• singapore athletics
singapore athletics
Petition against Singapore Athletics Association
  • December 7th, 2009

The question is would you sign the petition against Singapore Athletics Association (SAA at www.singaporeathletics.org.sg) if given the opportunity? Please vote below.

Would you sign the petition against "Singapore Athletics Association"

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If you don’t see any changes to the page, comments or poll results, well it’s because the page is being cached, meaning it’s updated every 12 hours (Needed due to heavy web traffic). The poll allows ONLY one I.P. per vote, so yes there’s no cheating or manipulation to the poll results. I also review the poll logs for any discrepancies. To my knowledge the poll is true and correct at its current form.

Update on 6th December

Another farce in the selection process by SAA over the decision to send local sprinter Md. Jamal Amirudin and Poh Seng Song for the 100m men’s SEA Games slot.

Hardly professional, more a farce

by Leonard Thomas of Today

THE flame of the 25th SEA Games will be lit on Wednesday at the National Stadium in Vientiane, Laos, but 48 hours before the first-time hosts officially open what they hope will be a showpiece to dazzle their regional neighbours, Singapore still does not know if it will have representatives in the men’s 100m race.

It beggars belief.

The decision-makers at the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) met last week for two hours apparently, but could not come to a decision whether to send Poh Seng Song and Muhd Amirudin for the race, which will be held on Dec 13.

They will make a final ruling any day now.

The race is six days away, and Poh and Amirudin continue to be in the dark.

Surely this calls into question the professionalism of the SAA.

The delay in naming sprinters, if any, can also be construed as a lack of respect by the national sports association for an event that always receives top billing at any multi-sports Games where track and field is on the programme.

Poh, 26, and Amirudin, 22, clocked 10.49 seconds and 10.52s in the semi-finals at the Asean University Games in Kuala Lumpur last December to go under the SEA Games qualifying mark by 0.02s. It was a personal best for Poh.

Strangely, both runners have not come close to those times since, and it is this lack of consistency that is troubling the SAA.

Fair enough.

But the delay in giving them the final nod is even more troubling.

Poh and Amirudin may feel aggrieved because by all accounts they have qualified on merit, but there is a strong case to be made for both sprinters to be left out of the 100m list.

As Singapore targets success at the Asian level and also eyes Olympic medals, I have said on more than one occasion that the SEA Games these days must be used as a stepping stone for greater achievement.

On that basis, the duo have failed to show any sort of progress that merits their participation in the individual race at the Games.

Just hours after their semi-final that same day in Kuala Lumpur, Poh could only clock 10.68s while Amirudin posted a time of 10.76s in the final.

Over the course of the year, Poh has returned times of 10.82s, 10.83s and 10.85s, respectively. Last week at the Singapore Open, he clocked a pedestrian 10.75s in the semi-finals and failed to make the final.

Amirudin has run 10.94s, 10.82s and 10.70s in various meets this year.

Last week, he was also slow in the semi-final, freezing the electronic timer at 10.78s to miss the final.

Both runners anxiously await the SAA decision.

If they do go, I just wish they were given more time to psyche themselves up for the race. I also wish the national sports association were more professional in their decision-making process for a race that is a spectacle at any Games.

Right now, the selection process is a farce.

Read More »

Update on 2nd December

This is not the first civil suit that has been lodged against SAA. This time it’s Luan Wei, former China born athlete who brought in to compete under Singapore colors.

Former shot-putter Luan Wei’s civil suit against SAA gets underway

by Low Lin Fhoong of ChannelNewsAsia

After four years, former shot-putter Luan Wei’s civil suit against the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) finally got underway in court on Tuesday.

Luan Wei and thrower E Xiaoxu were recruited in 1999 by what was then known as the Singapore Amateur Athletic Association under the country’s foreign sports talent scheme.

But they were dropped in 2004 after the national track and field body claimed the two athletes’ performances were not up to mark.

The SAA were sued by the duo in the High Court for unfair dismissal in 2005, but proceedings stalled after they could not raise money for security for costs, which is a deposit required if a foreigner takes a Singaporean entity or individual to court.

