Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The metamorphosis of the Razak Cup corresponds to the declining standard of Malaysian hockey.

In life there are usually twists and turns. One day you are on top of the world and then one becomes just an ordinary person. Similarly the Razak Cup tournament in hockey seems to be suffering such a fate. Up to the late 70s the Razak Cup was the premier tournament in the country as most of the States had good leagues and very good school hockey programmes. At the same the late Tun Razak was President of MHF, while he was Deputy Prime Minister and then Prime Minister. After his demise and a few years later the tournament started to lose its glamour and therefore its glitter.

Part of the reason was the shift in emphasis to a national hockey league where corporate teams from the Banks, TNB and so forth became the order of the day in Malaysian hockey. Equally, in the States, transformation was taking place where State leagues and Development programmes were becoming "history" barring Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association, who seem to be very dynamic in their workings and are continuously sustaining their activities in hockey. Some states like Negri Sembilan Hockey Association (NSHA), Penang Hockey Association (PHA) and Perak Hockey Association are trying to keep their "heads above the water" and doing something in their States. Selangor Hockey Association (SHA) is endeavouring to revive its fortunes. The others seem to be doing more talking while some just remain in name.

The prevailing scenario is because people who are entrusted with the positions are there mainly for "self beneficial" reasons rather than for hockey itself. Such chameleon nature in people seems to adopt the motto of "minimum effort with maximum publicity", thereby achieving their own personal objectives.

Similarly, hockey in schools is slowly eroding over the years as the so called dedicated teachers and headmasters have aged and retired. This effectively means that the schools that were traditional " power houses" in hockey have also become history. Most of the new teachers get into hockey to collect the coaching certificates to earn the extra allowances. It is not about passion in hockey ie the love for creating talent at grassroots. Obviously there are a few who we can count by our fingers and they are the exceptions. When passion to create talent is missing, it effectively means that grassroot development suffers ie the grass cannot grow because the roots are not properly nourished.

The other major contributing factor is affordability and accessibility. The game was transformed the day hockey moved to artificial turf. Equipments and grounds have became costly items and families have to decide on priorities before they can commit to such expenditures. This took the toll on the numbers interested in hockey.

Notwithstanding all these the Government has been putting a lot of resources for sports and hockey is no exception. Today there are about 40 artificial turfs throughout the country although a lot suffer from poor maintenance thereby requiring regular replacement. Whatever it is the facilities exist, but not like the hundreds and thousands there are in the top hockey nations ie providing accessibility. Well ! rich countries do not have the sort of priorities that developing countries have to encounter with their resources. Still in hockey the Government has financed Development programmes, the Sports Schools and above all the costs related to the various national teams. Indeed the Government is in a "big" way encouraging hockey. This is good but the accountability of success on the monies spend is neither properly monitored nor questioned to the extent for hard decisions to be made. There is always a compromise for "political rightness" for popularity rather than the merits of the matter. This compromise only goes to reflect why we cannot become a top nation in sports.

Newton's 3rd Law of Physics states that "For every action there is an opposite reaction". With the Government's intervention what has happened is that the State Affiliates and MHF have become highly dependent on the Government. This has taken the pressure from the hockey officials thereby killing or "numbing" their voluntary and creative spirit. The net result is that the hockey officials have in general become "free ride passengers". Now that most of the things are done from the "centre", it leaves a major void in the hockey activities at the States.

This brings me back to the Razak Cup which is to commence tomorrow in Kuantan. Johor was to have been the host however circumstances necessitated the tournament to be shifted to Kuantan. Unlike last year the national players would be involved. More effort is being put by MHF including ensuring a minimum of 4 Under 21 players are in each team. Indeed most Affiliates are sending a team which itself reflects that some effort is being put in by the States. Unfortunately similar to last year some of the teams are using older players with ages of 35 years and over. Some of these players are coaches or have retired from competitive hockey. This reflects the pathetic state of affairs prevailing in their States where hockey is deteriorating. Sad because they have killed the opportunities for the young players and at the same time dragging the older players who have no reason to be there. It is this sort of thinking that adds to why Malaysian hockey is suffering and Razak Cup losing its glitter.

