Part 2 *MALAYSIAN HOCKEY AT CROSSROAD: FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION* by Mike

*“FOR HONOUR & PRIDE OF MALAYSIA”*

By Maninderjit Singh (Mike)

*PART 2: CONGRESS*

The month of November 2019 is a crucial stage, as the Malaysian Men’s Hockey Team plays Great Britain for final slot to Tokyo 2020 Olympics on 2nd & 3rd Nov in London. On the 8th November, FIH would announce the host of top events such as Men’s & Women’s World Cup. And the important key event, the MHC Congress is slated for 16th November 2019 as to elect the new Office Bearers to chart the future of Malaysian Hockey for the term 2019-2023.

*Updates: Malaysia failed to qualify to Tokyo 2020 & lost both the bids for hosting Men & Women’s FIH World Cup. Down 0-3 and the Shoot Out is on the 16th Nov 2019 but both key positions won via technical walkover.*

*CONGRESS*

*Synopsis*

*MATCH STARTS*:EB MEETING dated 21st September 2019

*FIRST QUARTER* :TURNOVER PLAY OF POSITIONS

*SECOND QUARTER*:CAPTAIN MANAGING THE ATTACK WITH AFFILIATES IN LONDON & VICE CAPTAIN DEFENDING & MANAGING NOMINATIONS IN KL

*THIRD QUARTER* : SCORELESS & OPPONENT LOOKS DANGEROUS

*FOURTH QUARTER*:PANICKED & SEEKED FOR VIDEO REFERRAL & SUCCESSFUL

*AFTER MATCH*:APPEAL SUBMITTED TO AUTHORITY, PENDING DECISION

*PRIZE GIVING* :CONGRESS ON 16TH NOV 2019

*POST MATCH INTERVIEW*: OPERATION SUCCESSFUL BUT PATIENT DIES & FUTURE LOOKS BLEAK

*The Rest…*

*1. Notice*

– Why is called 66th when MHC was only formed & approved by Sports Commissioner in the year 2006. Even MHC logo carries “Est 1953” which is the previous history of MHF that has ceased its operation in 2011 as to meet the membership requirements of FIH Statue.

– On the 21st September 2019, EB was called and during that period it was sent by General Manager and it wasn’t Acting CEO. All of sudden, the Election process needs a CEO who is the Head of General Secretariat (requirement in the Constitution) for communication for the Notice & election processes. With this, the Congress Notice was signed by Acting CEO. In 4 years, hold 3 positions ie Office Manager, General Manager & Acting CEO.

– The Nomination closed before the both matches of Tokyo Olympic qualifiers. It indicates that they were not confident of the team’s capabilities and the timing of the paid tour to Affiliates will comprehend their plan. Their Off the Field tactical plan & strategy is much greater that the Head Coach’s gameplan against the Great Britain.

– After reading the previous Minutes of 2018 AGM, at page 14, the President provided a written statement that he would step down if fail to qualify to Tokyo 2020.

*2. Affiliates*

– Total of 32 Votes will decide the fate of 32 million people. And to sustain power you need Votes. The incumbent leaders knew the weaknesses of the Affiliates. Grants, Tours & Appointments were provided as they need only 17 votes to get a seat.

– My friends use to say that “everybody can be bought” but there is a price. Strangely, this ongoing episode conform their saying. The world is in shortage of “genuine mankind”.

– Based on Constitution, the names of the 2 delegates to be submitted before 48 hours but in the notice it says by the 8th November. You all know the reason why this was done.

– The weakness of Affiliates are:

1. Role of Affiliates other than attending Meetings, Participation in Competition & Votes, has not been defined.

2. Usually takes a passive position

3. Competency questionable

4. Depends on MHC & State funding

5. A Clique system has developed & too much politicking

6. Lack Marketing Skills to generate income

7. No clear strategy or directions

8. Lack Employment Opportunities for State or National players

*3. Election*

– Kedah Hockey Association had used 2 different kind of Letter Heads for communication on their final list of nomination. The President of KHA is also the Honorary Secretary of Kedah Football Association – it takes two to tango. KHA Secretary post is based on election and not by appointment, therefore, he is entitle for every communication & decision made by KHA. By-passing the Secretary would lead towards an unhealthy issue. Really hope that the recording & minutes with attendance of the KHA Council could be made public to erase the doubt & clear the air of differences that there were a third hand involvement.

