Monday, September 29, 2008

An illusion promise to deliver again?

"Malaysia Boleh" the author of a number of articles in this blog has appeared again. I thought with the Ramadan month he decided to take a break and refrain from making any comments. I was wrong and i must state that it is good to have him back.

The author seem to give an insight into what is happening. It seem that no one is bothered with all the empty promises. The Affiliates are being wooed while NSC continues its role as a "sugar daddy." Therefore MHF has no one to account too. Absolutely a free ride and they can continue their empty promises. Strange but that is the reality.

"Malaysia Boleh" has taken the time to give us his view and has appropriately titled it as an "illusion promise".

Below is the text of his article:

"Two articles posted recently have cleared the air on MHF’s perspective in running age group development programmes.

As for the elite level, the team management is singing a different song all together having again promised to deliver, this time around a direct entry to the 2010 World Cup (without going through the qualifying process) and a result oriented target, the finals at Hamburg Masters. This are surely illusion pledges in the opinion of most people. Direct entry is also their latest motto and propaganda to stay in power to protect their jobs. Looking at the on going preparation, the direct entry to the 2010 World Cup may not happen at all. To start with, the decision to send a team to the Hamburg Masters is questionable since the players’ are not motivated as it clashes with Hari Raya. As usual players’ showing poor commitment and the team is also undergoing substandard training programme. The Holly Ramadan Month which is to bring good things was used as an excuse to train once a day in the pre-competition phase leading to the Hamburg Masters. If preparation was good, positive result may not be impossible since the German Hockey Federation is likely to field their Under 21 to gain exposure while resting their Olympic team. With Pakistan going through another restructuring exercise let us see how prepared are we against them. If we can not beat Pakistan in their chaotic state now, we may just forget about 2010 since there are still Korea, Japan and China that is in our way to make the 2010 direct entry a reality.

In the Sports Minister’s enthusiasm to see hockey back in the 2012 London Olympic as how he has describes it, “the road to London” will probably be just a dream. This target is an unachievable feat asked upon the current National Team (NT) management. It is not that the target is unrealistic but areas of management and coaching non-conformance that will fail us again. Failure in 2010 will further see the spiral effect beyond that thus making the winding road to London an illusion considering MHF’s level of accountability in their development role and the volatile back scene in the Junior Team (JT). The possible injection of the better junior players to the senior team before 2012 Olympic is probably zero. Just like the NT, JT will not be ready physical and mentally due to the same typical mindset of coaches a single training session daily without the strength program.

With that said and done can we just depend on the senior players to deliver in the future? The regular propaganda for not doing well because the national coach inherited “YOUNG PLAYERS/TEAM” cannot be acceptable anymore. Three years has since gone by after the 2005 Rotterdam Junior World Cup. Junior players in NT are now 25 years old. The NT players’ average age and number of international caps at the Olympic qualifier was 25 and 85 respectively. Can age and experience continue to be one of their many lame excuses? With allegations of gambling and illegal money lending activities within the team still not addressed by MHF and lingering over their heads, what are the team’s chances in delivering the 2012 Olympic qualification target?

In the authorities’ last straw to see MHF tows the line, a decision has been made so that a working committee is there to see us back in 2012 Olympics. However, MHF has bluntly rejected this arrangement. WILL the AUTHORITIES let them OFF THE HOOK AGAIN? SHALL or CAN the MHF be allowed to run independently without supervision and monitoring having spend millions with getting any positive ROI?

Finally, if we were to put the highlights of the last 6 months together can we seriously achieve our 2010 World Cup direct entry and qualify of 2012 London Olympic?

  1. Failure to qualify for the Beijing Olympic; thus not playing at any major competition for the last 2 years.
  2. Refuse to accept expert help; MHF is adamant in wanting to maintain the existing flopped coaching structure and refusing a foreign coach. Existing foreign coach/consultant is being kicked around like a football and MHF has re-designated him as an advisor instead of consultant. Cry foul when the "advisor" was not assigned for the Hamburg Masters.
  3. Backlash for Sultan Azlan Shah Tournament short term illusion performance; entered the SAS finals by inviting weaker teams to participate in the 2007 SAS which indirectly improved the invited teams since it was a training ground just before the Olympic qualifier.. For instance we see Canada now rank 14 who was previously behind us rank 16 and after qualified for Beijing Olympics thanks to us, Malaysia are behind them rank 15.
  4. The objective of roping in an Australian “Forward Coach”; is it the skill or mindset or the coaching area that needs to be addressed? Is there simulation to train the forwards to score? Is there desire to score in matches with the allegations?
  5. National players are encouraged to play in foreign leagues; no control on the benchmark /standard of foreign club. Some players are playing in division 2. Probably it would be nice to get paid monthly and abandon national centralised training when the group get smaller..
  6. Training reduced in quality and frequency; training frequency once a day and dropped in training quality during Ramadan but the Hamburg Masters are days away. Actual fact team leaving tonight!
  7. Ad hoc decision to participate in Hamburg Masters; what is the objective since the players are not physically and mentally ready? At what timeline and is there an urgent need to play a tournament? Is the National pride/image not considered if we fail?
  8. Weight training; the team has currently resumed weight training on once a week frequency. Strength training program was never implemented at all for the Olympic qualifier tournament but the team did some gym sessions 2 weeks before leaving for Japan.
  9. Rational behind Thursday morning break; Thursday is declared a rest day thus making Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday nights the only training days during Ramadan (4 session week for this month). Sports Science Theory 2 days training equals to 1 micro cycle! Before Ramadan the same cycle.
  10. MHF abandon age group development; washing their hands of development and force MSSM to take over the organisation of age group tournaments.
  11. False claim to develop the game; insisting on organising tournaments for Under 21 and other senior tournament to develop the game.
  12. IOU still not settled; Empty promises to reward the players, RM1,000 reward for winning the Asia Cup is still not paid. Yet a new promise to reward ... 2 or 3K if team qualifies for the finals at Hamburg Masters. Where is the money coming from? RMK3 X 18 players X 8 officials = RM78K
  13. Other failed promises; failed to deliver of 500 hockey sticks and a new turf to all affiliates as promised before the last election.

The 2010 World Cup direct entry will remain an illusion unless MHF change their ways. To get to the bottom of things and ensure that there is law and order in MHF, the working committee must conduct thorough investigate into the individual(s) or committee(s) that has been responsible for making regularly poor decisions to kill the game? Is there other agendas in making the decisions?

With the self-destructive mode engaged it is matter of time for hockey to be categorised as one of the underachievers and dropped from the core sports before 2012. Unless MHF is cash rich, their arrogance will lead them where! It will be too late to salvage anything when the Sports Commissioner steps in, it will be the suspension I believe coming.

Malaysia Boleh!"

I wish "Malaysia Boleh's" prediction would come right. I honestly think that MHF is beyond redemption unless someone can give some way of solving the current predicament in Malaysian hockey.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

MHF - "Seated comfortably in their positions".

