Malaysian Hockey Confederation in good hands, says former deputy president

Professor Datuk Dr S. Shamala, who quit as Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president on Friday, said she was leaving at the right time, as the sport is in good hands.

Shamala was involved in hockey for 24 years, and cited health reasons for stepping down.

Her departure follows that of Norfaraha Hashim, whose tenure as MHC chief executive officer ended on Dec 31.

“I had some health issues for a long time and had surgery in 2019. I did not take time off to recover. It is time for me to take a step back and rest,” said Shamala, who also stepped down as deputy president of the Selangor Hockey Association.

“MHC is in capable hands. We have a good team in place. I also felt it was good to step aside now to give the body time to find a replacement, as elections are due later this year.

“I did not want to drop a bombshell at the last minute. It is better to go early and let MHC plan for the future.

“As for the CEO, I am confident MHC will get a new one, soon. There are many capable candidates – including former players.”

Asked if she would contemplate returning to hockey after her break, Shamala said she was not thinking of it.

“I had a good run – 24 years is a long time,” said Shamala, a professor of Computer Science at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology.

“I enjoyed my time in MHC and had a good relationship with the president (Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal).

“Hockey is at a beautiful level now. The men’s and women’s national teams are doing well. It is the right time to step aside.”

During her time in MHC, Shamala took charge of the 1Mas and National Hockey Development Programme (NHDP) to raise the level of the game from the grassroots.

Shamala got involved in hockey with the Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association (MWHA) in 1999 as its secretary before becoming vice president. She was instrumental in saving it from deregistration in 2002.

She then led MWHA’s merger with the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) to become the MHC in 2005 – a requirement by the International Hockey Federation to only have one entity running the sport in each country.

She became MHC deputy president in 2015.