobleman’s credential and credibility.

With the conclusion of the 17th edition of the Razak Cup, it is very glaring that the defending champion is clearly at the receiving end when “import players” are not at their dispense. What happen to the other players and coaches groomed by this state? Maybe there is no development program and the recent age group highs are also contributed by others for example, Sports Schools Program (KPM).

At the pre-tournament managers’ meeting, all states refused to allow “unethical request” for the release of players born in their states. In the response to this, the effected team manager made a call to his association and the 6 national junior players from that state was not released to play in the tournament. Whoever the team manager was speaking with on the other end of line, must be mentally insane because the decision to put the state above national interest proved that all allegations are not baseless. The question is why only now that we are standing up to put things into right perspective? Are the states aware of the group’s modus operandi now? Does this refusal to budge mean that the power dominance by certain MHF officials is on the decline?

This year, players who refused to attend trial at their home state were the eventual looses. The Kali brothers were in this case a good example whereby they were released to play for their “adopted” state but did not show up but wanted to play for Johor. Born in Malacca and now residing and playing in the KLHA league should give KL the rights over them. Other players whose home state did not participated also refused to be the vehicle for the power crazy and irresponsible group’s ambition.

In the interest of the game, states should start a good development program to help themselves, the journey is long and difficult but very satisfying and rewarding at the end. States that have taken the trouble to groom and create opportunity for players to learn and mature in terms of hockey and career should not be punished. The 14 days residential and employment ruling in the past has been accepted well by all states. This rule will surely not allow crony states to “gang up” and take advantage to monopoly the players amongst themselves.

In the case of Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association for example, over the years KLHA have done a lot good for hockey with the vast league system organised yearly. When the ruling of “place of birth” was enforced, KLHA was caught without the players to represent them in the senior level for the last 3 years. Since then we have seen KLHA taking steps and are more prepared as seen in their ground work with the age group tournaments bearing fruit as they prepare for their future senior level tournaments.

In conclusion, even with the boost of national players, the recent Razak Cup failed to attract the crowd. There was hardly any big turnout for the whole duration of the tournament as though the public is joining and giving the approval to the 102 ex-national players’ petition to the current Malaysian hockey debacle. The Malaysian hockey team’s poor performance and the many unsolved allegations must also have direct influence to it. It is obvious that the credibility of MHF will create a negative response and without a doubt the long term reaction by the public will further kill the game.

I hope the Malaysian players will think outside the box and start changing their mindset in managing their lives. They need to have core principle and ethics as a national hockey player. They must display showing values to the system instead of money can buy their soul.. This is even more essential with the current situation as the few black sheep has tarnished you reputation as a public figure. If you are innocent, please redeem your dignity by stand-up and fight for your rights to change things. You need to play in the top 12 and Olympic, or else you better call it a day. You will be branded “Jagoh Kampung” for the rest of your life! Are you part of the group or just a bystander? Do the right thing to save your soul and Malaysian hockey!

I strongly believe steps should be taken to improve the quality of the premier Razak Cup tournament if we want to move forward:

Ø Revert back to the old ruling format; 14 days residential and employer criteria.

Ø Only states which organise leagues can participate in the Razak Cup.

Ø Set earlier dateline for states to release their “unwanted” players.

Ø Limit the number of national players in each state.

Ø States that do not participate in the age group tournaments shall not be allowed to take part in the Razak Cup Tournament.

Ø Mandatory minimum number of age group players in the team and mandatory number of age group players on the field playing.

Going forward states and club must have their own continuous development program to support national interest and not use money to buy success. Shortcut to success is dangerous!

Malaysia Boleh!

Folks! Is he right? Is his recommendation practical and can it be implemented for the betterment of hockey? Lets hear your views, especially from the States and Clubs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Would it be a meaningful MHF Council Meeting on 16th.August?

MHF Council meets on 16th.August and this meeting could decide the fate of Malaysian hockey. The key question is whether the Council is prepared to accept the deteriorating performance of Malaysian hockey at all levels in the international arena . The Seniors, Juniors and the Under 16 have shown how pathetically they have performed including with minnow hockey nations. Will MHF still remain in denial or just find excuses that it is just a "bad spell" and that performance would improve with time?

I raise this question because a number of MHF officials seem pre-occupied with undermining the efforts of others (eg the 102 former hockey internationals) rather than doing constructive work to improve national hockey. With such a prevailing environment anything is possible in MHF these days.

