Sunday, September 27, 2015

400m wonder

By Tony Mariadass

Pictures by Azneal Ishak

Oik Cum, the 400m wonder

Saik Oik Cum had short but sweet stint as a national athlete leaving behind an everlasting impression which many athletes may find it hard to emulate.
The Penangite donned national colours from 1977 to 1982, but in the five years she took the Malaysian athletics scene by storm and left leaving a trail of results which is much talked about even today.
Oik Cum who turned 55 last month was dubbed the ‘400m wonder’ for her feats.
Oik Cum, may have been at the  helm of Malaysian athletics for a short time, but her involvement in the sports goes as far back as her primary school days at the Methodist Girls School.
When she was only 12-years old, her school teacher Mrs Looi spotted her natural abilities despite her frail looking self, before Koay Kok Chiang, a journalist, coached her and athletes from the school.
Before she knew, she was winning medals at her schools and state meet. Her first major race was in 1975 representing Penang in the relay events at the national schools championship where her team won the gold medal.
It was then, coach C. Ramanathan who took charge to coach Oik Cum at the state level and it was his dedication that saw Penang athletics flourish.
“It was coach Ramanathan who asked me to compete in the sprints including the 400m, besides also trying my hand at long jump too,” recalled Oik Cum presently a RHB divisional manager at the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
“I really enjoyed my days in athletics especially at the national level because we were like a family.
“We were so close to each other that we motivated each other in training and competition. We worked hard for each other and it was a team effort. We had an excellent coach in Ramanathan and I indeed cherish those moments,” said Oik Cum who was the seventh in a family of eight.
“With Zaiton and Angamah and myself all coming from Penang, the island served a great base with Ramanathan based there too. Together with the other athletes, training was a joy.
“Even though we had to train on highways, climb hills and do cross country as part of training and not matter rain or shine, we enjoyed every minute of it.
“We were willing to make sacrifices and our passion for the sports was unquestionable.”
As a schoolgirl she made her first international debut at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in 1977 where she won the bronze medal in the 400m in 57.72 while V. Angamah won the silver (56.89). The race was won by Burma’s Than Than (56.29).
At the Asean Schools meet in 1978 in Kuala Lumpur Oik Cum set a new national record in the 200m with her gold medal winning time of 24.7.
But her moment of glory was at the 1978 Asian Games on Bangkok on Dec 17 when the little known bespectacled Oik Cum stunned the athletics fraternity at the Bangkok National Stadium.
Oik Cum blazed through the 400m track as an 18-year-old lass to win the gold medal in her debut Asian Games.
She not only won the gold medal but went to set a new Games record with her timing of 55.09s. Japan’s Keiko Nagasaw finished second in 55.74 while China’s Kao Yenching won the bronze in 56.23.
It was also athletics only gold medal in Malaysia’s three medal haul. Walkers V. Subramaniam and Khoo Chong Beng won the silver and bronze in the 20 km walk.
Oik Cum was named the Sports Girl of the year for her outstanding performance in Bangkok.
The following year saw Oik Cum together with Marina Chin, V. Angamah, Zaiton Othman and Mumtaz Jaafar become then ‘Golden Girls’ of athletics.
At the 1979 Jakarta Sea Games Oik Cum besides winning the silver medal in the 400m, won another silver running together with Marina, Angamah and Mumtaz in the 4 X 100 and to win the gold in the 4 X 400m with Zaiton coming in place of Mumtaz in the relay team.

The same year at the Asian Track and Field in Tokyo the quartet won the silver medal in the 4 X 400m.

