Independent FAS election candidates: We are not yes men
Independent election candidates say they will support ideas which are good but they are not yes men
They will not oppose ideas for the sake of it, but they will not serve as yes men to whichever slate of candidates that wins the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election this Saturday.
That was the promise made by independent candidates Sebastian Tan and James Lim during a 90-minute dialogue session at the Cafe Football at The Arena in Woodleigh yesterday evening.
Lim, 52, said: "We are not the opposition... if it's a good (idea)we will support and we will help to make it come true."
Tan, 43, added: "Whichever team wins, we will work with them. We can't deny that both teams have good ideas, if those ideas that I perceive to be good for the interest of football, of course I will lend my full support."
However, both the candidates said they will not hesitate to ask the hard questions if elected, regardless of the winning team.
"I don't have any baggage, I am not beholden to anyone... I am not keen on (playing) politics and I am not swayed by promises," said Tan, a public servant.
Lim, a general manager at an educational training institute, said his recent history, in lobbying against the merger of Woodlands Wellington and Hougang United, has proves that he is willing to speak out for what he believes is right.
Both Lim and Tan are among 14 men vying for six council positions at the landmark FAS election on Saturday at the Singapore Sports Hub.
This will take place after the affiliates choose between two teams of nine candidates to form the majority of the new FAS Council.
We are not the opposition... if it’s a good (idea) we will support and we will help to make it come true. Independent candidate Sebastian Tan
Team LKT are led by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, while the other, the Game Changers, are led by Hougang United and Tiong Bahru Football Club (TBFC) chairman Bill Ng.
While some of the candidates for the six council positions, such as Yakob Hashim and Shahri Rahim, have aligned themselves to either team, Lim and Tan have not done so.
And, while the fiasco surrounding TBFC's $500,000 donation to the Asean Football Federation, via the FAS, continues to rage on, both men steered clear of the topic last night.
Instead, they spoke of their visions for improvement for Singapore football.
Among Tan's ideas are the implementation of better talent scouting, and holding Schools Nationals finals or National Football League games before S.League matches, in the hope of exposing more people to the top-flight league.
If elected, Tan will make communications with stakeholders his first priority after taking office.
He said: "I want to start a conversation with the clubs and the social leagues to find out the problems.
"Whether they buy into the FAS' plans or not is up to them, but we want to reach out to them."
At the top of Lim's list of priorities is the setting up of a football taskforce and to improve the governance issues in FAS' administration of football.
He said: "We are lacking a shared vision between stakeholders at the moment... I want to table an agenda for a taskforce that includes the key stakeholders, these could be the Ministry of Education, Sport Singapore and the People's Association.
"Without MOE, we don't have the fields, without SportSG, we don't have the stadiums.
"We need to get them all together to see what is achievable in the short and middle term.
"FAS, by itself, cannot do much.
"Second, we must fix the FAS, the administration of Singapore football has to be tightened.
"You can have all the vision and dreams but, if your organisation is sick and there's a lot of gaps and lapses, nothing can happen because you don't have the machinery to deliver."
"I've had enough of bad news (in local football); football has been a beautiful game for me," added the die-hard Woodlands fan.
"Let's make (local) football beautiful again."