The question I am constantly asking is: Why do the incumbents want to hold on or stand for re-election for a position in MHF? The incumbents have failed miserably as Malaysia's international performance from Senior and Junior to the various other Age groups has suffered all round setbacks. The incumbents decision to hand over Age Group tournaments to Ministry of Education and cancel Champions School tournament after 20 years, is literally putting the last nail on the coffin of development in hockey. The fact that Sukan Teras and Tunas Cemerlang is outside MHF's ambit shows that MHF is completely without a feeder system under their control. Further with NSC funding well over 90% of hockey expenditure, there is really nothing much for the incumbents to do.

Probably, that may be the reason the incumbents want to stay on. There is not much work in MHF as all have been outsourced to NSC including financing. The incumbents feel all they need to do is to "shake legs" and make decision on spending other peoples monies. Honestly, this is quite a comfortable way of undertaking the task which they have been elected to undertake. Now I can understand the incumbents "appetite" as they fulfill their"greed" for positions in MHF.

The sad thing is the incumbents are not bothered about the game. It is all about positions and positioning themselves to be re-elected. It would seem over the 2 years in holding office, not only has Malaysia failed to qualify for a World Cup and an Olympics but they were also struggling with teams that are regarded minnows in hockey. While all this is going on in the field, the incumbents seemly also have been abusing their position and power. Unilateral decision making, hiding salient details from various parties, fortifying ones own team without due consideration for regulations, providing inaccurate statements so as to muzzle any form of actions, continuously creating excuses and passing the "bug" to others and many others which are undertaken to give an impression all is well in MHF. It is essentially a "Machiavellian" approach, thereby creating a "make believe" scenario.

Once or twice people may buy it. In MHF's case it has been going on since the incumbents were elected to their position 2 years ago. Even if they do the right thing people would not believe them anymore.This is the problem like the "cry wolf" nursery story.

In a way we are lucky that the NSC is a good "sugar daddy" for hockey. Whatever it may be or however disastrous the national teams can play, yet NSC is there to support hockey. Take for example, the current Hamburg 4 Nation tournament, where our National Team is participating. Really in the overall targets of the National Team how does this tournament help? More so it is after the month of Ramadan and it would not be fair for our boys. Further it is expected that the other 3 teams i.e Germany, Belgium and Pakistan would be sending a younger team for rebuilding purposes. If that is the case Malaysia too should have sent a mix team of Juniors and Seniors to give better exposure for our younger boys who have the Junior World Cup in June 2009.

This is where our incumbents seem unable to think and plan carefully. The comfortable position in their chairs in MHF would make it difficult for them to exercise their minds. Here again NSC also seem to fail as they are also very comfortable in permitting MHF to spend the funds without knowing what is MHF's overall game plan including the purpose of participating at the Hamburg tournament.

Of course the main culprits in MHF are the Affiliates. They have permitted MHF to decay to the core because the Affiliates just allowed the people in power to do what they like. Although there are some who do stand up yet they seem to be bullied by certain official. Not that it frightens them but the silence of the other Affiliates shows how people are just worried of themselves and their "turf" only. The relationship created by the trips or positions they are offered has instilled an obligated outlook in their minds that they do not want to "shake the tree".

Until the Affiliates have the guts to do the right thing than there is no way anything better can happen to overcome the dismal state of Malaysian hockey. After all the President and Deputy President can still dictate their own terms to decide who could become the future President, while the Affiliates just sit and watch. So Affiliates, what are you all going to do about all this in MHF?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

MCA 3 man Inquiry Panel

The 3 man Inquiry Panel constituted by MCA had made its findings and recommendations to MCA about 8 weeks ago. Just as a refresher, this Panel was to investigate the incident relating to the National Coach from Sri Lanka, the National Captain and a National Umpire. This incident took place at a friendly match between the National Team and the Sri Lankan Expats. It was part of the warm up matches to prepare the National Team for the ACC Tournament.

I had written a number of articles on this incident particularly on the 3 man Panel. As previously indicated the Panel constituted of 2 lawyers and a former General Manager of MCA. Indeed 2 of the 3 were former Malaysian Cricketers and the other is an Organiser of the cricket section in a renowned club. I have maintained that their credentials are impeccable and they would do a good job. My reservation was on ethical grounds on closeness of one of the parties and also of a certain official in MCA.

While I am not privy to the report, I believe that the 3 man Panel had conducted themselves
properly without giving room for any innuendos. Their conduct is exemplary and I hope that it sets a benchmark for others particularly in MCA . As to my earlier reservation, I am unable to withdraw on the grounds that the principles in which it had evolved is still valid and continues to be part of most progressive society. At this stage all I can further add is that the Panel has done a good job.

I understand that the Panel found both the National Coach and the National Captain wrong in intruding into the cricket ground while the game was still being played. As for the Coach, I believe his subsequent action of communicating in writing to various other parties beyond MCA is not proper.I believe that the MCA Exco had reprimanded all 3 and further referred the National Umpire to the Disciplinary Committee.

The punishment for the National Captain may seem to be fair, although I am not fully informed of his past "brushes" with discipline. What seems a bit lop-sided is referring the National Umpire to a Disciplinary Committee and not the National Coach. The National Coach was a former Test player and now in the status of a Coach. He carries with him certain ostensible powers, very similar to that of the National Umpire. Since the National Umpire had abused that power, the same must be seen of the National Coach. Accordingly, the National Coach must also be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.

This is where MCA has messed the good work done by the 3 man Panel. It really shows the lack of wisdom in the decision making process of MCA Exco. Anyway, this whole matter with the MCA Exco does not come out well because too many persons have an interest on the matter. This, in a way, jeopardises the ultimate decision.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MHF leadership thinks "MHF is their private playground".

Johnson Fernandez of Malay Mail wrote an article titled "MHF need to be rescued" on Monday's 22nd September 2008 newsprint. See, under "Sports". Johnson is no ordinary personality in the journalist world. He is one of those who does not mince his words and gets straight to the point. I have kept abreast with his articles particularly in hockey. His passion for hockey is not only journalism inclined, as he is also a hockey coach doing his share of development with young kids. In my books, when Johnson voices a view, I would tend to give it a serious thought.

How right is Johnson as he questions whether MHF is the "private playground" of the President and Deputy President. Obviously these 2 people think that they can determine who should become President between them. In fact I cannot blame them as in the last 2 years both of them had a good ride in MHF despite the following:
  • Poor performance of the various National Teams including failure to qualify for World Cup and Olympics.
  • Allegations on match fixing and the failure to carry out an in-house investigation, notwithstanding a Police investigation.
  • Organising Champions Trophy without proper approval process in MHF.
  • Incurring debts of RM1.3m for Champions Trophy.
  • Misleading MHF's Council on the appointment of the 3 man Panel.
  • Bidding for Junior Hockey World Cup 2009 as co-hosts with Johor Baru as venue, while NSC's support was as if Malaysia would be organising and that Kuala Lumpur shall be the venue.
  • Not providing progress reports on the preparation of Junior Hockey World Cup to MHF Council.
  • Accounts submitted to Council are pre-numbered and only given at the meeting. It is recollected once the meeting is over.
  • Abdication of the age group tournaments and the Champions Schools tournament.
In any other progressive National Hockey Federations such acts would not have been tolerated and the people responsible would have been given the "marching orders". Some how here the Affiliates seem to be extremely tolerant or just could not be bothered or may be too frightened of the consequences of asking questions.