An important matter here is also the 3-man Panel that is to be chaired by the OCM Deputy President. It was reported as per the MHF Secretary that the Report of the Panel shall be forwarded to the Council on 16th.August. I myself am eagerly waiting to see if that happens, especially as the Chairman of the Panel is at the Olympics and the 3rd person is yet to be named. I wonder who is preparing the Report? Further it would be interesting to know what is the scope of work for the Panel.

While Malaysian hockey has reached its "lowest level" in performance, I hope that the Council does not forget the aspects of the allegations that is part of the Police investigation. I do hope the Council would do the proper thing of instituting its own investigation including liaising with the Police. This is important as the Police would see it from a different perspective i.e criminal or equivalent, while MHF would incorporate matters from players' discipline, officials' primary focus and management of rest hours during training and tournaments. Not undertaking such an investigation by MHF would mean we may, by act of omission, condone such alleged activities if they had really taken place. If this is done it would put to rest any doubts and send a message that MHF is prepared to do what is needful to ensure Malaysian hockey's image is not tarnished.

On the question of image, the MHF Council have to take cognisance of what is happening with the co-hosting of the World Cup Junior Hockey with Singapore. In June 2008, the MHF President gave the impression that nothing much is progressing. The Tournament is scheduled in June 2009 i.e 10 to 11 months away. At this point, it is believed Johor Baru shall be Malaysia's venue except there is no hockey ground there that could fulfil FIH requirements for international tournament. Talks that a Hockey Stadium is to be built in JB seem to have created more a "mirage" rather than a reality. Even if the "mirage" can become a reality, the question is whether there is sufficient time and resources to undertake such a project. The MHF Council need to satisfy themselves of this and ensure both Malaysian hockey and Malaysia's name is properly safeguarded.

The MHF Council has its work cut out. The Council must ensure that they are not "steam rolled"and left in an unenviable position of being blamed for not doing the proper things at the right time. After all the Affiliates make MHF and therefore it is your responsibility. Good Luck.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Common objective - "An attempt to discredit for a passive meeting"

What similarities do these people have:
  • Secretary.
  • Chairman Coaching Committee.
  • National Coach.
  • National Team Manager for a international tournament at Ipoh.
  • President of a Players Association.
  • Former Sports Writer, who prematurely resigned from his previous job.

The thing that is not difficult to guess is that they have connections to MHF and seem to be closely linked to a key senior official in the organisation. If that is all then it does not give rise to any issues except that these people have carried out certain activities which tantamount as attempts to discredit the signature campaign of the former hockey internationals.

All of them have called the younger of the generations of former hockey internationals to either not to sign in support of the "open letter" or if they have signed it to withdraw their signatures. This activity is still ongoing despite their failure to get 30 of the former internationals who participated in the signature campaign for a press conference that was called by the President of the so called Players Association.

For statistic purposes only 2 turned up. One of them indicated he signed without knowing why he did it, while the other mumbled something that was not audible. Another person did turn up but decided not to join them as he was surprise with the poor turnout despite being told of something otherwise.

Even of late, calls have been made to places of work to instill fear so as the former internationals would withdraw their signatures. Names have been "dropped" so as people become worried and decide to pull out in order to avoid trouble. Unfortunately, all that these people are doing is only going to strengthen the former internationals' resolute to ensure that the declining standards of hockey is "checked" and Malaysia can again become a great hockey nation. This is something that these personalities are unable to comprehend and therefore what they are doing is only going to further accelerate the decline of Malaysian hockey.

Why are they carrying out such activities? The obvious answer is that they want to discredit the work done on the signature campaign. They want to make it look that certain cross-section of the former internationals did not know what they were signing and another section on 2nd thoughts want to withdraw their signature. Their whole idea was to destroy the creditability of the "open letter" and the former internationals. The strangest aspect is they are of the impression that the former internationals do not possess any intellect capacity. This is the sort of self destruction that they have brought to Malaysian hockey.

There is also the hidden agenda too. MHF Council is to meet in mid-August and these personalities wanted the"open letter" to be discredited prior to that meeting. They are very concerned as the "open letter had been delivered to the MHF Affiliates and therefore they are of the opinion the Council Meeting may be unusually vocal. If its creditability can be destroyed then the Council members cannot use the letter as basis of their arguments.

The hidden agenda gets even deeper. There is a feeling that with the letter many issues may be questioned including those matters that are being investigated by the Police. Notwithstanding the Police investigation, there are strong opinions that an in-house investigation should have also been done on the allegations. Why this was not done is something the MHF Management Committee can only answer.

