PETALING JAYA, Nov 23 – With Sarawak United supremo Datuk Posa Majais taking a tidak apa (couldn’t care less) attitude in settling overdue salaries for players and officials despite his promises, the writing is on the wall – the break up of the Golden Hornbills.
Several players have already been pinched by other teams after Sarawak United’s brilliant run in the Premier League and the Malaysia Cup despite salary issues.
In the Premier League, Sarawak United finished runners-up to gain promotion to the elite Super League next season.
Head coach E. Elavarasan did not stop at that…he guided the team to the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals despite having super league outfits Kuala Lumpur City FC, Sri Pahang and Penang FC in the group.
Salaries have not been paid up to three months. This is a surprise because the state government backing the team financially but Posa seems to have his own ways of dealing with the finance matters and only he can provide the answers.
Maybe, someone should drill into Posa that the welfare of the players takes priority, instead of just wanting a position in the FA of Malaysia (FAM) or any other association for the perks and rewards that come with it. For the record, Posa is the national Under-23 team manager.
Due to the nagging salary issues, several players are on the move. Defenders Khair Jones, Tommy Mawat Bada and Badrul Effendy are set to join neighbouring Sabah FC for the new season.
Sabah has a new head coach in Datuk Ong Kim Swee, who is beefing up the Rhinos for the new season and he sees the assets in them. Midfielder Zahril Azril Zabri, who is Selangor-born is set to return to Klang Valley outfit.
Next comes the question of whether Elavarasan and technical director B. Satiananthan will remain with Sarawak United when there are nagging issues, apart from salaries, that need to be arrested…and arrested fast if Sarawak football is to make inroads in Malaysian football.
There is no denying that Elavarasan and Satiananthan are true professionals. Just like others, the two have put pride, dignity, honour and responsibility and have played their part in the team’s progress – not forgetting they have been great motivators to the players despite the odds. True professionalism indeed but let’s not forget there is a limit to the said issues.
Sarawak United have four foreigners – Taylor Regan (Australian defender) and Lee Chang Hoon (South Korean midfielder), Nigerian hitman Uche Agba and Brazilian playmaker Sandro Mendonca.
Posa, whose brother is a deputy minister in the current state government, will have a lot to answer as the Sarawak general elections are set to be held soon.
Taking a tidak apa attitude is not the answer, promises must be fulfilied as the players and officials too have families to feed. Their welfare needs to be taken care of in this trying time when the pandemic still rages.