PRESIDENT’S HUANG’s FOREWORD (2018)
I extend a warm welcome to all delegates, life members and observers to the 46th SRAM AGM. I was elected to the post of Deputy President in the 38th AGM on Sunday 5th December 2010 and as President in the 42nd AGM on Sunday 8th June 2014.
Last year, the Sports Commissioner’s Office (SCO) awarded SRAM the highest rating of 5 stars for governance. In the past, we have also been consistently ranked at the top by surveys conducted by the OCM. The achievement is as important as winning gold medals in major competitions. While our athletes strive for honour and medals, association officers must build trust with all our stakeholders via excellence in governance and administration. I congratulate and thank our management committee members and SRAM Management for their honesty, integrity and passion to build a sports body that is trusted and recognised by our stakeholders.
A topic close to my heart involves our contribution to nation building via our work in the squash fraternity. I suppose it is a testimony of my upbringing as the son of a TUDM fighter pilot. This has shaped my love and respect for our country and our people. We all want our country to prosper and to become a first-world country. A journey that starts and ends with us. I have repeated in many of my speeches that being a first-world nation is not about building more or having greater GDP growth. We are a first-world nation today, if our values, mind-set and integrity are first-world. So let us continue to build a better Malaysia by our contribution as parents, players, volunteers, technical officials, referees, coaches and administrators.
At SRAM, we support the sports ecosystem by contributing and diligently participating in many of the government institutions and Olympic Council of Malaysia’s functions, meetings, workshops, seminars and activities. We are trusted partners with government institutions and our sponsors. We are also respected members of both the SEASF, ASF and WSF and I am especially proud to say that Malaysians contribute positively at the Asian and World Squash Federation levels. I was elected as WSF Vice President in November 2016 and on 10 January 2017, I was appointed by OCM (CGAM) as Chef de Mission for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. These appointments have been both humbling and enabled me with more opportunities to participate in a larger arena.
Since starting as Deputy President in late 2010, I have aimed to deliver a project each year of my tenure to move SRAM forward. Here are the 10 projects that I have been involved in since taking office:
1. Project 100:
I credit this idea to Mr. Allan Soyza who was the Head Coach and later, Director of Coaching when I joined SRAM. We realised early on that to compete against the best, our best juniors over 16 years of age had to be exposed to professional tournaments. RM160,000 was set aside from the CIMB grant to fund this program by removing one leg of the CIMB junior circuit.
2. World Junior Squad Program:
In 2012, Ms Ung Su Ling (Head of CSR CIMB Group 2009 – 2012) and I decided that we would start this program to develop and support our best juniors to try and win either a team or individual world junior title. Another objective was also to bid and host the WSF World Junior Championship in Malaysia. A budget was set aside in 2013 to fund this project. In 2016, Ng Eain Yow won the individual Gold and Sivasangari came close, finishing third in the World Junior Championships in Poland.
In 2019, SRAM will host the World Junior Championships with a target of at least one gold medal.
The record haul of 4 gold medals in the British Junior Open this year is another milestone in our quest to be a squash powerhouse.
3. State Development Fund(SDF):
We recognised the importance of supporting our states, and in 2012, we removed another leg of the CIMB junior circuit and set aside RM140,000 for the state SRAs. This unfortunately stopped in 2016 due to a budget reduction and we hope to re-start this allocation led by En.Nik Razeen as part of a wider development push from 2018. Prior to 2011, we ran 5 legs of the CIMB junior circuit. The removal of two legs to fund Project 100 and the SDF are the reasons why we have three legs today.
4. Change of SRAM Constitution from membership to delegate system:
At the request of the Sports Commissioner’s Office(SCO) in 2011, we started the constitutional process of converting from a membership based constitution to a delegate based one and financial reporting from 30 June year-end to 31 December year-end. The voting representation changed the fundamental relationship of our state SRA as Members of SRAM to being Affiliates. Each Affiliate being represented by a minimum of three delegates. To encourage Affiliates to develop their junior programs, they would be allowed one additional delegate (to a maximum of 7) for every twenty junior players who took part in a SRAM sanctioned junior tournaments. Each Affiliate is entitled to a maximum of 10 delegates.
