Monday, February 2, 2009

....... and it is 3 months, the Report Card for MHF.

1st November 2008, saw the election of the new leadership in MHF. This gave a sense of hope that things would change after 2 years of deterioration in standards of Malaysian hockey. While performance was the main issue but aspects of governance and accountability too became an integral part of the moans and groans of the hockey fraternity.

The outcry for change saw a number of bustling activities from anonymous letters to signature campaign, to the full electioneering process for positions. From various offices, the search was on to find suitable people to helm MHF and bring the changes. There were "big names" involved and i must state most of them had the interest of Malaysian hockey at heart. A few rode on the wave using the "big names" to resurrect themselves, so as their years of service to Malaysian hockey would not be forgotten and they can influence the new leadership.. There were others, who created a scenario that they knew it all and was out to make an impression. Finally, there were people, who just wanted to attend the "victory dinner", irrespective who won. This was the multitude of people with varying interests, who made the cosmopolitan of people, who wanted to participate in the change.

However the state of Malaysian hockey was so bad that it became extremely difficult to find suitable candidates to helm MHF. Finally, through the good offices of a passionate hockey personality that TM of Pahang agreed to become President and the necessary backroom work was done for the TM to be unopposed. Sadly, most of the former office bearers remained and this immediately posed a question: Would the change take place?

On 31st January 2009 TM and his Committee had served 3 months in MHF and the time has come to take a "stocktake" to determine if hockey is moving in the right direction. Therefore the "Report Card" for the 3 months is as follows:

The Positive Outlook.

  1. Appointment of Committee Chairman's.
  • Named the respective personalities within a month of taking over .
  • Presented the list to the MHF Council within a month.
  • Created 2 new Committees, namely Consultative and Wawasan.

2. Organising National Hockey Seminar.

  • Had a national seminar within one and the half months of taking over.
  • President presented his vision of MHF.
  • Various Committees presented their "plans" including the "102" Group.

3. Team Management Committee (TMC).

  • TMC appoints Managers and Coaches for the various national teams.

4. Junior World Cup (JWC) 2009.

  • President visits venue to check status of site. Guarantees MHF shall be ready for JWC.
  • Organising Chairman appointed.
  • Cancelled friendly inter - nation tournament has been reinstated by President for March 2009.

5. Senior National Team.

  • Newly appointed interim coaches requests for fitness and medical tests by ISN on players.
  • "Smoking" by players has become an issue with the coaches.
  • Injury of players particularly those with long term injuries are under pressure to attend rehabilitation.

6. Foreign Coach for Senior Team.

  • President is committed to the appointment of foreign coach and the search is on-going.

7. Donation.

  • The President had received a donation of 2 cars for MHF.

The Negative Outlook.

  1. Appointment of Committee Chairman's
  • The appointments did not get the prior approval of the Management Committee.
  • The MHF Council was duly informed prior to a Management Meeting.

2. National Hockey Seminar.

  • Pathetically organised and shows the inherent weakness of MHF Secretariat.
  • Findings and recommendations have not been collated and circulated to Affiliates and interested parties.

3. Master Plan for Malaysian hockey.

  • MHF is in a "talk" atmosphere and there is absences of "strategic" planning work, a key ingredient in moving forward in the creation of a Master Plan.
  • In the absence of a Master Plan, MHF is both "blind" and "lame" as to its approach over a period of time.
  • One can assume MHF is still on "ad-hoc" mode of operation i.e no different from the past 2 years.

4. Structural revamping of MHF.

  • "102" Former hockey internationals presented a voluminous report and the "road map" including the way forward to revamp MHF. As in the past, this document seem to collect dust too.