End of the day what is going on in MHF is due to fact that Affiliates have permitted it to happen. They have failed in their duties to exercise their rights to ensure that MHF acts properly. Part of the reason is Affiliates' representatives are given ad-hoc appointments including overseas trips with the teams as a way of "currying" favours.

Sometimes the question is also asked of National Sports Council (NSC) ambivalent attitude towards MHF. They are the principal financier's of MHF i.e all the Coaches and Players salaries, the G.M or Executive Secretary's salary, the Consultants' fees and all the overseas trips expenditure. The other expenditures that are also borne by NSC is the field bookings, the fitness and gym trainers, the dietitian, the masseurs and at times the cooks. Finally, one should not forget the Development programme under Sukan Teras, which has about 400 coaches and 200 centres. Despite all this, NSC seem to go along with MHF as if hockey is currently bringing significant glory to the nation.

I raise this point because MHF gives the impression that they are doing everything. This is a fallacy and the joke is that they do not have much to do if they know how to manage. As for NSC in reality they are carrying the burden and continue to do so. Yet! MHF questions the wisdom of the Sports Minister's decision on the foreign coach and the task force for 2012 Olympics. which on the first place was agreed by its President. There seem to be some form of "wayang kulit" that is taking place in the hierarchy of MHF.

The Affiliates of MHF have to be decisive and not fall for the "gimmicks" of some of the personalities. Why are they so desperate to hold to positions, when they have not performed. I cannot find a valid reason for them. However I can find many reasons why they should gracefully leave the hockey scene and allow MHF and hockey to be saved.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

MCA must clarify the rumours.

Within the cricketing fraternity, there are groups; and each is waiting for the other to make "boo-boos". The umpires, players, officials, "arm chair critics" and others are some of them. Obviously, people will be wondering where to place me.

It is nice to hear them gossip except when some are so serious to the stage that it is tantamount to vengeance. Some of these arguments have manifested in the "comments" column of this blog under the cricketing articles.

In a way it is healthy, so long as it does not deteriorate to personal attacks and ultimately destroy the game of cricket. People, where ever they are, holding positions in cricketing associations, officials, players or spectators, they must understand the first principle in cricket. Cricket is a gentleman's game. As such the decorum must be followed. Many may not realise it, but it is a sacrosanct rule.

Lately, through the blog, some unknowingly have made it known of certain activities at MCA. If it is held to be truthful, it would not do good for MCA and cricket. Still, as it remains a rumour, it means "tails are being wagged" and it sounds like a "whisper" campaign is on. Time has come that I draw attention to MCA and let them formally lay to rest the issues whether right or wrong.

Some of the issues are:
  • Payments for the 7 Sri Lankan expats, who were here for 3 months - The issue is these players were paid by MCA through an allocation from National Sports Council (NSC). The question is: Were they required? Apparently they were paid around US$1500 per month and people are of the view it did not serve the purpose. Their presences accelerated and increased the tension levels. Part of the reason is that these foreign players felt obliged to the MCA Vice President and the former Captain of the National team, who had interviewed and selected them in Sri Lanka. There is a view that these funds were wasted as the foreign players were not of any cricketing stature and the funds could have been better use.
  • Payment for the National Coach from Sri Lanka - Asian Cricket Council (ACC) allocates funds for the non-Tests Asian countries for the appointment of Coach. Apparently the allocation is sufficient to cover the appointment of a qualified foreign coach. Yet, it is told that MCA had applied to NSC for the salary of the National Coach from Sri Lanka for a period of 4 months for US$3500 per month. There is a belief that NSC did approve a payment of US$2500 per month for 3 months. The question is where did ACC's money for the Coach go to? MCA cannot say that they paid the Assistant National Coach because he receives a pathetic RM50 per day for nearly 12 hours a day. Many cannot understand why the Assistant continues especially as his petrol bill itself would eat into 50% of his daily payment. Those who are close to MCA indicate the probability of "juggling" the funds to meet immediate expenses irrespective what it was meant for. Still at the end of the day the "balancing" act has to take place.
  • ACC Tournament in Kuala Lumpur - MCA went out to help ACC as the schedule tournament was to be held somewhere else and the host nation could not proceed. ACC was prepared to pay for the entire expense except they badly needed a host. Again there is talk that MCA formally applied for some sort of grant from NSC to organise the ACC tournament in Malaysia. If that is a fact, then such an application to NSC would be misleading the Authorities.
  • Foreign Players and National Coach on social visit pass - Is this just a speculation? Maybe there are people who just want to create a "stir" for MCA. The point i raise this, is for MCA to do something and put the issue to rest. The talk is not good for MCA, as it gives the impression that all these appointments do not follow the Immigration rules.
I must say some of these rumours have been going around for sometime. I thought they would find a natural death but instead they are persistently resurfacing. I believe MCA can help to finally put it to rest in which ever way.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The 2 new hockey stadiums in Johor Baru

This story i received as a e-mail. An interesting one as it relates to the 2 hockey stadiums that is being buil in Johor Baru for the 2009 Junior Hockey World Cup.

The text is as follows:

"The stadium that was so call ready to host the Junior World Cup is actually the “replacement Stadium” for the existing stadium at Jalan Terbau which the State Government (SEDC) is acquiring back for commercial development. The existing Jalan Terbau stadium which sitting on prime land will be relocated to Taman Daya @ “Junior World Cup Stadium”.

Looking at it there is no JWC stadium being build at all. This Taman Daya Std is a miracle coincident that is at the moment letting them off the hook.

In view of this, I hope no funds will be channelled to JHA for the development of this stadium (15.5M) since it is a state project. I hope you can check on this and prevent JHA and the individuals to siphoned money for their benefit.

Malaysia Boleh!"

Can anyone else confirm this story?

Did MHF "exhume" the Wawasan Hoki Negara for their meeting with the Sports Minister?

Another article i received by e-mail. This writer is a regular participant at my blog. This time he must have written his article in a hurry. Unusual as there are a few grammatical errors which i feel is improper for me to amend.

Nevertheless, he made his point and it is important that we give it a thought.

As for the 102 former hockey internationals submission, it would be good to know what they have proposed. Some would think 102 brains would give you better ideas while others may say "too many cooks spoil the broth". Until we know what is in the submission it would be wrong to prejudge their submission.