Mr. Robert Lau (SRAM: Deputy President 2014 – 2017, VP 2009 – 2014) and Christopher Brodie (SRAM GM 2009 – 2017 and Hon Sec 2009 – 2018) were the team who led this change.
Existing members had to be convinced that this would result in a fairer representation. At the EGM of 25 February 2012, the new constitution was approved. The SCO endorsed the new constitution in 7 June 2013 and the AGM of 23rd June 2013 followed the new delegate-based system with a financial reporting ending 31 December.
5. University squash program with the Ministry of Higher Education:
The preliminary work was started by Dato’ Syed Mustaffa (SRAM: President 2010 – 2014, DP 2006 – 2010) in 2010 but it was only in 2013 with the concerted efforts of Mr. Sivanesen Kanapathipillai (SRAM: 2006 ManCom, 2007 – 2009 Hon Sec, 2010 – 2014 ManCom; ASF SecGen 2009 – 2013; SEASF SecGen 2015 – to date) and Mr. Fong Yewin with funding from YR1M that the program took-off in earnest.
This created the foundation of our excellent relationship with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).
In 2017, University Malaya (UM) was promoted from PST (Pusat Sukan Tumpuan) to PKS (Pusat Kecermelangan Sukan) in recognition of the strides made in squash. In particular, our achievements at the 9th FISU 2016 World University Squash Championship which we hosted. Malaysia won in the mixed team event, and achieved its best ever haul in the history of the FISU WUC Squash since its inaugural edition in 1996, We earned two golds (women’s individual – Low Wee Wern & mixed team), one silver (men’s individual – Ivan Yuen) and one bronze (women’s individual – Nazihah Hanis).
En. Nik Razeen (Deputy President SRAM) and En. Ardy continue the excellent early work from 2016.
6. The formation of SEASF
The Sea Games 2009(Laos), 2011(Indonesia) and 2013(Myanmar) did not feature squash. A trend we wanted to stop. The main proponent for the formation of a sub-regional squash federation was Mr. Sivanesen Kanapathipillai. He had been pushing for SRAM to lead the formation of the SEASF as early as 2011.
I acted on his advice when I become President in 2014 and used the 2014 Malaysian Open to invite members from Persatuan Squash Indonesia(PSI), Squash Rackets Association of the Philippines(SRAP) and Singapore Squash Rackets Association(SSRA) to attend the tournament and meet to discuss the formation of the federation. The inaugural meeting was held at NU Sentral Mall, Sentral, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday 23rd August 2014 at 10am. Mr. Robert Lau was elected as the first SEASF president, Mr. Sivanesen – SecGen, Mr. Leslie Ponnampalam(SRAM: ManCom 2003 – 2009, VP 2010 – 2014) – Treasurer and Vice Presidents – Dr Woffles Wu, Mr. Emmanuel Deles, En. Azlan Iskandar, Ms. Brigitta Kijono.
SEASF has now successfully organised four championships; 2015 Singapore, 2016 Myanmar, 2017 Kuching and 2018 Bandung. Another highlight was to gain ASF approval to amend the ASF constitution to recognise sub-regional federations. This motion failed in 2015 and succeeded in the 2016 ASF AGM.
7. District squash program (Pusat Latihan Daerah or PLD) with the Ministry of Education:
This, in my view, is one of the most important initiatives by SRAM. Under the 10th Malaysia Plan, the government built new squash courts in 8 schools, each in different states. We took the opportunity to meet with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to work with them to drive a district level squash program. The PLD schools are:
|Perlis||SK Seri Indera|
|Negeri Sembilan||SMK Seri Pagi, Senawang|
|Penang||SMK Dato’ Haji Ahmad Badawi|
|Pahang||SMK TPP Tengku Muhammad, Kuantan|
|Sarawak||SK Jalan Bintang, Miri|
|Terengganu||SMK Bukit Nenas, Setiu|
|Kedah||SMK Tunku Ismail, Sungei Petani|
|Perak||SMK Jelapang Jaya, Ipoh|
This program is sponsored by the CIMB Foundation and En. Shahril Shahidan was appointed to work with Major S. Maniam to oversee the development program. The first inter-PLD was held on 21 October 2017 at SMK Seri Pagi, Senawang with participation from about 200 school children. As a result of this program, squash has been elevated to SPTS (Sukan Prestasi Tinggi Sekolah) in the MoE. This program is set to be expanded in 2018 with more PLD schools and an expanded budget, under En. Nik Razeen’s leadership and will complement the RSNJC program to unearth new talents.
