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.

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