Lawyer Edmond Pereira then applied for the case to be heard in the Subordinate Court, which requires less security for costs, and while E still could not raise enough money, Luan Wei successfully pooled together enough for the case to be heard.

In the opening day of hearing, Pereira and SAA’s lawyer, Giam Chin Toon (Wee Swee Teow & Co) agreed that there was an agreement between the parties to bring Liaoning-born Luan Wei to Singapore and train him, and for him to eventually represent Singapore in international competition.

The issue, according to both counsels, was with the terms of the agreement.

Now a physical education and social science student at Hunan University, Luan Wei – who was accompanied in court by his mother Zhang Ping and father Luan Da Ren – is claiming loss of earnings and expenses as a result of a breach of contract by SAA.

No amount has been indicated in the claim submitted by Pereira.

Zhang Ping told the court that her son had been recruited by SAA to train, study and compete for Singapore, and that the association had made eight promises, which included Singapore citizenship within a year, English tuition, allowance, and education in a local university.

“Before he came to Singapore, Luan Wei was training and studying in Shanghai,” she said on the witness stand. “The most crucial point of our discussion (with SAA) was that if the child was not allowed to study, we wouldn’t have come to Singapore.”

However, Giam highlighted that the promises Zhang Ping claimed the SAA gave, as listed in her affidavit, differed from the notes of the meeting, which was recorded when Luan Wei and E, as well as their parents, met the SAA in October 2004.

The defence counsel also questioned Luan Wei’s achievements.

Giam pointed out that Luan Wei had won a silver medal in a regional age group meet in Shanghai and not gold, as indicated in the former athlete’s statement.

He said Luan Wei was due to enrol in the University in Shanghai in 2001 and not 1999 as previously stated. Other points that were disputed included the remuneration promised to Luan Wei.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Read More »

Update on 25th November

Hmm there’s a report indicating that SAA have been denied monetary grants, the only national sports associations (NSAs) out of 26 that didn’t receive it.

Money in the bank for sports associations, but not for one

by Ian De Cotta of Today

More than $6 million has been set aside to help the 26 national sports associations (NSAs) prepare their athletes for next August’s Youth Olympic Games.

All except one, believed to be the Singapore Athletic Association, have received the first tranche of $50,000 each.

The second allotment of another $50,000 each has already been given to 18 NSAs, while the other eight will only receive their funds once they have spelt out their selection policies.

“The second tranche is subject to their selection policy, which we want to be open, transparent and fair,” said Teo Ser Luck, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports yesterday.

“We are still waiting for the other eight to work out their details, and this can be solved as soon as possible if the NSAs moved quickly, tomorrow if they want to.”

All 26 sports taking part in the Games will also get a youth coach, irrespective of whether their athletes qualify for the Games.

“We will fund the cost of the youth coach from now to the YOG, and after that it will be through the annual funding that the coach will stay in his sport. Even if a sport does not have an athlete in the YOG, the youth coach will be hired. It is a legacy of the YOG,” explained Teo.

The balance of the total fund (about $3.6 million) will be distributed closer to the Games.

Singapore Swimming Association secretary-general Oon Jin Gee said the additional funding is a welcome boost for his sport, in particular diving.

“It adds to the funding we already have in place to send our swimmers for overseas meets, but it definitely will help us develop swimming.”

Read More »

Update on 20th October

To complement our very poll here, I was forwarded Red Sport’s poll on “Which National Sports Association that has less-than-transparent selection policies”. The poll result indicates SAA third on the list with 46 votes so far.


Update on 17th October

Dipna Lim Prasad

It’s commendable when your achieving something all on your own. Chamkaur Singh (1500 men record) did it, so did UK Shyam (100m men record), here’s another one.

A bittersweet moment?

by Gerard Wong Sports Correspondent

Gerard Wong on why Dipna Lim-Prasad’s 100m hurdles record was more sweet than bitter.

I GUESS my colleague’s reaction on Saturday evening was to be expected.

