Friday, May 29, 2009
My pick for the OCM Cabinet...
REPORTERS are barred from Saturday's OCM Annual General Meeting...so much for transparency in sports or OCM!
Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to call for a Press conference at 6.30pm today. 7.15pm - Shahidan has decided to withdraw his candidacy but he is expected to voice out his concerns as a delegate of MAAU on the way certain things are being conducted by OCM.
Long dubbed the old folks home by its detractors, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) is in a dire need of rejuvenation.
Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar's tenure since he defeated Tan Sri Hamzah Abu Samah 66-36 in November 1998, has not been a bed of roses. When Datuk Seri Shahidan Mohd Kassim was nominated in 2007 for the presidency before pulling out at the last minute, it was meant to send a signal to Tunku that OCM under his leadership had lacked dynamism.
He was and is still seen, by some affiliates, as supportive of elitist sports such as squash, cricket and golf.
OCM, its critics claim, springs to life only when there is an Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games or SEA Games. Their role, detractors say, is to submit entries and arrange for the participation of Malaysians.
Installing a new president, some say, is the only way for OCM to scale greater heights.
By all means, do so, but can Shahidan provide a more prominent leadership to OCM when ASUM struggles to find a successor to backstroke specialist Alex Lim Keng Liat, when MAAU seems to be too reliant on pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu and hurdler Noraseela Mohd Khalid and with Shahidan giving deputy president, Karim Ibrahim, a free rein?
My idea of a charismatic president who would make things happen is Raja Nazrin Shah, who once presided over the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) and the Perak FA. Another candidate would be Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is bidding to rejuvenate MHF after spending years at Wisma FAM as the No 2. Just for the record, the previous OCM presidents were E.M. MacDonald, Sir Henry H.S. Lee, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Hamzah.
My pick: As for now, we have to resort to retaining Tunku Imran
Verdict: Shahidan will lose, for Pete’s sake
Datuk Dr M. Jegathesan v Prof Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad
Now this is the battle royale. I can claim to be close to both personalities. Dr Jega and I have had a number of discourses on sports, in private, in Singapore'99, Jakarta'2000 and most notably Athens 2004. His critics claim he has not done much for OCM and it is instead a mere platform for him to pursue his interests on the global front. His track record on both the medical and athletics front however suggests he has always earned his stripes, that means on merit.
Personally I remember with fondness the day Dr Jega came to my wedding at the modest Kg Sengkuang, Sri Gading in Johor. Imagine the impact he created, the oohs and the aahs...
Ibrahim did not escape my scrutiny when he was SAP chairman, AsiaComm chairman where his role was akin to the NSC director-general's post and finally the FAM general secretary seat. Interesting to note while Dr Jega was the chef-de-mission to the Athens Games, Ibrahim was tasked to head the two-man panel to investigate the abject failure to win a single medal upon the contingent's return. Ibrahim has hinted at a more independent OCM and for its office-bearers to serve and to fight when necessary if he is elected into the No 2 post! His family and I appeared on TV9's Nasi Lemak Kopi O discussing Euro2008 last year and the twof us have enjoyed a cordial relationship come what may, but it helps his birthday takes place a day after mine.
My pick: As the only genuine Olympian among the office-bearers throughout the history of OCM, Dr Jega gets my vote, if only I were a delegate.
Verdict: The ace of pace-cum-doctor to beat Ibrahim to the tape
My pick for the vice-presidents: Prof Datuk W.Y. Chin, Datuk Abdullah Sani Karim, Prof Datuk Zakaria Ahmad and M.P. Haridas. Datuk Roy Rajasingham and Edwin Chong to bite the dust!
Verdict: A close tussle between Haridas and Roy for the final slot