Sunday, January 17, 2010


It may well be a Sunday for many of us, but there was a hive of activity in as so far as the Malaysian Hockey Federation were concerned.

Two meetings were held in Bukit Jalil, while at Bukit Persekutuan, a MHF official virtually took the whole of Malaysia for a ride when he went live on air on Astro Awani.

At the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil, the MHF Coaching Committee met and a list of coaches was presented to the members by the Chairman Dr. Balbir Singh for consideration to fill up the coaching positions of the various teams, from the Senior National Team, National Juniors and National Under 16.

Amongst the names of the list were Tai Beng Hai, Nor Saiful Zaini, S. Vellapan, S. Prakash, Wallace Tan, Stephen van Huizen, Colin Sta Maria and K. Rajan. Conspicously missing was the name of K. Dharmaraj while Sarjit Singh whose name was on the list asked to be left out.

But the MHF Coaching Committee decided not to name the coaches as they were not presented with the reports of the coaches of the various teams in 2009 and hence requested that they be furnished with reports to consider and evaluate the ability of the current coaches of the teams before preparing a list for the consideration of the MHF Council.

The MHF Coaching Committee meeting ended at around 2.00pm and an hour later the MHF Team Management Committee commenced their deliberations at the National Sports Council, a stone throw away.

And it is here that the situation gets more confusing, read on and try to get a grasp of things. This Committee, the legality of which has been the subject of debate since it was formed a year ago, was chaired by MHF Deputy President Nur Azmi Ahmad.

They decided to name six coaches for the various teams, somethng that the MHF Coaching Committee had deferred to do. The six named are Tai Beng Hai and Stephen van Huizen for the Senior Team, K. Dharmaraj, Nor Azlan Bakar, K. Gobinathan for the National Juniors while Nor Saiful Zaini was named for the National Under 16 Team.

Usurping the powers of another Committee? Well it gets more interesting as these six names have to be deliberated by the MHF Coaching Committee this Tuesday. So how is it that a Sub Committee, whose terms of reference do not exist in the first place, name coaches and order another Sub-Committee to hold a meeting to endorse the list so that it can be presented to the MHF Management Committee that is to meet in Malacca on January 23?

And yes, before I forget, the Committee, meaning the Team Management Committee, has left it to the President, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, to determine if MHF is to go ahead with the hiring of Dutchman Roelant Oltmans as a Coach or as a Consultant. Either way all these coaches are to report t Oltmans, should he be hired, a decision which will be made by January 23.

Next came the issue of appointing the Team Managers of the various teams and here is something for readers to ponder.

For the Senior Team, George Koshy and Ow Soon Kooi have been named as Team Managers while for the National Juniors, the task will be handled by Mirnawan Nawawi and M.Gobinathan. Johari Abd Aziz is the sole name for the National Under 16 team.

So both the Senior and Junior teams will have two team managers, wow! How politically correct can you be by doing this. Ever consider a career in real politics Mr. Chairman?

Next we move to the studios of Astro Awani where Nur Azmi came under the microscope during the live interview.

When asked if what were the MHF priority, the Commonwealth Games as opposed to Asian Games, Nur Azmi correctly stated that it was Asian Games. But when confronted with the mistaks of 2006 where Malaysia won bronze in Melbourne but went on to play badly in the World Cup Qualifiers, he started blabbering about the 2006 Asian Games instead.

And the icing on the cake was when he was asked about joint accountability if the team fails at the Asian Games since MHF wanted a foreign coach, the Deputy President side stepped it by saying the coach will be sacked if he fails.

Next stop - Tuesday as we await for more surprises from the Standing Committee of the Coaching Committee. And then on it will be Malacca this Saturday.