Wednesday, August 06, 2008


This was an article written by S. Selvam of the NST in 2004 before the Athens Olympics.

"THE Athens Olympic Games will be the last multi-sport Games for Datuk
Mazlan Ahmad as the director-general of the National Sports Council (NSC).
He retires in July next year, but Mazlan wants to remember Athens as a
Games where Malaysians return with, at the very least, one medal and
firmly believes the colour could be gold.
"Some say NSC are very conservative when it comes to predicting the
number of medals in any multi-sport Games. But I really hope, the national
contingent will return with at least one medal, irrespective of the
colour," said Mazlan in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
"As long as the team return with at least a medal, a target which is
very much within our capability, I'll be happy.

Nope we did not win ANY medal at the Athens Olympics and what followed was an inquiry conducted by one Muralee Menon and Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad. While Ibrahim's report centered on the performance and preparation of the athletes in Athens, Muralee's report almost led to Mazlan losing his job as the NSC DG.

The only positive thing that came out of it was the formation of the Cabinet Committee for Sports chaired by none other then the Deputy Prime Minister. And to be honest nothing concrete has been done to help sports. First there was such fanfare as the Core Sports Program was launched after the First Cabinet Committee meeting held on November 2004. Four years on that is dead and buried.

We had 14 Ministers as members of the Cabinet Committee, and what do we have to show after four years, nothing.

The fields are still being taken away in the name of development, the TPCA Stadium issue not resolved and we have Matsushita giving up their complex for NSC to run. And the school fields are still off limits after school hours to the local community, teachers in schools still teach PE in tudung, we still have only one period for PE and we have the Education Ministry trying to bite more then they can chew by taking over age group tournaments when it is they who have killed the inter school rivalry in the first place.

Four years on and we have a new man at the helm at NSC, Dato Zolkples Embong as the Director General. And he too made an interesting observation, but this is the same tune sung four years ago,

"NATIONAL Sports Council (NSC) director general Zolkples Embong has declared the Malaysian Olympics contingent are the best prepared and is optimistic the medal drought will be ended in Beijing next month. Badminton is the sport where Malaysia can expect at least a medal and Zolkples said the BA of Malaysia (BAM) has assured it will not fail this time."

I do hope and pray that we do not fail to land a medal, but if we do then we can always rely on holding another investigation or form more committees, for we are gold medal winners in doing just that.