THE Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) biennial election nominations close this Saturday, but until yesterday there has only been a trickle of entries.
It is common knowledge, that the states are still holding their favourite candidates close to their chests, and some will only fax in the nomination papers at the 11th-hour.
“Nominations close at noon on Saturday, after which we will release it to the press,” said MHF secretary Sgt Hashim Yusoff.
States are still confused with the signal sent out by their presidential hopeful Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad, as he has yet to confirm nor deny that he is interested to become the next president.
Incumbent president Tan Sri Admiral (rtd) Anwar Mohd Nor and his deputy Tunku Majid Sultan Iskandar have also been non-committal, with both agreeing that the man which gets the highest number of nominations will helm MHF for another term.
However, many including Datuk Poon Fook Loke, believe that states should select someone who is willing to work, as there is not much money left in the MHF coffers, while the team is ranked a miserable 15th in the world.
“States have to select candidates who have a passion for hockey, and only then can some repair be done to the Federation as well as the hockey team.
“Only two more days are left for them to decide on their candidates, and my advise to them is to think carefully, as hockey is in a bad state today, and work is cut out for those who are elected on Nov 1,” said Fook Loke.
When Fook Loke was playing hockey on grass, Malaysia ended fourth in the 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup, and he is has been on the MHF selection committee since 1997, and has held many other posts in the Federation.
“When we started planning for the 2005 (Rotterdam) Junior World Cup, it was an uphill task as there were not many promising juniors then. But the 2005 team has now matured and played in many other international tour naments, but the problem is still the same, as we do not have capable juniors anymore.
“Only those committed to hockey should be elected, and even then, it will be many years more of hard work before we can see results,” said Fook Loke.