For years now the Sports Ministry has been looking at options to reduce the term limits of office bearers. There were also calls to limit the age group of those who can continue to hold positions.
Among the reason such measures was being considered was because ‘ incompetent officials’ are hogging the positions without helping in the actual development of the sports. Some are said to be past their prime and it would be wiser for them to give way to the younger generation.
New ideas from a new generation of leaders is said to be needed to push forward the Malaysian sporting agenda.
It may have its merits although the sweeping notion that the older generation office bearers were no longer viable leaders is an oxymoron, especially considering Malaysia itself was previously headed by a nonagenarian.
And the fact the government does not see the same need of wanting to bar the older generation from holding positions in political parties or any other non-governmental organisations (NGO) is completely biased.
Proposals to amend the Sports development Act to include these clauses has been strongly advocated in recent years. It may well be included sometime in the future and become the law, assuming the select few of those advocating for the measures succeed.
While the sports associations are now being cajoled quietly behind the scenes, the same does not see to apply within the Sports Ministry itself.
In June, their Director General of the Sports and Youth Department Dato Dr Wasitah Mohd Yusof retired and clocked out of office for the last time, or so it seemed. Just over a month later, on the 26th July, she was reappointed to the same position.
The reappointment raises plenty of questions that the Ministry should address.
First, if there was an intention to extend her tenure in the first places, why was she given the sendoff upon her retirement age?
Was her reinstatement at the recommendation of the Chief Secretary of the Sports Ministry or was it a political appointment?
Surely, if there were prior intentions to extend her tenure or that her appointment was at the request of her immediate bosses, there would not have been a retirement in the first place.
The reason, this is being raised is because even before her retirement was due, there were strong rumours that a with the Minister was being made for an extension but it had appeared to come to a nought.
The reappointment also raises another question. Is there no other capable officer in the department, who could have taken over the job? A quick check on the department’s website shows that she has three deputies. Are they not capable enough?
Was the position so crucial or a vital cog in the development of Malaysian sports, that only one person has the capability of properly executing it? Was there no proper transition plans or grooming of others within the department?
Here we have the Ministry wanting to get rid of deadwood within the Sports Associations but they cannot even make a fluid decision for a proper transition of authority within its own department.
To be fair, the question is not about the DG’s capabilities. She had moved up to the position because of her capabilities and could dispense her job as well as needed. But, this is a question of transparency and good governance.
Surely one can wonder why not allow someone with fresh ideas to take over. And if anyone’s input was till wanted there is always other avenues to use them. The Ministry’s Panel of Experts is one of those platforms.
Until the Ministry comes clean on this affair, those in the Ministry have lost their moral high-ground in preaching to the rest of the sports fraternity on good governance. Or on sometimes singling out sports administrators as the main cause as to why Malaysian sports has not seen holistic and speedy development.