I wish to correct my statement. There were 3 officials - namely Dato Dr. Ramlan Abd Aziz (ISN CEO), Tan Sr Bashir Ahmad ( ex MHF Vice President) and Arrifin Ghani ( NSC Director Elite Division). As for Dato Zolkples Embong ( NSC Director General) he had to accompany the Minister and other VVIP's and am sure he would have been there as he did when we lost to Korea.
It was a moment when the players of the national hockey team needed a shoulder to cry on following their exit from the final of the Olympic Qualifiers in Dublin.
But with the hordes of VIP's and the Stout Support Group comprising of MHC officials specially flown to provide support, none were on the pitch to provide comforting words to the players or officials.
Those present, be it HRH Sultan Azlan Shah, MHC President Tengku Abdullah, Sports Minister Dato Shabery Cheek, the Malaysian Ambassador, the office bearers and staff of MHC and also the council members of the MHF - they all just walked off after the final whistle, as if there was a plague epidemic that had just broken.
No doubt most, if not all would have been there on the pitch had Malaysia made the final, and if we actually made the Olympics, then trust most of them trying to squeeze into a picture that will make headlines back home.
It was sad to see the faces of the players, treated as if they were akin to something that brought shame to the nation.
The players tried their level best, and if they have failed then not only has Tai Beng Hai and the rest of the coaching or management staff failed but so has the entire MHC Council, for all plans and preparations were endorsed by the so called Council Members.
It is perfectly alright to be disappointed, to be sad, even angry at times, but I have been down this road several times - when we failed in the 2004 Madrid Olympic Qualifier, when we failed at the 2009 Invercargill World Cup Qualifier.
We did not make it because we are just not good enough, it is plain and simple for all to see. Forget about being ranked 13, as some proudly proclaimed of late, we fail at big events and we will continue to fail if those warming the seats do not accept responsibility.
So reflect and drown your sorrows in what Ireland is known for, but reality will always haunt us - that we are obviously way off tandem and unless we are man enough to admit that we too are at fault, and be prepared to take necessary remedial action, then we will continue to fail, be it tomorrow, a year from now or four years from today.