As i watch what is happening, i find it difficult to appreciate why people in such positions would want to undertake activities that is only going to destroy the game which they are suppose to be custodians. Finally who loses? Malaysian hockey.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

True Story - "Happenings in MHF Level 3 Coaching course"

The below text should have been posted as a "comment" but I believe it merits an upgrade as a main article. Where possible I have corrected certain glaring spelling errors. Other than that the "comment" is posted "as it is " basis.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "3 Corner fight?" or "Convergence of interest
for ...":

" Frustrated Participant Writes-A True Incident in the Level 3 MHF Coaching Course.I was one of the participant in the recent MHF Level 3 Coaching Course.I did not believe what was happening in the Hockey Scenario until I witnessed with my own eyes and I couldn't wait to reach home to write in the blog. The other participant gave me 2 blogs that is Rizal and Gandhi. This is the first time I am coming into a blog because I heard the local Newspapers own carry out anything about bad about MHF.The course was runned by 5 appointed officials from MHF. One was acting like a coordinator and another old one was passing time there. The GK Coach from Pakistan with his old Methodology was a survivor.The other two was the National Chief Coach and the ex Junior Coach who resigned recently. They both were very shallow in their presentation and experience in conducting a Level 3 course. We got a shock when the National Coach was picking on officials from MSN whom were conducting the course. He was not sure of the subject. He did not know terminologies. The ex junior coach was only a theory man and he did not even held a hockey stick do show any demonstration. Now I know why the Malaysian Hockey standard is going down the drains.The personnel whom saved the course was from MSN. Thanks to coach Vivek from MSN who made the course lively. He executed and demonstrated skills and new hockey strategies which some of the ex internationals who attended the course gave credit to him. He gave about 10 VCD that was latest in hockey that MHF do not have. He was condemned by the National Chief Coach. It was against Ethics of a coach.Instructors from MSN were well prepared and contributed lot to the course. A special thanks to Dr Joseph Raju the Biomechanics whose video session was so lively because of his teaching ability. I don't know why people like him is not used by MHF. Credit should be given to officers from MSN whom were there throughout the course not likje the MHF officials who were there for the opening and closing ceremony only. Special thanks to Cik Mastura from MSN who was the Coordinator.
We participants also got the information that MHF did not even had time table and a syllabus. It was all done by Coach Vivek from MSN. His hard work made the course a successful one because I had the opportunity to do my level 1 and 2 with him.Such a lively and dynamic man. He is the correct man to do coach development for hockey in MSN and MSN as chosen the right person. The same goes to all the MSN officials.MSN as to put some afford to do something to stop the rotting of hockey in MHF.This is all the truth. We had 31 participants , if at all they are sincere they will become witness for my statements above. About 70% will do so."

"Frustrated Participant "

Yet again a Government institution has saved hockey. What is really happening in MHF? You really want to know? They are pre-occupied trying to undermine others who are endeavouring to save hockey. Therefore, they do not have the time to do their normal work. These are the very people who day in and day out are planning to remain in power in MHF. They have already started their campaign. That's all their interest.

"3 Corner fight?" or "Convergence of interest for hockey".

For a few days I was a bit lost because my regular reader had not penned me a mail. The smile was restored on my face a few minutes ago as his mail appeared.

He has titled his latest posting as " A three Corner fight?". Is it? Some may think it that way but I believe the people who may make the difference would see it as a "convergence of interest". The parties who feel threatened would construe it as a fight. This is obviously manifested in the actions of the 2 or 3 MHF officials who have been soliciting some of the signatories to withdraw their signatures. It is rumoured that offers of positions such as coaches, managers and in other areas seem to indicate the desperate acts these people go to to undermine the work that is being done by the former internationals.

As for the President of the so called Former Players Association, I think he is more an opportunist who wants to get into the act. He is probably pulling his hair why he did not come up with the idea or was a signatory to the open letter. That could have given him the publicity. Instead, now eyeing to be Vice President of MHF in the next election, he is working with these MHF personalities to paint a scenario that some did not know what they were signing. Honestly! what sort of rubbish, as they underestimate the intelligence of these people. It is sad and even more sad as in 1 year he could only manage 15 members for his Association.

As for the 102 former internationals, I have come to understand that they have set-up a blogspot: to continue their work. They seem focused and the various allegations have left them unperturbed.

