There has been virtually a war of words between the Sports Commissioner and the Olympic Council of Malaysia pertaining to the Sports Development Act 1998.
It all boils down to changes that are being proposed that are not acceptable to OCM whereas what OCM proposed years ago has not even been considered by the Sports Ministry. Refer to what I wrote before Azalina took over from Hishammuddin in 2004.
THE Sports Development Act will not be used as a tool to weed out
incompetent sports officials in the country.
Rather, the Sports Minister, who is empowered to enforce the 1988 Act
through the Sports Commissioner's Office, will allow the affiliates to
decide on the fate of the deadwood in sports associations.
With Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein reluctant to use the provisions in the
Sports Development Act, nothing much can be done to remove non-performing
officials, some of whom have been in their positions for over three
Hishammuddin is even reluctant to impose term limits on principal office
bearers and the non-performers are likely to continue keeping out new
people with fresh ideas.
"I am not going to use the Sports Development Act to get officials to
vacate their positions," said Hishammuddin.
"It is up to members to remove officials they feel have not or cannot
contribute effectively towards the sport.
"It is really up to the affiliates to decide on how their association is
However, Hishammuddin concedes that in extreme cases, where the
development and progress of a sport is affected, he will use the Act as an
axe and notes the Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) as a case in
"There have been suggestions to limit the age of office bearers but I
have no plans to go with that.
"However, the associations are welcome to make changes to their own
The irony is that even the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), the
umbrella body for sports in the country, have shied away from the issue
despite coming out strongly for term limits.
OCM President Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar was all for limiting the
duration of principal office bearers to two Olympic cycles or eight years.
However, OCM did not make any such changes to their own constitution at
their Annual General Meeting last November.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have an age limit and sports
officials in Japan hold positions only until they are 70.
Even in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) elected officials can
only serve till they are 70.
The officials in the National Sports Council (NSC), a statutory body
formed under the National Sports Council Act 1971, can only serve until
they are 56.
So why can't there be a limit on the age of those serving in national or
State sports bodies?