A Sultan’s legacy

It’s a sad day for Perak and the judiciary. Sultan Azlan Shah is no more. But it’s sadder still for the hockey fraternity. Not only did he lead the hockey players in good times, he also made sure they would not fall into bad times when they retired.

HE was the consummate hockey man – a player for his state, a national selector who was behind the rise of some of the greatest names to have graced our hockey fields and, finally, the president of the Malaysian Hockey Federation for close to three decades.

Sultan Azlan Shah was indeed the father of Malaysian hockey, the man behind the sport in the country for as long as anyone can remember. But it wasn’t just the love for the game on the pitch that set him apart from everyone else. It was the fact that he cared for the sportsmen (and women), the athletes.

It was he who was behind the setting up of Yayasan Hockey – a scholarship fund for ­talented hockey players – in 1990. He was also instrumental in the setting up of a players’ retirement fund.

Under his watch, hockey players were not just a motley crew chasing a ball with a stick. They were doctors, degree holders, highly qualified professionals, CEOs even. His hockey set-up saw to it that the players would always have a successful career when they left the game.

His successor as president of Malaysian hockey – it’s called the Malaysian Hockey Confederation now – is set to leave the game. The president is Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the man who has just been elected as leader of the Football Association of Malaysia.

Tengku Abdullah, however, has his work cut out for him as head of Malaysian football. Detractors may question his record – after all, he has been deputy president for years. However, we have to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, the outgoing president was the Sultan of Pahang – his father – so it must have been tough trying to tell his father how things should be done.

Now that he is his own man and president, let’s see what he can do.

Tengku Abdullah is an avid football fan and was a good player as well. He has asked for four years and deserves at least as much.

He has to chart a future for the football team that has fallen to new depths. But there’s a lesson he has to bring for the late Sultan Azlan Shah, too. He must not forget the past. And those who have served the country

Just last Sunday, I was in Malacca, as a ­veteran’s football team from Penang took on a team in Malacca. And there, among my many friends from Penang, was one famous son of the state.

A. Rukkumaran (pic) was one of the biggest stars of the national team in the 1980s. To then coach Frank Lord, he was the lynchpin of the team, and he was “Rocky” to all headline ­writers.

by Dorairaj Nadason.

Read more @  http://www.thestar.com.my/Opinion/Columnists/Why-Not/Profile/Articles/2014/05/30/A-Sultans-legacy/

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