The text of the e-mail is as follows:

"Firstly I must congratulate the 102 for successfully submitting to the Sports Minister their proposal to improve Malaysian hockey. I am sure the contents will be very useful since “102 heads” contributed to this..

The NST article on Monday revealed that there will not be a “3 corner fight” which was earlier predicted to happen after the 102 meet the Sports Minister which prompted other parties to jump on the wagon to share the limelight.

The other parties that showed interest are the President of NPHA on his own capacity and the parent body, MHF who can’t wait to prove their innocents in the debacle. The President of NHPA has since gone “missing” after making much fuss about the integrity of 102’s role.

As predicted also, MHF will be using the “Wawasan Hoki Negara” as reported in the press to fight their case to continue claiming capable of running hockey to turn things around. Can WHN be the answer since it was left to collect dust after so long? It will be interesting to see how MHF is going to put forward to the Minister the WHN when it is considered obsolete with the derailed timeline and failure to achieve most of the targets. Amendments to the WHN will most likely be MHF answer to the problem. However can the shortcut style of cut and phase technique work when Malaysian hockey is in this pathetic state.

The issue now is not about setting targets and give empty promises but the basics principle of running the MHF administration and core principle aspects of coaching. Commitment, accountability, planning and transparency are the main causes to the the problems in hand. We shall see the response from the authorities since the original version of WHN is known to them and a copy is probably also in their possession.

Malaysia Boleh!"

It is surprising to see the "Wawasan" document resurface. My understanding is the current Management in MHF had buried it with a RIP note. I wonder why they have exhumed it? There must be a reason.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ministry of Youth & Sports must check the "charade" that is going on in MHF.

There iare rumours in town that various key people in MHF are my sources of information . I would like to deny it outright; but it would raise a question: How do I have access to such news? I really do not know why people are sensitive as to how such news ends up in my blog. The point is that it is not Official Secrets of the State nor price sensitive information. It is only hockey!

Maybe MHF is sensitive because their actions are coming under scrutiny and they find it difficult to cope with good governance and transparency. Their argument would be that the system within MHF itself acts as a check and balance, so why allow others outside MHF to poke in their noses? A good question, except MHF is heavily funded by Government funds through NSC therefore it becomes a peoples' matter. Until MHF is financially independent without State funds then they can choose to ignore the nosiness of the public.

Lets look at some of their actions where MHF's system of check anf balance completely failed to detect the abuse that has taken place.
  1. Organising Champions Trophy and incurring RM 1.3m in debts - MHF did not spell out why they were so keen to replace Lahore as the chosen venue by FIH for the Tournament. Driven by the principle of "doing a favour to derive a favour", MHF through its friends in SHF were hoping to co-host the 2009 Junior Hockey World Cup. Of course for Singapore on their own they would not have been given the privilege as they are not a highly ranked nation in hockey. Therefore "piggy riding" on Malaysia's good track record in organising international hockey tournaments was surely a conditional precedent for Singapore. Maybe the debt of RM 1.3m is MHF's way of displaying their commitment for the 2009 Tournament.
  2. Co-hosting 2009 Junior Hockey World Cup - MHF undertook the bidding for co-hosting without Government's support. In their bidding they had given an "undertaking" for 2 new stadiums to be built and that the venue shall be Johor Baru. FIH awarded the co-hosting in November 2007 to Malaysia with the condition of the "undertaking" to be fulfilled. NSC was only requested for the Government support letter 5 months after the FIH award. Even then MHF did not inform NSC of the "undertaking" to build the 2 stadiums and that Johor Baru shall be the venue. Instead NSC gave support for bidding in March 2008, as though Malaysia is bidding on its own and Kuala Lumpur shall be the venue.
  3. Johor Hockey Association (JHA) the main Organiser of 2009 Junior Hockey World Cup - JHA became a principal player and as to how they got there is subject to a guessing game. Apparently, JHA held a number of meetings with SHF and moved key aspects along the way. This was done in a strange manner without MHF's full authority. Solely the decision of the Deputy President of MHF. The power he has derived seems to give him the right to make unilateral decisions. All this had a purpose.
  4. Johor State Government allocates RM 40.0m with request for additional funding of RM 10.0m - The maneuvering and manipulation of the bidding documentation and the NSC Government support letter were done in order to give the impression to Johor State Government that there has been an endorsement from Federal Government and that the "undertaking" of building the 2 stadiums as stated in the FIH Letter of Award had to be fulfilled. Creating the perception that JHA is the main party enhanced the case to the Johor Government.
  5. Why all this charade? - It was required to undertake the charade to obtain the clearance to start construction of the 2 stadiums. Awaiting for Ministry of Youth & Sports would have created an issue because the matter is not consistent with NSC's letter. Therefore utilising FIH Letter of Award gave evidence as though the Ministry must have endorsed the undertaking of building the 2 stadiums. Further it is rumoured that Johor Baru has been earmarked as the future head office of MHF. The story that is being told is that the Deputy President is putting a line-up for the MHF election scheduled on 1st November. The believe is that he will win and move MHF to Johor Baru as a matter of necessity.
It would be interesting to see whether Ministry of Youth & Sports, NSC, Johor State Government and MHF Council were aware of some of these intricate details. To spend nearly RM 50m for hockey stadiums in these difficult times is a waste of good money. More so, as our standard of hockey has drastically deteriorated and the amount could have been used to rebuild Malaysian hockey to world standard. What is the point of increasing the number of our facilities that are world standard, when we have 3rd class players (and management!). It seems the administrators of hockey have lost all focus and priority.

I hope the Ministry of Youth & Sports can do something which could get rid of this "play acting" by certain personalities who are the main cause of our nation's dismal performance in hockey.

Gangsterism in MCA

Reading the number of comments in the blog on cricket, it may give the impression that cricket has very large amount of followers. Maybe this was true 20 or 30 years ago, but now even for the Affiliates to have their own league is a struggle. One thing is for sure and that is the people involved are quite vociferous, which may have created the impression.

Being "loud" is not an issue, except when one prolongs the matter by just trying to be "one up on the other". A lot of this have arisen because of the inconsistencies that prevail in the MCA. The people that hold positions take the view that they have certain "rights" which are unquestionable. They believe they can do what they want, because they have the power to do so. Most of the time it is arbitrarily undertaken without considering the merits of the issue. Friendship, family connections, revenge or the need for votes, tend to sway the decisions.

Sad but that is the reality. The President of the MCA does not have time with his other commitments, while the Deputy President relies on the power of the votes or having the right connections, which in a way has not given MCA the firm leadership. This leaves the others to undertake what they want on a "cliquish" basis. Therefore in the words of one of the "commentators", it is a policy of scratching one anothers backs to achieve the desired decision. Can you imagine that the Financial Committee had indulged in a discussion involving Umpires, players and an MCA senior official. Mind you, this has nothing to do with finance!!!!

That is what happens in MCA today.

