When legends speak, we ought to pay heed

Two former stalwarts of Malaysian Sports responded to my article on the state of sports – in particular the death of volunteerism as well as paying big bucks for staff.

Dato G. Vijaynathan and Dato Thomas Lee from Hockey and Golf are legendary administrators who administrated their sport with such passion that no one today can hold a candle to these two illustrious duo.

Below, in their own words, they state their views and it will be good if those heading sports take note of their concerns.

Dato G. Vijaynathan

I refer to your article posted by the Cacat 1 on May 24, 2020.

You, Sir have challenged the Malaysian Hockey Confederation to provide details of the year emolutions paid out to the so called high ranking, name wise, of staff within the organisation.

Sir, I served as the Hon. Secretary of the then Malaysian Hockey Federation from 1959 to, 1985 – an eventful, memorable, historic and long 26 years. For your kind records I would like to kindly inform your good self that i was not paid a single cent by the Malaysian Hockey Federation . The past Hon. Treasurer, Mr. S. Perampalam is a living prove. All work was performed from my humble home as we did not then have an office. The typewriter that I used was purchased by me by paying a monthly instalment of RM20/- per month for 20 months.

I was appointed by the F.I.H. to serve in the Technical Committee and the Competitions Committee from 1982. until …………… when I had no option but to resign due to a foolish decision taken by M. H. F. Let me also kindly inform you Sir, I attended the meetings normally held at Brussells all by paying for the travel and board by myself. M.H. F. did not come out with a single cent. The former treasurer is still around and you have the liberty to confirm this with him.

Sometime in …………….. F.I.H. decided that National Associations should recommend officials to serve at F.I.H. and should pay for their transport and subsistence allowances. M.H.F. then only recommended that I serve only in the Umpires” Board. Though I was disheartened I decided to accept their nomination since they have to pay all my expenses in accordance to F.I.H. regulations. In actual, fact M.H.F. should have recommended the Chairman of the M.H.F. Umpires’ Board if they needed a representative in the F.I.H. Umpires Board. However since M.H.F. was now obliged to pay for all my travel and board expenses as directed by F.I.H. I decided to accept their nomination to F.I.H. I then wrote to the Hon. secretary M.H.F. (Mr. S. Satgunam) requesting him to make my travel arrangements etc. Surprisingly a week later i received a reply from Mr. Satgunam to inform me that M.H.F. would not pay for my travel and board expenses to attend the F.I.H. meeting. I then humbly declined to serve in the F.I.H. Hockey Rules Board. Thus ended my 18 years personal service with F.I.H.

Note: After having served the M. H. F. for nearly 28 years, I was forced to resign as it was a condition laid out by the R.S.G.C. before I could be confirmed in my appointment as the Sports Manager. It was with a very heavy heart and deep regret and disappointment that I had to tender my resignation as secretary at the Council Meeting held on June 24, l985 at Istana Perak in Kuala Lumpur. No vote of thanks was recorded for my past 26 years service. I was hoping that someone would propose an Honorarium (even if it was for a mere RM100/-) to show the Council’s appreciation for my 28 years service. No, one was interested. They were all interested to select their own candidate to replace me.

Dato Thomas Lee

When I come think of it. I started in MGA with no or very little income because there were only few clubs but we also had little expenditure as we only had one Secretary and our office was in RSGC for free.

The Association did everything because of dedicated volunteers trying to promote the game.

Now with COVID despite the fact that the Association has many clubs , a lot of staff it’s own office but no money. It’s back to the beginning. Are there the volunteers?

With COVID and so many businesses collapsing, it’s new normal

Now they have do what we had to do. Raise money and spend our time and own money

Reason for my posting is to remind people in charge of the new normal. Sports Ministry, OCM , Sports Associations.