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Old broom sweeps clean. Shapawi returns to head NSC

As published in Mailsport today.

By Nicolas Anil

KUALA LUMPUR — A tough journey awaits Ahmad Shapawi Ismail.

While his bosses see him as the “right” person to lead the National Sports Council (NSC), it is no secret Shapawi will face several envious colleagues as he starts work as the Council’s director-general today.

Efforts to groom him into becoming NSC director-general started years ago, especially when he was NSC athletes training unit director in 2007. However, he did not fall in favour with certain high ranking officials which led him out of the Council. He was named National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer in 2012 and was there for a year before he was moved to the Sports Commissioner’s Office.

But, Shapawi is enjoying the last laugh — replacing his former boss Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong in the hot seat.

Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, in announcing Shapawi as the new director-general yesterday, said he will start work today. Shapawi’s replacement at the Sports Commissioner’s Officer will be revealed next month.

Mailsport had on Wednesday quoted insiders revealing Shapawi was among the three candidates — including Datuk Yusof Jantan and Datuk Salim Parlan — eyed for the post.

“He was selected based on his vast experience, especially as an administrator. I was also impressed with his vision as he had short and long term development programmes for the national athletes. Such plans were aligned with my approach and that of the ministry,” Khairy said.

“It was an open recruitment and we had 40 applications from within and abroad. He was selected from a pool of eight shortlisted candidates which included a foreigner.”

Khairy pointed out Shapawi had created a career Grand Slam by assuming the top roles of three major agencies under the ministry.
“The other applicants told me they can do everything but Shapawi was special as he did not over-promote himself to being a Superman.”

Shapawi’s first task at hand is to prepare a blueprint for the national contingent in next year’s SEA Games in Singapore and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

He will be given a free hand to lead the NSC along with the management committee, but will remain under the watchful eyes of the ministry, Khairy added. Shapawi had also said he will seek the assistance of the NSI to prepare for the two major Games.

The decision to remove Zolkples was made following the pathetic performances by the national contingents at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

Malaysia returned with only six gold medals from the Glasgow Commonwealth in July - their worst performance in 20 years.

The national athletes only returned with five gold medals at the Asian Games two months later, also their worst performance in 20 years.

Zolkples, who was director-general since 2007, was named the chief executive officer for the 2017 SEA Games in Malaysia.

Age: 51
Education: Masters Degree in Sports Management
Contract: Two years

Work Experience:
* NSC Athletes’ Training Unit Director (2010- 2012)
* NSI Chief Executive Officer  (2012-2013)
* Sports Commissioner  (2013- Dec 18 2014)
* Led Malaysia to a sixth place finish at the 2010 Asian Para Games
* Involved in the Jaya ’98 programme (10 gold medals at ’98 Commonwealth Games), the 2001 Gemilang programme (111 gold medals at 2001 SEA Games) and Doha 2006 programme (eight gold medals at 2006 Asian Games)


  1. A tough journey indeed. Lets see his public relations skill. Probably Pearl could help out in his English, lol.

  2. Mr Shapawi, has to know one very important major issue, he's entering the sick and sordid world of Malaysian sports.

    No matter who qualifies, the problem will still remain the same. The damage is so great, it is beyond any cosmetic repair. We need more serious consideration. Countries core sports philosophy needed to be rewritten, new foundation must be laid.

  3. Do you seriously think an old dog can learn new tricks? Shapawi would not want to rock the boat as he himself is carrying lots of baggages from the days he was there. Bagai ketam mengajar anaknya berjalan lurus.

  4. * Led Malaysia to a sixth place finish at the 2010 Asian Para Games

    I wonder whether this is a qualification. If it is so, then Zol Embong did very well at the China Asiad 4 years ago.

  5. Congrats ol' fren...semoga suka Malaysia berjaya dipulihkan dengan bantuan penuh semua pihak...ayuh buka lembaran baru 2015...


  6. Bro Haresh,

    The run up and drama created to fill this position especially by the quarrelsome minister was like choosing the next FIFA president.

    He bandied about foreign expertise, high profile candidates and what not.

    But he failed to realise we just don't have it (personality) in us any more

    With the mess in our sports, even the far and few capable ones refrain and stay away.

    Sports in Malaysia is politics. Period.

    And in politics, stupidity is not a handicap.

    Let's see how recycled cans hold gaseous drinks.

    One thing for sure.....whoever comes or goes.....our Persatuan Bolasepak will never ever learn how to grow grass.

    Peminat Sukan JB


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