8. Ong Beng Hee and Major Maniam:
Mr. Peter Chee(SRAM: VP 2014 – 2017, ManCom 2009 – 2011, GM 2007) and I worked to bring Beng Hee and Major S.Maniam into SRAM in 2015.
Beng Hee retired from professional squash in July 2015 as our most capped male player. SRAM with support from MSN, Podium and YR1M, offered Beng Hee a contract and he joined SRAM as an elite coach.
He is now working in Qatar as the head coach and we wish him the very best as he makes his mark as an elite coach.
Major S. Maniam started as one of our top national players and transitioned successfully into coaching. He served as SRAM’s Head Coach from 1986 to 2002 before going to India as their consultant in 2002. With support from MSN, he is now back at SRAM, serving both as the Director of Coaching and Director of SRAM. He is recognised for his competency at both ASF and WSF and I am personally very proud and honoured to have been able to work with him and have him back in Malaysia.
Our development work includes squash programmes at grass roots, junior development, schools and universities. Many of these programmes are collaborative in nature involving state affiliates, state and federal ministries and sponsors.
The increased emphasis on development started with En. Nik Razeen and I last year and it includes a revision in our budget to reflect the new emphasis and an expansion of the existing programs such as PLD, SDF, coaches and the appointment of Mr. Lawrence Kwan (former national player) as the National Development Officer. It is the way forward in our blueprint to raise squash in Malaysia to a new level. We like to thank CIMB Foundation for supporting our effort and providing an improved grant for 2018.
This is my final project. One that I started in 2017. At the time of writing this foreword, the nominations for SRAM have closed with no challenges to the succession plan. I will like to thank our members for giving the team who will be led by En. Nik Razeen(moves from DP to President), the mandate and opportunity at leadership.
The incoming ManCom will have younger members such as former top national squash players Dr. Patrick Gurubathan and Mr. Gerard Monteiro (moves from VP to DP). YAM Tunku Zain Abidin who after serving 4 years in the ManCom is also now the President of SRA NS. The ManCom will also be guided by more experienced members; Mr. Andrew Muthu (also President SRA Melaka), Mr. Subramaniam Kaniappan(SRAM Vice President and also SRA Kedah Treasurer), Mr. Gabriel Teo(moves from SRAM Treasurer to SRAM Vice President), En. Ramlee Abdullah, Mr. Sim Chin Kheng(SRA Sarawak DP) and En Amran bin Chik. I will also like to welcome Mr. Alvin Chen who will be taking over from Gabriel as Treasurer.
There is no perfect time for an exit, however SRAM has committee members who are experienced, dynamic and passionate and I believe that my exit (along with that of VP Peter Chee, DP Robert Lau the year before and Mr. Christopher Brodie this year) will give our members the opportunity for new leadership, new ideas and innovation. As I stated in the beginning, I have had the opportunity to introduce my vision and plans on a yearly basis and what can be better than giving others the opportunity to do the same.
If there were a legacy for which I would like to be remembered by, it would be the level of trust and friendship that has been built during my tenure. We argue passionately but always respect the views of our fellow members as we leave emotions behind at the meeting table. Let us all lead by example, whilst showing restraint and respect.
On behalf of SRAM, I would like to thank the Olympic Council of Malaysia(OCM), Kementerian Belia dan Sukan (KBS), Majlis Sukan Negara (NSC), ISN, PODIUM, CIMB Foundation, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia & Ms Ung Su Ling, OHANA, SportExcel, Nestle (Milo), Nusmetro & Mr.Thomas Chan, red ONE Network & En. Farid Yunus(President SRA Selangor), Hendroff Holdings & Dato Seri Hadian Hashim, GS Gill, the media and all the other sponsors, donors, supporters and volunteers for their valued support and contributions.
It has been a privilege and an honour to serve the squash community. I welcome the new team and wish them the very best in their endeavour to take SRAM forward towards an even brighter future.
Majulah sukan untuk Negara!
Ar. Huang Ying How
Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia