The much talked about Annual General Meeting of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) is over. As a journalist and an observer to much of the goings-on, I decided to write about it so that future generations can read about it. The contents are not meant to put anybody down. However, I am aware that to some people the truth hurts, others don't like truths and some believe that truth must be half and the other half should be some philosophy.
This observations may not necessarily be very accurate because I was not in any of the groups. Therefore I write as a bystander and an observer, and at times as a friend to some of the people involved.
From what I understand, the whole thing began about the middle of 2008 when some officials felt that there was an urgent need for change. They felt that OCM has reached an all time low and without a change now it will be doomed to be a "post-office" forever. As far as I know, I could see four groups of people involved in the happenings that had all the ingredients of a thriller movie with a dash of scented spice from Bollywood and "big-mama" appearing in the last few days to comfort a cry-baby. Hmm..interesting movie.
One group was trying to see changes among the Vice Presidents and when they heard of the disappointments of . the late Dato' Ho Koh Chye, they managed to convince him to be a candidate . I understand that he agreed, but with some conditions. But his untimely death changed somethings.
Then there was another group that wanted to change the Honorary Secretary. I overheard that they found a candidate, in his late 40s, and very prominent at the moment and likely to be acceptable to most National Sports Associations, and even the National Sports Council (NSC). His identity was not and I think, has not been revealed to many until now. At, least not me.
This was because there were talks of Low Beng Choo contesting. There was a group trying to convince her to do so and also had a standby candidate to draw away some attention (and votes?) if there is a contest. But, Beng Choo delayed in giving an answer and that caused the the group with the mysterious candidate to pull back, because there was not enough time to put up a good fight.
Finally, some wanted a change in the Deputy Presidency and they approached Datuk Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, who reluctantly agreed and, I was told, that many came to support him and there was also calls from the high offices to assist him. He lost badly for reasons which have become a talking point in the sports fraternity.
Many things came out of this episode. One of this is a new respect for the likes of Datuk Seri Kee Yong Wee @ Kee Ah Mat (Wushu) and Datuk Abd Razak Latiff (Lawn Tennis). For this two gentlemen, I am told, a yes is a yes and no is a no. That's integrity.
Also, many gave credit to Datuk Seri Ibrahim for his sporting attitude. His supporters told him of a late onslaught by a top-gun, who had "personal and lengthy" conversations with some Datuk's, and a group of people who desperately went round confronting, appealing and offering many things in exchange for votes for the incumbent and also to keep "an old man" and a politician away. They advised him to shift gear and move one step up and accept the help that was offered from way up.
Apparently Datuk Seri Ibrahim told them that this is sport and desperate moves like that were not good for sport. Here was a another gentleman. That's a sporting spirit.
In the meantime, I was made to understand, that the Datuk's agreed to a "face saving act" for the top-gun but unfortunately lost their faces in the process. Many in the sports world are now aware of this and some have said that they will never trust these people from now on. I don't know who they are. One lie normally lead to another and soon it will lies all the way.
Another President of an association, withdrew support for a certain group after receiving promise of a sponsorship deal. There is a lot of talk about promises of positions (possibly Chef-de-missions and secretariat positions at multi sports games) or future appointments. But, I have no confirmations on that matter.
The biggest joke was when a President of an association told all the candidates that he can only promise two votes. When asked why, he said that he doesn't trust his secretary. That is sports in Malaysia.
On a personal note, I feel that Tunku Tan Sri Imran ibni Almarhum should remain as President. He is a good image for Malaysia at international level and for now, he is the only capable candidate. His critics say that Tunku is gifted only at chairing meetings locally and attending meetings abroad. I believe he has done a good job representing Malaysia in international forums
For the post of Secretary, I feel that Dato' Sieh Kok Chi should continue for now. Some people felt that he should retire and there are others who claim that he had said that 2008-2009 was his last term. In all fairness, I did not hear him say that and based on the current situation he seem to be only one capable of running OCM. However, I have to agree that my opinion might change if I now who the mysterious candidate is.
As I said earlier, this is just an observation and not meant to irritate anyone, especially the highly irritable ones who, our of desperation, go around point fingers at everything and almost anyone, for reasons best know to them only.
Officials tell me that the effects of the OCM elections are being felt elsewhere. One delegate who went against his Presidents wishes is now being sidelined and soon to be dumped. Another delegate who joined a group and went campaigning in the last few days before the elections, is expected to face a challenge for his own post in his association. Whatever it is, the elections are over and now all must work together for the betterment of sports in the country.