Therefore it is not surprising that i received a e-mai titled "Gangsterism in MCA" describing some of the antics that prevail in MCA. The text is as follows:

"MCA is at it again.

Yesterday they awarded the match to FT. How did they come to that decision? No competition committee meeting was held. Members of the competition committee were not called. There was no inquiry held. The affected umpires were not called the Selangor team rep. was not called.

Four persons met at the MCA office who was the Vice President, Competitions Chairman, The Acting Competitions Chairman and the FT team manager. What do you call this gathering?

The most surprising and unethical part is that two persons decided the verdict. It is the competitions chairman and the acting competitions chairman. If the acting competitions chairman is present why is the competitions chairman there? If the competitions chairman is present why is the acting competitions chairman there?

The acting competitions chairman has overruled the Competition Chairman and compelled the MCA staff to send email to the Selangor team undersigned by the Acting Competitions Chairman. Why is the Competitions Chairman allowing this? If his is not capable of doing his job then he should resign and let the acting chairman take over his duty. Tell him not to make a mockery of himself and become a laughing-stock. Again we see here that the acting competitions chairman seem to take an upper-hand of things.

It was known that the Acting Competitions Chairman was consulting Hon. Sect. most of the time before the decision was made.

The decision made has made many people upset including team managers of certain teams in the Premier League. An SMS had been send quoting;


MCA Development Committee Chairman and MCA Domestic Competitions Chairman.

The decision to award the Premier League match between FT and Selangor to FT by two MCA EXCO members is not agreed upon by the ____Cricket Association. The process in which this decision came about was wrong and unacceptable. ____ Team Manager. cc EXCO."

Monday, September 15, 2008

MCA - Umpires saga seem to continue.

Below is a mail i received on what the writer refers as "MCA against Umpires 2"..If what he says is the truth then MCA seem to have adopted a policy of suppressing issues from being brought to the forefront. If it is not, then the writer must know it is not proper to make wrongful accusations.

I will not make any comments as i have yet to independently verify the matter. I will not invoke past incidents to form an opinion because it would mean i am not giving each case its merit. So if anyone in the Financial Committee or the Council could enlighten us,it would be helpful...

Below is the text of the mail:

"MCA is at it again. In the last email I had mentioned of the father and the impertinent son, i..e. the Hon. Sect. and the National Captain abusing the umpires. Reports were sent by the umpire concerned to MCA regarding the abuse.

Surprisingly, this matter was discussed in a Financial Committee meeting and the whole thing was hushed up. The Hon. Sect. told the umpire concerned that the matter was discussed at the Financial Committee meeting and no further action shall be taken. I am sure the Financial Committee meeting is not the right setting to discuss this matter.

The unhappy umpire however, called the Chairman of the Umpires and Scorers Board and told him of the Financial Committee’s meeting and decision. He requested that this matter to be channelled at the Council or EXCO meeting.

MCA had their Council meeting on Sunday 14th September 2008. Ironically both the Hon. Sect. and the Umpires and Scorers Board Chairman did not show up at the Council meeting. A Good Samaritan from the Council brought up the issue but it was put to halt by the acting Competitions Chairman.

"Looks like the Hon. Sect., the Umpires and Scorers Board Chairman and the Acting Competitions Chairman are scratching each other’s back.

All the current happening has created a sensitivity of unhappiness among the umpiring circle.

Apart from that, a rumour is going around mentioning that a Vice President of MCA has requested the Asian Cricket Council to conduct an umpires course in Malaysia specially for the Pakistanis who are in Malaysia so that MCA can use these Pakistanis to replace the Malaysian Umpires. I hope that it remains as rumours.

Friends of Umpires/Scorers"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Junior Hockey World Cup - MHF can help to erase any doubts. Would they?

On the 30th August 2008 I wrote the article: "MHF's peculiarities in organising Junior Hockey World Cup". In that article I raised about 12 questions, and to-date the questions remains a "thorn" in my thinking process. Again I was reminded of some of the issues following a comment in my recent post, entitled: "Junior Hockey World Cup - Do we know the truth".

What is puzzling in the episode of the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) is whether MHF had properly undertaken their act. I raise this as there are gaps in the chronology that creates certain doubts. These doubts can be easily erased if there are answers for the following questions:
  1. Did the MHF Management Committee and the MHF Council formally agree for the joint bidding as co-hosts with the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) for the 2009 JHWC? If so, when?
  2. Did the MHF provide the reasons why they wanted to bid on a co-hosting basis, and whether there was a formal understanding between the MHF and the SHF?
  3. Did the MHF and the MHF Council agree that the venue for co-hosting the JHWC shall be Johor Baru? If so, what was the rationale?
  4. Did the MHF provide an undertaking to the International Hockey Federation (FIH) that they shall build 2 new stadiums in Johor Baru if Malaysia was selected as a co-host for the JHWC? If so, what was the basis for providing such an undertaking?
  5. Did the MHF Management Committee and the MHF Council approve the bidding document to co-host, with such an undertaking?
  6. Did the MHF formally inform the Government i.e NSC that they were bidding with the SHF to co-host the JHWC and Johor Baru shall be the venue, with an undertaking that 2 new stadiums shall be built? If so did the NSC provide their consent?
Most of these questions would put the MHF in a difficult position unless they have undertaken matters in the proper way. Then, the whole issue of the JHWC becomes a non-issue. It may not sound that simple because the NSC's support was given 4 to 5 months after the award to Malaysia to co-hosts. The other 2 important aspect is that the NSC's letter did not state that the MHF's bid was on a co-hosting basis and further they did specify that Kuala Lumpur shall be the venue.

The MHF has much to answer. They have decided to provide the bare minimum of information and hope that all goes well. This is fair provided that everything is properly done. If the MHF feels so, then the the JHWC can be easily put to rest by clearing any lingering doubts. It is as simple as that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Junior Hockey World Cup - Do we know the truth?

It was interesting to see how the Junior Hockey World Cup (JHWC) co-hosting issues unfolded. Obviously certain groups are attempting to gloss over the issues, leaving a lot of "holes" in their journey. To provide creditability to their endeavours they rushed the joint co-hosting meeting to Kuala Lumpur, and got the MHF President to attend it for the 1st time. This is a whole 9 months after the award by International Hockey Federation (FIH) to Malaysia as co-hosts of the JHWC.

Prior to this meeting, the MHF President in his own words to the media in June and August 2008, stated that he was not aware as to what was transpiring. It would seem that he was "shut out" from such information. I do not blame him for the actions that were taking place in Johor Baru and Singapore. The Johor Hockey Association (JHA) had strangely acquired "national" status to enter into discussions with the Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF). This was not difficult to understand as the MHF's Deputy President is also the JHA's President and the whole matter of the JHWC suddenly became a "right" of the JHA.

The question is how far all of this maneuvering to create a certain perception would have enticed the Johor State Government to approve an allocation of nearly RM$40 million for the construction of 2 hockey stadiums. Indeed it is rumoured that there is a further request to increase the allocation by another RM$10 to 12 million. This would bring the total up to about RM$50 or 52 million.

