Debts seem to be a normal part of life. If they were incurred for the benefit of sports, then there should not be much of complaints. However if the debts were incurred because of the fulfillment's of a person or a group people who exploited the situations, so as they would be able to do certain popular things, where the benefits maybe outweighed by costs, then the whole Committee must take responsibility.
Most of MHF debts came from the Champions League, which MHF gallantly and heroically volunteered to organise at the end of 2007, when conditions in Pakistan made it impossible for them to have the tournament there. I choose the words "gallantly" and "heroically" because the MHF Management then were eyeing for the Junior World Cup 2009 (JWC 2009) with Singapore as co-host and therefore MHF wanted to be seen as a "saviour" in FIH's eye.. Obviously, how does Singapore Hockey Federation (SHF) fit into the "debt" equation.
The charming lady President of SHF also sits as Vice President of FIH and used to be close to the then lady President of FIH. The "saviour" act by Malaysia on the Champions League in 2007 became the "talking" basis for Malaysai to bid for the JWC 2009. To undertake the "talking", this influential SHF President also incorporated Singapore into the JWC 2009 and as such the co-hosting became the strategy. For SHF this was a major coup as this shall be the first time they are organising a world orientated field event (other than the F1) and Singapore shall automatically qualify for the tournament. Something SHF would not have dared to dream in the past and now Malaysia provided the right reason. What a "feather" to SHF President! I must state, what she did was perfectly legitimate and it is a great kudos to SHF and her for getting MHF to "buy" the idea. On the other side, the initial fame kept MHF going while the ultimate liability was being carved.
On the meantime, the then MHF greedy to display their international connections and organisational skills indulged lavishly into the Champions League. A total liability of RM 1.3 m was incurred ballooning the MHF debt to RM 1.7m. TNB the main sponsor of MHF, based on an annual allocation of RM 1.0 m was used to bring the debt down. The TNB monies meant for the MHL had found its path to settle some old debts, so much so the winners of 2008 MHL are still waiting for their money.
Therefore it is interesting to note when the current MHF apportions the blame on the RM 0.9m debt to the old MHF. They seem absolutely right except taking the current President and a Vice President the rest of the "old" MHF is the current MHF. Indeed even the former President is in the current MHF i.e in the Consultative Committee and also Chairman of the Organising Committee of the JWC 2009. Memories seem to be short-lived as the people who incurred the debts are attempting to "pass the buck". Of course some may say that it was done by a particular person and they were not part of it. Honestly that argument does not sell, as each and everyone is jointly and severally liable. The current MHF too cannot "pass the buck", as they were fully conversant of it, when they had to approve the financial statements at the last BGM.
I think MHF must stop the moans and groans and get down to settling the financial liabilities. The reasons cannot hold water anymore. One has to shoulder the responsibility and strive hard with policies and procedures that such things do not repeat in the future. Somehow, this aspect of it is still missing with the current MHF and therefore such incidents of incurring financial liability is awaiting to happen many more times to come too.