Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar believes that it is up to the respective aquatic disciplines - swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming and synchronised swimming - to decide their own future in regards to governance. Pic by STR/OWEE AH CHUN

KUALA LUMPUR: Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar believes that it is up to the respective aquatic disciplines - swimming, diving, water polo, open water swimming and synchronised swimming - to decide their own future in regards to governance.

When questioned on whether the five, who are currently under the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM), should each have their own national bodies, Tunku said such a move could be beneficial for certain disciplines.

"I think those disciplines should discuss their own future and come to the conclusion themselves on whether they should or shouldn't move forward separately," said Tunku Imran, when met at the OCM media appreciation lunch in KL on Wednesday.

"I can see a very good reason for a discipline such as water polo, which is a team sport, to go on its own.

"Water polo is different, it is not just pure swimming and they could on their own grow the game and be very successful internationally.

"I personally have not had a detailed look at the aquatics sports structure but I can see that in some cases it could make sense to start forming new associations to cover those disciplines.

"We also have to look at how these sports are structured internationally."

Tunku Imran, however, said having five separate associations would not guarantee that issues such as those faced by the national diving squad would not happen.

The national diving team had been in the headlines for the wrong reasons last year after being rocked by doping, rape, sexual and physical abuse as well as bullying issues.

"Those sort of cases can still happen regardless of whether you have five associations or one, it is all about how one handles the athletes.

"They must be given the proper care, guidance and education which I am sure are being discussed by the task force in charge of the sport (currently).

"But at the end of the day it is not just about the guidelines, the athletes should also look after themselves, coaches need the right attitude and those in governance must also be aware of what is going on in their sport.

"If all those things are there then maybe we can avoid these kind of issues but lets face it, these kind of things happen everywhere."

Tunku Imran added that conducting more thorough screening on coaches and officials would also not guarantee much.

"Unless you are looking at a criminal record it is hard to determine a persons' personal feelings (characteristics).

"It is not that easy, people change over time, you cannot control it as it is human nature,” he added.

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