New office-bearers expected at SCF's annual general meeting
New team hope to win AGM; mystery over missing $25,000 remains unsolved
Singapore cycling stands on the cusp of a new era.
The sport won a gold at the 2013 SEA Games and followed it up with two credible bronze medals at the 2015 edition held here in June and, with a host of events on the local calendar catering to a growing number mounting two wheels, cycling could be the next IT sport in the Republic.
But, even as a new management committee of professionals and fraternity luminaries are assembling to stand at the Singapore Cycling Federation (SCF) Annual General Meeting (AGM) next Wednesday, a dark cloud hangs over the sport.
Sources reveal that some $25,000 from assets from the 2010 Youth Olympic Games have been allegedly disposed of, but remain unaccounted for.
That, and poor financial processes, have been the main reasons behind the absence of an AGM over the last two years.
The current management committee (MC) was elected in 2012, inheriting problems that came from before they stepped into office.
While AGMs are a requirement for National Sports Associations here, the SCF needed time to clean house, because their accounts could not pass muster with auditors.
In response to queries from The New Paper, Sport Singapore (SportSG) revealed that the SCF has been working closely with it to "address some accounting matters over the last two years, as part of an effort to ensure a smooth handover to their successors".
SportSG says the SCF is now "ready to resume the normal process of AGMs and elections."
TNP understands that all that remains for the SCF to start on a clean slate is to make a police report regarding the unaccounted for assets, which includes bike parts.
When approached by TNP, all SCF general manager Mahipal Singh would say was that "appropriate action will be taken."
But there was neither gloom nor fear when TNP met members of Jeffrey Goh's 11-man crew who will be standing for elections come Wednesday.
Indeed, the chief executive officer of NETS was forthcoming with the team's vision for the sport.
"We need to reestablish credibility in the SCF, and we've brought together a credible team to do that and to take the sport forward," said Goh, for whom safety and taking cycling to the grassroots are of vital importance.
Steven Lim, president of the Safe Cycling Task Force, is Goh's vice-president-elect for safety and education.
Lim is joined by James Kang, Singapore Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) from 2008 to 2014, and Maximilian Mager, a freelance cycling consultant who was involved in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 Asian Games.
Walton Seah, the vice-president-elect for bike trial, is the only member of the team from the incumbent MC.
He believes that there is talent here and it is important to bring big events to Singapore.
"Races and events are important to raise awareness of the public, and also for athletes," said Seah, who is a former national rider.
"We brought the SEA Games here and we showed that our cyclists can compete. And if we bring the world-class standard of events here, I'm confident that we can show we can compete."
It is understood that the current SCF management team, led by president Suhaimi Haji Said and honorary secretary Marucei Lee, will not be standing for re-election.
With various expertise in safety to event management covered in his team, Goh said: "We must engage government agencies to give us more space (for events), and for local athletes to excel but first, we must engage clubs and community - it's the same for any sport, even football.
"For that, we have to promote the message of safe cycling among youths, so parents are not afraid to put their kids on bikes, and we can increase our pool (of talent)."
THE TEAM HOPING TO LEAD SCF
President: Jeffrey Goh (Chief executive, NETS Singapore)
Hon secretary: Dr Hing Siong Chen (Family physician, Healthway Medical Group)
Assistant hon secretary: LTC (NS) Mark Ortega (Head of legal department, Ezion Holdings)
Vice-president (Road): Bastian Dohling
Vice-president (Mountain bike): Lee Yee Meng (British Petroleum)
Vice-president (BMX): Maximilian Irwan Mager (Freelance event cycling consultant)
Vice-president (Bike trial): Walton Seah
Vice-president (Leisure): Dr Kevin Lee Boon Leng (Medical director, Pinnacle Orthopaedic Group)
Vice-president (Safety and education): Steven Lim Soo Huat (President, Safe Cycling Task Force)
Hon treasurer: James Kang (Singapore Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO) from 2008-2014)
Assistant hon treasurer: Quek Wey Lon (Chartered accountant)