The Johor State Government in making the original allocation must have been guided by the FIH Letter of Award to the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), with the condition that 2 new hockey stadiums had to be built for the JHWC. This would have been a key turning point in the decision making for the Mentri Besar of Johor, who was also a former Sports Minister. He would have assumed that the necessary process and procedures had been adopted in MHF's bid including the necessary support from the Malaysian Government. This is a prerequisite by the Malaysian Government before any National Sports Associations bid for international events especially if they want the Government support.

The question is where did FIH get the idea of the 2 new hockey stadiums? They cannot just "pluck" it out of the sky. It must have come from the bidding papers of the MHC (for all purposes it is the MHF) . The FIH would not stipulate such conditions unless the MHF had provided such undertaking.

Now comes the interesting question: On what basis did the MHF provide such an undertaking?

Before anyone contemplates an answer, the following facts must be known:
  • In November 2007, the FIH awarded the co-hosting of the JHWC to the MHF and the SHF.
  • In January 2008, the MHF at its Management Committee reported the the FIH's decision on the JHWC and that the Government's support had been obtained.
  • In March 2008, the National Sports Council (NSC) on behalf of the Government provided a support letter for the MHF's bid for the JHWC. The letter was addressed to the FIH Secretary and stated that Kuala Lumpur has the required hockey facilities and had the experience of organising major international sporting events.
  • In late March 2008, the FIH approved the match schedules and Johor Baru was named as Malaysia's venue.
If the NSC provided a support letter 4 months after the FIH had awarded the JHWC to the MHF, therefore the undertaking of building the 2 new stadiums in the bidding would not have had the consent of the Government. It is also safe to conclude that when the Government gave the support letter, the the FIH decision of co-hosting and its pre-condition may not have been comminicated to the Government. Now we can understand why the NSC's support letter only stated that it was the MHC who was bidding and Kuala Lumpur should be the venue.

In summary, it would seem that the Federal Government and the State Government through NSC may have been misled on the JHWC by the MHF and/or JHA. As such the capital expenditure allocation of approximately RM$50 million for the 2 stadiums need not necessarily be borne by the Government as they had not consented for the construction of the 2 hockey stadiums in the 1st place.

Seemingly the entire organisational process of this tournament is to cater to the whimsical fancies of a few who appear willing to drag both country and tournament through the mud in the process. In the meantime, there is no white knight to take on the MHF and demand the truth that they should have provided from the get go. Is it any wonder that hockey is in a shamble?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

MHF - Part 2 :"Stop the illusion act".

This a continuation from yesterday's Part 1.

· "In the last Under-14 tournament players from Sports School and Tunas Cermelang (TC) Schools were barred from turning out for their home states. The reason behind it was the fear that players from these program may make the Sukan Teras program players look ordinary. Again with protest from all corners, the MSS and TC players were eventually allowed to play. The fear become reality at the tournament as the prediction was correct, MSS and TC players overshadow the Sukan Teras players. The participation of Sports School and TC players can actually uplift the standard of hockey, and their participation can be used as a gauge on the level Sukan Teras Program should be achieving. This will also be the check and balance to see if the Sukan Teras Program is making any progress or heading the right direction after 3 years of implementation.

· The VP of MHF was also quoted saying that the Premier School tournament has destroyed MHF plans to develop the game. Firstly in the case of development the more tournaments simulation the better it is for these young players as the rate of improvement is greater. Secondly the Premier Schools and the Champions School tournaments are two different concepts and target groups. Premier school are part of the big system and a Premier school may not be a sport based/concept school at states. As such the Premier schools may not be the Champions of each state. In actual fact, the action by MHF in cancelling the “actual Champions School tournament” from the calendar is depriving the best schools in the country to play competitively and have a showdown to declare the ultimate best at the tournament. Moreover Premier School tournament is self sufficient, the running of the tournament and financing of it, is all by MOE’s resources, as such what has the Premier School Tournament got to do with MHF or the destruction of MHF development plan? Other disturbing questions:-

Ø Is the decision in closing the chapter on Champions school tournament for the best interest of developing the game?

Ø Is this action destroying any hope of tapping and developing these age group potentials thus the future of Malaysian hockey?

Ø How can the Premier school tournament destroy MHF plans when it is an additional tournament and self-sufficient not requiring any MHF assistance?

· No designated coaches for the age group teams for the last 4 years. The under 14, 16 and 18 were without a designated coach. Even if the coaches were appointed on a “as is where is basis” the training camps did not take place. With that being the situation MHF continue to send National age group teams for overseas tournament without any proper training program. With 1or 2 weeks camp the team goes for a tournament and as a result the Malaysian teams are the whipping boys each time. The funny thing in this is that for the regular participation in the overseas tournament, MHF is diligent enough to seek financial assistance from NSC for this purpose. But for a consistence planned training program, the periodical training phase no effort can be seen in this area. The need to have a continuity and effective Development Plan raised these questions:-

Ø Is there no plan to organise training camp for development?

Ø Why no fund was allocated by NSC for development work?

Ø In the first place, did MHF submit a yearly master plan on this as required in any project for funding purposes?

Ø Is there a need to participate in overseas tournament when the boys are not ready because there was no training camp?

Ø Are there coaches appointed and what is the tenor of appointment?

Ø Are the coaches appointed qualified “Development Coaches”?

Ø Is there continuity in the coaching process for the players? Maybe not because the coaches and managers keep changing and taking turns.

We can write a book about the list of other poor management decisions that has contributed to the destruction of the game, however it may not be appropriate in this column since it is to clear the air.

If we take English football for instance, the importance of development is strongly believed and identified to be the fundamental reason behind England poor showing at international level.


The Special One was quoted saying “The country has to establish a better development programme if it wants to qualify for, and win, major tournaments”

MHF being the parent body has to take responsibility and not continue to blame the Ministry of Education or NSC because development aspect of the game lies with MHF in the first place. When the parent body are not capable in conforming to the basics of their responsibility it would deem as shirking by the normal standard in managing anything. As such MHF has no right to be disappointed when the comatose state of the association is accused of washing their hands off the development aspect of the game which is in the first place rightfully the responsibility of the parent body.

The Premier School and Champion School tournament cannot be an excuse to shirk of responsibility as the manpower needed for umpiring, teachers leave issue and other technical aspect of the tournament are within the controllable scope of the Ministry of Education in the first place. These are the untold version of hard facts which MHF seems to ignore and when continues poor policy, and their failure to appreciate good work by others. The reality remains that MHF’s actions are the main causes for the highly deterioration state of Malaysian hockey.

The blaming game can go on and on, but Malaysian hockey is at the verge of extinction. The big questions to MHF:-

Ø What have MHF done for the age group development in the last 4 years?

Ø Why it is only in the last 4 years that the development area is neglected?

Ø Again, who was responsible for the planning and execution of development programs in the last 4 years?

