Open letter to Ahmad Shabery

To: Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

Dear sir,

I do hope you're in the best of health. It has certainly been awhile since we last met.

I am writing to you after reading a Bernama report about a call for comprehensive study on term limit for sports association leaders.

Judging by the contents of the report, I would like to share my thoughts with you and hope it is received with an open mind.

I don't know who advices you on such matters but for your information sir, the government - especially through the Youth and Sports Ministry - does not have a right to impose any such 'regulations' on sports associations.

I would like to quote point 5 of the Olympic Charter which reads;  

"Recognising that sport occurs within the framework of society, sports organisations within the Olympic Movement shall have the rights and obligations of autonomy, which include freely establishing and controlling the rules of sport, determining the structure and governance of their organisations, enjoying the right of elections free from any outside influence and the responsibility for ensuring that principles of good governance be applied."

If going through the Olympic Charter is too much of a hassle, do take a look at the situation in Kuwait and India.

Dictating the number of years a leader can occupy a seat can be presumed as an interference - something which Fifa does not condone. According to Fifa's Director of Member Associations and Development Thierry Regenass, the most common political interference is "...when a government perceives that the Executive Committee of the national association is not performing well enough and decides to take action."

Sir, I would like you to recall the situation in Egypt and we should also observe Fifa's reaction after the Indonesian Youth and Sports government granted authority for the running of two leagues - as reported by The Jakarta Post - instead of one as instructed by Fifa.

However, sir - I do understand your intention. You may feel some people have been occupying their seats for far too long yet the progress of the sport remains stagnant.

Sadly, if the state affiliates blindly elect the same leaders for years, it is their own fault that the sport they represent is in despair.

But what about leaders, who despite occupying their posts for decades, are still able to contribute?

Who decides?

Shouldn't it be decided by the affiliates and not outsiders? I am certain the government will not like a foreign nation interfering with the nation's affairs. Have we forgotten how then US vice-president Al Gore humiliated us by endorsing "reformasi" during the 1998 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Kuala Lumpur?

The same argument and regulation should also envelope those within your own ministry. I rather not say much as this matter has been raised in Malaysia Sports.

Perhaps sir, your ministry can lead the way by capping the number of years of those serving within your various agencies. And if it works, then we can look at the same requirement placed in other various ministries including the Prime Minister. Then leaders, including Prime Ministers, serving for more than two decades, will be a thing of the past.

Instead of wasting time on such a comprehensive study perhaps you and your officers can spend the same time working with the Education Ministry to further strengthen sports at schools and encourage the masses to pick up sports.

Last but not least sir, please avoid such statements especially with the crucial 13th General Elections around the corner. You would not want to be remembered by the voters - which includes officials from NSAs, athletes and members of the Press - for the wrong reasons.

You have been spot on in the past as I have gladly posted in this blog as seen here and here.

Sir, I am ever willing to sit down and talk to you about this further, perhaps over some fresh kerepok lekor from Kemaman. Rest assured I won't charge by the hour.

Hope to hear from you soon and I do hope it is not too late for me to wish you Happy New Year.

Yours truly,

Haresh Deol

HD says: It's been awhile since I had some kerepok lekor.


  1. The right dosage for sports development in Malaysia. I hope Mr. Minister will take the cue from this statement:

    "Instead of wasting time on such a comprehensive study perhaps you and your officers can spend the same time working with the Education Ministry to further strengthen sports at schools and encourage the masses to pick up sports."

    Let that be the New Year's resolution and the eye opener for 2013. Happy New Year and God bless all .


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. "With the G.election coming up soon, we can be res assured the focus will be on "Survival" absolutely not nation building"

    With that in mind lets think of a way that could place the government and the sports associations accountable to the people. The time has come for the people of this wonderful country to stand up and tell them off.

    What is seriously needed to be done and how? The problem is not only National bodies we are also up against states and districts bodies as well.
    The decay lies in the election process at all level. We need to come up with better conditions and rules for all the sports bodies. They need each other to stay in power(affiliations). We should start with the district very seriously by putting to rest the unworthy.

    The people need to be heard in sports matters like the others(politics, education) For a start, lets find a way to pressure political parties in the coming election to list sports reforms in their manifesto as a promise.

    But then again, "old habits die hard"

  4. Good suggestions but offering advice is biting off more then you can chew...To give advice you need to have sound knowledge in the principles of athletic development, experience and knowledge of working with developmental athletes etc. etc. There are experts in Malaysia who are capable of giving good advice, but sad to say none of them can stomach working with the NSC.....

    1. True enough...but one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to learn it. What is urgently needed to be done is, putting the right system and methodology required in place.

      The contents in the principals of athletic development are universal and applied by all human-being all these while. Sports researches and scientist are always on-top of it which gives us the opportunity to seek it.

      We are lacking in the area of uniformity of a system and development(management of system & development) We don't have one common approach and vision in Malaysia when comes to sports development. Our problem is a societal problem which contributed to mental decay(ATTRIBUTES)
      Leadership and Role-modelling are at a very disgraceful level which needs a quantum-leap from top to bottom.

      Did i missed anything?

  5. Haresh bhai, pls write open letter to TM of MHC abt slumberjack. Poor badly corrupted admin financial hit no calendar deadwood officials events no coverage no meetings planned for council and exco poor sponsorship coaches overpaid with GK 800 euro a day revington overspent in ireland 37,500 euro hit IHA into dbts. Bad shape


  7. I also agree that that should not be a limit in individuals holdings positions in the sports organisations. But why now there is a move to study. I think its because of certain issues where long time serving office bearers are abusing their positions or seen to be abusing their positions.

    Now you have MACC moving into the OCM and the PAM. Why not before. The answer is simple. With the present technology, people cannot easily hide things unlike the 70's and 80's. Today you can run but you cannot hide. My advise to those long standing officers, leave gracefully while there is still time.

  8. Your open letter is very timely since there is a 'hurry' to amend the Sports Act & the up coming OCM elections mid this year. The talk in the sports market is that officials who have been in OCM for many terms are seeking re-election and have already begun campaigning. I am an office bearer in a State and I was told that there is already aggressive campaigning by certain office bearer in OCM since there are quarters that want him to throw in the towel after donkey years.

    What puts me off is when I hear a senior man like him condemning the rest of his colleagues in OCM. Fine if he wants to stick to his position till the end of the Second Mayan Calender but why go around bashing your own colleagues especially the President & Vice Presidents when they collectively cover for all his misdemeanors.

    I have repeatedly hear him say that there are no ggod people to take up positios in NSA's and OCM. Why would good people want to join such scums who hide behind the good name of sports. I have had high regards to senior officers like him in OCM. But recently when I was in the company of my friends, listening to this man make me loose hope on wanting to take up positions even in the NSA's. I now realize that the politics in sports is worse than the politics in politics. If those are the character traits that one needs to become office bearers of NSA's and OCM. The the old chap is right. Good people will not come forward.

  9. Mr.Haresh,

    Your letter is a good eye opener. Please, if you can, tell the Minister that the IOC will not tolerate if the Government interferes with the tenure of an official in OCM especially. If the powers in Government agencies could not stomach the OCM officials, I am sure they have a way to oust them as the can muster support from national sports associations.

  10. Take the jack ass out MHC. Open surgery needed to save msian hockey

  11. Bro,

    Ini akan menjadi satu debate yang bagus antara MOM dan MSN. Apa kita you organise satu debate antara mereka terutamanya on the isu of jangkamasa pegawai sukan memegang jawatan


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