1981 was indeed a golden year for Oik Cum and her relay members as they went to bag a double in Manila Sea Games, with victory in both the 4 x 100m and 4 X 400m relay and in national record time (3.43.3) in the latter event which stood for eight years.
The athletics squad had a three-month stint in Perth prior to the Manila Sea Games.
Oik Cum capped it with a bronze medal at the Asian Track and Field championship the same year finishing behind Japan’s Junko Yoshida and Philippines Lydia de Vega and a golden finish in the 4 X 400m.
Oik Cum was also selected to represent the Asian zone for two World Cup in 1979 in Montreal and 1981 in Rome.
Injury and work commitment forced her premature retirement from the national team although she continued to run for her employers – UMBC – in the Inter-Bank meets till 1986.
“I have no regrets of my short athletics career at the national level because I achieved a fair amount of achievement in a short time,” said Oik Cum who is still not married.
“I also had to think of my career and decided that it was good while it lasted in the athletics arena,” said Oik Cum who was posted to Kuala Lumpur for the last seven years.
Although her athletic career and fame were short-lived, she certainly made a name for herself on the tracks which is still remembered till today.
Fittingly she was inducted to the Olympic Council of Malaysia Hall of Fame in in 2006.
But sadly, she was not present to receive the award personally as there was a miscommunication in informing of the event.
“But the award was delivered to me and I am really honoured.”
Asked why she did not get into coaching after her athletics career, she said it was her job commitment.
“I don’t really keep in touch with the sports too because there is not so much athletics coverage in the newspapers. It is all football. But whenever there is any occasional articles I read with interest,” said Oik Cum who looks very much like she used to during her running days.
“But I am sad that with some much given to athletes these days besides all the modern facilities including sports science, top coaches and overseas stints, athletes are not performing to the level they should.”
Maybe Oik Cum will serve as an inspiration to young athletes to emulate her as she has proved that even in a short spell, top level achievements are attainable with the right attitude, discipline and passion.

Friday, September 25, 2015

No to 'floating' foreign coaches


The last thing Malaysian football needs is another short gap measure trying to resurrect the ailing state of the game.
FA of Malaysia’s call for applicants for the senior national coach following the resignation of Dollah Salleh recently following the 10-0 drubbing by the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifier, certainly needs to be reviewed.
Ong Kim Swee has been named interim coach of the national team and his contract ends at the end of the year.
The call for applicants for the national coach post has seen several foreign coaches who have been floating in Malaysia and the Asean region submit their applications.
Do we need to consider these coaches who have either left their previous teams, especially in the M-League, for various reasons? If they are not good enough for the State teams, how can they even been considered for the national coach post.
Robert Alberts one of the coaches who has applied, was once the technical director of FA of Malaysia. He has coached Kedah and Sarawak in the M-League besides having stints in Singapore, Indonesia and Korea.
Others who have applied include Bojan Hodak and George Boateng who have all had stints with Malaysian state teams and have been asked to leave.
Then, we have former Singapore national coach Radojko Avramovic, currently playing his trade in Cambodia. This is not the first time he has applied for the national job.
Question is if these coaches are all that good, why are they plying their trade here in Asia and not in Europe or the big leagues elsewhere?
Malaysia certainly does not need second rated coached or coaches have been in the region for some time.
Then there are also former Cardiff City manager Dave Jones and Ashley Westwood of Bengalaru FC (India) who have applied.
In fact, Malaysia does not need a foreign coach for another short spell – one or two years with an option for renewal.
We have had enough of all these short stints where coaches come and to safeguard their reputation will call up the experienced players – normally the older player – win a few matches or minor tournaments – and when they leave, we are left back at square one – no new or young players to carry on and have to start all over again.
What Malaysian football needs is a football supremo who will be charge of Malaysian football teams as a technical advisor, as Malaysian coaches helm the various national teams.
Coaches like Ong Kim Swee should continue to be part of the FAM coaches set up and probably with the likes of Pahang’s Zainal Abidin Hassan and Kedah’s Tan Cheong Hoe (former national team assistant to K. Rajagobal).
Maybe if FA of Malaysia are serious and want to turn Malaysian football around, maybe they should even consider their two previous national coaches Rajagobal and B. Sathianathan, who both possess a diploma in football coaching from overseas.
This football supremo will not only be responsible for working with the local coaches and guiding them, but will put in place a two-prong attack plan where he will also chart the development of the game and coach education.
Above all this supremo should be hired for a minimum of five-years.
More importantly, this supremo cannot be an ‘anybody’ who is available or comes cheap, but one who is a reputable in the football world and who has a proven track record especially in the development of the game and forte is long term planning.
In fact, FA of Malaysia need not even look far because they can utilise their current technical director, Fritz Schmid.
Schmid has been here for one-and half years but has certainly been underutilised or not at all!
He certainly is qualified, for the 54-year-old Swiss has a UEFA Pro Licence. Currently he is on a three-year contract to assist in the development of football and oversee the progress of the national and project teams.
Schmid, who also holds the highest coaching license of the Italian Football Federation, graduated from ETH Zurich in Sports Sciences and studied English, German and journalism at the University of Zurich. His professional experience extends from teaching to public relations. He also spent five years of his life as a sports journalist
As a coach he has more than 30 years of expertise- in amateur, elite youth and professional football. In his career, he has worked for Tottenham Hotspur as well as Grasshopper Club Zurich, FC Aarau, SC Kriens, FC Zurich. In 2001 Schmid joined FC Basel as assistant coach, where he made a major contribution to the clubs biggest success in their history.
Before coming to Malaysia he has worked as a consultant related to management, coaching and training - among which the position of assistant coach to the National Team of the Austria.
 In the area of coaching education he has worked as a coaching instructor for Swiss Football Association, UEFA and FIFA for 28 years.
Maybe FA of Malaysia should just use Schmid, save a lot money which can be challenged to development programmes.
A right decision needs to be made for the sake of Malaysian football and not a favourite decision just to please some officials.
Will that happen, just like it is always in Malaysian sports, it is a million ringgit question!

