Vet potential officials before voting them into hockey body

A Malaysian Olympian says it is high time to vet those who want to hold positions in the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) before voting them in.

Frustrated with the lack of progress in the sport, former hockey international Maninderjit Singh said those who intend to be president of the national body should have some form of playing experience or have served the sport for at least 10 years.

“If you want to be a president of the state or national body, there should be a requirement. If you want to be president of MHC, at least you (must) have minimum hockey at state level for five years or served the affiliate for 10 years or can bring a certain amount of commercial value to hockey,” said Maninderjit, who played at the 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“By having a vetting process, you will get better administrators with technical knowledge. Currently, we get office-bearers who are politicians but if you look at their technical knowledge of the sport, it’s very limited.

“This makes me afraid as these office-bearers make decisions and policies that will have a direct or indirect impact on the sport. That is very dangerous.”

It is common for politicians to helm sports associations in Malaysia as affiliates often see them as cash cows while there are leaders who view their position in sports as a means to heighten their popularity or serve in international sports bodies.

Maninderjit, better known as Mike, also admitted that former players and officials cannot be absolved from the state of the sport today. The Malaysian hockey team has struggled to qualify for the Olympics over the past 20 years. Maninderjit was part of the national team that last featured in the Summer Games in 2000.

“There is a mantra in the sporting world that a successful senior team is always dependent on a good junior team. If you look at the talents we had during my era and before me, many of them kept us on our toes. We had too many good players coming in. We had a huge talent base.

“Today the national team comprises 16 to 20 players. Over the past eight years, we’ve seen the same players in every tournament.”

Maninderjit said this during his appearance on The RSS with HD over the weekend.

Hosted by actor Rashid Salleh and Twentytwo13 editor Haresh Deol, the weekly YouTube talk show features prominent sports personalities. The show is produced by Professional Storytellers and Toucan Media while Amnig is the official apparel sponsor.

Catch the full show below: