Friday, December 25, 2015

Keep it simple, MHC


Level Field

Overzealous MHC maybe the chink in an amour

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) under the current leadership of Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal have done many rights for Malaysian hockey, but they must be careful not to be overzealous in trying to move forward.

Without doubt Subahan is passionate of the game and together with his new-look team, have worked hard in the short time they have been in office (since May) to make many positive changes for the good of Malaysian hockey.

It is also good to see many ex-international hockey players in the MHC set-up and it is hoped that with their knowledge and experience sure to assist the body in becoming a more professional unit.

In the past, many ex-internationals have been complaining that they have not been given a role to play in sports after their retirement.

Hockey probably has the most number of ex-internationals involved in the governance of the game now.

But there have been instances in the new-look team where their overzealous approach have stepped on some toes and at times made decisions which can be questioned.

For all the good work they have done so far they must be careful not to get trapped because of their own doing.

Decisions made must be carefully thought off and discussed, so that there are no loopholes for any criticisms and made in accordance of the constitution and general rules of the respective committees in place.

The recent decision by the MHC on forwards Faizal Saari and Mohamed Syamin Yusof for them having gone for AWOL from national training was puzzling because there were several versions of the decision in the press.

Subahan had given a press conference on the decision after their Executive Board (EB) meeting, but it was verbal and not from a pre-prepared text.
That probably gave to many interpretations with some reports saying the duo were banned for six months, others said they were let off the hook with a stern warning, while others said they were out of the senior national team’s programme and one said that EB overrules the DB decision to ban the players for six month.
So what does that mean? Are they allowed to play hockey or only out of the national programme.
Then it was said that the recommendation was made by the five-man Disciplinary Committee comprising chairman SAC Datuk Mohd Adnan Abdullah, Datuk Arthur Edmonds, Datuk G. Vijiyanathan, Awtar Singh Grewal and former international R. Shankar at its December 12 meeting which was endorsed by the Executive Board (EB).
Does the EC need to endorse the DB committee decision? Are they not independent and their decision stand. Why did a member of the DB had to present their decision to EB?
It is learnt that the letters from the two players on their absence citing wedding preparations and injury, was submitted through a national team management team member.
If anything warrants the DB decision, it was that the duo did not inform MHC of their decision not to attend national training. As for the wedding preparations and injury, surely the national team management committee could have made a decision.
After all, it has been stated that whether Faizal and Syamin will be considered for future assignments after the six-months was the prerogative of MHC technical director, Terry Walsh, and national team head coach Stephen van Huizen.
And the fact that the EB’s new ‘Code of Conduct’ decided at their meeting, where players who skip national training without valid reasons will be suspended for six months, was invoked on Faial and Syamin for an offence prior to the decision, is also puzzling.
To top it all, Subahan was quoted as saying: I was taken aback by the DB’s decision to hand only stern warning for skipping national training since October.”
Something amiss here again as there does not seems to be a uniform consensus on the decision made on the two players.
Was the fact that a total ban of the two players would mean that their monthly income (sums ranging from RM5,000 to RM15,000) from the teams would be affected, the reason for decision not for a total ban?
If so, it should have been stated. Otherwise, the decision will be a precedent for other cases.
Then, the fact that the MHC constitution under the judicial bodies which are the disciplinary, ethnics and appeal Committees respectively, clearly states that the chairpersons of the judicial bodies shall have legal background and qualified to practise law, puts the DB committee in question.
Does the DB chairman, the Selangor Police CID chief SAC Datuk Mohd Adnan Abdullah, has legal background to practice law?

Another situation MHC needs to address before it boils over is the fact that many MHC key officials are holding key posts at the State level. Is this not a conflict of interest?

Besides, would it not better if fresh officials are allowed to take over at the State level, as the present officials govern at the national level.

Several MHC elected officials like Datuk Ow Soon Kooi and George Koshy have relinquished as presidents at the Penang and Kuala Lumpur HAs and the rest should follow their example.

Officials from the State Has holding office in MHC are from Selangor, Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, Kedah and Penang.

If coaches at the national level are not allowed to coach anywhere else including the Malaysian Hockey League because of conflict of interest, it should also apply to the officials in MHC.

All said, MHC the last seven months have done well including managing to reduce the RM2.8 million debt their inherited to below RM500,000, a RM20mil sponsorship (an increase of RM5 million from the 2006- 2014 sponsorship) boost from Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) for five years – from 2015-2019, (the biggest sponsorship ever received by the MHC since they were formed on Aug 15, 1953) and Astro Arena agreement which targets to invest approximately RM60 million over a period of eight years from 2015 to 2023 which the investment covers the broadcast and sponsorship fees as well as production and marketing costs,  (furthermore to Astro Arena co-sponsoring of all Malaysian National Hockey teams.)
MHC have also signed a MOU with Hockey Australia for Malaysia to be the first foreign team to play in the Australian Hockey League in September.

MHC also have launched their blueprint to focus on four main aspects – awareness of hockey in Malaysia, good governance to settle our debts, the national and junior teams’ performances and the administration and coaching staff of MHC.
All this painstaking good work should not be done by a few silly mistakes made in their zest to do well for Malaysian hockey. Better to check any shortcomings immediately before they falling into their own pitfalls.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone.
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​​

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