Thursday, April 30, 2015
DATUK Seri Subahan Kamal will be stepping into a hyena's den on May 13.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president-elect received an overwhelming mandate to replace Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah when nominations closed April 28, but the doors to many teething problems will open for him from now.
MHC has 16 affiliates, 14 states and Armed Forces as well as Police make up the numbers, and 13 of them nominated Subahan as the unopposed sixth president of the MHC.
Perlis did not send in nominations for any position, while the other two which did not name Subahan were Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.
The first challenge for Subahan would be to fill up the empty MHC coffers, but before he saves whatever he brings in, he has to make sure the ring of creditors receive their long overdue dues.
The creditors range from players, officials, coaches... right up to the tea-man who provides vadai and other refreshments for tournaments and meetings.
The list runs into millions, and hundreds are waiting to be paid right after the elections.
Money is just a small problem as compared to what Subahan will face next.
Under-performing players, coaches, officials, office administrators and even umpires and technical officials have brought disrepute to the MHC to the extend that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had to wave the big stick right across their nose before matters like the constitution was rectified.
Subahan is the current Selangor HA president and knows first hand, or has heard about all these problems, so there is no need to refresh his memory in the days leading to his proclamation ... safe to say that he is inheriting a motley crew of problems which need urgent attention.
But even before he steps into office, he might just inherit a council which is more keen on glory than working for the sport.
For, the nomination list lacks quality, especially among the vice-president nominations, which is the working arm.
He will have two deputies, a luxury not accorded to the last five presidents, and the task of handling the men and women will fall on his most trusted henchman and woman.
For the position of his right man, delegates will decide for Subahan between incumbent vice-president and current team manager Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad and former team manager as well as former Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association president George Koshy.
And for his right hand woman, Subahan has the choice of former vice-president's -- S. Shamala and K. Maheswary who are both steely in their own ways.
For the record, when nominations closed MHC affiliates had stood strongly behind certain candidates, but in the days leading to the elections, some states have started to sing to a different tune and the numbers could turn out to be just numbers.
This election is also very unique, as women have a 50 per cent say on who gets elected. So those who have been underestimating the ladies, beware of their wrath on May 13.
The old adage 'Figures don't lie, but liars figure' comes to mind when looking at the nomination list.
Subahan was unchallenged and also received the backing of 13 states, and it figures the strong support he has to helm the piping hot MHC seat.
However, the deputy president's equations look set to change as delegates start canvassing their choices.
Going by numbers Nur Azmi, who received 10 nominations, is going to whip Koshy who was only nominated by Kuala Lumpur.
And Shamala received backing from eight states, while Maheswari was supported by three states.
The race for the vice-president's post will see seven men battling for five slots, and three women for two slots... and the least said about this group is the better for them.
However, with the social media and messaging systems working overtime, and burning fingers way past midnight, there might be some upsets during election time.
Only one thing figures at the moment, whoever wins, Subahan will inherit a motley of problems which ALL need urgent attention, and he will be without a secretary until a CEO is sourced.
With Friday being Labour Day, good luck on your forthcoming labours MHC.
(Note: So far, Subahan has yet to openly back the candidates he wants).