TONY MARIADASS is a sports
journalist with more than
three decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at
Twitter: @tmariadass​​

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

It's hard to be Yoges


By Tony Mariadasss

Pictures by: Azneal Ishak
Sports keeps Yoges alive

The best thing that happened to former hockey Olympian, Datuk R. Yogeswaran, was his love for sports which not only made him an icon, but saved his life not once but thrice.
“If not for sports, I probably will not be alive to tell this story,” said Yoges, as he is affectionately known in the sports circle.
Yoges survived being struck by lightning in 1991 while playing golf at the Sentul Golf Club and two weeks later a severe heart attack and another in 1983 when he was managing three Malaysian veterans’ hockey teams competing in the Pacific Rim tournament.
“If not for my sports background which made me a fighter besides being in reasonably good physical shape, I would have succumb to the mishaps,” said the 75-year-old Yoges.
“The first attack after just recovering from the lighting strike, was serious and my heart had stopped several times. I must thank Tan Sri M. Jegathesan who was then the deputy-director of the Health Ministry, who had arranged for some of the best doctors to attend to me.
“But even they had given up hope on me and it was a miraculous recovery and I certainly owe it to my fighting spirit from sports. Dr Jega told me that I was a 20th century miracle,” said Yoges laughing.
Yoges said that besides sports, he owed his teaching vocation to building his character and he had turned out to be.
Yoges did his teachers’ training at Malayan Teachers College in Penang in 1961 for two years together with his good friend the late Datuk Ho Koh Chye and in 1965 did a one year course in Specialist Teachers’ Training Institute in Cheras.
 “Sports and the teaching background was my foundation to my life. It is little wonder that I dedicated my life to sports and enjoyed every minute of it,” said the Sungkai born Yoges who had his sports background embedded in him in Tapah.
And it no surprise that Yoges rose to the ranks in sports because Tapah was a hub for Olympians and in particular the Government English School (presently known as Buyong Aidil Secondary School).
While Yoges played in the 1964 Tokyo and 1968 Mexico Olympics and managed the team for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, others from Tapah who became Olympians include hockey players Hamzah Shamsuddin and Aminullah Karim (both 1956 Melbourne), Datuk Poon Fook Loke (1976 Montreal and 1984 Los Angeles) and athlete Datuk M. Rajamani (1964).
And Yoges paid tribute to the late Abdul Hamid Arrop, the father of Tan Sri Datuk Seri Ahmad Sarji, who was instrumental in shaping his and many other players of their hockey  career from that era.
“Abdul Hamid, a civil servant, was an all-rounder representing Perak and the nation in hockey, cricket and state in football and he voluntarily coached our school team. He made a difference in all of us,” recalled Yoges.
It was cricket which Yoges first picked up before hockey. He was also an all-rounder playing football and being an athlete.
 “The field was my second home. I lost my father when I was 13 and that’s when we moved to Tapah. While mother was trying to make ends meet and bring all of us up, I found my joy in the playing field,” said Yoges who was the fourth in a family 13.
But the biggest impact on Yoges to aim for highest in hockey was when he captained the Government English School to win the inaugural national Inter-School hockey championship in 1957 defeating many bigger and renowned schools throughout the country.
What was even more special to Yoges was that the tournament was inaugurated to commemorate Malaya’s achievement of independence.
“The communist insurgency was at its height then and public transport was not what it is now. The players travelled by bus from Tapah and at least on one occasion, by lorry to the other towns,” recalled Yoges.
“The players had to lug their bags and gear from bus stations and walked to their venues. ‘Beds’ were created by joining desks in classroom.”
But the best was yet to come for Yoges and his teammates comprising Ahmad Shah Amin Shah, Mohd Sidek Mandeh Shah, Harmon Singh, Abdul Malek Shamsuddin, David Chow Kee Cheok, Khairuddin Abdullah, V. Michael, K. Kumarakuru, Sarjit Singh, Farouk Karim, Poonciraman, Roseli Mohamed Noor, Chow Choo Leng and Mohd Ramli Nordin.

