Just prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it was rumoured that a renowned South Korean coach, then with China is being "head hunted" to join Malaysia and uplift the declining standards of our hockey. While negotiations were ongoing, some "smart" MHF official met with another South Korean coach, purported to be a former assistant to the South Korean coach with the Chinese team. This created sufficient publicity in the alternative media i e "blogosphere" in South Korea that there was a tussle for the Malaysian job. The South Korean in China professionally withdrew from any further discussions with the Malaysian hockey representatives. Even a "secret" meeting held in Bangkok thereafter could not the coax the renowned South Korean coach to reconsider the Malaysian job.
Sadly, Malaysia was at the verge of getting his services but there were people in MHF who helped in "derailing" his appointment by not understanding the salient aspects of confidentiality and discretion when it comes to employment of "key" personalities. If these people had done such acts in a corporate environment, they would have faced drastic consequences including termination. Fortunately for them, it was only MHF and it would seem people get significant leeway to do things.
If that was the only incident then this article would not be forthcoming. The search for a foreign coach continued even after TM became President. This time the matter was handled by the Vice President of the Medical Committee. Why? It is anybody's guess? My article: MHF Committees in "Slumberland" - Part 4: "Motionless" Medical Committee dated 4th December, would probably give an insight.
Apparently, he was in negotiations with an Australian coach, who came highly recommended and was about to seal the appointment when the Secretary of MHF stepped in to take over the paperwork. In his "style" of English he communicated through the e-mail with the Australian and somehow confused the terms of appointment. Indeed stories were told that the Secretary was so keen to go to Australia to sign the deal, which itself probably created the confusion. Yet again, in the simplest of language MHF officials "screwed up" the whole deal.
With a brave front MHF's story then was they could not find a suitable foreign coach. All the backroom fiasco in MHF seem to have been forgotten and now as the story of the foreign coach resurfaces, nearly all the same officials have become the "players". If history is a lesson of the past, the question is: "Will history repeat itself"?
Statistically, there is a high probability. We need not create a mathematical equation. In plain words it is the same "players" who have in the past "screwed up" such deals. Now their initial acts itself have put potential candidates on to the defensive. Even at an early stage candidates cannot trust the "employer" on confidentiality, how does one expect for the long run. The people concerned are not "unemployed" coaches rather professional serving coaches whose request for "professional confidentiality" is of vital importance. To give "half baked" news to the public by MHF is tantamount to misleading all parties. So the statements of the Deputy President, the Vice President and Secretary of MHF with regards to the foreign coach is only going to help MHF lose its own creditability in eyes of all foreign coaches. The little hope we may have had for their services may have already been "killed" by the officials concerned. Can MHF afford such repeated "screw ups". The TM as President needs to think carefully.