Singapore Athletics ex-chief Tang: This is ugly and reflects badly on the leaders
Singapore Athletics to have EOGM on May 5, dissolution of management committee on the cards
National track and field body Singapore Athletics (SA) could soon have almost an entire new slate of office bearers in place, less than a year after it was elected by the organisation's affiliates.
SA president Ho Mun Cheong confirmed with The New Paper yesterday that an extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) has been called for May 5, with the agenda being the dissolution of the SA's 14-strong management committee.
TNP had reported last Tuesday that a major rift in SA management could see an EOGM called to elect new leadership.
In documents obtained by TNP, 10 SA affiliate members have signed a requisition for the calling of an EOGM, in accordance to the SA constitution.
Should the agenda come to pass, an election will be held shortly after the EOGM.
Voting will be done by its 20 affiliates and the deadline for candidates to submit their nominations is 6pm this Friday.
"The agenda is to dissolve the whole management committee, starting from the president all the way down," said Ho, who was voted in last June.
"With the existing team, there is a gridlock.
"We cannot come to a decision, so everything is stuck.
"If we dissolve the existing committee and elect a new one, I think we can move forward.
"This EOGM is not called by me, but by 10 affiliates... They want to see a new management, because they themselves can see the infighting."
When contacted, SA vice-president (competition) Loh Chan Pew declined to comment.
“We cannot come to a decision, so everything is stuck. If we dissolve the existing committee and elect a new one, I think we can move forward.”Singapore Athletics president Ho Mun Cheong
Calls made to SA's honorary secretary Alexander Louis, assistant honorary secretary Tan Ming Jen, vice-president (finance) R Rajendran, vice-president (training and selection) Dr G Balasekaran, and general manager Jaime Cheong went unanswered.
The rift in the SA management is understood to have been caused by disagreements over various issues, such as the suitability of Cheong as general manager, and alleged "unilateral actions" made by Ho.
The SA also had to dip into its reserves with national sports agency Sport Singapore (SportSG) withholding funding since July last year.
TNP understands that the withheld funding amounts to more than $600,000.
Last week, in response to queries, a SportSG spokesman said: "The budget for athletics has been approved since last year and we are currently awaiting the submission of some documents before disbursing the funds."
Former SA president Tang Weng Fei was disappointed at the turn of events, especially just four months before the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur.
"I think it's a very ugly incident and reflects badly on the leadership," the oil trader told TNP.
"I just hope the athletes won't be affected. But the way I see it, with no funding... it will be an uphill battle this August."