“For winning the title, our reward was to witness the historic event, the declaration of independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman at the brand new Merdeka Stadium on the morning of Aug 31, 1957.
“I still remember we were seated on Block J (near where the Stadium Negara was located) to witness the event. We awed by the occasion,” said Yoges with tears welling from his eyes.
“It was a very nostalgic event for me and every time I speak about it my hair stands, I choke and tears well in my eyes.”

Yoges has been to the Merdeka Stadium many times including when he made his national debut in 1959 against South Korea, but it was the 1975 World Cup semifinals, when he was the assistant coach to the Malaysian team coached by Koh Chye, that was like returning to the mecca of Malaysian sports and memories of his historic moment came flooding back to him.
Malaysia lost 3-2 after extratime to India in the semi-finals and finished fourth losing to Germany – the best ever finish in the World Cup.
“The Merdeka Stadium is another part which had a big influence in my sporting life,” said Yoges whose wife Datin June Manohara  Shanta who has been an equally strong pillar in supporting his sporting endeavours.
Besides playing in two Olympics, Yoges played in two Asian Games – Jakarta 1962 (won the bronze medal) and 1966 Bangkok and named in the Asian XI in 1966.
As a coach, besides being assistant Kok Chye at the 1975 World Cup, he has coached the Junior World Cup team in France 1979 to fourth placing, the 1982 Bombay World Cup team, 1985 Barcelona Inter-Continental Cup and 1988 Inter-Continental qualifier. Yoges has coached at all levels – schools, state, national juniors, national and also the women’s team.
He has managed teams from 1998 to 2002 in tournaments like the Sea Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Champions Challenge, Olympics and World Cup.
He has served in various boards like the coaching and selection in then Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF).
“My whole life has been dedicated to hockey and I have no regrets because I loved what I was doing,” said Yoges.
“Besides my playing career, the joy of having coached so many players, especially the juniors who went on to make their mark as national players, is joy money cannot buy.”
Among the cream of players of the Junior World Cup players of 1979 who made a mark in Malaysian hockey included the likes of Kevin Nunis, Ahmad Fadzil, Foo Keat Seong, Updesh Singh, William Lazaroo, Wallace Tan, Razak Leman, Chin Boon Gee, Derek Fedelis, Surya Prakash, James Murthy and Colin Sta Maria to name few.
“I only wished at the 2000 Olympics when I was manager, we missed the semifinals by a mere 37 seconds when Pakistan levelled to make it 2-2. Instead of semifinals berth, we were relegated to classification matches.”
Yoges indeed is a man of vast experience and a much wanted man by many sectors.
After teaching in St Michael’s and Anglo Chinese School in Ipoh from 1963 to 1973, he was seconded to the Ministry of Sports as a sports officer from 1974 to 1983 including a stint with National Sports Council before quitting government services at 43-years-old to join the bank  - RHB -  as the head of administration.
“It was a tough decision, but my daughters we studying and I needed to take care of their education expenses. In the end, I ended up not getting my pension as there was a delay in the optional retirement age of 40.
“But it still worked out well, as I enjoyed my new working environment and my employers still allowed me to be involved in hockey.”
Yoges philosophy for sports was simple: “Respect and honour the game.
“But it is a wholesome philosophy because besides respecting the rules of the game, one has to respect the opponents, respect the officials, honour your teammates and honour yourself.
“With that in place, it will be a joy to be involved in any sport.”
While Yoges now only observes the game of hockey from the sidelines and gives advice when needed, his passion for the game lives on.
He spends more time now looking after his two daughters – Shirnita and Shirlena – children these days with his wife.

