Friday, February 24, 2017


  SPORT is 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 sports simultaneously.
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 Malaysian hockey.
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 political careers?
It’s sad not many former sportsmen and women are making themselves available to their respective sports as administrators.
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 Kelantan.
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.
He can be reached at

No comments: