Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Path to Nowhere

Before I continue from my previous posting of what happened to me, allow me to post the reply from the President of SRAM to my earlier email to him.

Dear Allan
Firstly, thank you very much for your strong email earlier today, which I read as a show of your passion and commitment. I am also aware of your email of Friday 15 June 2007 to Prof Dato' Dr Hood ( Competitions Chairman) in response to his announcement of the decision on Wed 6 June 2007 to agree to Trengganu's request for the age change.
I would like to address the major points without too much rhetoric ie:-

a) I am happy that you are not against the change, though I am sad at your repeated disappointments.

b) On the issue of democracy and transparency, I would hope that you could re-investigate and point out to me a period in SRAM during which we could have been more democratic and transparent. I would really like to know. And I certainly hope we do not get very overdone or go overboard on this!

c) The big picture about multi-sport events worldwide is that the host nation/state always has some room to request flexibility and change. Respect and discretion need to prevail.

d) It was clear from the outset that SRAM would have preferred staying at an U-18 SUKMA Squash. This was tabled and adopted at a 4-hour Technical Committee Meeting on Thursday 15 March 2007 at MSN, Bukit Jalil to which all 29 participating sports were invited. Also preesent was the Trengganu State SUKMA CEO to present Trengganu. I personally chaired that Meeting ( as OCM VP).

e) In early May, Trengganu Squash ( PST) appealed for a review from an U-18 to an U-23 on behalf of the Trengganu SUKMA Secretariat. SRAM's Special Committee urgently met on Wednesday 9 May, called PST during the Meeting and requested Trengganu to reconsider their request. The request was taken back to Trengganu and PST shortly thereafter pursued it with a letter to reiterate their request to have it as an U-23 event.

d) All things said and done, there is the macro and micro picture. The Special/Selection/ Competitions Committees deliberated on this and then agreed to the request by PST/ Trengganu State.

e) Our squash programme does not hinge solely on the SUKMA Squash Event every 2 years. We need to grow our programmes and reap the most benefit within whatever our resources and ability.

f) Incidentally, I am also very encouraged by some very mature positive responses too regarding this decision to agree to PST's request.

g) Peter Chee has outlined our Guiding Principles in his email to all. Kindly read it carefully.

h) We would strongly encourage all future host states to adopt our preferred U-18. But we shall not deny within reason, as internationally practised, the right of the host state to request flexibilty.

Please do drop by when ' roving through'. Thanks & Regards


In his reply, the question still has not been answered. Looks like SRAM doesn't need to divulge the reasons for their decisions. Here is my reply to his reply.

Dear Dato

Firstly, thank you for the prompt reply. Here are following questions from your reply

  1. Terengganu Squash knew that they were going to host the 2008 Games so much earlier. Why didn’t the appeal come in earlier?
  2. When the appeal came in early May, why wasn’t all States informed? The States were informed on the 12th of June by Peter Chee and by then I presumed that SRAM had made it’s decision because on the 15th of June, Dato’ Hood’s email was received. This is transparency I’m talking about. Even some MMC members are in the dark. A big decision like this is not supposed to be discussed in the MC meetings?
  3. Although Sukma doesn’t affect SRAM’s program, but it directly has an impact on States funding. All funding and additional budgets from State MSN come from the Sukma projections and prospects. May I ask who will now continue the funding if MSN withdraws its support?
  4. Please clarify which email of Peter’s that states the Guiding Principles?
  5. It is SRAM’s duty as the administrators of squash in the country to decide without prejudice on what is the best for the development of squash in Malaysia. Please uphold that responsibility fairly as Malaysia consists of 14 States.
  6. Yes, multi sport events allow the host some flexibility but the governing body decides the general rules for each sport and it stays. Even if there are changes, they are announced way before it. E.g. FIFA decides Olympic is U-23 with 3 overage players, AFC decides Asian Games is U-23 and so on. Host only decides on optional events.
  7. And yes, I do drop by SRAM office every time I am in KL or passing through.

Thank you for your time and effort.

Yours truly,

Allan Soyza

Till today, I have yet to receive a reply to this matter. Why the secrecy? Something fishy going on that needs to be covered?

Back to the previous posting of what action that was decided to be taken against me. My head was wanted on the chopping block but I knew what was required to be done to ensure my neck stayed intact to my body. I am a Sukan Teras (ST) staff and not a SRAM staff, that's the technicality that I used. As such, SRAM cannot directly get my head. So they instead wrote to the GM of squash and he in turn consulted the Pengarah and Unit Head of ST. They found nothing wrong with the letter but only in the manner I went about it. So all I had to do was to write an apology letter about the manner and not the content. Case closed on their part and a slap on the wrist for me.

Now, this is not the only incident that provoked me to say why I lost faith in the President's leadership, it's one of the few. Among them are changing of policies in SRAM and no black and white to follow it, getting involved and trying to decide technical matters and so on. What has he done?

From what I have gathered, the top 100 and 50 for men and women to get their overseas attachments was changed to top 80 and 40 now. Firstly, this was supposedly done early in the year but till now there is no black and white to all states. Secondly, when the earlier policy was made, there was about 240 men and about 180 women on the circuit. Now there are 300 plus men and about 250 plus women. Which genius thought that about this? Bar isn't raised 10 places but like 50 places having put into account the increased number of players. Thirdly, even the players are not sure if it has been implemented already.

Next thing that cheesed me off was the Wispa/PSA membership fees. SRAM wants all it's players to be registered so that they can play the circuit and gather points. As such, all back-up squad and world junior squad players were registered as members. The stupid thing is that they tried to claim the membership fees from NSC which amounted to more than 40k. And when NSC said no to this because they have never paid for it, SRAM decided to hold back all prize money the players won until they decide on how to solve the issue. Firstly, the players never asked to be there, especially the world junior squad. Secondly, even if you decided to do so, where is the letter to all states, players and parents informing them about the situation? Thirdly, they registered so many players including those no longer in the program and those who would be away for national service. What they could have done was to select some players that would benefit from it and be given full membership while the rest should be regional/provisional members. Once proven, then an upgrade can be done.

News from my sources says that the President was more interested in his quest to get approval to fly Business class for his duties in the capacity of the President rather than putting that money to good use like the memberships for the players. It has been also said that he told the committee that he is not a fund raiser but just the leader. Hmmm... Great leader I supposed.
Well, this part is a bit unconfirmed but doesn't sound so far fetched to me. No comments till it is confirmed.

There are juicier stuff on the way which I will reveal in my next posting. I am currently doing my East Coast visit. Hopefully, my next posting is soon. Till next time, go get a copy of the Malaysian Constitution.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion and should not be construed as facts.