Yoges has certainly left behind a mark in hockey which will always be remembered and cherished.

Hockey can still walk tall


Level Field

Hockey may not have qualified for the Olympics since 2000 but at least it is better off than the more popular game in the country – football.
While Malaysian footballers hardly make their mark on their own M-League, Malaysian hockey players are a wanted lot in the international market.
News that seven players from the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) Premier Division are all set to play in the Italian and German leagues is surely reason to acknowledge the players.
The seven are Faiz Helmi, Mohd Marhan Jalil and S. Selvarajui of Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) and Rashid Bahrom and Kevin Lim of Kuala Lumur Hockey Club.  Selvaraju and Kevin are former internationals while the rest are national players.
Selvaraju will play in the Italian League while the rest will feature for teams in the German League.
All of them, who have attained their release from the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC), will be playing in Europe after the MHL ends this weekend.
Three others, goalkeeper S. Kumar, Mohd Razie Rahim, Faizal Saari, and Kevin have been given the go-ahead by MHC to vie for places in the Hero Indian League (IHL) to be held in January.
Six franchise teams were vying for the services of the four yesterday, together with 142 other foreign players.
That these players have secured places with foreign teams through their own initiative is indeed commendable.
Besides earning money from playing overseas, these players certainly have ambition and are willing to uproot themselves from the comfort of their home country to venture out and meet the challenges and prove themselves.
Without doubt, these players will return mature and richer with experience.
Several football players have gone overseas for stints on contract only to end their stints prematurely and returning home, citing weather, food, non-conducive local environment and inability to adapt to a tough training regimen.
Malaysian hockey players going for stints overseas has been the norm for some time now. One of the reasons for Malaysia’s qualification for the 1998 World Cup after last qualifying for the Bombay World Cup in 1982 was the stint in Germany, then organised by Satwant Singh Dhaliwal, who was then the International Preparations officer with the National Sports Council (NSC). He worked out the stint with the assistance of German Paul Lissek, who was the hockey consultant then.
Among the players who benefited from the lead taken by NSC in 1997, prior to the World Cup qualifiers, were R. Shanker, Chairil Anwar Abdul Aziz, Nor Azlan Bakar, S. Kuhan and Kerpal Singh. They went on a three-month stint. Kuhan and Kerpal played for Limburg HC, Shanker represented Safo HC while Chairl and Nor Azlan donned the colours of Frankfurt 1880.
The stint paid dividends as the players returned more mature and helped Malaysia qualify for the 1998 Utrecht World Cup, after a hiatus of 16 years.

Prior to that, some players - including S. Selvarajoo, the late Chua Boon Huat, Mohd Sallehin Ghani, Kuhan, Faisal Saari and S. Bubalan - were plying their trade in foreign leagues, but through their own efforts.

Maybe, MHC should take the lead in placing more players overseas, which will definitely be beneficial to the development of Malaysian hockey players.

All is certainly not lost for Malaysian hockey and it certainly looks like it is only a matter of time before it bounces back to be placed among the top in the world.

With newly appointed technical director Terry Walsh, who is no stranger to Malaysian hockey, together with Stephen Van Huizen, an experienced, dedicated and passionate coach, Malaysian hockey certainly looks set to see better times in the near future.

While many hockey players have found places in higher education institutions and have earned scholarships, maybe MHC can encourage more of them to utilise Yayasan Hoki Malaysia (Malaysian Hockey Foundation).
To have more hockey players who are intellectually bright, will certainly help in the game which has advance greatly and need thinking players.

Set up in 1992, the foundation helps national players further their studies and provides them with financial assistance when they retire. 

The foundation, which started with funds of RM2.9 million from sponsors and contributors, is still going strong.
The late Sultan Azlan Shah and Tan Sri P. Alagendra were instrumental in setting up the foundation to give players the opportunity to have a better future when they hang up their hockey sticks, apart from the retirement benefit scheme.
Some of the players became professionals, such as doctors and engineers, while several earned sports science degrees, for example Dr Brian Jayhan Siva, Dr Calvin Fernandez, Maninderjit Singh, Mirnawan Nawawi, Atul Kumar, Nicholas Ivan Pereira, Conrad Fernandez, Nor Saiful Zaini, Nor Azlan Bakar, Mohamed Nizam Nordin, K. Kevan Raj, Aphtar Singh, Logan Raj, M. Jayamaran, I. Vikneswaran, Zam Zam Ali, Redzuan Ponirin, Nishel Kumar and Roslan Jamaluddin, to name but a few.
Maybe, some of the other sports associations should emulate the MHC.

