Thursday, April 9, 2009

Letter to the new Sports Minister

Dear YB Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek,

RE: Appointment as the Sports Minister

Please accept my heartiest congratulations on being appointed the country's 17th Sports Minister, Datuk.

Although I personally believe Datuk should be focusing your energy on youth issues, sports remains an ideal battleground to win the hearts and minds of youth.

I'm certain your experience as the Information Ministry will put you in good stead.

As we are all aware, Datuk, sports should be a vehicle to build bridges, not to tear them down.

Only through sports can you have a slightly-built Iban carrying the contingent's flag, with a legendary sprinter of Sri Lankan ancestry behind him as the chef-de-mission, followed closely by a multi-racial group of athletes pulling towards the same direction - chasing honours for Malaysia. This scenario took place at the Athens Olympics in 2004, of which I was privileged enough to be part of.

I don't have to remind you, Datuk, of the task that awaits you. Historically speaking, you are the first Sports Minister from Terengganu.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj (1964-66) and Datuk Senu Abdul Rahman (1966-68), famed for his Revolusi Mental book, were the first two Sports Ministers, when leaders were short on cash but high on integrity.

During his tenure from 1969 to 1973, Hamzah tabled the National Sports Council (NSC) Act in 1971 and later held several high-profile posts such as president of the FA of Malaysia (FAM), Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as well as FIFA and IOC vice-president.

Datuk Ali Ahmad (1973-76), Tan Sri Abdul Samad Idris (1976-80), Datuk Mokhtar Hashim (1980-82), Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (1982-83), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (1983-84), Datuk Seri Dr Sulaiman Daud (1984-86), Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak (1986-89), Datuk Annuar Musa (1990-93), Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (1993-1995), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin (1995-1999) and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (1999-2004) took turns to help shape the nation's sporting fortunes.

From 2004 up to the 2008 general elections, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said's desire was to create a culture of sports, which included grassroots programmes at every Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies. But she was extravagant and showed little regard for dissent. Virtually all her policies came under attack by the mainstream Press.

In his short tenure, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob took up the courage to stop some of the policies issued by Azalina which were not really cast in stone. The expensive football youth tournament called the Champions Youth Cup was rammed down FA of Malaysia's throats while the Hertfordshire high-performance centre in London was pursued despite public outcry.

You may also want to settle the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) controversy which began in May 2005.

Since you introduced new initiatives and openness in RTM with the advent of talk shows which openly discussed important issues, you are expected to consider engaging stakeholders like OCM positively and not subject the likes of Datuk Sieh Kok Chi to public ridicule just because he has the audacity to question your policies.

For sure you will encourage dissent since you were a member of Semangat 46. You will no doubt engage your detractors positively and take kindly to criticism.

Datuk, if we were to climb the apex of world domination in sports, sincerity is paramount. Sports and youth cannot be developed through advertisements, slogans or through airtime on the media. The money ought to be better utilised to run the various programmes and reward the people that matter.

Do not think sports is a piece of cake. The experts are few and far between, so make full use of them. The people's hard-earned money, Datuk, should also be spent wisely.

Did you know NSC spent RM160 million from 1993 to 1998, with 10 gold medals in the KL '98 Games as the return on investments? But how much did NSC spend from 2004 to 2008? And what is the result?

Your main task, Datuk, is to give due recognition to the related government agencies like NSC, the volunteers from OCM and NSAs, parents, coaches and all stakeholders and drive them to the same destination. In short, everyone must subscribe to your Mission Statement.

In the event the Cabinet Committee on Sports Development is retained, I would suggest the formation of an audit committee to serve as the watchdog and monitoring body. Someone needs to crack the whip if the NSC or any government agency for that matter, slackens.

Someone too needs to monitor the funds being channelled to the various agencies on periodical basis, in line with the Prime Minister's approach of having a key performance indicator and periodical assessment.

