Thursday, November 13, 2008

Special mention

From left Loose Cannon armed with a pen, Datuk Abdul Latiff Endot who was then the private principal secretary to the Sports Minister, read the aviator, former National Sports Council (NSC) director-general, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad and his anointed successor, Datuk Zolkples Embong whose appointment took place almost two years later than the original plan. Picture taken when all four were lighter on the weighing scale

He's a well-connected former journalist

Two names were given special mention by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak in his opening address at the National Sports Convention on Tuesday, that of Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad and former New Straits Times sports journalist, Randhir Singh.
Najib recalled the days when he was the Sports Minister (between 1986-1990) with Randhir always snapping at his heels, whereas Mazlan was the deputy director-general at the National Sports Council (NSC).
Both Mazlan and Randhir attended the convention in different capacities, with the former now serving the Sports Ministry as the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) chairman while the former journo came and spoke as an observer.
I hold both Mazlan and Randhir in high regard. Mazlan for his contributions and strategic thinking as he oversaw the successful Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998, his foresight in developing programmes at grassroots level for bowling, weightlifting and diving, to name a few, and in managing the myriad of characters that run the scene, without projecting himself too much and in the process overshadow the politicians. And he had no qualms in engaging the Press with his thoughts or anger, as once I found out. I was on the receiving end in 1997 after I wrote a story in the Malay Mail on Watson Nyambek's coach Daniel St Hilaire being shown the door owing to the sprinter's poor showing in the SEA Games, under the heading 10.53 - you're out.
The intro - IT took only 10.53 seconds to send three years of pure hard work by Watson Nyambek and his mentor Daniel St. Hilaire down the MAAU drain. "Ini masalahnya dengan kau ni, tulis tak pakai otak!" (this is the trouble with you, you write without using your brains) was the rollicking I got over the phone shortly after the story was published. Mazlan encouraged discourse between the Press and NSC and he practised an open door policy, particularly at the tailend of his tenure.
Growing up in the 80s, I seldom missed Randhir's column Inside Track, which centred mainly on track and field. Very few can hold a candle to Randhir when it comes to cultivating his contacts especially among officialdom. It is widely known that Randhir enjoys a special relationship with the Sports Ministers down the years. He too gave Sukom'98 chairman, Tan Sri Hashim Mohd Ali, brother-in-law of the former Prime Minister, a hard time yet don't be surprised if the two are slotted in the same flight for a game of golf. Occasionally Randhir keeps quite a number of prominent figures company at the golf course.

8 comments:

ex-athletics official said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

that normal la ex-athletics as long his is sincere when writing about sports. apa la....Olahraga always think there are special sports and can do anything even murder..and get away with it...so what happen now in athletic ...dying rite...

rizal hashim said...

ex-athletics official,

I'm sorry but I had to delete your comment, unless you can substantiate your allegations.

nstman said...

Randhir is history. The next Randhir is Arnaz Khairul, the cycling maestreo. This guy steps on a lot of toes, sometimes he even steps on his own toes. Watch out for this young tiger. He is going to be the conscience of sport.

Mat Sabu said...

Saya bersetuju dengan NSTman bahawa saudara Arnaz mempunyai kaliber untuk menjadi editor sukan pada masa yang akan datang .... beliau adalah lebih baik daripada setengah wartawan yang membuat kerja Ah Long di NST .... Teruskan kegigihan kamu Arnaz.

Hmetro said...

Arnaz memang kuat , beliau begitu passionate sangat mengenai sukan berbasikal ... kami pun rasa pada satu ketika beliau akan menjadi seorang tokoh sukan hebat .. cuma kena relax brader jangan cepat marah .. budak budak lain di NST itu tak boleh pakai ... mereka tak berani seperti arnaz ...

budu masam said...
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Randy Singh said...
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