As for me what is important is whether the parties that make the difference see this as a 3 cornered fight. My belief is, the more the participants the better it is for hockey, provide it is not "all talk" only.

Below is the text of the article:

A three Corner fight?”

"The meeting between the representative of the102 ex-international players and the Sport Minister, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaacob on the 4th of August 2008, was received with great enthusiasm from hockey fraternity in Malaysia.

Time frame of one month was given to the 102 ex-international to present a working paper to convince the minister of what is required to lift Malaysian hockey back to the prime level.

With that out of the way, pressure is now building on the two other parties i.e NPHA and MHF. Both needs come up with a blue print should they also wish to contribute like the ex-international. For MHF, the need do not seem necessary but the decline would make it mandatory for them to also present their case to the Minister.

With NPHA President’s sudden appearance to challenge the 102 ex-international’s credibility has actually prompt many enthusiasts to question his agenda. His appearance was in fact even more shocking since the association’s status was dormant for nearly one year since their official launching. Of recent, financial gain would have spurred their “contribution to hockey” whereby funds and donations was sought after to host a dinner to honour some individuals which NPHA has recognised. NPHA, an association which was formed to represent the ex-players, did not received due recognition from MHF the parent body of hockey. Thus NPHA failed to gain affiliation with MHF. The strength of NPHA was also lacking due to the poor support and no interest by the ex-international join the association. This is in view of the unclear reasons and mediocre agendas for forming the association in the first place.

The sudden action by the President of NPHA to voiced his concern on the deteriorating state of Malaysian hockey, has in fact undermined his credibility and until today his intentions remains a mystery. This is very evident since he has done nothing until the 102 ex-international was about to submit the petition to the Sports Minister. He has expressed his willingness to join in the wagon of the ex-internationals but his claims to have ideas as to how hockey in this country can be elevated shall remain a mystery like his “magical appearances”. Would it be better if he is to present a paper own his accord? This is so that in future Mohamad Abdul shall not have the chance to accuse others that he was left out by intention, or judge others credibility. However this will only take place if and when the Minister thinks that he has the substance with regards to this context.

It will not happen if the authorities know the reasoning behind the inspiration in the launching of NPHA, rumours is that on his campaign to gain support, he actually expressed his wishes to also duplicate the success of “Koperasi Guru-Guru Parit Buntar” whereby he has information that the “Koperasi Guru-Guru Parit Buntar” was successfully making profits and believed to be having a fat bank balance.

As such, Mr President please put on your thinking cap for the next few weeks since you are claiming to be having ideas to improve the game!

As for the 2nd party, judging from the normal trend, MHF would have a short cut plan in placed. I strongly believe the “Wawasan Hoki Negara” (WHN) blue print would be used in this pressing situation.

However, MHF must not forget that they have strayed too far from the timeline and this makes the WHN not applicable anymore. I am sure the targets cannot be achieved taking into account that we are now lagging too far behind because of the current sub-standard coaching method and approach. Why didn’t MHF thought about executing the WHN in the first place? Probably all effort and time was focused on their bidding missions to host more tournaments to gain direct entry as per the Coaching Chairman’s statement, whereby there was never a need to go through a qualify process. Maybe the cut and phase technique will be the very most important technique used to tailor for a new WHN now.

Whoever comes up with the best blue print may still not see Malaysian hockey back on track. Malaysian hockey will continue to be at their mercy unless the whole set up is changed from top to bottom, then only the slide can be turn around. Again the “Lembu punya Susu, Sapi punya Nama” will be applied if MHF can’t give us a concrete solution.

With the 2009 Asia Cup already given to Dubai (World Cup Qualifier), 2010 World Cup staying put in India and the 2011 and 2012 edition Champions Trophy also given to India, the next 2 Asian Games host already been appointed, the existing MHF set-up will be obsolete, since the team’s chances to qualify by merit in as good as nil and lost out on all hosting job for the next 4 years will confirm our fate in non-participation for at least 2 Olympic cycle.
Frightening isn't it?

If they would have diligently and prudently managed the association, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

As such our Minister and SAP Chairman, who are fully aware of the situation will sure to be on the look out the right people, people with integrity and trustworthy to get us out of this debacle. People who are commitment and having the sincerity to do the hard work will be critical to get us back on track again. People who practice sports like a religion and forego financial gain will be the right people to carry on the Malaysian quest.

