To those who will begin their new SAM adventure - all the best.
Progress is achieved when the successors do better than their predecessors. This should not be viewed as a contest between individuals but a marathon to ensure the association continues to shine.
Shortcomings should be addressed through proper channels. After all it's an association comprising of journalists - thus it's best we practice what we preach.
Learn from, instead of harping about, the "good old days".
SAM is made up of journalists, not politicians. As such, journalists should behave like journalists - and not like desperate politicians eager to justify their existence.
SAM is not just about organising activities. SAM is about brotherhood and unity.
Egos will continue to clash but that should never be at the expense of the association. The election is neither a popularity contest nor a reality show.
The so-called contest between 'Team A or Team B' shows democracy is alive within the association. And when the show is over - we must remember that we are all brothers-in-arms and should continue marching on together.
As war photojournalist Halim Henry Berbar once said:
"I’ve been taught never to leave my colleagues behind, even if we are from different organisations. You can’t close an eye when you see a fellow journalist in the mud. You must carry him on your back. If we don’t do this, then there is no point wearing a Press tag."
Our men have been tested in the past - one who was "singled out" for writing the truth during the KL 2017 SEA Games and another losing his M-League accreditation card for being "overly critical". SAM responded to those episodes.
But the onus should not just be SAM alone. Sportswriters should tell Malaysian sports officials and related stakeholders that when you mess with one of us, you mess with the whole lot.
Don't look down or speak ill of your peers. Don't live in a bubble of self-righteousness.
Sportswriters, regardless creed, background and views, must always stand united. We must always be together.
Positions are mere words. Officials come and go. But we will always be journalists.
As such, what must remain intact is the constant need for us to uphold the spirit of brotherhood. We must stand united as we tackle the challenging media landscape filled with uncertainties.
That is what SAM should be all about.