ASSOCIATIONS need not fear for newly appointed sports commissioner Ahmad Shapawi Ismail will not be carrying a big stick.What Ahmad Shapawi, whose appointment was announced in a statement issued by the sports ministry, vows to do is work closely with associations.
Their opinion, and that of the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), will be sought before the Sports Development Act (1997) is amended.
"I am honoured by this appointment and I would like to thank the sports minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) for having faith in me," said Ahmad Shapawi, 50.
Ahmad Shapawi assumes the sports commissioner's post just several months after being appointed the chief executive officer of the National Sports Institute (NSI). Datuk Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz reassumes the NSI post.
Associations won't find it difficult to work with Ahmad Shapawi as he was the National Sports Council's (NSC) high performance director prior to his NSI appointment.
"I have worked closely with the national associations since joining the NSC in 1988.
"I am also confident that I will be able to fulfil my responsibilities as the sports commissioner as I was involved when the Sports Development Act was first drafted.
"I have, from time to time, helped the previous commissioners and I know the Act well.
"However, I would like to stress that my approach will be one of assisting associations as I do not want to just be regulating.
"I want to work closely with the associations and OCM and all suggestions will be considered in the amendment of the Sports Development Act," added Ahmad Shapawi.
For Dr Ramlan, his return to the NSI completes a roller-coaster several months which saw him appointed special adviser to former Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek after the London Olympics last August.
Dr Ramlan, also a former NSC director general, thanked Khairy for his trust and faith.
"I would also like to thank him for appreciating the vital role that sports science, medicine and technology play in athletes' achievement of optimum performance and attaining success.
"There is much work to be done and many things to look into. The cooperation of my colleagues at NSI and other agencies such as the NSC is most essential," said Dr Ramlan.