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Published: Friday March 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday April 24, 2013 MYT 2:14:22 PM

The people's response

What do we do with article 88?

Mohd Wazir Barmawi, 33, bank executive, Selangor and Malaysian supporter

“I think the gag order imposed under FAM’s Article 88 deprives a person of his freedom of speech. If we look at Datuk K. Rajagopal’s statement, he was pointing out a problem. It seems that FAM prefers to discuss problems instead of finding solutions. The national coach is definitely the right person to comment on his team and the M-League.”

Fazal Azwandi Abu Bakar, 30, executive

“Article 88 is a draconian law and is not relevant anymore. FAM should be open to criticism. If they can’t handle the heat they should leave the kitchen. FAM needs a revamp and it should be from top to bottom. The bigwigs who have been on the job have not done anything to improve our football standards.”

Elroi Yee, 30, TV director

“I personally feel that FAM is run by an incompetent bunch of people. If they can’t handle a simple constructive criticism how are they going to improve the standard of our football. If they have the guts, they should just sack the national coach and pay him compensation instead of abusing their power under the Article 88.

Hussein Shaharuddin, 33, photographer

“I find it ridiculous for a person to be punished for being honest. What Rajagopal said was a fact. Can FAM say otherwise in this issue? Even FIFA accepts and responds to criticism but FAM just hushes people up.”

Awang Mahyan (former Sarawak coach)

“Why do people get worked up when someone tells the truth? This is all part and parcel of the modern game and we should be more open-minded in accepting criticisms. I think FAM is going overboard by shutting the mouth of coaches and officials. What they should be doing is to improve the game and not kill it.

Sidhatrtha (local Brazil fan)

“It is a fair comment. What was said was in the best interest of the game. We do not have good strikers and that is a fact. In fact, everyone knows it by just looking at our poor FIFA rankings and dismal showings at international matches. The truth hurts and by penalising the coach we are not going to move forward.”

Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad (Malaysian Hockey Confederation vice-president)

Every association has a way of dealing with such matters but they do not allow discussions on policy matters. We, in hockey, have such a ruling. But we allow coaches to comment on team matters that are relevant and positive in nature. Of course, when you criticise you have to make sure the rules are followed and know what you are saying. Procedures have to be followed to raising sensitive matters. At times this may seem harsh but it is to avoid anyone running down the association without any proof or using the platform to create mischief.

Rao Rallapilli (businessman)

A coach should have more say than the president or management team because he knows more about the game. A coach is answerable to the fans. I feel that our coaches deserve to say more. Unlike the EPL, our coaches hardly speak out. I think it’s time that FAM is run by sportsman or sportswoman and not be totally dependant on politicians and royalty. Probably then, the whole scenario in Malaysian sport will change.

Datuk Naim Mohamad (MNCF deputy president)

A coach must bring up their grouses through the proper channel. But then again, if the coach has proposed something to rectify the matter, only for the association not to do anything about it, then it would be fair for to coach to air his views.

Fadzli Failul Rahman (entrepreneur)

It is an unofficial gag order. Archaic law. The association’s self-esteem cannot be too low to not accept any criticism, not even from the coach. It is a bad thing if they want to see the sport move forward.

Ali Azis (managing director)

There is no logic behind the rule (Article 88). If the coach cannot comment on his own team, how can we rectify the weaknesses? The rule should be scrapped if we want to see football rise again in the country.

Holloway Cheah (national bowling coach)

In the West, coaches can say whatever they want and not get punished for it. Over here it is different. But it is also how you bring up the matter. If I’m not happy with certain things, I will talk to the association first, rather than the media. If the team is not performing well, I will blame myself first before pointing fingers at others.

Related Stories: Many irked by FAM decision to haul up Rajagopal over his post-match comment FAM going overboard, say former coach and officials

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