The National Coach was "entrusted" to shortlist 25 to 30 players for national training based on performance at the Malaysian Hockey League (MHL). At this point i must state that the National Coach diligently did his job whether it was raining or shining. People who were at the matches would see this lonely figure with an umbrella sitting by himself and making notes. Indeed some have even told the story that if any of his friends come by he would politely walk away to another spot to continue his duty. This is the level of commitment and ethics he has applied in undertaking his "entrusted" duty. Some have nicknamed him the "Lone Ranger" except here he does not have "Tonto" ie his obedient assistant, because of unusually strange decisions that had been made by the Coaching Committee and MHF. What we must recognise is that the National Coach is conducting himself professionally, one of the fundamentals involved in the search for "excellence". Something only a very few in MHF comprehend and apply in their tasks.
The lack of professionalism and the principles of excellence in MHF over the years, has permitted the development of the notion of interference, as though they are "entrusted" with it because they understand the "bigger picture". This therefore gives certain officials the belief that they have the divine right to interfere. Sadly, this belief was put into practice by a "dedicated interfering team" ( DIT) to solicit and ensure players who were not named in the National Coach's list should have their names there. Mind you the DIT was not mandated with the role but they have taken it upon themselves ie the "messiahs" of hockey, i presume. What is even more shocking is that the people in the DIT were not there for most of the matches at the MHL and yet they seem to have better expertise than the National Coach. I wonder why none of them in the DIT ever made it as a National Coach. Maybe that is where the answer lies!!!!!
The network of the DIT is extensive, covering the facets that is most required for propaganda work ie "connected" personalities and publicity. The idea here is to create a "make-belief" scenario ie a perception so as the DIT could achieve their desired results. Take for example, even before the National Coach could name the shortlisted players, friends of the DIT had been passing messages via sms to the pertinent people to get certain players to be named. What is peculiar is that the players they were canvassing have histories of various allegations and disciplinary issues, which could disrupt the very fabric of Malaysian hockey. Rather than sorting these issues they seem more interested in getting the players into the shortlist. Maybe the need for monthly salaries to upkeep expensive tastes or vices may provide the "fodder" for thought.
The question is: "Who are the people in the DIT ?
- The Deputy President of MHF. He chairs the unconstitutional Team Management Committee (TMC) and realises that he is now unable to use the TMC to his "whims and fancies". So, unofficially he uses the DIT network to get things done and the position he holds helps in the matter. People believe that he is part of the "Malacca Mafia" in hockey
- A Senior National Sports Council (NSC) officer, who has been involved in Malaysian hockey and is present at all MHF meetings including those relating to national teams. Apparently he is part of the 'Malacca Mafia" in hockey. Furthermore he is the source of information to personalities who are friends to people in the DIT. He has a close alliance with the national team manager because of a sense of obligation relating to employment of a family member. This team manager is the principal financier of a MHL team.
- The National Team Manager, who wants players in his "stable" to be included notwithstanding the fact that there are allegations and discipline issues. Some believe the presence of such players in the national team would provide him a greater grip and influence of the national team.
The key question that arises is whether the people involved with the DIT are really interested in Malaysian hockey and its future or more related to some short-term gain beneficial to individual needs. I personally do not think they work on that basis and therefore it is difficult to comprehend why they do not permit people to do their job. This dichotomy is puzzling and the interference still prevails. It has to stop or else Malaysian hockey shall pay the price. We have already seen that in the past, and what is important is that there people who are ensuring it does not repeat. So allow the "entrusted" person to do his job and periodically review the progress. This is the way forward.