DATUK NUR AZMI AHMAD
MALAYSIAN Hockey Confederation (MHC) deputy president candidate Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad yesterday threw a challenge to his opponent George Koshy.
In a packed press conference Azmi announced that he is willing to give the seat to George unchallenged, provided that he signs a document stating that the 16 MHC affiliates will each receive an RM50,000 yearly grant for four years.
"George is a good friend, and I would have given up the deputy president's nomination and defended my vice-president's post if he had just told me before nominations that he wants to be the second man in MHC.
"But he did it silently, and only received one nomination from Kuala Lumpur because even the other 15 affiliates were not sure if he wanted to stand for election.
"However, now that both of us have pledged to stand on May 13 (Wednesday) I am giving him another chance to win unopposed. All he has to do is put it in writing that he will source for sponsors and provide a yearly grant of RM50,000 to each MHC affiliate for the next four years.
"I will then walk up to the podium, and make a short speech to the delegates before voting that there is no need to cast a single vote in my favour, and all the votes must go to Koshy," said Azmi.
Azmi, who received 10 nominations for the deputy president's post, said that money was a big issue played up in the campaigning so he is willing to bow out from the race if it would benefit the delegates.
"I get nothing, because it is a voluntary position and not a salaried post. So, if the states can be promised an RM50,000 yearly grant, I would gladly give up my challenge."
MHC treasurer Datuk N. Radhakrishnan, running for a vice-president's post this time around, had said that MHC were RM2.6 million in debt due to the lackadaisical attitude of the current office bearers in raising funds for the Confederation.
"Those elected will have to work harder and given a KPI to bring in money as the MHC has many debts to pay. Previously, only the president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah provided funds as well as our Rakan Sukan Tenaga Nasional. Some sponsors had pledged millions for a five-year period but failed to deliver the goods and that's among the main reasons why the MHC is in debt now.
"This is no longer a joy-ride position, so my challenge to George is not overboard. Money given to the states can help develop talent which is what we need in large numbers today.
"Currently there is only a small number of senior players, about 30, and this does not give the coaches a good choice to pick for major assignments.
"That's why states need funding to develop their programmes and send teams for the Junior Hockey League, Malaysia Hockey League and others.
"Right now, if we do not qualify for the Olympics by finishing fourth in the World League Semi-finals, I believe not only would Malaysia be set back for five years, but it would also be very difficult for those elected to source for funds because sponsors always look for performance before parting with their money.
"That is why I have thrown the challenge to George, who had said in his campaign trail, that he has plans to systematically raise funds for MHC. If he can promise, in writing, that the states would get the amount with money sourced from sponsors, the deputy president's post is his for the taking and I will bow out. That's a promise," said Azmi.
In the women's deputy president's race S. Shamala would be up against K. Maheshwari.
There are six candidates for the men's vice president, and three for the women's veep. A minimum of two ladies need to be voted in as regulated by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).