TMJ’s first day as FAM president: Five key points

New Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan had a busy first day in office, chairing a brief executive committee meeting, speaking to the press, meeting the fans and of course, sounding his intentions loud and clear. Here’s five key areas he addressed… 

A system check and reboot

Malaysian football needs a systemic change and now that they have one man who looks capable of doing so, FAM and football in the country can expect a hard reset.

That is of course if the same people who picked Tunku Ismail as their leader cooperate.

I want to reduce the staff in FAM. I only need people who can contribute and to take care of the money is my priority. I don’t like to waste. I will put mostly my people in place.

Tunku Ismail will step on toes and he even made his intentions clear by stating his desire to make FAM a leaner body.

The national body has almost 120 staff under its payroll and spent RM14.4 million on salaries in 2016. Almost RM6.5 million of it were for administration staff.

“I have to study what money we have. My priority is taking care of the budget and I am going to be transparent about it … what money we have and where it is being channelled to,” said Tunku Ismail.

“I want to reduce the staff in FAM. I only need people who can contribute and to take care of the money is my priority. I don’t like to waste. I will put mostly my people in place.

“The disciplinary board, international committee, treasury and also integrity are the important things in FAM I need to look into. I am very hands on and want to know what is happening.

“Everyone will have to follow my momentum and pace. I like to work fast. I am very determined and a young man who like to get things done. Everyone will have to work.

New coaching line-up

OKS will now take charge of the under-22s instead

The Mario Gomez appointment as Malaysia coach was expected after TMJ repeatedly expressed his belief that Malaysia needed foreign expertise in their coaching set-up.

Yet Tunku Ismail also had another shock in store when he named Ong Kim Swee, who was seconds earlier sacked as Tigers coach, in charge of Malaysia under-22 at the SEA Games.

I think for now I need to have a different team. I don't see that we (Bernhardt and I) can work together. He has a different ideology and way of dealing with things

“Gomez can pick his assistants but I will monitor the performance to see if there is an improvement. If things are not up to mark we have to change. We have to look at the budget too.

“I think for now I need to have a different team. I don't see that we (Bernhardt and I) can work together. He has a different ideology and way of dealing with things.”

The Crown Prince of Johor also indicated the manner in which he would run FAM after he skipped past the formalities in making the announcement.

“Gomez will start this week. They will agree with me,” when asked if he still needed the executive committee’s endorsement.

“Since you people put me here, I think everyone has to respect my decision and what I am going to do. Therefore give me the space to do what I think could improve our football in the short time. On the long term, I believe we still need more foreign coaches because we need to learn as much as we can.”

Hamidin and FMLLP are safe … for now

TMJ had a busy first day as FAM's president

A major talking point going into Saturday’s Congress was the fate of FAM general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin.

He was running the show in FAM and was said to have a hold on the affiliates. It is also an open secret that he is the ‘Kingmaker’ in the national body.

For now Hamidin remains general-secretary. If he is not up to mark then I am sorry Hamidin

Some had expected to Tunku Ismail to name a new general-secretary, yet Hamidin survived the cull but he will be under observation, claimed the new president.

“The one that needs to work is the president. The one that needs to make sure everyone does their job is the president too,” said Tunku Ismail.

“For now Hamidin remains general-secretary. If he is not up to mark then I am sorry Hamidin. We have an understanding. It is important that everyone understands my principles and policies.”

Tunku Ismail also reserved comments about the future of Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), an arm set up by FAM to help deal with commercialisation and club licensing but is yet to yield much results.

“I am going to be chairman of the board. I am going to check things thoroughly first. We will see what can be improved to fulfil their duty and responsibility. I'll be blunt and transparent by updating the people.”