I have no intention of standing for elections Mr. Minister, if that is what your reaction to this piece will get. All I ask for is the truth and accountability as there are eagles out there who intend to devour the RM10 million your Ministry will spend on football. Let us not be taken for a ride, for I know that the prophet is never believed on his own land, but do we want to be continued to be colonised?
My apology to readers for failing to post with regards to my interview with the right honourable Sports Minister Datuk Shabery Cheek the other day on the Everton FC tie up. Now that the dust has settled, somewhat lukewarm reception from the main stream media, I am intrigued by what has been posted by fellow blogger Jaiho on this issue.
Together with two journalists from the mainstream media, I had the privilage of meeting up with the Sports Minister at the Bukit Kiara Club on Monday. I must go on record to say that this was only the second time I have cross swords with the Minister since his appointment as Sports Minister.
Right from the onset I could sense that he was reserved in his answers as he had met us before taking to the court and was already told that we intended to ask him about the tie up with Everton FC.
The Minister's initial reaction:
"I met with officials from Everton FC and we are working on a proposal. There are some technical matters and I have briefed the FAM President who is receptive of the idea. All parties, KBS, FAM and the Education Ministry will form a committee to look into this plan and I am impressed with what I saw there with regards to developing football."
The Minister was then asked on the attachment of the Under 23 players and what this so-called development initiative with Everton had to do with it.
"It will be part of the deal, our players will join the reserves team in everton FC. Let's not talk about adaptability, not getting nasi lemak and so forth."
Next came the question with regards to what the tie up will cost to the Malaysian public, and this is where the Minister started getting defesive especially when told there were several similiar proposals this decade.
When I raised the question that there had been proposal in the past provided to both the Ministry and the NSC, the Minister denied any knowledge of it.
But NSC Director General Dato Zolpkles Embong who was seated on the floor intervened and said, " yes we received a proposal a few years ago from a former athlete but we did not have the money then. Now it is different as we have the money."
And that is when I offered the Minister info on the past proposals as I made it clear that I was not against the idea but merely wanting him to be careful of people who were about to cash in on the situation. This was the Minister's rebuke.
"I know what I am doing. Just because some of you are against it, shall I drop the whole idea? If this is the case then why should I bother. You know I went to London at my own expense, not utilising government money."
When I replied that "good for you" for flying to London at his own expense, little did I expect him to continue harping on the issue. It came about when I asked the Minister wat the deal was worth and was it true that attachment of our Under 23 was inclusive of the deal.
"We were invited to Everton and held discussions with them. And there are other offers too and it has nothing to do with CYC. We are negotiating the figure. The asking price is around 1.3 million pounds per yer but that is not finalised yet.
When told that past proposal were much lower then what had been quoted, the Minister once again went on the defensive.
"That maybe the case in the past, I do not know. What were the proposals, I am not aware of them and really if you feel that it is not a good idea, shall I drop it just because you are questioning it. You people are against it right from the begining."
I clarified that it was die to the fact that he maybe taken for a ride and that he should open up the old files to see if the deal was marked up, the Minister would have none of it, not even when told that copies of past proposals could be made available to him for comparision purposes.
"I will do what I need to and no I do not intend to take any copies from you."
When asked what were the other clubs/teams that opened their doors, once again the Minister refused to reveal details and walked off.
Note: The proposal above, the cover copy is worth RM2.9 million per year and the Minister is welcomed to view the copy, should he want to act in the interests of the people.