I had filed a Sunday Times report on the new women’s national 100m hurdles record set by Dipna Lim-Prasad at the Malaysia Open.

The 18-year-old Singapore Sports School graduate had clocked 14.72sec in the final to break Eileen Chai’s record of 14.81 which was set in 2005.

But that was not what caught my colleague’s attention. “You mean she broke the record even though she finished last?” he asked.

And that, in a nutshell, is why Dipna’s milestone was a bittersweet moment for me.

Obviously, it was bitter because despite being a new national mark, it was still far behind the times of eventual winner Dedeh Erawati of Indonesia (13.34sec) and runner-up Sheena Antilano of the Philippines (13.99sec).

And I am not sure if Dedeh, the 2007 South-east Asia Games champion, and Antilano are even near their peak yet for this year’s SEA Games.

Sadly, Dipna’s new record is a reflection of how far Singapore athletic standards have plummeted since the glory days of the 1970s, the main highlight of which was Chee Swee Lee’s capture of the 400m gold at the 1974 Asian Games.

Why is Singapore athletics in such a state? That’s for the Singapore Athletic Association and the local athletics community to answer.

But here’s why Dipna’s feat was also a sweet moment for me, and why I had particularly enjoyed writing about it — it marks a significant breakthrough in her development as an athlete.

You see, I’ve known Dipna since 2004. She was one of the 138 kids who joined the Sports School as its pioneer batch of students when it opened that year. I was the school’s communications manager at the time.

During my four years there, I watched her develop from a thin-as-a-rake 12-year-old into a promising runner. Yet, I always had a nagging feeling that Dipna didn’t quite have that extra bit to be more than second-best in the 400m and 400m hurdles.

She spent her first three years at the School in the shadow of Valerie Pereira, who was the best in the 200m and 400m at age-group level.

Such was the gap between them: Two years ago, Dipna, then 16, clocked 58.68sec in the 400m at the National Schools Championships to set a B Division record. But that was still 0.65sec slower than Valerie’s national U-17 mark of 58.03, set in 2005 when she was just 15.

Last year, when it seemed Dipna was catching up with Valerie, and was also showing some promise in the 400m hurdles, along came a hurricane called T. Piriyah who blew everyone away to become the nation’s new 400m and 400m hurdles queen.

The 15-year-old Sports School student caused jaws to drop at last year’s National Schools Championships with her times of 57.11sec in the 400m and 63.86sec in the 400m hurdles. The former shattered Valerie’s national U-17 mark. The latter obliterated Dipna’s schools B Division record of 66.99sec.

All this left me wondering whether Dipna would ever become a national athlete to watch in her own right, or whether she would end up playing second fiddle to the Piriyahs and the Valeries, a strong relay runner at best.

Then came her breakthrough this year, thanks to a shrewd Georgian called Viatchelsav Vassiliev.

The Sports School sprints and hurdles coach, a former Soviet Union athlete, decided that her lanky 1.75m-tall frame and base speed of 12.6sec in the 100m (which compares favourably to Chee Swee Lee’s 12.5sec at her peak) made her more suitable for the 100m hurdles.

So he switched her. It was a masterstroke.

Since clocking 15.8sec at the start of the year, Dipna has gone on to break the national junior record four times. And now she’s the new owner of the 100m hurdles national record.

But Vassiliev thinks Dipna can go even faster. In fact, he has set her the target of meeting the qualifying mark of 14.14secs for next year’s IAAF World Junior Championships.

Wow, it’s enough to make you giddy with excitement.

However, this was the sweetest twist in the tale for me: Dipna wasn’t even supposed to go to the Malaysian Open in the first place.

According to my sources, the SAA had originally picked her in for the meet. However it dropped her later after deciding to send only SEA Games-bound athletes.

Dipna was devastated. In the end, the Sports School told the SAA that it would pay for her trip to Kuala Lumpur and participation in the meet. And Dipna went on to repay the School’s faith in her in the best way possible.

I know I will enjoy tracking Dipna’s progress from now on and I do hope she qualifies for the World Juniors next year. For that would, in turn, make her one of the top hurdlers in our region and a possible medalist at the 2011 SEA Games.

