Malaysia? When we talked about Malaysia in sport?What is actually bear in our mind on Malaysia involved in sport. Nowadays we just know LCW, Nicol david and for now Pandalela Rinong. But basically its, Malaysia is now not power during this particular time like before. For example, past in era football Malaysia, Malaysia is well known in ASEAN region player like Mokhtar Dahari our Super Mokh. Last time before, Malaysia also have the fastest runner like Watson Nyambek, Marina Chin, Datuk Mumtaz Jaafar,Ishtiaq Mubarak,Rabuan Pit, Tan Sri Dr. Mani Jegathesan, but lately Malaysia just only can produce a medal on certain games.
Our football briefly dominated the SEA region briefly by fluke when the Japanese and Koreans were busy with their nation-building after the WWII. Our hockey is fortunate enough to stay relevant amongst Australia, India, Pakistan, Canada and the Netherlands until today. Badminton by far has been able to put Malaysian on some part of the world map in sports with our only hope in winning the first gold in the Olympics from the men’s single in badminton. I have to say that the one and only Datuk Nicole Ann David is a class of her own in squash but squash is not included In the Olympics.
Malaysia and I mean almost everyone, from the athletes, sportsmen and women, to the sports bodies and associations all the way to the government have never taken sports seriously. It all depends on the freaking luck that someone is born in Malaysia with the right genes to excel personally in some particular sports. We have never produced a single world class sportsperson.
First of all let us convince ourselves that nations can produce world class athletes and sports persons. Powerful nations like the US, China and Russia have been able to produce truckload of them. So you think only such nations can produce them? Then you are wrong. Jamaica, Nigeria, Lithuania Trinidad, Venezuela are just a few poor and developing countries who have produced world class athletes and sports persons. Still not convince? We even lost several times to Vietnam in football!
Then we must re-think and look inwards and ask ourselves, do we want to let our sports be forever in the backwaters? If not, then we must all change our attitude towards sports. Sports must be made the in-thing amongst the youth, not only academic qualifications and definitely not computer games. This is hard but not impossible, because we do not need to convince every youth but only a spectrum amongst them.
Who should be responsible and what should be done?
Every sports body must be entrusted to find the new talents, use the modern physio-analysis method to determine that the physiques and mental capacities do complement the natural talents and efforts must be made to train, build up the skills, stamina and spirit to excel. Besides the normal education up to the university level, they must also be provided with financial security. The financial support should be by the corporate world after all this is how they can pay back to the country where they make their money.
The government should finance the talent seeking, training and healthcare while the universities should provide the scholarships. The sports bodies must undertake the responsibility to produce their own particular field; BAM for badminton and FAM for football.
Fortunately we already have some form of set-up mentioned above, but the effort and focus must be increased several folds. The first exercise is to ensure that these bodies are well managed with the proper people, who have the talents, expertise, vision and commitment to produce word class product. The dead woods and rent seekers must be sacked. Those interested in the politics in the various sports bodies must be thrown out too, because it is not a place for politics.