Wednesday, November 19, 2008

History of the Olympic Council of Malaysia

Federation of Malaya Olympic Council

Representatives of the Federation of Malaya Amateur Athletic Union and the Federation of Malaya Hockey Union held a meeting on 15th August 1953, for the purpose of forming the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council (FMOC). The meeting elected the protem office bearers of the FMOC, approved its draft constitution, and decided to seek registration of the FMOC with the Registrar of Societies of the Federation of Malaya, and to seek recognition of the International Olympic Committee, 1949, with its registered address at the Malayan Public Works Department Sports Club, Cheras Road, Kuala Lumpur.

The first meeting of FMOC was held on 24 April 1954, with four delegates from the Federation of Malaya Athletic Association and three delegates from the Federation of Malaya Hockey Union, and one observer from the Malayan
Small Bore Rifle Association. At the above meeting, the protem principal
office bearers were confirmed to hold office until the conclusion of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. The meeting also decided to invite all National Sports Associations to apply for affiliation with the Council, to participate in
the Second Asian Games to be held in Manila in May 1954 and the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games.

The FMOC received its recognition as the National Olympic Committee of the Federation of Malaya in May 1954. Membership of the Council slowly increased with the affiliation of the National Associations for Lawn Tennis, Ruby Union, Swimming and Weightlifting in 1955, the National Associations for Football and Shooting in 1956, and the National Associations for Basketball, Gymnastics and Wrestling in 1957. By 1963, the membership of the FMOC has increased to 16 with the affiliation of the National Associations for Badminton, Boxing, Cycling, Judo, Table Tennis, and Volleyball.

The objects of the FMOC at its formation in 1953 were to promote and encourage Sporting activities in the Territories of the States and Settlements in the Federation of Malaya, to act as the coordinating body for the governing Associations for the various sports in this area, to promote competitions with similar councils or Bodies in other territories and to arrange for representative teams from this area to take part in these and other International Sporting Functions and for these purposes to be affiliated to the International Olympic Committee, and to raise and administer funds for the furtherance of the above objects and International Competitions.

The membership of the FMOC is opened to all Bodies which control Amateur Sport or Sports in the Federation of Malaya. Each Body should be the Body recognised by the International Organisation controlling that particular Sport. The annual membership subscription of members is Malayan $100. Each member has two representatives in the Council with each having one vote. The FMOC shall appoint four Officers in an Honorary capacity, comprising a President, Vice President, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer, each of whom shall hold office for four years.

Major amendments to the Constitution were made on 24th March 1957. The objects of the FMOC were increased from five to ten. The annual membership subscription was reduced from $100 to $50. Biennial General Meetings were introduced and an Executive Committee was established. The tenure of Officers was reduced from four years to two years with their duties clearly
spelt out.

On 21st June 1963, the Constitution was further amended with the inclusion of Associate Membership, which is opened to Associations whose sports are not recognised or enumerated by the International Olympic Committee. Such Association Members shall have no power to vote at any meeting or to move any resolution. The Rule on the Election of Members was amended and new rules for the Expulsion or Suspension of Members was included.

Formation of Olympic Council of Malaysia

On 16 September 1963, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak joined the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia. With the above political changes, a meeting of the delegates of the Singapore Olympic and Sports Council, the Sarawak Sports and Olympic Committee and the Sabah Olympic Committee and the FMOC was held on 15 December 1963.

The meeting was chaired by the Hon. Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaya in his capacity as the President of the FMOC. He stated that the formation of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) was not designed to control or dominate any sports organisation in Malaysia and that he considered the present set up of the OCM as only a caretaker National Olympic Committee, until such time when it could be properly constituted as with Malaysian National Sports bodies as members. To this end, he said that he had been stressing to the National Sports bodies in Malaya the necessity of expanding their membership by taking in the new states and forming their respective Malaysian National sports bodies without delay.

As a follow up to the meeting of delegates of the OCM held on 15 December 1963, an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting was convened on 5th May 1964, to form the new OCM wherein representatives of Sports Bodies from the new states of Malaysia would be duly represented. The new Constitution of the OCM was approved. Basically, it was the old Constitution with a change of name from the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council to the Olympic Council of Malaysia. The number of Vice Presidents was increased from one to four, to cater for one representative from each of the three new states to be appointed as Vice Presidents. The number of delegates from each member to the Council Meeting was increased from three to five. At that meeting, the new Officers of the OCM were elected.

Thus, the OCM was formed on 5th May 1963, to replace the FMOC with the incorporation of the Olympic Council/ Committee of the new States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore. On 9th August 1964, Singapore ceased to be part of Malaysia and re-established its own National Olympic Committee.

