Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It will see a battle between two people from different "political" parties who both care passionately about sport, who have both seen it from the inside and both know how difficult it is to change things.

But as they battle on for the right to be the number two to Tunku Tan Sri Imran Tuanku Jaafar, there are some questions that require their undivided attention. Pete Imran is expected to win unopposed as his challenger Datuk Shahidan Kassim knows better not to stand against the Negri prince.

Incumbent Datuk Dr. M. Jegathesan will face academician turned politician turned sports administrator Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad.

It will be a shames as one of them will have to leave OCM after Saturday, so it is vital for the delegates to decide wisely as to who will serve Malaysian sport with a purpose, rather than with a smile and just lip service.

What Pete Imran needs is a strong number two man, someone who will be able to initiate change within sports in the country, someone who will tell government officials not to intervene in the running of national sports associations, someone who will rule without fear or favour, and above all someone who has the guts to take on the little napoleons who ruin our sports today.

Both cannot deny the fact that our society in the midst of an obesity crisis. So severe that children face being the first generation ever not to live longer than their parents. The sedentary lifestyles and "PlayStation Culture" that are causing this crisis were not an issue during the time Jega was an athlete and Ibrahim as a lecturer.

The current structure of bureaucracy in sports is 'a nightmare' and yet there has been no sign of reform, not even when Education Minister Dato Muhyiddin Yassin spoke on the importance of school sports recently.

The unanswered questions are how sport can be embraced as a more valuable part of daily life for people of all ages. It is not intended to cause offence or to score points, but to take a fresh look at the way sport is delivered and the way it is viewed in the country that hopes to host the Olympic Games some day.

In as so far as Datuk Sieh Kok Chi is concerned, I doubt there is anyone who will challenge him for the General Secretary position. There has been much smoke without fire as has been the case in the past, and even though one of my close friends was offered an open cheque in 2004 by a high ranking government official to take on Kok Chi, but he refused.

To the delegates for the AGM this Saturday, I offer this advice, take the two words 'fuming' and 'furious.' Make up your mind that you will say both words, but leave it undecided which you will say first. Now open your mouth and speak. If your thoughts incline ever so little towards 'fuming,' you will say 'fuming-furious;' if they turn, by even a hair's breadth, toward 'furious,' you will say 'furious-fuming,' but if you have that rarest of gifts, a perfectly balanced mind, you will say 'frumious.’