Although I had covered him on the sidelines of various meetings at FA of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur as the sidekick for the likes of senior journalists like Badrulhisham Othman, Saodi Mat Atar, Rosli Safar, Norbakti Alias and Ahmad Khawari Isa, it was in Kuantan that I was formally introduced to the Tengku Mahkota.
Tengku Abdullah knew me by name, "Ah, awak yang selalu kutuk saya...macam-macam awak tulis."
I could sense that it was a remark made with no malice intended, but more like an ice-breaker.
After all what Tengku Abdullah said was true. When I was at Berita Harian, I was pro-player, coach and all technicians. I had little regard for officialdom and the policy-makers behind the scenes, but soon I discovered the dynamics in FAM and Tengku Abdullah's untiring effort to develop football.
Now, having quit FAM in the wake of the 2007 Asian Cup debacle, Tengku Abdullah is said to be interested in taking over the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF). Read here. But in my humble opinion, Tuanku, leave MHF be.
While some suggested for Tengku Abdullah to give it a try (he'll do no worse than Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim who is president for three or four national sports bodies) and provide leadership to an Olympic sport desperate for direction, I think the damage in MHF is virtually irrepairable.
However if you read Johnson's take here, could he be suggesting someone else rather than the top two incumbents - Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor and Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar - to run MHF? Will Tengku Abdullah enter the fray and force his brother in law out of the picture?