Malaysia needs a sportsperson PM — Ice Cream Seller
OCT 31 — My hope is that in the near future, we will have a PM to lead the country who - for a significant time- would have been a sportsman/woman. Doesn’t need to be an Olympian or even national athlete — just a club player would do
Sportsmen know the value of teamwork. Especially those who play team sports - football, hockey, rugby, cricket etc. Take our great football team — Mokhtar Dahari achieved greatness because he had, amongst others, Chin Aun pulling the strings in the middle of the field. He had Arumugam in goal. Each fed off the others to achieve their own levels of greatness in football. Can our politicians demonstrate this?
2) Pull their Weight
Sportsmen pull their weight. They work extra hard and walk the extra mile to cover for a member who may not be of the same standard or competence. If you had no more substitutes to use in a game, you are thankful to have players just to make the numbers. ( I have been there countless times) I used to say of my late goalkeeper in my hockey team — ‘ his right leg was there just to make a pair’. But still, better to have Frog ( as he was called) than no keeper at all. Not gifted as the other keepers who played for us, he filled in when needed and gave it everything
Sportsmen don’t ask what your ‘race’ is. Their race is to win the game. They accommodate their team mates — whatever race and religion they are. If certain food is taboo , all abstain = especially when you are in centralised training. We don’t choose our room mates based on their religion or race. We may come from different vocations — lawyer, meter reader, teacher, accountant, engineer, student, unemployed, driver but if they can blend into a team, why not politicians? After all, most politicians share the same characteristics of deceit, crookedness and hypocrisy except in different degrees!
Every successful sportsperson needs discipline. This is of a rigour different from politicians. A captain leads with discipline and exercises discipline over his team. He is the spokesperson, the representative and he carries the extra load — unsung. They have an unwavering quest for achieving excellence. There are no quotas, discounts or concessions to win gold — unless you are in a handicap event like golf (which most likely are our politicians claim to sports involvement)
Unlike politicians, team captains display leadership on and off the arena they are meant to be in ( one may argue with today’s breed of sportsmen but that is a different story altogether) They look after the affairs of the team and they are looked up to by the team for vision, strategy, guidance, encouragement and essentially act in the best interest of the team. Age is no gauge for an effective leader. Take the example of Arsenal’s captain — Cesc Fabregas. Some of his team members may have been playing professional football whilst he was still having milk teeth.
Leaders who have a vision and who can get their team behind team to ‘buy into’ that vision — without consultants from half way round the world. They lead from the front, from the middle, from the rear.
6) Colour blind
The great teams of today comprise members from all over the globe. The effective captain looks at what they can do for the team — not at their passports, race, religion,colour, education, caste or whatever else that separates. Our football team of the 70’s and early 80’s had all races playing in them. When Mokhtar scored, all cheered. When Chin Aun did a dummy and wrong footed an opponent, all cheered. When Aru saved in dramatic style, all cheered. When Santokh foiled an opposing attack all shouted “BHAI!!!” Today, unfortunately, our teams lack the variety of old. Ironically, we may have to introduce racial quotas in our teams to reflect the population demographics We desperately need a colour blind PM
Every leader must be a good communicator. He must say what he means — and mean what he says. In team sports, the captain is always communicating — verbally( by screaming if he has to), by hand signals eg pointing as needed, by eye contact ( that is real communication),by swearing, by whistling and even from nods of the head. No necessity for degrees from universities — Ivy League or otherwise — in this respect. No need to be so fluent in any language - the team understands what is being communicated
In my time, we played sports for the pure passion of it. Passion gave the adrenalin. Unfortunately, the vast majority of politicians on display have adrenalin raised for the wrong purposes. A leader with passion does not need to worry about opinion polls, being liked or not, being distracted by unnecessary and unproductive dalliances
Can we have a PM with a passion for the country? Not passion for a political party,race, religion, position, rewards or a penchant to be remembered for the future
9) Fair play
Sportsmen and women have a deeper understanding of fair play than politicians in general. To win in sports, you have to perform and to do so within set rules.
In a game, the field or court is level ( except golf - again). The umpire or referee calls the shots and you accept them however aggrieved you feel about it. You can’t choose your own umpire or referee in an international tournament generally and the ref probably is of a different nationality, race, religion. colour ( even gender) and might not speak your language to boot!!! Heaven forbid, he might even be Jewish!!!! You can’t change the umpire midway through a game — unless he becomes incapacitated
Sportsmen have a greater sense of honour. They honour their opponents in defeat by applauding them. In victory, the victors do not gloat. There is no “Ketuanan’ in victory. In the west, after a game, players from both sides gather for a drink and banter. We used to have this but this has dissipated like our moral fabric
I remember playing hockey matches with sticks borrowed from opponents or jerseys borrowed from opponents for a football game when there was a clash of colours
Of course, today, we have match fixing,” win at all cost” and other less desirable attributes but these are contaminants from politics spilling into sports
The Tunku was much involved in sports. He was responsible for the Merdeka Tournament ( a tournament that gave years of pride and pleasure). This is a now defunct legacy of the Tunku like many other parts of his legacy.
Tun Razak I don’t know enough of but recall he played some sports including golf. Tun Hussein didn’t strike me as an athlete but he had a sense of fair play. Dr M we don’t recall being involved in sports other than taking them for a ride (his horses lah - what did you think?), Pak Lah played golf and so does Najib — over undulating and pristine courses.
Can we please have a sportsman PM to take us to the podium instead of the crematorium?
* Ice Cream seller played some decent football,hockey, tennis and cricket. Very much later he indulged a bit in golf but found the handicap system unattractive and reminded him of the NEP. Truth be told, he was a lousy golfer but blamed the handicap. He won’t make a decent politician.