Ø Why MHF failed to work with MSN and did not have a cordial working relationship with Ministry of Education over the years?

The sudden call by the MHF Vice President for the Ministry of Education to work hand-in-hand will not go down well with the Ministry since all the above points revealed poor cordial working relations and poor decision-making, refusal to accept facts and above all refusal to cooperate with others to develop the game. Time and time again the MOE (the MSS system/players) are at the receiving end.

The call now for alliance with MHF in the aspect of coaching must be scrutinised in depth. As seen today with the elite teams, even MHF Level 3 National coaches failed to demonstrate and execute the basic principle of a coach. Bad influence and guidance saw how the discipline and hockey image deteriorate to and unthinkable stage at the moment. MHF list of coaches being ex-national only give them the slide advantage but their level 3 accreditation remains a piece of paper taking into consideration the quality of the course, background of the coach and instructors involved. With MSSM’s target group being school children, it will be a major factor in the Ministry of Education decision will be critical and the need for the Ministry to be 100% convinced of the arrangement and sharing the same level of confidence with MHF on the use of MHF coaches. Question to ponder on this aspect:-

Ø Is there no other way than the suggestion to use MHF state coaches?

Ø Why MHF did not acknowledge the good work done by teachers?

Ø Why MHF can’t think of a solution and have a plan to train and upgrade the existing teachers in the MSSM system if MHF believe the teachers are “weak” for the betterment of hockey but instead pushing for MSSM to use their state coaches which have proven to do so much for the game?

Ø Is there a difference in MHF and MSSM coaches working with the children in areas of; integrity, ethics, commitment, reliability, trustworthiness, parental guidance, self-esteem, respect, background and lastly knowledge?

Lastly in the first place, why is MSSM / MOE pressured to undertake the organisation of the age group tournaments? After all many parties have overlooked the facts and the answer to the root is purely simple. MSSM was organising the under 12 and 18 to cater for their needs. The changes to 12, 14, 16 and 18 age group format are the decisions by MHF. In view of this if MHF want to abandon any of the tournaments they are shirking their responsibility to develop the game. Since they have single out MSSM old format being weak and not effective in developing the age group, this “job handover” which is not the MSSM primary scope can not be accepted. There is no point forcing down MSSM throat when this mess are not their doing!

When MHF continues to ignore others and practice poor vision, planning and unable to digest and understand the required steps to improve the game, Malaysia don’t stand a chance at international stage. Continues denial and poor perception of facts will elevate the massive destructive rate of Malaysian hockey.

For the good of hockey we hope to see drastic changes in the coming elections and hope the right people are appointed to carry out the task in redeeming Malaysian’s pride. The dead wood must be removed from the system to turn things around. The respective authorities must act immediately so that the children are not deprived of a good development program to secure their potential and future of Malaysian hockey. No individual is above the GAME!

Malaysia Boleh!"

Yes! No individual is above the game. It seem in MHF such a statement does not hold. The maneuvering and manipulation that goes on is purely to sustain power and make life easier for certain personalities. How in January 2008 the Vice President in charge of Development was unceremoniously removed and given the post of Chairman of Competition Committee. That is fine but his replacement is the Chairman of Coaching Committee, who does not even have the "spine" to Chair the meeting with MSSM, when they announced the abdication of the Development programme of Age Groups to MSSM.

The Chairman of Coaching Committee credential in the appointment of coaches show the level he pits his standards. In comparison with what is happening in the rest of the world's hockey community, the Chairman of the Coaching Committee must be an endangered species, whose standards are probably 20 years behind. Therefore where do you think his charges standards would be? This itself would give you an impression why Malaysian hockey is in a diabolical state.

Therefore giving him the additional post of Chairman of Development, is a sure way of "putting the final nail in the coffin." Guess what? It had happened and MHF had abdicated its responsibility in Development.

As for the Vice President who had to become Chairman of Competition, he too has been successfully kept out of the Junior Hockey World Cup, despite the fact the tournament shall also be played in Malaysia. Sadly, his omission does not stop there. Timely, he was also replaced as Secretary of Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), so as he would be out of the circle of people who would be the selected few who have access to the Junior Hockey World Cup information. An ultimate act of illusion.

"Now you see and now you don't see." Probably a new motto of MHF.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A plea to MCA - "The game is bigger than all of us".

The article below was a comment i received for the article: MCA - Lack of Professionalism. While it has been posted there, i still felt that the contents deserve a place as a main posting. I gave it a title and i must apologise to the writer. I had no intent of hijacking the article, as it was a plea from someone who had been involved with cricket for nearly 17 years.

Below is the content of the comment:

"The lack of planning in the running of the domestic cricket in Malaysia is very evident when the NO. 1 league in the country is being played this time of the year... a Premier league team plays a total of 4 matches (50 overs game)over 3 months. The league started very silently in August and it is scheduled to end sometime in October due to Hari Raya and other clashing events. Umpires are picked based on availability and not qualification. The National Body gives an impressions that the Players, state affiliates, ground owners, officials and relevant parties need to work around the national body's schedule. Are they that powerful and strong that they can dictate the lives of people around malaysian cricket or are they simply plain ignorant!!
What is the purpose of the National League?
Is it to produce national players? Is it to bring in sponsors?
Is it to provide a platform for cricketers to perform to the best of their ability?
Or is the 2008 National league held because:

1. it is held every year, so we need to organize it this year as well.
2. we will need to have a domestic competition in order to show to the international cricket bodies that Malaysia actually have a domestic competition in place.
3. We are allocated a certain amount of money for domestic cricket hence we need to have the league.
4. The MCA BGM is coming early next year hence we will need to show to the state affiliates that as the sole governing body of cricket in Malaysia, we are doing a good job eventhough it defeats the purpose.
Where is cricket heading in this country???
I believe in an organization such as MCA, every EXCO member is given a portfolio hence we have an EXCO who is the domestic competition chairman, we have an EXCO who is the head of Umpires Board, we have an EXCO who takes care of the facilities, we have an EXCO who is in charge of DEVELOPMENT and every EXCO member including the President has a portfolio under their name. If each and every one of them just go out and do their job without putting their legs into someone elses portfolio, i am sure cricket in Malaysia will be heading into the right direction..

But that only happens in an ideal world... i am sure all cricket lovers out there who knows and follow international cricket will agree with me that in every country and in every cricket board be it in a TEST or Non TEST country, there will positive as well as negatives vibes around it but at no point did their cricket suffer... Without the game, we won't have cricketers, cricket officials, cricket umpires, cricket groundsman, cricket ground and cricket organizations.

But after being involved in cricket in this country for close to 17 years now... there is a tinge of fear in me that says that cricket will not stand the test of time in Malaysia. It will either die of a natural death or in 10 - 20 years time, cricket will be reduced to just another sport that we used to play..

Oh else.. in 10 - 20 years time we will be known as the best NON TEST playing country in organizing a cricket tournament but do not have enough cricketers to form a national team!

