Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pro golf needs kiss of life

Family joy: Ben and his father N.C. Leong posing with the Worldwide Selangor Masters trophy. in 2008. MPGA has failed to provide support to players like Ben. – Pic By S.S. KANESAN

SPORTS Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek holds the key in his keynote address today (13-10-09) to give a kiss of life to professional golf in Malaysia.
Nothing but mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is needed today from the minister to bring to life an almost dead Malaysian Professional Golfers Association (MPGA), and the ad-hoc committee are keeping their fingers crossed.
“The Sports Minister will open the forum and we hope that among others, he will pledge money from the government to kick-start the revival of the MPGA.
“We need to take a strong stand, and start afresh, the present MPGA does not have any money, assets or direction to benefit pro golfers in the country,” said The MPGA ad hoc committee chairman by Datuk Thomas Lee.
The ad-hoc committee has forwarded their suggestions to the Sports Minister and the plan is to forget all past issues, wrangles, and the dead-ends be forgotten, and MPGA starts with a fresh mandate.
All those who are interested in pro golf have been invited to attend the forum, and if the resolutions are adapted, the next step will be to is to amend MPGA's constitution, and start afresh with professionals running the show, said Lee.
Among the issues that will be discussed in the forum are to appoint, not elect the first MPGA council, to run pro golf for the first three years.
The ad-hock committee has recommended that the MPGA be run by professionals who have interest in the sport like golf clubs, equipment suppliers, professionals in the business world and playing as well as teaching professionals.
The ad hoc committee will also recommend that, since the MPGA coffers are now dry, that the government sponsors at least four tournaments, which cost RM100,000 each, to kick- start the association.
Another suggestion is that the MPGA have two divisions - one for tournament pros and the other for vocational pros. Each will have its own council, but they will be answerable to the main MPGA council.