Happy New Year to all readers of this blog. Through this posting, I would like to take a look at some sports in the country and see if there is any hope for the future. Also, to give some suggestions.
Many of us are looking foward to an excellent New Year with new resolutions and stuff like that. Let's hope this new new decade, would be a decade of changes for sports in Malaysia. It is not wrong to wish for good things even though we know it will never happen, anytime soon. Here are some of my wishes for sport in 2010.
I suggest that Encik Karim Ibrahim be made the President of Malaysian Amateur Athletics Association (MAAU). He is very dedicated and committed. And, probably Dato' Sieh Kuo Chi can be appointed as the Adviser.
This sports has progressed well with some hard work by Korean coaches and an extensive development programme. However, the National Archery Association of Malaysia is totally dependent on fundings from National Sports Council (NSC). This is not good and a change in leadership is needed so that new faces can bring new ideas and market this sport.
BODYBUILDING and WEIGHTLIFTING
Both the association is headed by veteran politician, Dato' Gan Boon Leong from Melaka. Many are hoping that he will step aside and let a new generation of leaders take over, but lately he was mentioned to some close friends that he wants to make some changes in the weighlifting federation.
Untill some major change takes place, these two sport will struggle along with almost no sponsor willing to come near them. What a pity.
There is so much attention to the national team that all other needs seem to be done just for the sake of doing, or fulfilling some requirements. I have always maintained that for badminton to grow, a strong club system must be developed. That's how Indonesia grew and China continues to grow.
BAM, please use the monies that you have to start a new system where clubs will be core for development. There is some emphasis on schools, but that is seasonal.
Datuk Mohd Nadzmi Salleh was recently re-elected to lead the association untill 2013. Would he be able to do things which he could not do for the past ten years? BAM has a bonus system which is a joke. A player can receive reward every three months just by being world number one.
A player can be number one by just participating in as many tournaments as possible and make sura he gets in the quater finals of the main one, he does not need to win tournaments which the nation expects him to win and he will be highly rewarded.
Continuous to be active at grassroots and have a good administrative system, which pleases their main sponsor, Petronas.
The beatiful game in Malaysia is in a confused state. One one hand the authorities concerned want to implement winning formulas, as found in sucessful nations. On the other hand, they make decisions which are mind boggling. And, now there is total confusion, with the Minister making weird suggestions.
I hope the game remains beautiful in Malaysia and there is no other way except a total change at national and state levels. Professionals must take over the sport. Politicians, please move aside for the sake of the beautiful game. All the millions being spend and to be spend would be a waste without a commitment to change.
BOWLING and SNOOKER&BILLIARDS
These two are good recreational activities which bring economical gains to those who excell. Thank You.
They are happy with the routine. Enough money for everything the want and they want to stay on in their post. With all the effort and funds, after all these years we do not have any player which is of world standing. The officials are happy doing the routine, a trip here and there and a big help from OCM to go places, while assuring the votes for their mentors.
If things continue like this, table tennis will just be another after-office time sport or maybe an interesting activity in team building programmes.
If they continue at the same rate, this sport will soon be a beach event with no one really keen to take it up seriously. After all these years, volleyball should already be having a semi-pro league. But, it does not. So sad.
SOFTBALL and BASEBALL
Have good potential to grow but the national bodies must go down to thgrassroots. Start with private and international schools. Improvise to popularize. Have 'mini' events, using smaller fields to promote the sport.
One of the few sports where Malaysia can qualify for World and Olympics. More effeort must be given to help the states improve their structure. And, while at it, help the states get rid of rotten officials.
The rest, all the best to you.