Datuk, do not aspire to be a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or any international body. As it is, you are already tasked with the heavy responsibility of making the establishment an appealing platform for today's youth.

In your constituency in Kemaman, you might want to engage athletics coach Mohd Zaki Sadri who is coaching a group of youngsters under the auspices of Petronas. He might be able to brief you about the state of affairs in the sport.

You might want to continue Ismail Sabri's policy of lending ex-athletes your ears as this will do you no harm but instead gain their respect. You might also want to fully tap into the experience of Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) and its chairman, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, who was seldom called upon under Ismail Sabri.

With the help of the newly-appointed Ketua Komunikasi Korporat (Corporate Communications Chief) of the Ministry, Zukri Valenteno, you may want to go on a charm offensive by making friends with the traditional and new media, with youth leaders and sports officials.

If you have any doubts, Datuk, you can always refer to your Deputy Minister, Datuk Razali Ibrahim. As the principal private secretary to Hishammuddin when the latter was the Sports Minister, he knows the Ministry inside out.

Best wishes and warm regards.

Respectfully yours,
Rizal Hashim,
Kuala Lumpur

P/S We can always discuss pertinent issues over a plate of sattar in Kemaman


coretan_khalayak said...

Selamat maju jaya shabery,
bro, part 2 yg dijanji da bole keluar ni...

nstman said...

My message to the new sports minister is very simple. Listen to the ground, listen to the voice of reason. Trust those who speak the truth, however unpalatable. Listen to the truth, nothing but the truth. Right now, the voice of truth comes from one person who is branded a pariah by the mainstream. That voice of truth is the Loose Cannon. let us not be sugar-coated and decieved. If the sports ministry still thinks everything is hunky dory, and if the ministry still believes it can change Malaysian sports by listening to half-baked consultants, so be it. This is our last chance. Enough damage has been done by Azalina and her successor (what's his name?). Enough damage has been done by fake consultants from the mainstream, notably the Malay Mail.

Anonymous said...

Bro, not only Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad, the minister must also get the expert mind like Ahmad Shapawi Ismail who was sidelined by the current DG of NSC. Datuk Zolkples Embong dont have the brain to really develop sport and his young punks are just followers. Zolkples only knows how to do 'pr' work but pr only wont help us win medals. over to u minister.

Anonymous said...

buat pengetahuan semua, datuk zol ni hanya pandai kondem orang ni tak betul, orang tu tak betul, last-last dia dah jadi sebijik macam Dr Ramlan Aziz... jadi NATO... no action, talk only.
Now asyik kepit dengan ismail sabry, harapnya menteri baru jangan jadi mangsa kepit dia gak lah. aku sure datuk zol akan guna terengganu connection, untuk selamatkan punggungnya kat MSN. sebab tu datuk zol takut orang macam shapawi... bilalah dia nak sedar...

Anonymous said...

Langkah pertama bila ex 46 ni jadi menteri KBS... condemn Ketua Pengarah (KP) yang sedia ada... lepas tu... tukar struktur KBS... jawatan close service tukar kepada open service... lepas tu... tukar KP dengan orang luar... sapa-sapa pun boleh jadi KP KBS nanti... macam di RTM... di RTM lantik "tiger" di KBS nak lantik "lion" pulak kot...

Sports for all said...

Tahniah... Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek

Sebagaimana KemPen, RTM telah berjaya ditransformasikan...
Harapan lepas ni KBS pun akan ditransformasikan...
Ke arah kegemilangan sukan Malaysia... di mata dunia...

Road to London 2012?? ada lagi ker nanti...
Sports City??...Muzium Sukan?,
or start with the new program...

Anonymous said...

totally agree with Anon 10:12pm n 10:17pm.
The minister must listen to the experts who are working tiredlessly wt the athletes. Those who only know how to talk, but did nothing to help the athletes n sports scientists, must be thrown out!
We need less politics in sports

Anonymous said...

