KUALA LUMPUR: Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman believes it is not necessary for the national associations to be separated to govern the various aquatic disciplines, for the time being.
Zaiton said breaking up the five disciplines: swimming, open water swimming, synchronised swimming, diving and water polo should only be done if they have become too big for the Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) to manage effectively.
“We (Sports Commissioner’s Office) have no problem at all with having separate national bodies for these disciplines but the question is, do we have the capacity to do that at the moment?” said Zaiton today.
“Yes, there are some countries who have separate associations for them but they are very far ahead in these disciplines and have the capability to do so. We have to ask ourselves whether we have the same capability.
“Right now ASUM is run by a very small team, it will be hard to expand that (to manage separate associations).
“I have heard this (view) a lot of times and I believe they should be under one association until they have grown too big to be under one umbrella, then separation would be better.”
Zaiton added that Malaysia should emulate the international federations in regard to governing the various disciplines.
“For me the first reference should be the international federation for the sport and not what other nations are doing.
“For aquatics, all of these disciplines are still under FINA. If we look at the trend in some of the popular and well established sports such as badminton, hockey and football, they (the respective disciplines) are all under one governing body at both the international and national levels.
“FIH have combined men’s and women’s hockey and require that all countries follow this, it is the same with Fifa.
Some parties feel it would be better to separate the five aquatic disciplines to allow for better management, and leading to them reaching a higher level.