TONY MARIADASS is a sports
journalist with more than
three decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at
Twitter: @tmariadass​​

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Fresh faces for the future of OCM

Q and A; A with the fresh and future of the Olympic Council of Malaysia
Now that the dust has finally settled after the fiery run-up to one of the most exciting Olympic Council of Malaysia 34th edition of Annual General Assembly last week, Mailsport’s TONY MARIADASS identified the fresh and future faces in the newly elected Council to pose three questions on how they are going to contribute.
Below are the same questions posed to six of officials:

1. What is it that you can contribute differently to OCM which is already well established?

2. Do you have the time and energy to contribute to OCM, which more often than not is like a full time job?

3. The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) have lately been plagued with internal conflict which has hampered in the good governance of the body as the mother of 35 national associations who are affiliated and 11 associate members. How different is it going to be for the current term?

And below are the answers of the officials.

Deputy President: Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria (debutant) (49)
National Sports Institute of Malaysia - Chairman
Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) Deputy President
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) - Treasurer
Federal Territories Sports Council (MSWP) - Council member
Kuala lumpur Badminton Association (KLBA) - President

1.     Sports just like life is constantly evolving. Indeed OCM is established but it is part of a highly dynamic and evolving system. My focus is for OCM to be able to ensure that OCM governs with corporate professionalism, NSAs are empowered with sound management structures encompassing resource management, contingent management is given serious attention, NSAs are equipped with modern marketing and sponsorship knowledge, elevating the degree of sports science literacy and practice and the wide spread of Olympic Education across all tiers of sports in the nation. OCM must at all times be "Athletes Centric". It is also about building a well-respected and credible organisation. OCM will have to constantly transcend the multitudes of evolution it faces as we progress and I most certainly will be ever ready.

2.     It’s the quality of time that is fundamental in making a difference and an impact. The other entities I am involved are very much correlated to the enhancement of the Olympic movement. As such the liberty of having more time dedicated to one involvement will most definitely be the outcome of working in a confined and isolated manner. It is also the ability to balance between macro and micro managing of issues.  

3.     Conflicts are caused by the manner we handle difference of opinion and the advocacy of people. I am certain that the newly elected board members are well aware of the implications caused by handling conflicts by disrespecting professional methods. In addition, the depth of experience in resolving challenging situations will enable the new board to learn from the previous mistakes, not to reinvent the wheel and use innovative methods that will garner the respect and confidence of the members of OCM. We must remember, every action is clearly visible to the members and we must earn their respect. We need to evaluate the root causes of grievances from the NSAs.

Vice President:
Mohd Nazifuddin Datuk Seri Mohd Najib (debutant) (32)
Son of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak 
Taekwondo Malaysia deputy president post for only one year
Set up the Youth on Unity (Y.O.U), a non-profit organisation to develop focus on opportunities for all youth in urban and suburban areas to embark on youth development programmes.

1.     First of all I am deeply honoured and grateful to be part of such a prestigious sports body that has been around since even before our country's independence (1953). The foundations set by our predecessors have given us a strong footing with a capable platform for our nation's sports development. However, we need to look at the current challenges that most national associations are facing. At this point of time, it is important that we rethink our strategies and refine our approach to keep up with the current times. This is evident from other countries emerging as champions in sport genres that we're traditionally good at; as such it is time we make bold decisions to retain competitiveness. The government is really putting emphasis in sports with the 10th October National Sports Day policy for example. And the #FitMalaysia has been a successful campaign model spearheaded by Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. It brings people back into sports while promoting an active and healthy lifestyle in a fun way. The use of the '#FitMalaysia' hashtag coupled with today's social media networks has managed to engage with people across the country. OCM should work in line with this new transformation of thoughts and ideas to make the collective effort a lot bigger and see where we can bridge the gap as an international body.

