Local sports expert and historian Prof Khoo Kay Kim says Johor has shown how national football can thrive under the leadership of the royals.
PETALING JAYA: Historian and local sports expert Prof Khoo Kay Kim sees nothing wrong with members of local royalty leading football associations.
He believes this may actually be good for local sports as the monarchs have powers that can make fund-sourcing easy while ensuring those involved do their best to develop the sport or association they are involved with.
“Even during the British reign in Malaysia, they allowed the monarchs to exercise powers, especially while dealing with local problems.
“So to me there is nothing wrong with the monarchs (being involved in sports administration) if they use their influence to ensure excellence.
“They have influences that can help source funds, and the power to enhance the quality of our sports,” he told FMT.
Khoo’s comments came following a remark by Kelantan football association’s former president Annuar Musa, who recently claimed that Johor was destroying Malaysian football by overpaying its players.
Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who is the owner of the Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) team, shot back saying: “All stadiums in Johor belong to the state government and who owns the government? It is owned by DYMM Sultan Johor that has been around since 1885.
“Tan Sri, don’t be a liability to your own party. You clearly have your own interests in the party. (But) remember you are serving the rakyat.”
Khoo said although the monarchs were seen as capable of bringing change to national football, they had to assure the public of this by guaranteeing success.
He also praised TMJ over the achievements of JDT.
“Johor has shown how national football can thrive under the leadership of the royals, and this should be an example to other teams.”
Among other monarchs that had led a sporting association were Pahang’s Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was appointed as the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president back in 1984, before being replaced by his son Tengku Abdullah in 2014.