NSC DG: The Gang of 4 ought to sit down and talk

Many are somewhat confused on the roles, responsibility and duties of the National Sports Council Director General.

Having been associated with NSC, during my two attachments with the body , from 1995-1998 and 2004-2005, I have known personally all the five Director Generals from 1991.

First was Dato Kamalul Arrifin, Dato Wira Mazlan Ahmad, Dato Dr. Ramlan Abdul Aziz, Dato Seri Zolkples Embong and Dato Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

Many comparisons have been drawn between them, but each of them had their good and bad days while helming the NSC,

Misconceptions have arose with regards to taking responsibilities after failures at the multi sports events and I hope to clarify some of them.

Dato Mazlan retired and was replaced by Dato Dr. Ramlan in 200) who in turned served 14 moths and was moved to ISN after the Doha Asian Games.

One must also understand that prior to Dato Ramlan’s appointment, the position of DG of NSC was not on a contractual basis.

When Ramlan took over he was on a 2 year contract but in September 2007 he was made the ISN Director General, a position he held till 2011.

It started from Dato Dr, Ramlan that a two year term for the position was introduced,

And the prerogative of selecting a DG was with the Minister of Youth & Sports, in accordance with the 1971 NSC Act.

Dr. Ramlan served until July 2007 and was replaced by Dato Seri Zolkples, as ISN and NSC we’re split.

This came about after the NSC and NSI were split and Dato Ramlan was made the first DH of NSI.

Dato Seri Zolkples was DG until October 2014 following which he was moved to the Sports Ministry.

It was then said that Dato Seri Zolkples was moved due to the poor performances of the contingents at the Commonwealth Games as well as Asian Games that year.

Though this was never said officially, it was a decision the then Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin took,

And to replace him, Dato Shapawi was appointed in January 2015 on a two year contract , a position that he holds until today.

It must be noted that all the three, Ramlan, Zolkples and Shapawi served under Mazlan.

Were the Director Generals removed for poor performances at the multi sports events?

Though there is no written rule, by convention this has happened before .

First there was a high level inquiry after the 2004 Athens Olympics.

It was two consecutive Olympics that Malaysia failed to win a medal and the detractors took advantage and of a new minister in a Dato Azalina Said to try oust Dato Mazlan.

All kind of inquiry’s were held, one by the UPM Sports Academy, by SAP member Muralee Menon and by the then UniKL President Tan Sri Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad.

It was the 85 page Ibrahim report that eventually made its way to the Cabinet and Mazlan was given a new vote of confidence to carry on,

As for Dato Ramlan, he was probably held responsible for the Doha 2006 debacle , though the program was handled by Australian Damien Kelly the of Doha Special Project , bur Ramlan was answerable and therefore saw an early end to his contract.

And Dato Seri Zolkples was also held accountable for the dismal showing at the two multi sports events of 2014, and also replaced was the then Director of Athletes Preparation Arrifin Ghani.

However there was no official inquiry held in any of this two occasions .

So replacing and removing those in key positions in NSC as a result of poor outings in multi sports events has been practiced before and is nothing new really.

It all boils down to the prerogative of the Sports Minister really and not the individual concerned to step aside willingly .

One has to remember that the position of NSC Director General is on a two year contract and they obviously have key performance index to achieve.

So the Minister therefore needs to do a proper evaluation on the performances and that’s relatively easy if results at multi sports events are the sole yardstick .

Yes there have been clarion calls for Dato Shapawi to take responsibility and vacate his position after the failure in Manila and before that in Jakarta and Gold Coast in 2018,

But the Podiim Program was revamped in 2018 and most of the foreign experts were sent packing.

Should the NSC now continue to be helmed by those within the system or have a change like the position of the ISN CEO where others are considered?

That is left for the Minister to determine but looking at his obvious preferences of intervening in other ministry’s , the sports issues are the least on his mind.

Shapawi should be allowed to stay on until Tokyo 2020 and if that ends in a dismal failure, I am certain he himself will go.

However recent events do not bode well for him.

It is common knowledge that the sports personality that was arrested at the drug and gaming bust a few days ago had close acquaintance with Shapawi.

And contrary to Sadiq’s claim that a KBS Officer was suspended as he was one of those arrested, that individual is actually a NSC Officer that is on their payroll and not the Ministry.

He was appointed as “ lantikan menteri” and placed at KBD to serve the minister.

So rightfully the suspension order should have come from Shapawi,

Now back to the four Director Generals.

To me each one of them I consider a friend, although we have our differences of opinion as we agree to disagree.

We have had our differences, as they too have had theirs as can bern obviously noticed now, with the exchanges in the media.

But all them have the common interest of sports foremost in their minds, and that matters to me.

The ideology of I am better then the others should be erased as each was good in their forte, no questions about ability.

But all of them had different management styles and that provably is the yardstick last usef to evaluate their ability to lead:

Thus it will be good if all of them hold back their opinions, and instead sit together in one room to trash their differences.

With such an array of brilliant minds in sports, our county can only benefit if all four sit down and are how best to move our sports forward

And I plead for them to come together and works towards the common good of sports.

Let’s get together for a meal, have a chat, be friends and my treat ok, with my Invalidity Pension.

What day you guys? Oops they are all Dato’s!