The women hockey officials deserve more credit than what is often given to them. For upon the dawning of the new year 2012, they now stand on equal terms with their colleagues from the men's hockey fraternity, thanks to the International Hockey Federation's (FIH) insistence of a merged body to run hockey in Malaysia.
There was a joint body, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation, formed some six years ago to administer hockey internationally. But somehow some officials in MHF blundered and the cat was out of the bag, and FIH was all over MHF. But that is now history.
So the two bodies, MHF and MWHA decided to dissolve and press ahead with having a single body to administer the sport in Malaysia.
Various types of meetings were held, utmost of it was the desire of some office bearers to ensure that their positions in the merged body, be it elected or appointed, were not affected by this merger.
That is how the absurd figure of 12 Vice Presidents came about, 2 Senior Vice Presidents and 1o other Vice Presidents, with the MHF President taking over the reigns as the MHC President and the MWHA President being the sole Deputy President.
With the merger, the women thus hold 50% of the power base within MHC and they will also get two appointed independent members plus either the Secretary/Assistant Secretary as well as the Treasurer/Assistant Treasurer position.
Knowing that there was no way on earth that the current MHF Secretary will give up his position and allow a women candidate as the MHC Secretary, the MWHA went on to their next set of plans, that was to ensure that Prof Dr. Shamala Subramaniam, the iron lady of MWHA retains some significant influence on MHC.
Thus instead of allowing Shamala, who by the way is highly qualified but educationally, and is an elected member of the Asian Hockey Federation Council, to be reduced to a mere spectator, MWHA has nominated her as the Senior Vice President of MHC, on par with MHF Deputy President Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad.
And they have now decided that their current Executive Secretary will be the appointed person for the Secretary/Assistant Secretary post.
Now that is what one calls forward planning.
Mind you, I have nothing against how MWHA conducted themselves and infact admire the fact that they planned this whole thing to their advantage, who wouldn't in the first place. After all the current MHF officials wanted to safeguard their posts, so they sacrificed hockey for personal interests, and why blame the women for thinking out of the box?
So now instead of Shamala, who was vocal during the merger talks, taking orders from the incoming Secretary, she will be in a position to dictate terms, by virtue of her position as Senior Vice President.
With 13 key office bearers, and the fact that there are 13 sub committees in the new MHC set up, it will be interesting to see who will run which committee and with 4 years on their hands, god knows what good or bad will come out of it.
Suffice to say that the forward planning to safe guard the interest of some key officials within the MHF old set up is ongoing and if the women were follow in that direction, at times one step ahead, then who are we to complain.