Since the appointment of Khairy Jamaluddin as the Sports Minister, I have not had the time to post anything on it. Soon, perhaps. Because it is customary for me to pen a few words of unsolicited advice each time a new Sports Minister is installed into office since Ismail Sabri Yaakob was appointed to succeed Azalina Othman Said who was parachuted into the position in 2004.
To have an idea, read Happy Birthday Hajjah Aza. Khairy's name was mentioned in the original open letter published in the Malay Mail on December 31, 2007.
When Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek was appointed to the post, he made it a point to meet editors and bloggers. Read simple yet significant approach. Also kindly read the cynic in me If I were the Sports Minister.
So far it's back to basics for Khairy who has promised to be hands-on but not micro-manage his Ministry and its stakeholders.
“We (Khairy and Saravanan) will be taking a hands-on approach but we won’t micro-manage. We need to do away with certain protocols as well. Feel free to come to the office with ideas,” Khairy added.It is interesting to see whether Khairy will be effecting changes so soon and whether or not he wishes to break convention.
While KJ is said to be happy with the National Sports Council (NSC), the Ministry's secretary general, Datuk Mohid Mohamed, is said to be under scrutiny. Mohid who was tasked by Shabery to restore order amid personal rifts and internal bickering in agencies under KBS' purview, is not exactly well-liked.
Read allegations against Mohid
Deputy Secretary General of KBS, Datuk Jamil Salleh
NSC DG Zolkples Embong (extreme right) is not exactly Mohid's blue-eyed boy. I know lah...
As the KSU and the highest-ranking officer closest to the Minister, Mohid has a say in recommending those he thinks are able to head the various agencies or organisations that come under KBS' jurisdiction. These include sports-related positions such as the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) chairman, the Sports Commissioner, Director-General of National Sports Council (NSC) and CEO of National Sports Institute (ISN). Also chairman of YAKEB. Mohid too has a say in naming those he deems suitable for the various positions in the NSC Board, the Stadium Board, NSI Board, YAKEB and Ministry's representative in the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM). As the KSU, he has a say in making sure the composition of the members or representatives are not YES MEN of the Director-Generals or the various heads, although the authority to recommend lies with the head of agencies. So you see, Mohid is not taking part in a popularity contest.
At this point of time, those who oppose Mohid will have a gala time planting ideas into the Minister's head...
I'm pretty sure YB KJ will not be too hasty and in the process repeat the mistakes committed by his fellow anchor person of the Dateline Show in 1998, Azalina, who accused Ministry officials of being corrupt shortly after coming into power. In the end Azalina, one of my favourite subjects when I was with the Malay Mail, herself had to grapple with allegations of corruption. Read bagi chance-lah.
So give the officers the benefit of the doubt. Engage and confront them if they are accused of misdemeanour. After all Khairy himself has to deal with criticism and wild accusations, not all true perhaps, read here and here. So do we adopt the age-old adage one is innocent until proven guilty? Or otherwise?
Is Khairy going to micro or macro-manage the KBS and its stakeholders?
YB KJ, you've been forewarned. Watch this space for my Open Letter soon! In the meantime, please appoint a professional as the Sports Commissioner. Someone who understands sports and its practitioners. Not a politician.