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We must find recipe for success

Malay Mail sports editor Graig Nunis has plenty of fun 'baking' his column, as published in Mailsport today.

Graig Nunis

CUPCAKES — almost everyone loves them.

They are delicious, easy to make and even easier to find. From a single recipe, you can make a variety of flavours and if you’re adventurous enough, add some toppings to take it to a whole new level.

Unlike cooking where you can throw a bunch of ingredients together and still make a tasty dish, baking is a precise science — one wrong step and a cake would more likely than not, be ruined.

You also need patience — too high a heat can burn the cake, too low and it will be undercooked — although if you’re making lava cakes, the gooey centre is just what you’re looking for, so technically you are doing it just right.

As such, unlike cooking, in baking everything has to be done perfectly. This is also true about sports.
Everyone demands success but how many put in the effort to ensure we get there?

Have they done the necessary ground work? Have they gone down to the grassroots and talent-spotted the stars of tomorrow? Were the proper development plans drawn up?

Look at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

When the targets were announced, all and sundry lambasted the powers-that-be for having low self-esteem. They demanded Malaysia aim higher and better their achievements from four years ago.

Unfortunately, even with such humble objectives — seven golds for Commonwealth and eight for Asiad   Malaysia failed. Miserably — not once, but twice.

What went wrong? Who is to blame? What can we do to address the situation?

All fingers have been pointed at the National Sports Council (NSC) and its head chef, director-general Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong and his trusted lieutenants.

While this could be true, the national sports associations’ (NSA) officials must look at themselves first as they are the ones who gave NSC the power.

If they were financially independent, they could have told NSC where to get off instead of cowering in the shadows and allowing the government agency to dictate terms — from planning the development programmes and even to the extent of hiring and firing national coaches.

Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has indicated there will be a major revamp in the NSC as well as the National Sports Institute and rightly so.

However, before giving Zolkples the boot, the minister must first identify the right people to take over otherwise it will be an exercise in futility.

Sacking Zolkples will be the popular decision and earn KJ, as the minister is fondly called, plenty of brownie points within the fraternity.

But this is not a popularity contest.

It is about resurrecting our sporting fortunes and KJ has to crack the whip. He should hold discussions with the various NSAs and find out what is lacking.

Associations who have failed to deliver need to buck up and even vote officials out. Otherwise, we will be hearing the same story in 2018.

What’s next SRAM?

It may see churlish to criticise the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) as the wall bashers have consistently delivered gold medals in recent times but the truth of the matter is, the association is in deep trouble.

How much longer can it depend on Nicol David? Low Wee Wern is a fine replacement but she is miles behind the world No. 1, while the men’s game is suffering.

What’s the deal in coaxing Mohd Azlan Iskandar back from retirement to play in the Asian Games alongside another veteran, Ong Beng Hee.

Neither of them will be around much longer with Beng Hee indicating he may hang up his racquet at the end of the year.

Where are the replacements?

Nicol, Beng Hee and Azlan have been on the scene since the mid-1990s. They were products of a development programme initiated by the late Tan Sri Alex Lee, who became SRAM president in 1989, succeeding former national champion and current Olympic Council of Malaysia president, Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar.

Lt Kol (rtd) Wong Ah Jit and Mejar (rtd) S. Maniam were the men entrusted to make the programme a success.

Since then, to borrow a Khairy quote, all succeeding presidents have been riding their luck and living off the hard work of people who are no longer in the association.

It is sad as squash is a game Malaysians can excel in, as proven by the trio.

It’s time for SRAM to buck up.


  1. There are some old blokes talking about change. Trying very hard to echo the Minister. These fellas have been around for umpteen years playing to the gallery. One of course infamous who was dead against the idea of competing for gold medals. According to him then competing was for solidarity and Olympism. Today the same old bloke talking about how winning medals are important priority.

    This bloke should be the first to be ejected. He thinks he knows best and the NSA's know nothing. But when his election year comes on alternate year,, you must see his boot licking tactics. year after year.

    The saying goes like can fool some people, some time..But you can't fool all the people all the time.

    All the best for 2015

  2. Did anybody know that OCM is gonna use the money designated for sports development for the NSA's for a private mega party in 2015. Yes.. The IOC conger is hosted by OCM for reasons known only to 1 or 2 fellas in OCM. Maybe reporters should start questioning as to how Malaysian sports would benefit by organising this event which would cost Malaysia almost RM 10 Million. That money can be best used for sports development in Malaysia.

    But the OCM fellas will not agree. They want the party to go on. Some want to secure their places in the I was told.

    Hope the NSA's put their foot down and over rule the office bearers from spending this good money.

  3. They're all "carnivore" !

    Whether OCM , IOC or NSA's they're all the same," carnivores" in nature. They will scavenge anything that comes their way just to stay in power. None are vegetarian, slowly turning into blood sucking vampires. The lust for the bloody positions they seek is so great they're willing to lick every drop of blood available.

    HSKL says: It is a party of "blood sucking vampires"


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