We do not need these "MHF mortician or coroner" doing the daily fire fighting ways to create more devastation to Malaysian Hockey. Adhoc programs to suite the coaches will surely kill hockey.. We must remember the principle that "No individual is bigger that the game"!

So far all these people have failed not only because they lack the knowledge and commitment. But they also do not have the ethics and principle in discharging their duty entrusted to them with sincerity.

On your return from the Olympics, you will surely find that Malaysia FIH ranking would have slumped further. We must not be surprise if our ranking hits the 20th mark, an all time low for Malaysian hockey. We may need to participate in a pre-qualifier to take part in the actual Qualifier in the future.

The authorities have the power and the fate of Malaysian hockey is in our hands!

Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara dan Malaysia Boleh!"

What is happening is an interesting development so long as it is confined to the betterment of hockey. There would be people who see it through different "eyes" and that could create misunderstandings. This must be avoided if the interest is for hockey and the country.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Magnificient Olympics Opening Ceremony

Peoples Republic of China (PRC) must be congratulated for such a grand and meaningful opening ceremony for the Beijing Olympics. All the years and months of hard work have shown results in the perfection and timely manner the pageantry, and shows, including the lighting of the Olympic flame, were undertaken.

The Bird's Nest Stadium was crowded with multinational representatives from 204 nations; and the spectators, with the numerous VVIPs from various nations, i.e friends and foes, showed at least during such hours the World could put aside their difference and enjoy what Beijing had to offer. Simply spectacular as the skies were lit by the very product the Chinese had introduced to the world i.e gunpowder that is used in making fireworks.

It was wonderful to see the Malaysian contingent in their national dress and with the Jalur Gemilang being carried by one of our athletes. What a proud moment it would be for our athletes, and more so for the parents and the loved ones. I am sure we shall all be praying for the Malaysia's first gold and also other medals too.

The Chef De Mission, Datuk Ho Koh Chye must be busy motivating the athletes to bring honour and pride to the nation and also themselves. Lets wish the Malaysian athletes the very best and
hope they enjoy every moment of their time at the Olympics.

Again, congratulations to the people of China for putting up such a show despite the natural disasters and gruelling problems that the country has had to face. Well done.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"What is your agenda NPHA".

This regular reader of the blog is a "gem" of a character. Obviously he can "smell a rat" when he reads the comments of an ex-international, who claims to be President of a particular National Players Hockey Association.

Feeling disgusted with such a personality I have to ask the following:

1stly, does this Association represent ex-internationals or all former players in hockey, irrespective of estate, kampong, state or international status.Please note the distinct difference. The former Sports Commissioner who gave the approval would vouch for it.

2ndly, his own Committee members had signed the petition and they know the true story. I challenge this ex-international to list the numbers to his allegations.

3rdly, he must confess how he is involved with the 2 or 3 people in MHF to undermine the good work done by the 102 former internationals.

4thly, the signatories whom they claim did not know the content of the letter were former internationals from Johore and there is reason why they are trying to instill fear in them.

5thly, the President of the so called Players Association must be thinking that the players who signed must be "dumbbells" i.e so stupid they did not know what they are signing.

6thly, the so called President of the former Players Association has only got 20 to 25 members and is envious that he could not get the publicity while his batch mates who had toiled hard were shaking hands with the right people.

7thly, he tried to join the team that went to meet the Sports Minister and he was told that it was not possible. Ask him why? Then we will know the truth.

8thly, it is important that the truth be made known of the large sum of monies collected for a dinner in Ipoh during Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament and the various promises that were made.

The list is longer but i am limiting it for the moment. It is sad how such a person who seems to be a "sour grape", should be helping to improve the status of Malaysian hockey but rather is trying to find fault on a worthy cause. Man ! I suggest you look into the mirror and ask yourself whether you are doing the right thing or is it out of spite.

God shall be the witness of your actions.

Below is the text of the e-mail:

"Excerpts from 2 local papers.

“WHEN there is an issue to be chewed on many will jump on the bandwagon. Today, ex-national player Mohamad Abdul Hadi, president of the National Players Hockey Association (NPHA) is expected to question the credibility of the 102 ex-internationals who….”

“The Ex-International Hockey Players Association is questioning the eligibility of the petition signed by 102 former players which was submitted to several parties including the Sports Ministry and the National Sports Council.According to the association, some of its members penned their signatures without reading the full content of the 'open letter'.Its association president Mohd Abdul Hadi, a former Asian All-Star player, will clarify the matter today.”

