This now brings me to MHF. About 17 months ago there was a furor of who should lead MHF. There was utter disappointment with the previous regime and there were cries for change. Somehow, depending which version one subscribes to, the TM signified his intention to become President of MHF. Obviously, everyone knew he would not be challenged and it was the BGM who would endorse him as the President. As the TM, and being regal in nature, he was already fully cognizant of the prevailing politics in the election process and he kept his distance. The net result was a "hodge-podge" of people elected, each carrying his own "baggage" which has "weighed" down MHF.
Effectively 10 people were to be elected from President to Treasurer, of which 2 of the Vice Presidents (VPs) were to be from the states of Sabah and Sarawak. The TM as promised has kept to his word and moved MHF accordingly. Some believe he may be slow while most think that under the circumstances MHF was at, and is, the TM has done extremely well. Beyond this the 2 VPs, one heading the Finance Committee and the other the Competitions Committee, seem to have undertaken their tasks satisfactorily. On the balance of the 7 personalities, the underlying view points may summarise the predicament prevailing in MHF:
- Deputy President - A person who can work hard and run around physically to get things done. More often his unwarranted comments or actions draw publicity plus controversy which tend to give the impression of the lack of material in him to hold the post. Yet he is courageous and had the guts to take on the incumbent Deputy President and win the election.Unfortunately he is easily swayed on matters without weighing the merits or demerits of the issues.
- VP as Head of Medical Committee - Longest serving VP, however lately has been embroiled on an issue pertaining to seating arrangements at the MHL final. Prior to which he was rumoured to have made unsavory remarks on a coach who had served the nation as a player with the most number of "caps". Indeed his Medical Committee's existence and role has also come into question. The bigger picture of him not doing anything for MHF has become a talking point.
- VP for Special Projects - Nothing "special" has taken place with him as a newcomer to MHF. Apparently he handled his task as an assistant manager of the national team at the World Cup qualifier fairly well. Unfortunately his advise to various Committee Chairmen on the "prerogative rights" of the Chair has permitted some people to take it on a "literal interpretation" and do what they want. This confusion has created a far share of MHF's confusion.
- 2 VPs - They are in the post by virtue of the constitution which requires Sabah and Sarawak respectively to hold the positions. Sadly, to date there has not been any contribution from them.
- Secretary - A person who has learnt the fine art of survival in MHF. Friends to all and as such he has no discretion on information flow. He has been in the post for the last 2 terms and by "hook or by crook" he tries to get things done, though not necessarily properly. Even if it is not done he is not perturbed by it. It is in confusion he thrives as nobody becomes aware of his shortcomings. He enjoys the "trimmings" that come with the post ie allowance and a car. He seems much relieved with the coming of the new General Manager.
- Treasurer - A person who is more caught with the politics of "power play" as he is the "eyes and ears" of vested interest groups. This was apparent at the latest Coaching Committee meeting. His understanding of finance and accounts is questionable including some of his actions. Maybe the presence of an Assistant Treasurer by appointment was a wise move by the TM.
Notwithstanding what is outlined above the main functions of MHF are still going on. This is where the TM has moved smartly by appointing the right person as the General Manager and setting him the direction to achieve the desired objectives. Indeed the GM's modus operandi has brought a professional transformation to the manning of the Secretariat. At least things are moving in an organised predictable manner. The overwhelming success of the MHL, from a re-engineered event of carnivals at various major towns coupled with live telecasts to a grand finale for the final, is a testimony that MHF is functioning.
This is a credit to the paid staff of MHF for holding the "fort". Critics would argue that they are paid to do their duties. Yes ! except that it is done with passion and in an accountable manner. Much cannot be said about the elected officials because they can argue that they are volunteers. They may have an argument but they must also understand that they had agreed to be elected and, as such, they have been "entrusted" to the posts. Therefore they have a "duty of care" to perform to the standard of a reasonable person holding that position. This they cannot run away from and they must know that they are in breach of the "trust" bestowed to them when they were elected.
Can you imagine if only the elected officials worked as a team and properly understood the TM's Vision of what he wants to achieve for Malaysian hockey. In the last 17 months we would have taken Malaysian hockey to greater heights. This is where the TM has to review his policy of non interference and ensure he has the right team ie the right person for the right position sharing his Vision, to bring Malaysia into the forefront of World hockey.