Minister must appoint those who really knows about sport. Not like Ismail Sabri. Could you believe he could trust two ladies - her press sec Dini and pa, Nazima, to become his adviser. What sport do they know? To make matter become worse, the NSC DG also failed to play his role...maybe datuk zol should change job - be a bodyguard or social escort.

nstman said...

I have had enough of idiotic commentators who want the ministry to listen to experts. There are no more experts left. There are only rent-seekers left, okay? Just listen to one person who matters. That person is Loose Cannon. Period.

rizal hashim said...


I appreciate your comments though you are beginning to sound as if you are on my payroll hahaha. I don't consider myself as an expert. There are many others out there who are experienced, with the necessary credentials and above all sincere in helping rejuvenate sports at all levels. But are they being fully utilised, called upon and given due recognition?

rizal hashim said...

Anonymous 10.12 and 10.17,

Saudara Ahmad Shapawi sedang memburu segulung ijazah sarjana di UK, jadi khidmatnya tidak dapat digunakan oleh Datuk Zol setakat ini.

Ada sesetengah jenis insan di MSN tidak berapa gemar dengan watak Awi yang tahu banyak benda. Dia juga banyak buat working paper untuk MSN. Jasanya tidak boleh diketepikan begitu saja.

Saya percaya Datuk Zol bukan jenis insan yang tidak mengenang budi!

nstman said...

Loose Cannon, I am not on the payroll of anyone. I speak from my heart. I have been following your articles and comments for quite a number of years. And they are substantive and well-researched. Of course, they are all well-written in simple and precise English. With due respect to NST and Star writers, no one comes close to yours when it comes to substance. I always thought you would be somebody, or at least a sports editor, in the NST group. But alas, I gave NST too much credit. In a nutshell, the NST group does not recognise talent. It ONLY RECOGNISES BALL=CARRYING AND PLAYING THE NST GAME. The end game is loss of respect for the organisation. I think I speak for the many talented and idealistic young men in the NST group who have been sidelined. Anyone who goes against the grain is branded an outcast. Not only in NST, but the country as well. Now we know why young Malays are joining Pas and Keadilan.

Jamhariah said...


Keep the gud job bro!!!

And to our new Sport Minister, have fun, because back page of every newspaper is urs now... time to change.

If u dare to change RTM, pls change our sport industry. Bring back the glory that can really make all of us as IMalaysia.

Jamhariah Jaafar
Ex Sport Writer

(emmm.. its time to read back the back page. Dah lama malu tengok status kita. I feed GREAT again when saw our cyclist winning team at the World Championship)

Anonymous said...

Bro rizal, saya sememangnya tahu Ahmad Shapawi kini melanjutkan pelajarannya tapi apakah dia aka dihargai apabila dia pulang nanti? Saya percaya saudara juga tahu bagaimana dia dipinggirkan oleh our beloved DG yang takutkan bayang-bayang sendiri. Bila shapawi pulang dengan masters, bergetarlah lutut Datuk Zol.

macam mana sukan negara ini mahu maju sedangkan mereka yang menerajuinya lebih suka berpolitik atau main golf sahaja.

saya tak salahkan pengarah-pengarah lain dalam MSN jika sekarang lebih suka mengekor atau membodek datuk Zol sebab bos depa pun macam tu.

Anonymous said...

NSC need someone who have the brain to manipulate things for the good of sports, not manipulating for own gains.

i think malaysian press are to soft or just dont bother. They should expose those official who are incompetent so that thew will always on their toes.

That is why the officials now are so relax, they are untouchable.

just wondering if datuk wira mazlan's appointment as SAP chairman is just another cover up by someone so that mazlan wont open up his mouth. Very dirty!!!!

Anonymous said...

Bravo anon 8.14pm..

betullah cakap bro ni,,,, siapa lagi punya rancangan if bukan datuk zol, dia nak control former boss dia, so gunakan menteri untuk lantik masuk dalam SAP. ada depa ni dapatkan nasihat daripada datuk mazlan ke?