Friday, October 29, 2010

TM need the right people who can serve Malaysian hockey properly and are loyal to the President.

TM is the Crown Prince of Pahang and is conducting himself regally in his position as President of MHF. Staying away from the "bitching" that is taking place in the contest for Deputy President (DP) and Vice Presidents (VPs), the TM is probably doing the right thing. Someday in the future all of us would be his "raayat" and therefore wanting to interfere in the process of an election by stating who he thinks should be in the MHF Management team would probably be shortsighted. This is where the TM displays his "greatness" as he gives every candidate the fair opportunity to participate without being biased if they are genuine in their endeavours.

Strangely, this outlook of the TM may create a "dichotomy" in MHF. The TM's greatness may permit the candidates with varying outlooks to solicitor support in whatever manner they deem fit to get voted to the positions. This may not give a "team" spirit in the new MHF Management as people with different outlooks may pull MHF in different directions. This itself in the initial period may give rise to sufficient confusion including distraction and disturbances which may take the focus from MHF. It is not because the TM is not in control of the situation, rather it would be his nature to permit everyone the opportunity to give their views and some may take this as a licence to push their agenda. The time-wasting that may be caught in the "verbal diarrhoea" may in a way be an "opportunity cost" to Malaysian hockey as to the delays in implementing programmes to shift Malaysian hockey to world class.

The proponents of "verbal diarrhoea" generally have the ability to be the centre of attraction so as they can become closer to the TM for reasons best known to them. Of course it is not difficult to guess the reasons and it is mind boggling on the measures they take. The sad aspect of this is that these people do not have an "iota" of knowledge of what to do and they use their external sources to "feed" them with pertinent points to make them look extraordinary. Rather than being creative they display their skills in "punching holes" on other people's work. It is "dulling other people's boots" rather than "shining their own" that is their modus operandi in showing off themselves. The glaring aspect of all this is how they are able to be present at functions where the TM and certain VVIPs are present and yet they do not appear at any other times when they are most needed.

These are the people whose whole actions contradict the famous statement of late President John F Kennedy ie "ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country". Similarly these people are there in hockey to derive something from hockey rather than giving something to hockey. Of course there are exceptions and mind you a very few only.

This is where the delegates to the BGM on Sunday must decide carefully to differentiate such people. It would be difficult but there are enough stories, some may be truthful while others maybe a figment of one's imagination. The bottom line is whether the candidate can support the President's vision on Malaysian hockey. He should catalyst the vision rather than catalyst his own self interest in being in hockey. Enough stories have been told and the delegates have that opportunity to judge for themselves to give a "team" that can work with the TM. Although the TM will not ask for one yet the delegates for the sake of Malaysian hockey can give the TM a "workable" team. The important thing is not to be swayed by the dinners, drinks and promises rather be guided by the sense of justice so as the people elected can work with the team loyally to turn Malaysian hockey as a world force.

Enjoy the dinners, the drinks and what else that comes with it, but end of the day the delegates must have to answer to their conscience that they gave Malaysian hockey and the TM the right persons for the right positions to take Malaysian hockey into the next 4 years. If the delegates get it right then we have good years to come in hockey or not they themselves have to be blamed and no one else.

So delegates touch your heart and use your head to make that wise choice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Battle for MHF Vice Presidents - "One of contenders may seem to lack the apprenticeship service in administration of Malaysian hockey".

The current President of MHF has made MHF an attractive proposition to encourage the numbers to gather to battle out for the various posts in the offering. MHF these days is much more solid both in administration and wealth as it has come clear of its sloppiness and debts. The recent constitutional amendments to permit the appointment of Secretary plus Treasurer and with the period extended to 4 years for Office bearers seem to have provided the extra interest to compete for the remainder contestable posts. The focus seems to be on the Deputy President and Vice Presidents (VPs).

As for the VPs there are 6 positions of which 4 are contestable and the other 2 are reserved for Sabah and Sarawak. For the 4 contestable positions there are 8 candidates of which 3 are incumbents and they are:
  1. Datuk Seri Che Khalib, Chairman of the Finance Committee.

  2. Datuk Rahim Ariff, Chairman of the Competition Committee.

  3. M Gopinathan, Chairman of the Special Projects Committee.

The 4th incumbent is going for the "broke" and has offered himself as a candidate for the Deputy President's position.

The other 5 candidates who believe they too can be a VP are:

  1. Manjit Majid Abdullah, Secretary - Johor Hockey Association.

  2. DSP Mohinder Singh, Head of Hockey in Polis DiRaja Malaysia

  3. Johari Abdul Aziz, Vice President - Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association.

  4. Rahim Ahmad, Coaching Chairman - Selangor Hockey Association

  5. Ow Soon Kooi, former national player

Without any doubt, looking at the list of candidates all save for one has done "yeoman" service for Malaysian hockey administration either at National or State or both. Although there is no condition precedent of a prequalification criteria, it yet provides persuasive indicators of the contesting personalities.

