On 12th February at the Tun Razak Stadium, the final of a well organised Malaysian Hockey League (MHL) event was undertaken meticulously to get the crowd to come back to support hockey. Many milestones were created in the MHL this year and the ultimate manifestation was the attendance at the terraces ie. nearly 5000 people. Something that was not seen for main years in Malaysian hockey.
While the people concerned were out making the sponsors and related parties welcome to the finals, trouble was brewing at a certain corner of the grandstand by an MHF official. He seemed disgusted that the sponsors were given the front row of the VIP seats with the TM, while he was to be seated at a row back. This arrangement was not to his satisfaction and probably "huffing and puffing" he left the stadium. While the MHL season's grand finale was going on, he was sighted at the Royal Selangor Club. This person is no other than the long serving MHF Vice President (VP), who is supposedly to head MHF's Medical Committee.
Why the fuss? Just because he is the VP, he must get the limelight? Mind you there were people there who had contributed significantly as sponsors to ensure that the MHL succeeds and surely they have "better and greater" rights for the event. If any, this VP should be asked what he has done for Malaysian hockey in his long serving period with MHF. Oh yes! maybe being vocal only!
If we track this VP's records, that in itself may speak for him. In the previous MHF's administration, he managed to be with the winning team but as time went on he "fell off' with the "powers" who were controlling MHF then. He was relieved from the key portfolio of Development Committee and given the mundane responsibility of Competitions Committee. In a way that worked to his benefit for it gave him the opportunity to think about taking on the Deputy President's post at the last MHF elections. Fortunately his relationship with a particular personality in Asian Hockey Federation (AFC) paved the way for a "peace talk" whereby he was instructed to remain as VP. The reason was not to split the votes for Deputy President and allow the incumbent to win. Obediently he followed suit but he still has not forgiven the person who went on to win the election for the Deputy President's post.
This view stems from the fact that in the latest round of "fiascoes" relating to the Coaching Committees "politicking" on the appointment of coaches, he took side with people in the Coaching Committee including those he had "fallen off" with in the previous administration. Sadly, it is not the decision he made that is being questioned rather it is the unsavoury remarks which constituted the reason against of one Malaysia's greatest hockey sons who had loyally served the nation for 15 years. The person concerned was the most capped national player and his record still illuminates brightly awaiting to be surpassed for the last 10 years. This is a person who with his employer TNB is undertaking nationwide the "Thunderbolt" Development programme for kids. In the heights of audacity, the Coaching Committee supported by this VP with his cynical view decided to drop this former hockey international from the national coaching list for the most absurd of reasons. It probably shows that the VP is a staunch "Machiavellian" ie. "the end justifies the means".
Such an outlook may be because this year is election year for MHF and there are rumours that the VP may still want to fulfill his original intention of becoming the Deputy President. I think that is perfectly right for people to aspire but the "means" is what becomes questionable. Apparently , throwing support to the Coaching Committee, the VP may have mended "fences" with his old foes and strengthened with some Affiliates to get the votes. The point being the VP has found the "common enemies" of the present Deputy President and hopefully with their support he may still achieve his dream. In the process knowingly or unknowingly one of Malaysia's hockey sons had his reputation hurt. Is that fair ?
The story does not end here as the VP has made his way to become one of the two team managers of the senior national team. Mind you, he was not nominated rather he volunteered for the position when a recommended candidate refused the nomination. Shocking to many was when he explained that it was always his wish to be a team manager and as such nobody protested. As an afterthought, there is a view how is he going to undertake this new task? To date, he has done nothing as Chairman of MHF's Medical Committee. There is even a suspicion whether he has a Committee. So why volunteer for the position?
The gossip that emerges seems to make reference to 2 tournaments where he wants to be seen to be leading the national team as manager. The 1st one is Sultan Azlan Shah Trophy, where he hopes to make an impact with His Highness Sultan of Perak and the other at his "ancestral" home ie India for the Commonwealth Games. Strangely both these events do not have an impact on Malaysia's ranking in world hockey but it would do wonders for his reputation. That of course is quite important.
The morale to the stories outlined above seems to provide an image that one can remain a long serving official of MHF by being vocal and at the right time making the right alliances. It is not about what one brings to MHF, rather it would seem what one gets out of MHF. In a way this probably explains why Malaysian hockey has suffered in recent years. What is incomprehensible is even those who had painstakingly worked for the good of Malaysian hockey with the best of intentions get their reputations "mutilated" by people whose interest is all about themselves. Is this not sad ? Yet, time and time again such people seem to maneuver and remain in power for the glamour. At the end it is Malaysian hockey that suffers.