The Malaysian Hockey Federation Council meets on Tuesday to deliberate changes to the constitution and the most important change, as some have perceived it, is the decision to appoint a General Secretary instead of electing a Hon. Secretary.
While having a full time Secretary has its merits, as it is the practice these days with most national sports associations having full time personnel, it is indeed baffling as to why MHF are taking this approach given the fact that they currently have a full time General Manager.
I say baffling for it will be better to give the General Manager executive powers within the constitution instead of making a drastic change in taking away the democratic process as adopted by the MHF since its formation years.
Clearly there has not been a demarcation of responsibilities between the Hon. Secretary and the General Manager and this has led to breakdown in certain areas and this could easily be resolved if the President had an able Deputy to assist him.
There is no denying that amendments to the constitution are necessary to ensure we keep up with times, but the constitution is a sacred document and if changes are made to satisfy certain individuals, then it must be opposed.
The President may mean well, but it is feared that he is being influenced by certain quarters who are clearly unhappy with the current administrative set-up within MHF. But Tuanku, the correct thing to do will be to allow the democratic process to continue and provide powers to the General Manager within the ambit of the constitution.
One confusion that the President could help defuse is if the post of General Manager is to be done away with upon the changes to the elective process of the Hon. Secretary taking place as it will be pointless having two paid officials running MHF.
While making changes, perhaps the Council would want to consider a change to have two Deputy Presidents instead of having one as now. That could reduce the number of Vice Presidents to four thus cutting off those who are merely warming the bench.
Talking about changes, there is one area that MHF needs to act on, and that is streamlining its domestic calendar while introducing a new regional tournament.
The time has come to introduce an Asia-Pacific League that comprises of clubs from Pakistan, India, South Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. A league between top clubs within this region will not only boost the sport in terms of helping improve the playing standards but will be a tremendous way to increase finance as the television revenue alone could do wonders for the sport.