I was informed the Chef de Mission Huang Yin How and Podium Programme director Tim Newenham will be having a press conference regarding the national contingent's performance at the just concluded Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast this morning (about 9am Malaysian time).
If I were to be in Gold Coast, here are some of the questions I would ask these two gentlemen, and other stakeholders who would be present:
1. Can the CDM reveal the number of officials in Gold Coast and their roles there?
2. How much has been allocated and spent (salaries, data collection, etc) on the Podium Programme since 2016?
3. We had the Jaya 98 programme. How different is the Podium Programme (and even Kita Juara) compared to that? Why can't we carry on with how Jaya 98 was carried out but make it relevant to today's challenges?
4. How many resignations and terminations were seen in the National Sports Institute over the last two years? Were exit interviews carried out? What were the main reasons - career advancements? Being bullied? Kept in cold storage?
5. Is it true officials were confident the national contingent could only bag FIVE (5) gold medals - prompting many to keep mum over the target prior the Games?
6. The NSI chief Dr Khairi Zawi had, on Astro Arena's Analisis Nadi said a massive restructure of the Podium Programme will take place soon. What is Tim's thoughts about this? Do you think it is justified for heads to roll - given that the Podium Programme has other objectives including a top 10 finish in the Asian Games and a gold medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
7. Do you see it fit, in the spirit of collective responsibility, that officials should also be held accountable over the rather forgettable performance in Gold Coast?
8. Moving forward, if the structure of the Podium Programme remains - what would be the game plan ahead of the Asian Games in August?
9. What are your thoughts over the badminton squad? The BA of Malaysia was bullish of the team's chances of obtaining three gold medals but the shuttlers only netted two - that too from a pair (women's doubles) who were not projected to even make it to the final.
By the way, here are some of the messages I received for my article 'Walk the talk' published yesterday:
a. "The Podium Programme was all driven by money. Too many highly paid experts who have no knowledge of the Malaysian sports culture. Money cannot buy success."
b. "From 1994 to 2014 there was no Podium Programme yet our results were more or less the same with Podium Programme. What have we achieved?"
c. "The problems in Podium Programme are all swept under the carpet. Why so many resignations and terminations? Why Keith Power and Alan Black suddenly resigned? Why a sports psychologist is suing NSI?"
d. "If athletes fail, what is the punishment? If officials fail, what is the punishment?"