With the above major changes, the OCM has remained very stable, with minimal changes until today. The Constitution was amended on 4th August 1971, to provide for a Chairman, in addition to the President. The function of
the Chairman is to conduct the meetings of the Executive Committee. The Vice Presidents of the OCM were changed to Vice Chairmen. On 9th November 1975, the posts of Honorary Assistant Secretary and Honorary Assistant Treasurer were established. The posts of Chairman and Vice Chairmen were abolished on 29 September 1976. A new Emblem of the OCM was designed and registered with the IOC in 1992. No major changes to the Constitution was made until 1994, when the Constitution of the OCM was again amended to bring it in line with modern days? requirements.

Until 1965, the FMOC and the OCM did not have a permanent office. The office was the home of the Honorary Secretaries and meetings were initially held in a hotel and from 1957 in the Merdeka (Independence) Stadium. In 1965, after the hosting of the III SEAP Games in Kuala Lumpur, a permanent office of the OCM was established in the Stadium Negara or National Stadium.

On 21 September 1978, the Government of Malaysia alienated a piece of land to the OCM. After ten years of planning and fund raising, construction of a nine storey building finally commenced in mid 1989 and was completed by the end of 1991. On 10 December 1991, the OCM Building was officially opened by the King of Malaysia. The office of the OCM is now located on the Mezzanine Floor of the OCM Building. The first floor of the OCM Building is occupied by the offices of some National Sports Associations affiliated to the OCM. The remaining seven floors are leased to the Grand Olympic Hotel.

An outstanding feature of the OCM is its stability and lack of competitions to hold office. This is mainly a result of the outstanding leadership qualities of the Presidents who are all persons of influence and positions. At its formation in 15th August 1953 the FMOC elected Mr. E. M. McDonald as its President. On the completion of his four year term on 24th May 1957, Mr. E. M. McDonald was replaced by the Hon. Tun H.S. Lee. At the next Biennial General Meeting on 16th July 1959, the Hon. Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein was elected the President and remained in the post until his untimely demise on 14th January 1976.

During his tenure as President of the Federation of Malaya Olympic Council and later the Olympic Council of Malaysia, the Hon. Tun Abdul Razak bin Hussein was at the same time the Deputy Prime Minister and from 1970, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Due to his very busy schedule as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Constitution of the Olympic Council of Malaysia was amended on 4th August 1971, to provide for a Chairman. The Hon. Tan Sri Hamzah bin Haji Abu Samah, who was one of the Vice Presidents of OCM was elected to be the Chairman, until he was elected President on 14th January 1976, when the post of Chairman was abolished. Hon. Tan Sri Hamzah bin Haji Abu Samah was President of OCM until 14th November 1998, when he was replaced by H.R.H.Tunku Imran. In recognition of his years of contributions to the OCM, Hon. Tan Sri Hamzah was appointed the Honorary Life President of the OCM on 14th November 1998.

Mr. M. Vasagam was elected the first Honorary Secretary of FMOC on 15th August 1953. Due to health reasons he resigned on 9th February 1961, when he was replaced by Mr. K. Aryadurai, who held the post until 13th September 1961, when he was replaced as Honorary Secretary by Mr. Thong Poh Nyen. Mr. Thong Poh Nyen remained as the Honorary Secretary of the OCM for a record 31 years, and retired on 28th November 1992, and was replaced by Mr. Sieh Kok Chi.

Sport have been practised in Malaysia for a long time. However, it was only from the middle of the last century that sports such as Football, Cricket were introduced into Malaya by British troops and British expatriate officers. Sports clubs were formed later and inter-club competitions were organised by the British as well as by the people.

It was also the colonial government who introduced sports to the schools, and Athletics, Cricket, Football, and Rugby were promoted very much by headmasters from Great Britain. The Chinese and the Indian communities, due to ties with their countries of original. also organised sports club and competitions amongst themselves.

The main sports practised then were Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, cricket, Golf, Rugby, Swimming and Water Polo, Table Tennis and Weightlifting. In 1904, an athletic association was formed in Ipoh and athletics championships were held on an inter-club basis. From 1920, the annual championships was changed to an inter-state championships. The Football Association of Malaya was formed in 1926, but was only affiliated to FIFA in 1965. The H.M.S. Malaya Cup for the champion state in Football began in 1921 and remains the premier competition today. The Malaya Cup was replaced by the Malaya Cup in 1967.

Prior to independence, the national sports associations were not affiliated to their respective international federations. However, after World War II, when Malaya was about to achieve independence, that official national sports associations were established for affiliation with their international federations. The Federation of Malaya Olympic Council was established in 1953 by the Federations of Malaya Amateur Athletic Union was recognised by the International Olympic Committee in 1954, and for the first time a truly represented national contingent from Malaya participated in the 2nd Asian Games in Manila in the same year. Since then Malaya/Malaysia has been participating in the Olympic/Asian/Commonwealth/SEA Games.

The second most popular sport in Malaysia is Badminton. Prior to independence, Badminton was played at 'Badminton parties' level which was
a form of inter-club competitions. The badminton Association of Malaya was formed in 1937. In 1949, the Badminton team from Malaya won the Thomas Cup in London, thus becoming World Champions in Badminton. The Badminton team managed to defend the Thomas Cup twice, in 1952 and 1955.