It is not something that you would come across in Malaysian sports organisations. But the All Indonesia Football Association (PSSI) presidency elections should be something that Malaysian sports should try to emulate.
A record 11 candidates would be contesting the coveted president’s position at it the PSSI general body meeting on November 2. And fifteen candidates are vying for the deputy president’s post.
In Malaysia, a three cornered fight is a rarity and two cornered contests are already considered heated contests. The Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF) elections in June this year was said to be a major contest with incumbent president Datuk Karim Ibrahim being defeated by just three votes by his deputy SM Muthu.
That is perhaps one of the rare cases of contests for leaderships in sports organisations in Malaysia.
Many a times contests are avoided with wheeling and dealings prior to elections. That was the scenario with the last Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) elections when Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria assumed the presidents post. The post had been a bone of contention when it emerged that there was a ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ between Norza and acting president Tan Sri Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid. The latter withdrew from contesting ensuring that the top post of the BAM remained uncontested for 32 years.
Sometimes leadership is handed over to someone closely aligned to the outgoing president, especially when that person has powerful political or royal connections.
More often than not, the general body meekly votes in the person being promoted without much validation or protest.
And if there is some resistance, they are either ostracised or worse, shown the exit. In Malaysia it is always imperative that the “anointed” one is elected by any means.
The ongoing Malaysia Paralympic Council (MPM) saga is another example where elections takes precedence over governance. Of the two candidates nominated for the presidency, if normalcy prevails, the nomination of former Sports Minister Khairy Jamaludin should be rejected due to failure to adhere to the rules.
But till date some members of the executive committee are still looking into ways to bypass their own rules and regulations.
Coming back to the PSSI, the 11 candidates includes the likes of its former president La Nyalla Mattalitti, the CEO of Nine Sport Arif Putra Wicaksono and others who have been administrators of football clubs. Yesayas Oktavanius, who was appointed as the head of the PSSI normalisation committee, following their suspension in 2011, is also a candidate.
PSSI rules dictates that any candidate for the post must have served at least five years in football at the highest level.
Who will win? It is the same question that the Indonesian football fraternity is asking.
A debate between the candidates is scheduled for October 31 and candidates would be given the chance to state their case.
This is another aspect of the PSSI elections that has never happened nor it is expected in Malaysia.