SPORTis meant to be pure, beautiful, entertaining and fairly contested.
But over the years it has been
tainted and plagued by all sorts of menace both on and off the field.
While some athletes are guilty
of bringing the game to disrepute, some administrators are equally guilty of
being overzealous and ambitious.
It’s fine officials offer their
services, but there are some who overstay their welcome while others want to be
involved in one too many sports.
Perhaps because there is a
shortage of capable administrators, several seek to be involved in multiple
However, the question is
whether they only desire to serve the sport or have hidden agendas.
It’s difficult to accept some
officials want to hold key posts in several sports associations purely to serve.
Do they really have the time,
and money, to spend on these associations?
There was a time not too long
ago when Datuk Dr Shahidan Kassim, the current Amateur Swimming Union of
Malaysia (ASUM) president, was heading as many as six associations, both at
state and national level.
Now we have Malaysian Hockey
Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Subahan Kamal, who is also the president of
Selangor Hockey Association, vying for one of the deputy president’s posts in
the FA of Malaysia (FAM) elections next month.
He has just become FA of
Selangor’s (FAS) new president yesterday after winning unopposed.
The 52-year-old Subahan has
done well with MHC since becoming president two years ago, taking over from
Regent of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
Subahan has freed MHC from debt
and implemented several programmes to improve hockey.
He is a dynamic and vibrant man
who walks the talk and should continue to give his undivided attention to
MHC are heading in the right
direction; Subahan cannot afford to take his foot off the pedal.
If he does find himself elected
to two more sports bodies, will MHC not suffer from a diffusion of his
resources and energies?
Another personality aspiring to
wear multiple hats is Kuala Lumpur Badminton president Datuk Norza Zakaria, who
is also deputy president of the BA of Malaysia (BAM).
Norza is expected to vie for
the president’s post in BAM, contesting against acting president Tan Sri
Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid.
The 52-year-old Norza is also
the deputy president of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), chairman of
National Sports Insitute, treasurer of FAM, member of the Federal Territories
Sports Council and president of Putra Polo Club.
Like Subahan, Norza is full of
passion and enthusiasm for sports, but he could be having too much on his plate?
It’s great to see younger
sports officials on the rise but they would do well to concentrate on one or at
most two sports, to make a difference to the bodies they helm.
Many aspire in vain to be like
former mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Tan Sri Elyas Omar, who was president of BAM,
president of FA of Kuala Lumpur, vice-president of FAM and president of
Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF).
The difference is Elyas was in
a position where he could make a difference to sports in general and virtually
built Kuala Lumpur into a sports city.
He had the passion and the
time. He had good administrators for each sport he helmed and hired capable
professional coaches. All the sports bodies he helmed benefited.
Can the current crop of
aspiring leaders achieve what Elyas did while they juggle their business and
It’s sad not many former
sportsmen and women are making themselves available to their respective sports
Or they do not have a chance to
make inroads as long-staying sports officials hold them at bay keeping a tight
rein on sports bodies they control.
In the run-up to the FAM polls
next month, only current deputy president (acting president) Datuk Afandi
Hamzah, who is defending his position, is a former national soccer player from
However, it is encouraging to
see three former national referees — Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, Nik Ahmad Yaakub
and Mohd Jamil Zakaria — nominated for FAM exco posts.
Whether they make the cut
against heavyweight ‘Datuks’ who are also contesting is left to be seen.
Until and unless Malaysian
sports are administered by officials who have a sports background, passion,
fresh ideas, desire to stay relevant, and place the sport above themselves, it
is continuously going to be shortchanged.
TONY is a sports journalist with close
to four decades’ experience and is passionate about local sports.