2.     Between the local and international meetings you can expect things to get hectic. We are looking at hiring more people to support the various operational functions of OCM. Thus we can focus more on the policy - and decision-making. I have my own team that is actively providing support on both my NGO Y.O.U (Youth on Unity) and my business portfolio; in which case this team would expand to support me in OCM as well. In this day and age working across borders is much easier. My hope is that the new committee will have a good working relationship with each other going forward where we can share the responsibility fairly and work efficiently; this would include the effective use of virtual presence and digital communications. Beforehand, a degree of trust and understanding needs to be established.

3.     I'm glad that we can discuss about this openly. The reality is that OCM has had some issues in the past and they need to be resolved before we can start on a clean slate. Having new members in the team introduces a whole set of different dynamics on the relationship with the said associations. This recent election has shown that the issues faced by OCM has stemmed into becoming very personal. Nevertheless these issues are to be addressed and we will work closely in forming an action plan in the upcoming council meetings. From the brief discussions I had with my fellow council members, we can see that there are a lot of new ideas and plans for the new committee going forward. This includes structural and managerial changes as well as the formation of new subcommittees. Nothing is cast in stone yet and we need some time to settle in before we can announce the direction forward. Personally I am very confident that there will be enhanced good governance principles and processes and also a lot of new and positive changes moving forward.

Vice-President: Senator Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Tan Sri Omardin (debutant) (46)
Vice Chairman, Malaysia Silat Lincah Association
Senator and Member of Parliament, Malaysia
Son of the late Silat Lincah grandmaster Tan Sri Omardin Mauju
President, Muse Group Sdn. Bhd. and president of One Silat championship
Senator and Member of Parliament, Malaysia, 

1.     With the experience as the secretary-general of Malaysia Silat Lincah Malaysia, I am sure I can contribute to OCM especially in areas concerning the needs and worries of the National Sports Association (NSAs) which I am fully exposed to.
I also represent the new and young generation and their ideas, wants and needs.
Besides, having been the Chef-de-Mission (CDM) for the World Islamic Games in Palembang recently, I am further exposed to the NSAa and my experience as the CDM will also assist me in my tasks.
I am not denying the fact that OCM under the past Board members have done well, but we can always strive to do better with input from all, especially the new and younger members elected in.
I have been an athlete since the age of seven, referee, official, team manager and CDM over the years and I am sure the valuable experience in each role, will help me in my new position.

2.     Sports is my passion. It is no longer a question if I have the time or not,
because sports is my way of life and I will always find the time. Of course the role of a vice-president of OCM will be demanding, but I am confident that I will be able to cope. Besides, I am still young and certainly have the energy to meet the challenges or hectic schedule ahead.
Time and my contribution to OCM will never be an issue because I know how to manage my time and give equal importance to the position I have been elected too. I have a responsibility to the NSAs and I intend to fulfil it to their satisfaction

3.     Although I am from a different camp elected in, the NSAs have made their decision know and I respect it. The process of democracy has taken place in a very professional manner and voice of the NSAs have been heard .It is now no longer team A or team B but team OCM.
We have all to work as a team in the name of sports and in the interest the NSAs.
If there are difference of opinion or different ideas, it can always be discussed in an orderly and gentleman man and a decision taken on consensus. It has to be a collective decision and I am sure we will be able to work as a team. Now that we have been elected in, it has just to be work, work and work for the betterment of OCM, NSAs and sports in general.

Vice-president: Datuk Paduka Mumtaz Jaafar (second term as vice-president woman representative in the Council) (51)
One of the nation’s best woman athletes. She won the gold medal in the 100m dash at 1981 SEA Games in Manila.
She was named the Woman Athlete of the Year and Selangor Sportswoman for 1981.
She retired in April, 1986 after eight years of competition.
Served as vice-president of the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) and was the Woman Sub-committee chairwoman of MAAU. Was with the National Athlete Welfare Foundation, formed in 2009 to provide better welfare for the former athletes.
Qualified athletics coach.

1.     First of all I would like to thank everyone for their support and trust on my re-election as the woman vice president of OCM for the second term. As a woman vice president, I would like to promote more woman activities in sports such as exchange programs both local and Asian level, develop more women leaders to lead our sports division, as well as to promote the participation of women in sports. Other than that, I would also like to look after the welfare and wellness of women athletes. This is to ensure they are receiving the equal treatment and right facilities. In addition to that, I am also planning to conduct seminars, talks and conferences for woman in sports on the future of our sports. Last but not least, to ensure that we work together hand in hand with other government agencies to promote sports among Malaysian.

