OCM: A look a year on from May 5 2018

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MAY 5 marked a year when the Olympic Council of Malaysia elections were held.

And four days later the nation went through a General Election,

On both fronts there was a change of guard.

For the first time in 65 years, the Office Bearers are almost all new.

Let’s start with a recap of the whole electoral process.

The bringing forward the date of OCM’s AGA and elections, by YAM Tunku Imran from the normal June date to early May, 4 days before GE14, changed the whole situation.

If the OCM elections were held in June 2018, after GE14, I am sure a number of the present elected office bearers of OCM would not be elected or might not even be candidates.

With the retirement of YAM Tunku and Dato Sieh Kok Chi and the non-election of Dato’ Low Beng Choo, OCM lost 3 long serving and experienced office bearers.

The present elected office bearers, except for Dato’ Paduka Muntaz Jaafar are all non-athlete with very short period holding office in their own sports organisation.

The present office bearers, over the past year, instead of holding a conference with the NSAs, to plot out new strategies and ideas, especially in the light of the new PH government, did nothing.

Even the three Council meetings held only dealt on routine and house-keeping matters.

It just shows the complete lack of ideas and vision of the office bearers. Nothing new was brought up.

Work done earlier, such as the Zubedy’s Report was swept under the carpet and not discussed by the EB or Council.

The findings and recommendations till today have not been discussed.

The recommendations for the amendments to OCM’s Constitution which were targeted to be carried out in the 2019 AGA, have not even been discussed.

Instead, a unilateral decision to employ a COO was hastily decided without the approval of the Council.

The so called appointment of a Chief Executive Officer, later re-designated to Chief Operating Officer was clearly a script for a Saturday “Drama Minggu Ini” flick.

When news “leaked out” after the April Executive Board Meeting, there was first a sense of defensive approach on the said candidate picked.

Then the next day there was a lull, as if gathering feedback on the sentiments in the ground.

Then all hell broke loose, the “empire” strikes back, the Jedis went into high gear.

From a defensive approach, it became a complete denial, an exercise in futility, a complete PR disaster.

A rushed PC after the Special Executive Board meeting on Friday denied all reports, citing hearsay as an excuse, with one journalist even using the words “embarrassed” to describe the breaking story.

But dare they alter the minutes of the meeting or play the recordings of the meeting (which is recorded at every board meeting)?

Only God and those who were in that meeting on that fateful day know what transpired, but sooner or later beans were spilled.

For clarification, Zubedy’s Study never recommended to employ a COO.

Instead, it recommended having stronger leadership and team work between the staff and the office bearers.

The elected office bearers, intentionally or otherwise, have by-passed the OCM Executive Council and made the Council into a rubber stamp.

A point to notes is that the members of Committees of OCM were filled by non-NSAs’ members.

The Chairpersons of the Committee went to appoint retired government sports officials, other individuals over NSAs’ representatives.

By July 2, it will be a year since the new Sports Minister assumed office. However no dialogue or town hall session had been arranged for OCM members to meet with the new Minister of Youth and Sports or his Deputy.

Instead, the NSAs had to make their own individual appointments to meet the Minister. Most of the NSAs have been unsuccessful to make any appointment.

On the question of government relations, the NSAs are hoping for a change in the selection of sports for SUKMA.

However as they found out, it is easier to get a sport into the SEA or Asian Games programme.

Why should NSAs be made to beg for their sports. Certainly a fairer and more inclusive system should be implemented. Will this ever be done Minister?

With the closure of OCM’s Hotel, the revenue of OCM is much reduced.

For 11 years, without fail, the Waz Lian Group, through the initiative of former national Hockey captain Dato Ow Soon Kooi rented the hotel from OCM, making an annual payment averaging RM960, 000 per year.

But instead of sitting down and talking with the former Olympian , who contributed to sports both on and off the field of play, Dato Ow and his company were allowed to leave before the 2017 SEA Games.

Then stepped in another company that pledged RM10 million in renovations and they vacated the hotel in July 13, 2018.

And the premises was stripped bare by those who were the last tenants of the hotel,

Everything was removed and what we have today is a building, akin to the many abandoned housing projects in the city, an eyesore.

Now let’s just look at the money that was lost in this process

Loss in revenue in terms of rental for the past 6 months will be around the region of RM410, 000.

It will take, according to some experts in the hotel industry some RM3-4 million to refurbish and re-equip the building into a 3 star Level Hotel.

And that will take at least another six months, meaning another loss of revenue of RM560, 000.

In total OCM’s losses, be it on paper or actual accumulates to RM4 million.

Which incidentally if divided as grants to the National sports Associations who ate full members of OCM will see each receiving approximately RM110,000 each for the 36 sports bodies.

Now who will accept accountability for this?

It is also learnt most of the Committees is OCM, there are close to 14, were told to raise funds on their own to pay for any activity given the economic crunch,

Therefore it is hoped that the planned “Buka Puasa” even by OCM next week is self funding rather than digging into the already depleting coffers of OCM.

This will be in line with the clarion call issued to all the committees and this will set the tone for others not to be overly dependent on existing funds but be innovative in funding their activities.

The office bearers are not concerned and are at times lavish in their spending of OCM’s funds.

The engagement of a COO should not even be thought of until the OCM Hotel is up and running again.

In addition, organising OCM Annual Dinner at five star hotels is unnecessary and a betrayal of the athletes by utilising their funds for a non-productive show.

Would it not be better to channel the money to better prepare lesser sports that are at the mercy of the NSC?

The very custodians elected to serve the “umbrella” body are raw, inexperienced, uncompromising with a mind akin to the single track train lines we were accustomed to in the past.

OCM has over the year become an institution that lives, breathes and serenades to the tune – I did it my way.

And to those who challenge the establishment were frowned upon as traitors to the cause, no matter how since our intentions were for the safeguarding of sports sanctity in this country.

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