# Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad meets interim national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee

# ‘Judge me on merit’  – Kim Swee


FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad met interim national football coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee on Tuesday – a day after the national body’s special task force met.

The task force headed by Mokhtar decided after its first meeting on Monday to advertise the position of national team coach as well as that of national Under-23 coach.

Kim Swee did not hide his desire to be the national team coach – a job which in his own words “is the dream of any coach”.

However the question of applying for the post leaves a big question mark for Kim Swee who is currently contracted to the FAM until the end of the year as the National Under-23 coach. 

From next month both parties can start negotiations on a new contract as stipulated under the contract.

Kim Swee is also free to look for a new team if the FAM is not interested in keeping him. For the record Kim Swee has been approached by several clubs and states to coach next season.

“I met Datuk Mokhtar on Tuesday on the matter. He explained the need to advertise for the post of national coach and the reasons behind the decision.

“After the meeting I understand the FAM’s predicament. I have until the end of the year as the interim coach. I have three more international matches (World Cup qualifying round matches).

“It is best for the FAM to judge me in these matches,” said Kim Swee, who took over as the interim national coach after Dollah Salleh quit the job following Malaysia’s 10-0 whitewash by United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Abu Dhabi on Aug 4.  

Malaysia face Timor Leste away on Oct 13 and will play Palestine (away) and UAE at home in November.

All the Malacca-born former international who has a string of successes under his belt as a coach at various levels, is to be judged on merit.

Why is the FAM hell bent on taking a foreign coach? Is it because of demands by certain quarters who have no faith in locals? Or do they believe that a foreign coach comes with a magic wand and could turn Malaysia into a super powerhouse in the game?

Advertising the position of national team coach is one thing but why can’t the FAM judge Kim Swee on merit and give him time to mould a team over two or three years? It must be remembered that success does not come over night and neither does it come cheap.

The 10-0 defeat in Abu Dhabi was the worst suffered by Malaysia in an international football match – which left Malaysians shell shocked. Malaysian football fans are still reeling from the disaster.

Kim Swee answered the nation’s call to step in as the interim coach after Dollah quit the hot seat. And it must be remembered that Kim Swee did bring in some respectability to Malaysian football against Saudi Arabia – just four days after taking the job until the Ultras Malaya put on their show and disrupted the game with flares, smoke bombs and firecrackers – two minutes before the end.

The score stood at 2-1 in Saudi Arabia’s favour who came back from a goal down after skipper Safiq Rahim had given Malaysia the lead in the 70th minute.

It all began when the gates were thrown open in the last few minutes of the match and hundreds made their way into the stadium.

Coming back to Kim Swee it is not wrong for FAM to give the matter a deep thought because Malaysians too can do the job if given the time and full backing from those in power.

And Kim Swee need not apply for the job. Judge him on merit FAM.

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