It is these sort of actions and thinking that kills the game especially when it comes from the States. These are the same people who constitute MHF and when they lack forward thinking, how can MHF and Malaysian hockey move forward? They seem to be caught in a "time warp" and have stagnated and therefore not progressed into the modern hockey era. Yet they determine the fate of Malaysian hockey. Why?

Simply because MHF does not have the courage to make the hard decisions which may not be popular yet good for Malaysian hockey. What is that hard decision? The organisations that contribute to hockey by employing the players, having teams in the MHL and some even doing development work are not part and parcel of the decision making in MHF. This is because they cannot become Affiliates and there is a lack of "will" in MHF to amend the constitution. Hockey has progressed yet in Malaysia we use the old structures to administer the game. Unfortunately the old structures are the ones who are doing nothing for the game or making decisions that are not in line with progress. This dichotomy and the absences of corporate and scientific people in the MHF structure shows Malaysia cannot become a world class nation in hockey. That is the truth and the sooner we realise this and do the needful changes. If not what we have made Razak Cup come to in the years that have gone by ie lose its glitter, would be the same fate of Malaysian hockey. Do we want that?


Gandhi, said...

The comment has been edited.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The metamorphosis of the Razak Cup corresponds to ...":


How can the Razak Cup progress when Johore, a known Hockey State and whom have produces many a great Malaysian players and coaches have its Coaching Chairman residing in KL calling the shots for Johore's Hockey.

Johore have an up and coming Coach in Saiful Azli and for this Razak Cup we have an outsider as Coach. Can the JHA conduct an inquiry as to why all this is happening? From the past we have good managers like Johari and Keshvindar just to name two, and now the Exiled Coaching Chairman have unashamedly name himself as manager and his side kick as the Coach. Have JHA lost its plot of putting creditable and loyal people to do what is good for Johore's Hockey?
Johoreans are now asking HRH to intervene and bring our Johore's Hockey standing to the days of our belovered late Sultan. And in the process of this inquiry, can we look into as to why Saiful and Kesh is not involved with the Johore's Team? Both of them are Johoreans and they have made our State proud, then why are they sidelined?

Just to side-track from the Razak Cup, we have to bring you the shameful conduct and blushes of our Johore Coaching Chairman in the recent World Cup in Delhi.

He went to Delhi with the prime motive of bringing the MHF into ill-repute by claiming that he have the connection in the FIH to stop our Malaysian's participants to attend the FIH Coaching Course and MHF have no right as the MHF Coaching Co did not sanctioned them. And he told everyone that he met here that he have connections with the top hieracy of the FIH and he will get them to do his bidding.

Many of us were very impressed with him and some of us 'fools' believed him.

The sad truth is when the FIH connections that he claimed to have found out that he is a nobody as he is not representing the MHF, FIH officials got no time for him and he was seen waiting for the FIH's officials for 4 hours at their hotel lobby.

Pathetic is the word. What now,big-timer? We all are still impressed with him and trust what he tell us? Are we fools?

Anyone with personal dignity and integrity will not be able to be seen in the Hockey scene again.

But he have good buddies in the Indian and Pakistan team and he is the self proclaimed consultant to the Pakistan team as it is pay back time for the Pakistan's Coach for his bringing him to Malaysia. And our Malaysian goes wherever the Video man goes and gave his 2 cents worth.

And guess what? Pakistan finished as wooden spoonist and the Pakistan Coach claim that he have heard of 'game-fixing' but could not catch the culprit.

Malaysians, does it ring a bell? Malaysia he is there,(words deleted)and now Delhi, also he is there (words deleted). It cannot be coincidental, can it?

JHA must do something to fix these unbecoming actions of its officials. Are we so afraid of the Coaching Chairman self announced (word deleted) Connection that no one in the Johore Hockey Association dared to right what is right and bring our State pride back.

We are just letting the Hockey faternity knows what a (word deleted) he is and take his words with a 'sack of salt' when he ever boast again.

Roadside madman soon.

Watch this space.

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly agreed with the sentiments expressed in the piece. Hockey needs revitilisation through genuine people who have passion for the game and not people who are merely in it to gain publicity for their political careers. Start with the school programme and then bring in a major league in each state whereby various clubs can be fostered to continue those who are still in schools or left schools to continue their playing careers.

Anonymous said...

to be frank with you Gandhi, yes....the KLHA league is very impressive with 5 divisions that is Premier,1, 2, 3 and 4th division.Our KL schoolboys do get the benefit of the league.Its a fact.....but not the development...the KL development and coaching chairman is lucky because he got the name while the job is done by the team of dedicated schoolteachers throughout KL.
In the eyes of the outsiders it look good but the fact is... nothing done in his capacity as the chairman.
my observations at the KLHA stadium last year, Vive and his Pearl kid programme is doing very well and not to forget Dharma who is every weekend with the U14 boys before he left due to the commitment with the 2013 team.
and...not to forget the primary school teachers that really sow the seeds for future KL players.
St. John , CBN, SK Bukit Bandaraya
...to name a few.
Just to straighten out the facts
and if
if ........
KLHA take this boys for 10 to 15 days for the national age group tournament and they emerged as the champion. do you think the credit goes to the coaching chairman?

Anonymous said...

minta PHM fikirkan buat liga antara negeri sepanjang tahun..mungkin buat Super Hockey Leauge

Anonymous said...

klha takes the under 14 and ubder 16 mhf tournamnet. they have big time coaches at their disposal so they make use of this. msskl deals with under 12 & under 18 and msskl use the coachers at their disposal.dont worry who gets the merit. we are still nowhere in the international scene and there is no one ever getting the merit

Anonymous said...

before gk came into klha, the age group boys of kl were not doing well and who is to be blamed teachers or klha coachers? gk came in and followed suit his coach came in. for the coach who came in felt it was chicken feed to win age group. He put in some real effort and thereon with the participation in the kl league the players started winning the age group tournament. gk or anyone else teachers or coachers cannot feel proud in winning over weaker boys.with klhc in place see whether gk can win in international level with the msskl teachers or his kings(R&D)

Anonymous said...

Dont worry, klha have up comming coach (I.Vickneswaran). He will win international level for gk.

Anonymous said...

vickneswaran played psycology game against gk team in kuantan yesterday

Anonymous said...

Anyway Vicky is already doing development program for gk. His UNIKL players will be roped into gk's team next year.


Anonymous said...

poor vicky, TM is going to be angry. anyway mb would be happy.

Anonymous said...

Mr. March 24, 2010 3:46 PM

Haha..What a story teller u are..
Good assumption to provoke all the readers here..Where's the proof? All the people here are not stupid by hearing or reading a fairy tale story like yours..U just like a small kid write an essay writing and try to get compliments from your parents!
Why they are not chosen as coach is not your problem. State Hockey Assoc. know what to do. If you so clever, than go to challenge and become the President or Vice President of the said State then. Or probably you are so clever to become the MHF President? Don't just talk rubbish here. You are the one who only know how to make use and waste taxpayers money without notice or take care how to work out hard with effort to find money and sponsorship for State or even MHF. No action, talk rubbish only!!
For the name u said is still very very very young in hockey as everybody here dont know who is he? What is his reputation as a coach? What championship he got as a coach? If schoolboys he cant coach well, don't ever dream to become a great coach! He need to learn more and more and I tell you, its not an easy graduation to become a great coach.
For the other name u mentioned, dont you read this blog previously that mentioned he misused players allowance for Sukma/U-23 previously? Someone here already do some finding by asking a player feature with a great bank in MHL to ask about this matter. He just try to create his soldiers to become a jeneral! He simply coach and do training without any approval from the state and claim money for player's training allowance. After get the money, he just get lost and now no wonder all the players put a good sign on him, LIAR! But all of his coach friend only can see his good with his beard without seeing his evil in his heart..

Anonymous said...

Nobody should question the wisdom of the state to appoint any of its official as coach or manager. ONLY the affiliates can question during their meeting or AGM. Anybody outside the State has no business. If you are in the state, then during the meeting question the Exco...why A is coach not B.
Super Coach