If 102 ex-international consisting 37 Olympians, 29 World Cuppers, nine former national coaches, two former national team managers, 10 former captains, one former World XI player and 10 former Asian All-Stars cannot voice their concern about the game, than what right do you have as President of NPHA over the 102 ex-players.

A person being categorised as ex-national players does not give NPHA the right over them. NPHA may have some right over those ex-national players who are in the association, but then again why is NPHA trying accuse and judge others of their credibility and the eligibility of the petition signed.

Credibility is a big word. If you look up in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it is described as the objective and subjective components of the believability of a source or message. Hence if the source is coming from a person who has gone through legal proceedings, for example a Bankruptcy Act 1967 Section 104 proceedings then his credibility or trustworthiness would have been questioned. I don’t think all the 102 have gone through that.

I am sure that all the NHPA members are aware of what they are signing. Since they are all adults NPHA does not need to speak on their behalf.

I am also not sure if NPHA has any constitution to fall back on, if NPHA has then please deal with your internal matters in house and not create more bullshit to kill the game.

Organising dinners and giving awards to selected individuals do not contribute much to the game. NPHA has also questioned some ex-international who conducted hockey courses and clinics in their capacity in their effort to improve the game.
However on NPHA part, Mohamad Abdul Hadi the president has announced on 28th July 2007:

"The idea is not to challenge, or compete with the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF), but to work together and produce players at the grassroots."

"We will hold tournaments, popularise the sport in remote areas by organising clinics and courses, help cheer the national team during tournaments, and work with the Education Ministry to promote hockey in schools," said Hadi.

I guess after 1 year it in still in the pipeline!

As such why must individuals go through NPHA before they can do anything with regards with hockey?

Are these individuals another group of power crazy and self-centred individuals?

I hope the rumour behind the forming of NPHA is not true. Some claim that this is a vehicle to start a consortium to get into business i.e contract to build turfs, monopoly to sell and distribute hockey equipments in schools and sukan teras etc.

If all this rumours are true about NPHA? Which I sincerely hope not, the members that are misled should resign in my opinion.

How does NPHA plan to help hockey since all NPHA members have gained from representing Malaysia? We shall wait and see!

Malaysia Boleh! "

I must express my gratitude to the reader for expressing his views. He has asked the right questions and lets see if the President of the so called Players Association has the guts to reply. Maybe, his friends in MHF may be able to assist. It is strange how 3 or 4 people in MHF can spoil the name of MHF and ultimately kill Malaysian hockey. Now at least we know where the President of the former Players Association stands.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

An honest analysis of Malaysia's performance in the Asian Cricket Council Trophy.

Another regular reader of the blog has e-mailed an analysis of the Malaysian National team's performance in the ACC Tournament. It is a candid view and it is important that the administrators of Malaysian cricket should take serious note of it and do the needful. This cricket lover has taken the trouble to put his views in writing and I hope many other cricket enthusiasts would also do the same.

Text of his e-mail is as follows:

"I sincerely hope if you could kindly post my fervent plea as a cricket enthusiast in your site so that it would reach other cricket supporters and the relevant cricketing officials in the country.

As a sport that has been cynically categorised by the National Sports Council officials as "hidup segan mati tak mahu", I hope to initiate some positive feedback and comments from ex national players and supporters of the present cricket performance in Malaysia. I've even heard comments from the Malaysian Cricket Association officials that it is fortunate that cricket is not under the spotlight of both the press and public at large unlike hockey and badminton (until you began your blog).

I will concentrate on matters related to the performance of the national team in the recently concluded Asian Cricket Council Trophy held in Kuala Lumpur where 10 countries who have not achieved Test status participated. FYI, Hong Kong became champion and Malaysia finished sixth, one rank better than the last tournament held two years ago. I wish to bring to light that this is not an improvement as many of the officials of the governing body in Malaysia would have unashamedly boasted.

The main culprit of the dismal performance is the beleaguered national captain. A captain in cricket is unlike other sports, he is one who is respected by both the players and officials of the team and although not necessary the best player, he has to show character and ability in order to earn their respect. By putting himself as the last batsman revealed his playing ability, I remembered seeing him opening the batting just a few years ago. Then you would argue that he is more of a bowler, but with a meagre haul of five wickets at the expense of more than 170 runs in the competition? If only he could perform as well as his arguments with the umpire in the friendly matches (posted in voice-in-sport's website on 8th and 13th July, 2008). I was informed that the selection of the current national team was based on their performance in a specially arranged quadrangular competition prior to the main competition and checking the records he certainly did not deserve a place in the team. Hopefully his selection was not based on past glories or worse still his professional occupation as previous captains have been selected based on distinguished positions either in the public or private sectors.