Ow Soon Kooi is relatively a "newcomer" to administration of Malaysian hockey although directly or indirectly he is involved in businesses that have connections to the sporting world. Some of this may provide a "convergence of interest", which could be helpful while at times the convergence of interest could become a "conflict of interest". This thin dividing line can become problematic if it is misconstrued and can put Malaysian hockey in disrepute.

The other key question Ow Soon Kooi has to answer is whether he has the time? As a Malaysian "hockey watcher", this question begs an answer because early this year he was offered the post of one of the 2 team managers of the senior national team. Ow Soon Kooi refused that appointment on grounds of time and that answer may come to haunt him as he offers his services for VP, particularly as the post is for 4 years.

There is no doubt Ow Soon Kooi has served the nation well both as a national player and as a former officer with Polis DiRaja Malaysia. As a player, not only did he don the national colours but also became the Captain of the national team. His close relationship with people like the late Datuk Ho Koh Chye and Datuk R Yogeswaran while employing a few national hockey players plus other sports related personalities have kept him abreast with the developments in hockey. He has also indulged in having a hockey team starred by a few former internationals and coached by a known sports journalist.

Does this mean Ow Soon Kooi has done his "apprenticeship" to be among "equals" to be considered for the VP post? This is not something that can be answered by us but rather by the Affiliates who would have their representatives at the BGM. What would be good is for Ow Soon Kooi not to contest but rather be nominated by the President either as Chairman of Coaching Committee or Chairman of Development Committee. These are key positions and the future of Malaysian hockey is dependant on the performance of such Committees. I am sure if he offers himself for such positions MHF would be more than willing to have the services of such a distinguished former national captain. In a lot of ways this may help to suppress any potential "innuendos" that may arise that could bring unnecessary colour to the elections.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Commonwealth Games hockey - "Malaysia's idea of match practice for Asian Games reinforces our current standing in international ranking".

Lack of match practice before the Asian Games, notwithstanding the tours to China, Australia and Europe, had got MHF to reset its position of sending a mix team of juniors and seniors to our best team for the Commonwealth Games (CWG). The idea being the CWG would provide a suitable tournament for good match practices for our team to the Asian Games, which is a key cog in world hockey qualifiers ie a direct entry to the 2012 London Olympics for the Asian Games hockey gold medallist. The CWG does not provide any form of such incentives.

Therefore Malaysia's silver in 1998 and bronze in 2006 CWGs may give the impression that our hockey lads were then only going to glorify themselves in non-consequential events. Not really, because it did contribute to the nation's medal haul, which is very important to the statisticians in NSC, who have to proudly present the figures to justify the huge resources spent in preparing the teams for both the Commonwealth Games. Somewhere this rationale seems to have gone astray for the 2010 CWG.

Today, after our "match practices" in the CWG in New Delhi, can we be proud of the fact the team came 8th out of 10 teams? 1stly on record this is our worst performance in the CWGs and maybe this could be justified because MHF had reset the CWG to "match practice" status. The interesting aspect is that the international ranking is kept quite intact as the Commonwealth hockey nations who are in the top 12 ensured that Malaysia was of no threat to them as they all were above the 8th spot. Does this mean that our boys are lacking the skill and playing ability to to be in the top 10 in the world? A difficult question to answer as the lads were on "practice match" mode and as such they may not have given their best.

Now i wonder whether the team management have a better idea of the performance of the lads and the team that they can make the timely adjustments to achieve their set target of "gold" for Asian Games. This is important as they may want to reset their target for the Asian Games as they had done for the CWG. Is the gold medal target a figment of imagination of MHF or is it something that is achievable?

Following the CWG, where we had loss to India and Pakistan, itself may put us out of reach of achieving the "golden" position in the Asian Games. In the round robin in our Group at the Asian Games we have to contend with South Korea and China who are above us in world ranking. The other team in the Group is Oman. Beating China would take us to the semis but we must recognise that they have well over a billion population behind them on a home ground advantage. Should we get to the semis, then there lies the hope, and it is not insurmontable, to make it to the final. The other Group has India, Pakistan, Japan and Singapore. The probable semi-finalists emerging from that Group would probably be India and Pakistan, both of who we had "practice matches" with in the current CWG and lost 3-2 and 4-1 respectively.

In a nutshell, the 2 coaches must know what to do, now that they are aware of the performance level of their players and the team following the "practice matches" at the CWG. The coaches have about 3 to 4 weeks to fine tune the team and work towards the "incredible" target of gold set by MHF. A tall order but somehow it seems to have been stuck as the KPI for the team. Mind you i do not envy the position Stephen and Beng Hai are currently in. All we can do is to wish the Malaysian team the very best for Asian Games.