– When an election is hold, a professional body would be appointed and act as an Independent Panel for vetting processes & a Returning Officer will manage the procedures for the Election. Previously, the NSA would write in to OCM to play the leading role i.e. Vetting & Election but for some reason for this year’s election it is done otherwise.

– Currently, the Judge, Jury & Executioner of the whole proceedings is managed internally but not by General Secretariat rather than a Legal Committee. Not only justice must be done but also seen to be done. A situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity. You make the judgment!

– The term natural justice signifies basic principles of justice, which concern procedural fairness and ensure a fair decision is reached by an objective decision maker. You make the judgment whether this conduct was adhered.

*4. Withdrawal of Nomination*

– The current incumbents knew that if there is challenge in post, it would be tough to sustain as they have failed 2 Olympic Cycles – 2016 Rio & 2020 Tokyo & promising to be Top 8 in World Hockey by 2018.

– The Challengers were a combination of “Royalty, Corporate Figures & Former Internationals” led by Air Asia Chairman. And the quality of Manifesto was very specific, measurable, achievable, reliable & timely. This combinations will provide the sports with great ideas of commercialisation & the “technical & hockey knowledge” to push the sports in the right direction.

– Actually, the candidate could withdraw before or on the Election Day as the Constitution is silent but the notice says by the 8th November. You all know why this was done! Error or on purpose?

– For the last 10 days, the Media have highlighted the facts & details of the pertinent issues that this team was disqualified. Sad to note that current Media plays or take sides and dictates which team to support. The rare breed of Media such as George Das, Fauzi Omar, R Velu, Lazarus Rokk, Johnson Fernandez, Mustapha Kamaruddin, S Ramaguru, Frankie D Cruz, Satwant Singh, Rosmanizam, Ashok, Greg Nunis, Haresh Deol, Randhir Singh, Vijhay Vick, MK Megan, S Navalan, Tony Mariadass and others who have played a pivotal role in the promotion & development of Malaysian sports without playing politics and providing the real hard facts about the situation & the way forward. That was the differences during the best years of Malaysian sports.

– Total of nine (9) withdrawals has taken place as of today. It doesn’t reflect & augur well about Malaysian Hockey. The sports is bleeding badly and requires a “CPR” to bring it alive again at World Stage.

*5. Congress 2019*

– The Congress will be held on the 16th November 2019. Key agenda to elect other Office Bearers as President & Deputy President – Women won unopposed. Actually, this were the 2 key position that will determine the future of Malaysian Hockey but they were given the mandate to lead and continue for the next 4 years. A good leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. A term was given 2015-2019 but without desirable results. Another term, will Malaysian hockey qualify for Paris 2024 Olympics, you all make the judgement!

– All key components of the Sports – National Team, Development, Junior Program, Coaching & Competitions are in dire straits. I read the 2018 AGM reports but no any indications provided on what the real future plan is in stored for Malaysian Hockey. Nothing factual and is mainly about “Perception over reality” reporting.

– With only 17 votes to be an Office Bearer & chart the future of Malaysian Hockey for next term. I suggest to impose an additional process ie Vetting Process with Criteria for Nomination before his/her Nomination is accepted by an independent panel. For an example – minimum level of Hockey played at State/National Level; Served Min 4-6 years at Affiliate level; funded a min of 250k for hockey. Different positions will define different criteria’s for Nomination. It must also open the Affiliates to MHL&MJHL Club teams to participate and vote in for the future of Malaysian hockey.

– The Sports belongs to its people & Nation and it means that the sports is bigger than any individual or organisation. Voices from hockey lovers & Former International is crucial.

Currently, the Sports itself stands at proverbial crossroads, where change is necessary in order to revive it from the results the team has suffered in recent Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers.

Any improvement to the dire status quo can only be facilitated if we have a team of officials who not only love the game of hockey dearly, but also are prepared to make hard and right decisions, listen to stakeholders, merit based performance plan and sacrifice their time and commitment to the cause.

Sometimes we learn and who we become in the process of waiting is even more important than what we’re waiting for. Happiness depends on your willingness to live an authentic life where your behavior lines up with your values. Cheating may help you get ahead, but you’ll lose more in the end!

May God save Malaysian Hockey 🏑…

When time permits, will continue to write the Part 3: Future of Malaysian Hockey.

Thanking you…

*Maninderjit Singh (Mike)*

*Former Hockey International*

*14th November 2019*