2.     As a volunteer, of course I will contribute and commit to the job assigned to me by the OCM as this is part of my responsibility in the development of our sports.

3.     A post-mortem should be held to find out the internal conflicts and solve it accordingly.

Honorary Secretary: Datuk Low Beng Choo (incumbent vice-president from 2002 but first term as secretary and first woman secretary) (57)
Lawyer by profession
Sports involvement:
Induction to International Softball Federation (ISF) Hall of Fame [October 2007].
Member of Women & Sport Commission, International Olympic Committee (IOC)
[2008 to current date]
Secretary-General of World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) [May 2014 to current date
Secretary General of ISF (now known as WBSC Softball Division [2009 to date
Honorary Life President of Softball Confederation of Asia (SCA)
Former national netball player and national softball player; participated in various other sports, namely, field hockey and athletics, at various other levels. Have coached netball and softball at various levels, and served as umpire, technical official and team manager
Chair of OCM Women and Sport Committee [2002 to current date]
Chef de Mission for Malaysia national contingent to South East Asian Games
Chair of Special Technical Committee, Malaysian Games (since 2007}
Member of Sport Advisory Panel to the Malaysia Minister of Youth & Sports Malaysia [2004 to current date]
Member of Management Board of Malaysia National Sports Council [2008 to current date]
President of Softball Association of Malaysia [1999 to retirement in April 2014]

1. I hope to be able:

1.1 To improve the communication and connect between OCM and its members (the national sports associations) as well as between OCM and all of stakeholders (such as NSC, ISN, KBS, MOE, MSSM) and sponsors; to elevate the level of service rendered by OCM

1.2 To build greater rapport between the NSAs and international sports federations and other national and international organisations to tap on the abundant resources, information and knowledge available

1.3 To strengthen the recognition of the OCM and our brand and foster better understanding of the role and responsibilities of the OCM, particularly to the public

2. I am committed to devote time and energy to OCM and at the same time, look forward to strengthen the management and administrative structure of the OCM to optimise available resources and staff-force. I hope to strike the correct balance between good time and resource management and delegation of duties and responsibilities.

3. I believe the newly elected Board members are a good balance of experienced sports personalities to enable the Board to have meaningful debates and discussions in a professional manner with mutual respect for each other's views; and to arrive at considered and deliberated decisions.

Assistant Treasurer: Ahmad Feisal Ahmad Tajuddin (second term) (42)
Played Cricket for State
Former treasurer of Malaysian Cricket Association
President of Kedah State Cricket Association.
Chief Executive Officer of Kapient (M) Sdn. Bhd and serves in various other companies as a director.

  1.  As this is only my second term, I consider myself still new to OCM and I still have lots of new ideas and new processes that have yet to be proposed or proposed in the last term but yet been accepted/deployed in OCM. Yes, OCM is long established but some processes and way of doing things still have lots of room for improvement and some even out of date. Slowly but surely we all can work toward improving OCM especially after the blend of old and new committee members elected by all the delegates.
  2. Yes, I do due to the flexibility that I have as I own my own business which has been established since year 2000 and mostly are run by my other partners and senior staffs. At 42, I believe I do still have a lot of energy to put in especially for our beloved country sports development. I am also involved in sports at grassroots in the State, at national level, as well as in OCM. I believe at the position of assistant treasurer, my job scope and duties are quite specific to accounting recording, reporting according to acceptable accounting standards and manage cash flows in the treasury function which also includes forecasting and advising/ aiding the treasurer in helping the OCM Executive Board to make policies and directional decisions. OCM do have quite an experienced treasury and accounting crew which can be aided by my office if need be for accounting practices or current accounting, tax or management policies. Therefore, those in treasury are quite alright because the day to day work are staff and secretariat driven. Only at Board level and leadership level that I must focus more on.
  3. I believe with this new blend of members in the Board mixing the experienced with new blood, we all will be able to work much better if we all conduct ourselves professionally and put aside other interest or factions for the interest of all NSA's thus making our nation sports as the main priority. With strong new sports figures elected in coupled with the experienced existing committee members, I strongly believe that OCM will function better in moving forward with no conflict thus working in harmony with governance and positive progress in mind.