The second culprit had to be the selection of two of the three foreigners who qualified as 'deemed nationals'. Both were washouts with one who had the distinction of playing for the backup squad of a Test country, selected as a specialist bowler but ended with total haul of five wickets for more than 150 runs. The other, a wicketkeeper batsman, performed poorly both with the bat and gloves. Any local player would have taken their places, at least they (Malaysians) would still be around for a couple of years unlike the foreigners who are way past their prime. It is simply bewildering that we are so short of players that we need to rely on the foreigners to don the national colours. We have been runner-up to Nepal in the under 19 version of the competition for three consecutive occasions since 1999 (held biennially) only to perform disastrously last year in our back yard. Where have all the players gone? Only two or three have graduated into the senior ranks. What happened to the remaining 30 or so more players? They would have been at their prime now with the average age of 27.

The national team ended in sixth position because they lost to Singapore, a team whom Malaysia seem to lose with more frequent occasions, whose cricket facilities in the whole island state could not even match the ones in Klang valley alone. We are currently third behind the UAE and Nepal in terms of cricket playing fields with the eventual champion Hong Kong much further down the pecking order. Both players and officials always hid behind the excuse of having no dedicated grounds to train and play a few years back before the national body built the world class oval at Kinrara. Let us not fall into the adage of having first class facility with a third class mentality.

The only bright spot to emerge from the competition was the performance of Suhan Kumar Alagaratnam and Dhinesh Muthuraman who were awarded best batsman and best bowler respectively. Some encouraging performance from the younger players augurs well for the future but how much longer before we emerge as title contenders. Are we still in the development mode even after more than 10 years when the national team achieved their highest ranking by ending up as runner-up to Bangladesh in 1996 who were then on the brink of qualifying as a Test country?

I make this clarion call to all interested parties especially my fellow ex nationals to provide positive inputs to the national association on steps to improve the performance of the national team and development of the sport not only in and around the Klang valley but the whole country, just like those days when inter state matches were keenly fought and bring the best out of the players.

For the betterment of cricket,


The interesting aspect of the above article is the critical analysis. Equally, the writer seems to have focused on certain areas where he feels the right things must be done. His plea for former internationals to provide positive input is a brilliant call and I hope such personalities would take note of it.

MCA too must be pro-active and ensure that the future looks bright for our current and future generation of players.

“Is there hope after the paradigm of change in Malaysian Hockey?”

A regular reader of the blog e-mailed his views on the current debacle in Malaysian hockey. It's contents are interesting and sets our mind into a thinking mode. He wants to know what Malaysian hockey is trying to achieve and how they plan to do it. His views embody aspects of administration, development, coaching and players. It help to tickle our "grey matter".

I must state that it is a delight receiving his e-mail and I think it is something others would also find interesting.

The text of the e-mail is as follows:

"The rot in Malaysian hockey is unavoidable, considering the fact that we have not being professional and prudent in our practices and approach towards the game.

The 102 ex-internationals have prompted all the rightful authorities to take concurrent action to save the game.

What do we hope for by embarking on a salvaging expedition now?
Will there be anything left to salvage from Malaysian hockey mismanagement?
Where is the missing links in the centre of “Malaysian hockey debacle”?

If we look at the big picture there are quite a number of areas we have to tackle before the slide can be reversed. Administrative and coaching areas are the two most critical areas that need equally attention. Besides the two areas, development programme have also come to a stand still. Development of age group, Under 16 has come to near comatose for the last 4 years. This may directly hinder Malaysia’s chances in the salvaging the game in the near future.

In terms of administration, during the late Mr S. Satgunam’s era, there are only 2 personnel in MHF administration office.. The late Mr S. Satgunam and a clerk were sufficient enough to run the whole organisation efficiently. In the current office, we see more than 2 personnel excluding the Hon. Secretary managing the office. A full time General Managers was also in existence until early this year. Even with this lavish manpower set-up behind the running of MHF, we still see MHF lagging behind. One would think that forming of Malaysian Hockey Confederation has added further load to the administration, but this is not the case as Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association is still operating on its own.

