KEDAH Hockey Association (KHA) have lodged a complaint with the Sports Commissioner’s Office, claiming there was “fraud” involved in the nomination process for the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) elections.
The letter, which was sent yesterday, was also addressed to Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman as well as the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).
KHA claimed that their nomination form (submitted on Nov 1, a day before the closing date), had been altered.
“However, on Nov 6, when MHC announced the list of candidates, we were made to understand that our nomination list was altered.
“As such, we strongly believe there was fraud involved, and thus seek MHC to be compelled to nullify the entire electoral process and call for fresh nominations,” read part of the letter, which was signed by KHA vice-president S. Thaitchana Muruthi.
KHA claimed that they had nominated AirAsia Group executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, for the MHC president’s post but his name was “missing” from another list received by the national body.
Incumbent MHC vice-president Datuk Majid Manjit Abdullah had claimed at a recent press conference that “new nomination was sent in by KHA president Asmirul Anuar Aris on his own accord”.
That saw incumbent MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal receiving 13 nominations and Kamarudin just two and, as a result, the latter was technically knocked out of the race.
This is because the MHC constitution states that a presidential candidate must receive at least three nominations to be eligible to contest.
Subahan was then declared the winner “on a technicality”.
However, KHA are now disputing it, saying they had sent in Kamarudin’s name together with Johor and Kuala Lumpur.
A source, who is aware of the goings-on, offered this clarification.
“The KHA president had sent in a list one week before nominations closed. The KHA’s second list was received on Nov 1 around 2pm and was signed by their secretary, S. Sandra Gesan.
“For the record, Sandra as well as KHA deputy president S. Sathis Kumar, were in London during that period on a president-sponsored trip to watch Malaysia play Britain in the Olympic Qualifiers.
“So, Sandra must have sent in the second nomination list at about 6am London time.
“As such, KHA’s claim that their nomination list was altered or changed does not hold water as the president’s list was received much earlier.
“However, it must be noted that it is Kedah’s internal matter and it is up to them to find out what is happening in their association.
“The MHC received the nomination in good faith. If there is any hanky-panky going on in KHA, they should settle it among themselves,” said the source.
The MHC elections will be held on Nov 16 and the candidates had until yesterday to withdraw their nominations, otherwise, their names will be on the ballot papers.
The candidates, however, can still pull out of the race on election day.
There are two camps in this hotly-disputed elections.
One side, led by Manjit, are supported by Kuala Lumpur HA and KHA and comprise former national skipper Datuk Ow Soon Kooi, Lum Sau Fong and K. Maheswari as well as Datuk Che Khalib and Sathis.
The other camp have the support of 13 states and look set to win hands down.
So, will lodging a report with the Sports Commissioner’s Office change anything?
Probably not, said the source, adding that from experience, the Sports Commissioner’s Office would always advise the factions to resolve matters internally rather than meting out punishment.
Citing a recent case regarding a dispute by two factions on the nominations for the Malaysian Paralympic Council (MPM) elections, the source said the Sports Commissioner instructed MPM to go ahead with their AGM and to let the members decide on the next course of action.
The MPM members unanimously agreed to defer their AGM and elections to a later date.
“Yes, I believe the Sports Commissioner (Dr Wirdawati Radzi) will give the same kind of response. In the end, MHC members will decide whether to go ahead with the elections or defer their AGM and call for new nominations,” said the source.
For the record, 32 people were fully sponsored by Subahan to watch the qualifiers in London, where Malaysia were hammered 9-3 by Britain on aggregate. Malaysia last featured in the Olympics in Sydney in 2000.
Upon returning, some of the 32 labelled the free trip an “election bribe” and planned to lodge reports with the police as well as with the MACC.