TENGKU Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah will officially be come the ninth president of the Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) when he chairs the meeting after their Biennial General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur today.
Tengku Abdullah won the seat unopposed when nominations closed on Nov 25, with a strong 13 nominations from a maximum of 16.
The illustrious list of former MHF presidents in its 60-year history are Sir George Oehlers, E.B. David, Herman de Souza, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Hussein Onn, Sultan Azlan Shah, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah and Tan Sri Admiral (rtd) Anwar Mohd Nor.
And while the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang did not even have to break sweat, incumbent deputy president Tengku Majid Sultan Iskandar is expected to face a keen opposition from three-term vice president Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema and two- term vice president Nur Azmi Ahmad.
The third aspirant, Ken Pereira, threw in the towel on Thursday, and one should not be surprised if any of the three seeking to become deputy pull out of the race today morn ing.
Dr Cheema is also the Asian Hockey Federation (AFH) medical committee chairman, and a committee member of the International Hockey Federation (FIH) medical com mittee.
Nur Azmi Ahmad was tasked with the players welfare committee in the MHF, while the states know what Tengku Majid did, or did not do, for the sport in the last two years.
The incumbents hold 10 votes, while 32 are with the 16 MHF affiliates, which include Armed Forces and Police.
Whatever the outcome of the elections today, the states hold they key which will determine whether the sport continues its downward spiraling, or comes out of the doldrums.
The states, many of whose members and secretaries have remained since the days of Sultan Azlan Shah, would be found guilty and sent to the gallows if one takes them to court for their role in slowly killing hockey.
Azlan Shah tried his best, Raja Nazrin made a great effort, Anwar drifted in and out, but only a handful of states made an effort to to nurture talent. Sabah and Sarawak, with six votes in their hands, have yet to produce a national player since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
Tengku Abdullah and is ‘cabinet’ will more-or-less inherit the same players on and off the pitch, who three other presidents have tried to wake up from deep slumber.
The new president has already started his work to secure sponsorship money, and the states can be assure of cash to spend on development, but it will be another stalemate if his elected men remain in their comatose state.
And then, there is talk that Tengku Abdullah has already selected a team of former players and administrators as his shadow cabinet.
Hockey fans eagerly await what the new broom and his men, as well as the shadow cabinet will come out with to take Malaysia into the top-six in the world.
NOMINATIONS -- President: Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ah mad Shah (13).
Deputy President: Tengku Majid Sultan Iskandar (incumbent, 5), Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (1), Nur Azmi Ahmad (6).
Vice-Presidents: Datuk Sri Che Khalib Mohamed Noh (incumbent, 12), Datuk Dr S.S. Cheema (incumbent, 7), Datuk Rahim Mohamed Ariff (incumbent, 10), Datuk Salamon Selamat (3), M. Gobinathan (5), Johari Abdul Aziz (1), DSP Mohinder Singh (1), Majid Manjit Abdullah (2).
Automatic Vice-presidents: Sabah -- Datuk Ramilee Marahaban; Sarawak: Datuk Bustari Yusof.
Secretary: Hashim Yusoff (12).
Treasurer: S. Sanjilatheeban (incumbent, 11), Abdul Rahman Shariff (1).