Ashman Academy: what’s going on?

In 2012 the late HRH Sultan Azlan Shah officiated the opening ceremony of what was to be known as the Raja Ashman – AHF-MHC Academy in Ipoh.

The Perak State Government had generously provided a building adjacent to the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium towards housing this Academy.

The purpose of setting up this academy was to provide a venue as well as avenue to train Hockey officials – be it in umpiring, coaching, technical as well as players in order to enhance their knowledge.

An academy that will spread its wings all over Asia to improve the standard of the sport, to match if not better other continents.

It was a contribution from HRH who was so passionate about the sport, whose deeply rooted love for the sport was second to none.

The Academy was to be managed by a body that was registered with the Registrar of Companies in Malaysia.

And checks with the ROC through a search conducted last week listed the following as Directors of the Academy:

Dato Rahim Mat Ariff, Dato Rashidi Hashim, Dato Zainol Fadzi Paharudfin.

Now the question being asked is who runs the academy, which is who makes decisions?

And why signs and approves the accounts of the Academy?

Where is it submitted to as its with ROC and not within the ambit of any sports body?

It seems there is a Committee at Asian Hockey Federation level that is headed by Dato Abdul Rahim Mat Ariff with his sidekick M. Selvakumar as Secretary.

However it is further learnt that the Academy has appointed a paid Chief Executive Officer in MP Haridass, who sadly is never madd award of what’s ongoing.

Suffice to say Haridass was never an AHF appointee.

And there is another level, called the Management Committee that has Tan Sri Alagendra as it’s advisor and comprising of Rahim , Dato Johari and sitting as members with the presence of Selvakumar and Haridass.

What are the terms of reference and who appoints this management committee?

On December 24 at the AHF Executive Board meeting, a report was presented to the members of the EN , but who prepared and approved the report was baffling.

Haridass when contacted was not aware of the contents of the report.

Let us take one case as an example towards the administration of the Academy.

In the 2019 Azlan Shah Cup, a total of 5 FIH Academy Level Courses was held that drew 120 participants from all over.

These participants paid a fee of USD300 to USD500 each towards board and lodging as well as course materials.

These courses were held ranging from 3 days to 5 days.

It must be clarified here that these courses were held as an initiative of AHF and not by the academy itself.

It was AHF that loaded and secured the approval and funding from FIH and brought in some 15 Instructors for this high level courses.

So in total the amount collected would be close to RM200,000, which was paid to AHF.

And the Academy was said to have further forked out close to RM50,000 for the cost of the courses, which was said to be cost of the instructors.

But the participants were not housed or received lectures at the Academy but at a hotel.

So why have a building that is called an academy when it’s only in name ?

Ironically some RM80,000 had been spent to upgrade the facilities at the Academy in terms of buying mattresses as well as plumbing works.

Who uses the academy and why were there savages?

Who monitors the usage of the facilities?

So if the Academy was not used, why spend so much fixing something,

And does anyone know what was the usage of the Academy in terms of teams and officials house there in 2019?

It seems that the Academy name was used to organise tournaments in Kuala Kangsar, but organising tournaments is not the core business of the Academy.

It was also alleged that the Academy was the organiser of the last, 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

And the same is being said for the 2020 event given that Perak HA are set to undergo elections soon.

So who approved the entire process?

Was it Perak HA, the AHF or the Academy?

The academy cannot, based on its registration, organise courses. Are they not contravening the 1997 Sports Development Act?

And at the start of 2020, a report appears in the AHF Website highlighting an umpires course held in Sabah.

Since when does AHF pays for conducting a state level umpires course?

Checks with AHF revealed they never approved or endorsed any such course.

Is it not the responsibility of the state body to organise any such courses?

And Haridass also confirmed he was not aware of any such umpires course conducted by the Academy.

There are 16 affiliates in Malaysia of the national body, so is the Academy prepared to fund courses of such nature for all of them?

It is no coincidence that the so called course was held during the sane period with a private event of someone within the state hockey body.

Was this course planned to coincide with that function?

The entire Academy members should now clarify the status of the Academy and resign if they had abused their powers for self gain,

And the Perak Royal Family should seriously look into what is going on in the Academy.

Let AHF manage the Academy to prevent further abuses.

The late Raja Ashman was a humble yet passionate individual who loved the sport and would have been a key figure in the sport had he still been around,

Let us hold his name in high esteem, set things right at the Academy, and make it truly a professional outfit rather then let some individuals use it for self gains.