When pictures of Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin and a new set of office-bearers in the Kuala Lumpur Cycling Association were splashed all over the newspapers last week, I suspected something was amiss. Days earlier Tan Sri Mohd Noor Rahim had resigned from the KLCA presidency. Read Joe Marcose's analysis here and here.
Daud, I must admit, helped shape my journalistic career. After I was transferred from the Jaguh desk to the daily sports desk of Berita Harian sometime in 1992, I was told by sports editor Zian Johari to do run-of-the-mill stuffs - the sports or disciplines we consider as non-major ones, before harbouring thoughts of covering the glamourous ones such as football, badminton or hockey. Cycling though was big in Berita Harian. And the steep learning curve that I had to negotiate was made much easier by Daud's coaching, so to speak. He was indeed good at teaching. Because of his keen eye for detail, Daud goes through the fine print with a fine-tooth comb. And this was heaven sent for a greenhorn like me.
He understands the media well and a good and reliable source for news. Certainly Zian, Haniff Hadi, Hishamuddin Aun, Syed Nadzri Harun, Saodi Mat Atar and Khalid Redza can testify to this.
Daud, Datuk Wira Mazlan Ahmad and the late Fadzil Othman were instrumental in getting Datuk Syed Kechik to re-register the MNCF in 1980 and later installed Tan Sri Elyas Omar as the president before the latter was defeated by Darshan Singh in the 1988 elections, an outcome which split the national body into two - one Darshan's camp, the other Daud's men.
For almost two decades, Daud and KLCA remained an active player in the game, organising tours and races nationwide. I learnt the intricacies of the sport during the 1993 Jelajah Pantai Timur or East Coast Tour organised by KLCA.
The politics too remained intense, with Daud a constant thorn in MNCF's side. By 1990 the national body had Abu Samah Wahab from Malacca as the president. But Abu Samah, father of hockey player Nor Azmi, was widely seen as Darshan's puppet. Interestingly my colleague at BH, Ahmad Khawari Isa, opted to side Abu Samah on many issues as did Naseruddin Wahab from Bernama. It was the norm for us to cancel and deny each other's stories whenever a crisis took place.
My instincts suggested Daud, with his familiarity with the constitution, was the man to trust.
However, in recent years, KLCA with Daud as the deputy president had been accused of not organising enough activities to capitalise on the renewed enthusiasm for track cycling since the emergence of Josiah Ng, Azizulhasni Awang and Rizal Tisin.
Malik, whose in-laws live a stone's throw from mine in Kulim, used to ride for Kuala Lumpur, alongside his brother Mutalib. They may now chart KLCA's fortunes. Trouble is, their election has been disputed and deemed unconstitutional, by Daud of course. Knowing Daud, he would not take it sitting down. And it remains to be seen if Sports Commissioner, Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusoff, has the capacity to fight Daud.