Sports Minister must ask right questions at briefings

This Thursday the newly minted Sports Minister Dato Seri Reezal Merican will be briefed by the National Sports Council and the National Sports Institute as well as the Stadium Board.

Out of these three bodies, the Stadium Board no longer has a Chief Executive Officer, as yesterday was the last day of service for Nik Razeen Daud who vacated the position a year before his contract ended.

Ironic as it may sound, the interview session for the new CEO will be held today, March 16.

Some 46 candidates applied and five have been shortlisted for interview.

Nothing wrong so far, but is the Minister aware that one of the five shortlisted is a current employees of Air Asia!

Was it a coincidence that three out of the 46 applicants were also from Air Asia.

And is it of any coincidence that Tan Sri Tony Fernandes is the Chairman of the Stadium Board as well as CEO of Air Asia.

And is it not a known fact that Nik Razeen had policy differences with Tony during his tenure!

Anyway back to the briefings on Thursday.

Hopefully the Minister will not come out with a statement saying that everything is good with out sports scene.

No doubt Reezal will be smitten by the colourful presentations, awesome PowerPoints, phenomenal statistics that will be manipulated from actual medal tally failures to be justified by percentages, all in the name of Malaysia Boleh.

It’s a pity that the Minister is naive and not able to comprehend truth from fiction no thanks to him being thrusted into a jargon he has no knowledge on.

And once again he will be presented with a figure of Malaysia having 35 Athletes in Tokyo.

Take that with a bucket of salt please.

Ask the NSC Director General for the break down of the athletes he claims will be in Tokyo.

Seek information such as how many actually qualified and how many are going on the B ticket, which is to fill the quota offered by IOC

From what is gathered, we should be having around 24/25 Athletes at Tokyo and perhaps the Minister would want to seek the numbers from the Olympic Council of Malaysia.

And talking on that, why has NSC taken over completely the role of OCM?

Why do I say this?

Well last Friday , March 13, a meeting was held at the NSC for 11 sports associations.

They were briefed on the probability of their sport being funded for the 2021 SEA Games.

Why is the NSC deciding who is going to the SEA Games when the decision lies with OCM?

Is there no longer any respect for OCM?

And why was there no elected official of OCM at that meeting but a staff only who is not entitled to make decisions?

What is the rationale of that 11 sports invited while some left out?

And more shockingly one of the sports associations invited is not a member of OCM!

The affiliated association of OCM was not included but its rival body was instead invited.

Is OCM aware if this fact and who in OCM endorses that list of invitees?

NSC invited the 11 NSAs shown below to a meeting on 13 MAC 2020

The sports association at the meeting were as follows;

Snooker & Billiards, Basketball ( Women), Golf, Judo, Table Tennis, Water Ski, Chess, Skateboard, Body Building, Dance Sport, Fencing.

The purpose of the meeting was to inform them that they have been selected to prepare for the 31st SEA Games 2021.

These 11 sports are in addition to the Core Sports, the elite list of NSC.

There are also a number of sports that have been abandoned by the NSC without proper justification.

The sports are Volleyball, Water Polo, Handball, Men’s Basketball amongst others.

How were the 11 sports selected ?

Though not made known , it is believed to be based on the fact they won medals in Manila.

But has OCM decided on the criteria of selection? Is medal a sole criteria?

However Dance Sport did not win even a bronze medal and so how could it be included.

Break Dance won a gold medal but it is not part of Dance Sport.

In addition the officials who attended the meeting were not from the NSA affiliated to OCM.

Was OCM consulted in the short listing?

This proposed list was not even brought up at the OCM Council meeting held on 7th March 2020.

The above action of NSC showed the total disrespect of NSC for OCM and also the lack of interest of OCM elected members for the SEA Games.

What was presented by NSC at that briefing was the same standard programs of NSC since the early 80s.

No change, no new ideas, no motivation from the NSAs or the athletes.

Absolutely boring.

With such standard planning by bureaucrats, be rest assured Malaysia will finish in 5th position in 2021.

So Minister, this is something you should be truly concerned of and a homework for you before Thursday’s meeting.

However egos will be affected and in the next few days more statistics will be added to justify the decision,

Being involved in soorts for well over 37 years , I can only hope that for once the Minister does not get sucked into a lull of complacency by these falsified briefings.

Go down to the ground, meet the NSA’s, hear them out please, if course in a close door session without the intimidating orange tiger stripe donning officials from NSC as they normally are event at OCM Selection Meetings.