5. Team Management Committee (TMC).

  • Certain members in the TMC have put themselves in position of conflict by also sitting in the Consultative or Wawasan Committees, which is to supervise some of the key facets of MHF.
  • A key NSC representative sits on the TMC, which is both ethically wrong and also from a position of conflict.
  • A member of the TMC was also appointed to a position with one of the national teams, which is an infringement of rules of natural justice.
  • Certain appointee of TMC in the national team, who also sits in the Wawasan Committee, which itself is ethically not proper and further it creates a conflict.
  • TMC totally lacked transparency in the appointment of coaches, as they could have advertised the posts for coaches to apply. Governance is not the order of TMC.
  • TMC seem to focus most of their appointments to Kuala Lumpur affiliates only, thereby creating a biase position in the appointment process.
  • The TMC did not do sufficient in-depth work on the appointment, as some of the coaches do not have any "paper" qualification.
  • In making the appointment public, the TMC did not obtain the prior approval of the Management Committee.

6. Coaching Committee.

  • Chairman of Coaching Committee, who sits in the TMC seem to endorse TMC decision without his Committee deliberating on the subject.
  • The Chairman wants all coaches to have appropriate qualifications, yet those who were appointed to the various national teams without "papers" are now given 6 months to obtain them. Why not apply the same rule across the board? Why are some special?
  • Progress of Coaching Committee and its plans seem to be slow.
  • Again the Coaching Committee is abdicating its responsibility by allowing a Vice President (nothing to do with Coaching) in MHF to conduct the negotiations for the foreign coach.

7. Project 2013.

  • TMC in its strange wisdom had appointed most of the coaches involved with a corporate sponsored Age Group development referred to as Project 2013, leading to the Junior World Cup in 2013. This programme was endorsed by the previous administration of MHF.
  • By doing this the TMC has literally "killed" Project 2013 and the involvement of a corporate sponsor.
  • Project 2013 is to be the core of the current Development Committee programme which is referred to as "30/13". Now what happens to this programme?

8. Development Committee.

  • After 3 months this Committee is on a "see saw" outlook. Firstly their programme of "30/13" seem technically undermined by the TMC.
  • Their new programme of Malaysia B team seems to be outside their scope i.e development.
  • The Development Committee seem more interested in National Teams as oppose to creating an interest and promoting the game with young kids. Where is such a plan?

9. Competition Committee

  • A lot of was spoken of a single National league and it was to start in February. Yet suddenly they have gone on "silent" mode.
  • Big ideas with more teams and longer period of competition. Maybe because MHF Calender for 2009 is not ready, they are now in a fix.
  • The Committee has also to check the issue of funding as 2008 winning parties have yet to receive their prize money.

10. Medical Committee and Special Projects Committee.

  • Both these Committees seem to be "passengers" in MHF.
  • Surprising the Chairman of the Medical Committee is involved in the negotiations for a foreign coach. Indeed if any, he should work with ISN and see how best modern innovations could be adopted to enhance players performance.

11. Extremely weak MHF Secretariat.

  • This is one of the key problem area of MHF. The weakness is very apparent but for strange reasons nothing is being done.

12. NSC and their involvement.

  • Today, NSC has become like an affiliate of MHF or an elected office bearer. It seem to be involved on the day to day running of MHF. Its key representatives sit in the Management Committee, Consultative Committee, Wawasan Committee and the Team Management Committee.
  • Ethically and from conflict NSC is in total breach. NSC is the main government agency for Sports but it has to caary out its role properly. The "waters" should not mix but the way NSC is involved in MHF, the lines of demarcation is totally distorted.

13. Foreign Coach.

  • The stories that were told for the last 3 months of the appointment. It all seem to be "stories".
  • The problem is no one with sufficient calibre either at NSC or MHF know how to conduct proper negotiations with the foreign coaches. Those are the hard facts.

In essence, that is the "Report Card" for MHF for their 1st three months. I may have missed some points but I think all in all, the report card does not show a glowing report. Indeed the minimum changes expected in governance and accountability has not materialise. Therefore to expect a MasterPlan and the revamping of MHF is like the "cow jumping over the moon" i.e as good as a nursery rhyme and probably that is what MHF is best at.

All the attention given to MHF seem to reflect the maxim of "too many cooks spoilt the soup". It cannot be far from wrong. Indeed if the 1st three months is an indication of MHF, I really cannot see much hope in Malaysian hockey. The President has to undertake drastic measures even if it is unpopular or not the deterioration of Malaysin hockey would continue.

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