Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Malaysian sports has been embroiled in more controversies than feel good stories of late.

Actually, feel good stories have been rare to come by for many years now.

There is controversies in sports like soccer (bribery, banning of officials, foreign players, the administration and the list goes on), hockey (failure to qualify for the Olympics and the report that followed), athletics (alleged dope scandal, poor performances, power struggle, players power etc), badminton (naming of the Director of High Performance, lack of quality singles players etc), sepak takraw (performance dipping to a low ebb) and even at the administration level there was controversy (the recent National Sports Institute's CEO's position).

With the Olympics just run around the corner, we really have nothing much to look forward too.

Malaysia's after all these years, billions of ringgit spent on sports and all the facilities put in place, is still banking on their first ever gold medal from badminton - to be more specify - Datuk Lee Chong Wei.

But come the London Olympics, rest assured that there will be more officials present than athletes.

Do not be surprised if even a journalist who hardly covers sport nor his organisation hardly covers local sports, could well be present with an official media accreditation in London.

These are the same people who talk about transparency, accountability and fairness.

At the end of the day, sports officials these days are in the sport for the trips and enjoy the benefits and perks that come with it.

Coaches and back-up personnel to teams are more often sacrificed for places for officials.

Excess Baggage?

There was a time when the Media fraternity went frenzy over the High Performance Training Centre which was proposed to be set up in Brickendonbury, Hertfordshire. They were barking up a tree without getting their facts right or not wanting to accept facts given to them. Some had their own agenda.

Maybe, it is time now for them to write about how much is going to be spent for the entourage who will be accompanying the athletes, the amount spent accommodation booked in London - apartments?, the number of officials who are going to be in London, how many going to be travelling on business class etc.

For the information of all, the figured quoted freely over the proposed HPTC - RM490 million - was definitely not the figure. No figure was derived at all because the figure quoted was a figure submitted by a consultant asked to quote to build a sports complex with all facilities in London and was suppose to be used for guide if at all the project took off ground. And building a sports complex was not what the HPTC was all about. It was merely supposed to be a training set with minimum training facilities but with hostel facilities so that it can be used as a base for athletes to train at facilities available nearby or in Europe. In any case, the National Sports Council at that time did not know what they were going to build or what space would be made available to them by the Tun Abdul Razak Rubber Research Centre. Above all, everything was subject to the East Herts Council approval.

But it was all twisted and turned to make everything look bad.

However, all that is forgotten now, as huge amount of money is now spent in the name of the London Olympics.

This is Malaysian sports for you.

When it suits them, it is fine. When it does not, all hell will break loose.

But for all it is worth, take a realistic stock of a Malaysian sport and decide for yourself, if all the money spent has seen its returns.

Every decision taken in the name of sports has some sort of underlying fact factor attached with it. It is just a question of the degree of the hidden agenda.

But to be fair to sports in general, there are a few associations who are above board, have officials who are sincere, reputable and have the sport at heart. These are the associations who continuously produce results or climbing steps to become champions. Kudos to these associations and only if we can have more officials and administrators like these, Malaysia sports will have tremendous future.

There is still hope for Malaysian sports, but it had to undergo a major surgery.

Are we prepared to do that and start all over again?

I let you be the judge of that.


Andrew Gopal said...

Better late than never Tony, if Malaysians want to see results and medals. Surgery should be done with experts from various sports including sports editors from the MSM and bloggers.

Hang Tuah said...

Tony, I take exception to your comments that there will be more officials than athletes. This is a fact take cycling alone you not only have the coaches and his assistant, you have your team of support staff including the physiotherapist.
However Tony what is your beef? If you were to ask OCM , they will tell you that they have 2 classes of people. The medal prospect will travel free and the rest who goes for the games will have to go at their own expenses. I am not referring to the Olympics but the SEA Games. If they go on their own expenses, OCM is prepared and willing to issue the accreditation card to them. Ask Kok Chi he will tell you that OCM encourages the development of sports in Malaysia, so long as the team is not an embarassment to Malaysia.

Anonymous said...


Spot on! There will be more officials than athletes. Spouse would also be accompanying an athlete.

I guess the officials are in sport voluntarily as they know they can get to enjoy these perks. After all I wouldn't blame them in joining the band wagon as there is nothing else to look out for. For some who put in good work, the trip is just a good perk.

I also agree with the comment that Kok Chi would encourage participation in Games especially the SEA Games as long as they don't embarrass the country. Luckily Kok Chi did not approve the Women's Football team. It would be a disastrous decision. But then again, was the event played at the Games?

Kok Chi did one good thing though. He sent the 4x400 relay team that won the GoldMedal at the SEA Games. Now did that decision bring embarrassment to Malaysia. I say he did the good thing because that decision is bringing about some possible changes in the athletics association.

I was told he bypassed the OCM committee for selection and gave the go to his friend Karim to send the team. I don't know, maybe he did and maybe he didn't. Whatever it is to me that was a good decision.