Come on people... the game is bigger than all of us.. so lets all of us give back something positive to the game in whatever way we can.. if you are a cricketer, play to your best of your ability, if you are an umpire, do the best of your duties, if you are an official, make sure you carry out your responsibility well and if you are the sole governing body of cricket in the country, pls pls make sure you understand and realize the huge responsibility that you have to develop and promote this game so that the future generation will not lose out in playing and enjoying this GREAT GAME of CRICKET!!!"

To me, he seem to have captured fairly accurately what is taking place in Malaysian cricket. The game attracts a small population but the "happenings" are unusually high and seem very colourful. It would seem that the people currently involved may allow it to become an "endangered" game i.e like a dinosaur.

Just go back 10 or 20 years, when we were giving Bangladesh a "fight for their money". Today they are a "Test" nation and we are slumbering somewhere despite our big dreams. Why? Look at the title of this article and you can understand it.

MHF - Part 1 : "Stop the illusion act".

After an usual period of absence, this blogs regular visitor has sent me a very long article titled: MHF - "Stop the illusion act". Being an extremely long article i had to split it into 2 Parts. Part 2 shall be published tomorrow.

The text of Part 1 is as follows:

"I am extremely concern with the future of Malaysian hockey after reading the article, “MHF Strike Back” in the local daily recently. The article is an eye-opener for most people who are closely involved with development level of the game.

The thought of sharing my view point on the issues and put things in the right perspective is even more urgent after reading this morning papers article - “MSSM will surely take over”.

Over the months, we continue to watch the game being rundown by poor administration and lacking greatly in systematic planning to development the game. However MHF continue to live in a state of denial in this regards. The MHF Vice-President, who was also the former Development Chairman, must take full responsibility as a big portion of the downturn was when he was holding office. Admitting to poor contribution on MHF’s part in the development of game and applauding the development work done by states does not account well as MHF being the parent body failed to take ownership.

As such when we backtrack on the complications resulted by MHF major poor decision-making with regards to the development aspect of the game, Malaysian hockey fan will definitely understand better as to why the game is in this poor state. The list of major mismanagement doubles from day to day. Listed below are some of the major decisions that have hindered the development aspects of Malaysian hockey:-

· MHF failed to work hand-in-hand with National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Education (MOE) in strengthening the existing Malaysian Sports School system/concept (MSS) which was initiated by both NSC and MOE. This project was embarked to systemically look into development of our country’s cream at early age. MHF failed to acknowledge the benefits of MSS system, thus did not provide any kind of support. The Sports Schools, Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar continued not to receive any financial or technical support until today. But instead MHF tried to set-up a “MHF Hockey Academy” not long ago to show what they can do for the game. Looking at the intention of setting-up MHF Academy, we must ask ourselves:-

Ø Whether the intention was for the best interest of the game?

Ø Is there personal agenda behind this?

Ø Why the duplication since a system which already is in place was ignored but MHF choose to embark on the MHF academy?

Ø Can the players /students’ be guaranteed of proper education arrangement and their welfare taken care off with the setting up of MHF Academy without working closely with the relevant authorities; MOE and NSC?

Ø Can the players receive further education to the university level like the MOU between NSC and UPM?

Ø Who was behind this misconception of MSS and why is it still being pursued even after MSS achieved the objectives of the “owners” over the years?

In football, FAM was far sighted and appointed their fulltime coaches with salary paid by FAM. FAM even went the extra mile, taking care of the players’ welfare and granting the footballers’ scholarship/financial scheme while studying in the sports School. FAM could be behind MHF in terms of world ranking but at least FAM is wise enough to support the programme and know that the MSS project is a very positive start to turn things around.

· MHF continues to blame MSS system (SSBJ and SSBP) for the deterioration level of age group development at states. The reason was because players selected to join MSS program was in fact selected thru the age group inter-state tournaments where the cream and potential national materials are identified to join MSS program. This concept which MHF is unhappy about and has openly objected to it in the past. Certain top brass has claimed that this concept has weakened the states development program leaving states with only the “leftovers”. But looking at the “big picture”, it is proving otherwise, the states that supported this program benefited even more as the policy was in place to ensure players are released back to the home state for all domestic age group tournaments. In actual fact, states that supported the program at the beginning like Trengganu, Perak and Johor to name a few benefit as they managed have a larger pool of players in their state program and their cream was given 1st class treatment in their grooming process to be a top class player. However Johor dropout from this “arrangement” and are seen suffering not doing well in the last Under 14 and Under 16 for past 2 years. The latest state to benefit from this “effective program” is Kuala Lumpur where a minimum of 5 players are currently in the MSS program and KLHA also running their own development program. The dependency by MHF on the Malaysian Sports School for players continues over the years. For instance, it is very evident especially out of the 18 players who took part in the National Under-16 tournament in Germany this year; 7 players were from SSBJ and 8 players were from SSBP respectively. The MSS system will continue to deliver since MHF do not have a structured and consistence programme. The effectiveness of the “NSC and KPM” joint venture has raised these questions on MHF part in promoting development:-

Ø Is this program sustaining the of age group development in Malaysian without MHF realising it?

Ø Did the systematic training and exposure provide by MSS system help groom these players, they readiness was for the convenient disposal by MHF?

Ø Is there a systematic development program other that the MSS program in Malaysia? The states probably have but what about the national setup?

Ø Is MHF top brass having personal vendetta against Sports School?

Ø Why is MHF stance continued not to acknowledge MOE and NSC role?

Ø Why the good work and effort by both MOE and NSC is not recognised and frequently criticised?

· The MSS continues to receive double standard treatment as seen in this year MJHL. A new ruling was imposed so that the Under-19 players’ studying in these schools are barred from representing their schools.

Source – The Star Jan 26th, 2008.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) have created a controversy by introducing the new age-eligibility rule for this year's Malaysia Junior Hockey League (MJHL).The MHF Competitions committee came up with two age-limits for players in the MJHL. The League used to cater for players who are 19 years and below. This year it was decided that only clubs can field players who are 19 and below while the two sports schools – Bukit Jalil and Bandar Penawar – can only field players who 18 years and below. This effectively rules out all the pre-university students who form these two schools. But clubs can use these players.”

This ruling could be due to the fact that MSS players are highly sought after. Clubs like TNB and MPPJ are paying big bucks for their services. We must ask ourselves:

Ø Why is MHF implementing double standard policy?

Ø Why the abuse of power?

Ø Are we creating a healthy competitive environment?

Ø Are we cultivating a negative culture, encouraging players to be influenced with the power of money which is the main cause of destruction to hockey as seen in the senior level?

Ø Which club was to benefit from this arrangement?

Ø What is the connection between the benefiting club and MHF top brass in this arrangement?

Note: this ruling receives much protest and was subsequently reversed. This is another proof of MHF incompetent ways!"

Part 2 shall be published tomorrow.