OCM under fire over move for constitutional changes

Question marks have been raised about a proposed review of OCM’s constitution.

The Olympic Council of Malaysia has been taken to task for lack of transparency over proposed major amendments to its constitution.

Questions are being asked about how an extensive amount of work had been done without the formation of a committee with proper terms of reference as required by the constitution.

The establishment of a task force by the Executive Board to make the changes is being disputed.

There is concern that the amendments would be unfavourable to the Executive Council, which comprises representatives of OCM members and affiliates.

It is understood the proposed amendments include reducing a member’s votes from three to one. There is also a plan to empower the board to determine membership of OCM, a move that is seen as securing votes.

Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia president Nik Razeen Daud claims there is a “less than honest and opaque agenda afoot” by OCM.

SRAM chief Nik Razeen Daud questions OCM’s constitutional review.

In a letter to EC members, dated July 10, Nik Razeen said the conduct of the task force was against the Olympic ideals of integrity, transparency, and governance.

Nik Razeen has lobbied national sporting associations to appoint an independent constitutional review committee to replace the task force, with members drawn from representatives of OCM members and affiliates.

He questioned the selection of members of the constitutional review task force under OCM deputy president Azim Mohd Zabidi. “Who decided on the selection of the members and what was the brief given to them?” he asked.

Nik Razeen said when he sought clarification from Azim, he was told the task force had not met since its formation and that little or no work had been done.

“I told him the task force was limited in what it could do as it was formed by the executive board and not by the executive council,” he said.

The task force has no authority to either draft or propose constitutional amendments, he added.

Nik Razeen said Azim was surprised when he cited Clause 15.2.6 that empowered the EC to form committees, and Clause 17.1.5 that authorised it to set the terms of reference.

“I advised him the task force could only recommend the setting up of the committee and its terms of reference to the EB that would then present it to the EC for approval,” he said.

Following his conversation with Azim, Nik Razeen said he received, anonymously and separately, two complete sets of the proposal to amend the constitution.

He said the documents included a 73-page slide presentation on the “New” Constitution, describing the changes. “Imagine my surprise at receiving these documents, having been told that little or no work on the new constitution had been done,” he said.

He said OCM chief operating officer, Michelle Chai, confirmed that the documents were genuine and had been prepared “to save time and as a basis of discussion by the task force going forward”.

“With the discovery of these documents and the reading of clauses 15.2.6 and 17.1.5, I believe stern action needs to be taken,” he said.

Nik Razeen enclosed a proposal to set up the constitutional review committee with his letter, requesting EC members’ support for him to present it at the executive council meeting on Saturday.

He said the function of the panel was to conduct a review of the constitution and to determine if any amendments were required.

The EC should appoint the chairperson of the committee who must be its member or affiliate, he said.

Nik Razeen added the committee head should not be the OCM president, deputy president, vice president, secretary general or treasurer.

Azim could not be reached for comment.

The task force members are Azim, Dr SS Cheema (chairman of OCM’s medical and anti-doping committee), Jadadish Chandra (vice-president, Malaysian Hockey Confederation and OCM legal committee head), Melvin Chia (president of the Malaysian Snooker and Billiards Federation), Lesley Lim (Dragon Boat athlete and lawyer) and former OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja’afar (adviser).