The administration of MHF will probably need to hire professionals and qualified people to run the association. Thus, the policy makers shall remain in their capacity without getting involved into the administration part of the association.

Coaching seems to be the hottest topic debated today. The coaching chairman has announced of a need to have standardise salary cap for the local coaches. Obviously the salary structure difference between the local and foreign coach is vast. But can the local coaches be paid greater amount taking into account the nature of the job and the high risk that comes with it. In glance we are fighting for a good cause. However, at the moment the performance of the team cannot support this.

When we analyze deeper, is it just the lack of professionalism and ethics in the coaching set-up or is it also contributed by the lack of competence due to shallow knowledge that is hindering the progress of the game. Players continued to be the target, fitness continue to be an issue. But looking at the way the team plays, many will question the tactical approach of our game. Hence, many will agree that the salary cap cannot be an issue for not achieving the KPI because the justification for a fat adjustment cannot be justified.

What about other local coach out there? What if the decision is to appoint a new local? How many coaches in the MHL have equipped themselves and can guide Malaysia to take on countries who take sports like a religion in the international scene? If those coaches earmarked to fill these positions have plans to implement trail and error method, we can forget about this salvaging exercise.

Players today are also not dumb. The new generation are in someway more learned that the local coaches in most perspective. When the coaches do not have the necessary knowledge they will not gain the respect to command the team. Hence the coach will resort in using fear and money to gain popularity or even worst the “laissez-faire style” coaching approach which will then put the team in jeopardy. It is likelihood that the players will not play for the coaches knowing that the coach does not acquire the necessary knowledge.

Where did we actually go wrong in this coaching disaster? Did the system fail us or those who were in the system’s driver seat failed to foresee this happening?

And finally, can the next appointed coach deliver what is highly expected out of him i.e take us back to the top 12 bracket and participate in the World Cup and Olympic games by merit. Can we turn things around when investigation into match fixing and other illegal activities by coaches and players are still pending without knowing if it would be swept under the carpet as commonly practice.

Why is the investigation taking such a long time and where does the 3 man panel fit into all this delay?

In our quest to hire a new foreign coach, interestingly with all the news being published internationally, will there be any establish foreign coach in the right frame of mind would want to take on the job knowing that he will fail no matter how competent he is when the players decides to make another stunt. There is no guarantee that either a foreign or local coach is going to turning things around, unless all of those involved are taken out.

Can this cancer of gambling be totally cleanout from the system going forward?
Is this the reality of things or is it just mere speculation as claimed by MHF?

As we continue to search and pressed to make a decision, one probably candidate, Kim, Sang-Ryul has voice his disappointment as we have been put him a spot with China Hockey Association. The initial discussion was out in the press as he was likely to take the offer.

Is this a coincident and no malice involved or his negotiation / appointment was sabotaged by putting him under pressure to decline.

The ball is in our court. The relevant authorities and policy makers have to weigh all the concerns and choose the right path.

Player’s strong point must be the bargaining power in the decision making. Malaysian culture and upbringing must also be as important. In practice we will have to pick an establish coach who is free from any commitments; however we need to study if his concept and approach may or may not suit us, “the Malaysian”. It would be good if the people in the driver’s seat understand as to why Malaysian and generally Asian hockey for that matter is on the decline in the search for a suitable candidate.

What is actually needed to guarantee Malaysian hockey paradigm of change will be successfully implemented and all the missing link is connected to clear the mess!

Terry Walsh, FIH Master Coach and our ex-Malaysian Head Coach in an interview with BBC Sports rightfully commented that:

“The skill level of Indian and Pakistan is being eroded while trying to do the other things rather than allowing them to play with their greatest asset. And I think their skill level has to be returned to their game if there is going to be success. With a little bit of catalysis in change to bring out something to provide a better mix, a much better recipe for a very strong product”.

In my opinion these would also apply to Malaysia.

His views are very relevant and this was the core principle used to mould the “Malaysian Style” that ensure Malaysian hockey propelled back into the XXV Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, after missing out for the XXIV Seoul Olympics Games.

Other useful comments included Ric Charlesworth and others.

Pls log on al/198for full interview, audio.

Malaysian hockey’s fate is in our hands! Malaysia Boleh! "

What a provoking article. Something administrators and coaches of hockey must read. The writer obviously has the best interest for Malaysian hockey. We must thank him for the time and effort he had put in to enlighten us. I wish there are many more people like him, then sports in Malaysia would tremendously benefit.