Most of all, I am just happy that she has finally found her niche event, which has now enabled her to emerge as an exciting prospect to watch.

Bittersweet moment? Definitely more sweet than bitter, I say.

Read More »

Update on 30th September

SAA’s 21 affiliate will have to break ranks if they want changes. They are:

  1. Athletics Officials Association
  2. Club HDB
  3. Flash Athletic Club
  4. Institute of Technical Education Sports Council
  5. MacRitchie Runners 25
  6. National Technological University
  7. National University of Singapore
  8. Ngee Ann Polytechnic
  9. NTUC Sports Club
  10. Police Sports Association
  11. Prisons Sports & Recreation Club
  12. Red Hawk Sports Club
  13. SIA Sports Club
  14. Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association
  15. Singapore Masters Athletics
  16. Singapore Polytechnic
  17. Singapore Press Holdings
  18. Singapore Schools Sports Council
  19. Swift Athletes Association
  20. Temasek Polytechnic
  21. Wings Athletic Club

Stand up and be counted

by Low Lin Fhoong

THE Singapore Sports Council (SSC) are currently working directly with the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) over an audit of the national sports association’s (NSA) books.

The SSC and the track and field body were at an impasse, after a number of delays over the audit date. When the SSC finally set the deadline of Oct 1 for the audit, the SAA insisted they needed more time and referred the matter to their lawyers.

This is the latest in a number of controversies that have hit SAA over the last few years. The NSA have yet to receive government funding for the current financial year after their late submission of training and development plans.

Recently, a group of more than 100 submitted a petition urging the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and the SSC to intervene, as they had lost faith in the association’s management, citing the lack of planning for overseas competitions, absence of coaching and technical expertise and unclear selection policies.

Loh Lin Kok, the SAA president, has been defiant through it all, refusing to heed the many calls for him to step down.

The SAA’s annual general meeting (AGM) is scheduled for the second quarter of 2010, and the critics are hoping Loh will be challenged for the top post.

Rumblings of discontent

Today polled former and current officials, coaches, athletes and parents for their opinion and the general feeling is that the 21 SAA affiliates (see table) who vote in the election have to take matters into their own hands to bring about change – and oust the current committee, led by Loh.

Former sprinter Canagasabai Kunalan, 67, did not mince his words when he told Today: “The affiliates are also responsible for the state of athletics today and they need to ask themselves if it is time for a change.”

Added the 1966 Asian Games silver 100m medallist: “Everyone has a role to play, and the management committee is also responsible. As for the petition, the association should address it 100 per cent and not shift blame. They have built a wall around themselves, and a moat around it.”

From 1959 to 1981, Singapore won 40 gold medals in athletics at the SEAP and Sea Games.

Loh, 62, became SAA president in 1982 and, save for a two-year break between 2004 and 2006, has ruled the sport with an iron fist.

From 1983 to 2007, Singapore won 15 golds in track and field at the SEA Games, eight of which came from hammer and discus-thrower James Wong.

Lawyer Loh has survived a number of challenges to his presidency during his 25-year iron rule of the sport, including two attempts by fellow legal eagle Edmond Pereira (1983 and 2000) and former deputy Steven Lee (2002 and 2006).

The majority of the association’s affiliates are the ones responsible for voting in virtually the same management committee year-in, year-out, despite the chronic lack of success.

Flash Athletic Club president Pereira has felt the brunt of the affiliates’ loyalty to Loh twice. In 2000, he launched an extensive campaign against Loh, which included an open letter to The Straits Times urging affiliates to vote for change.

It fell on deaf ears. He lost the vote 42-19.

The former sprinter feels it is time the SAA management committee needs to be overhauled.

“In any respectable organisation, if they see things are not organised, they will do the honourable thing and step aside,” said Pereira, 59. “They (the affiliates) are responsible for putting in the present committee and they are responsible for their own fracas. Athletics has been in a pathetic state for years, what have they done for track and field besides enjoying the perks?”

Change comes from within

Loh himself has welcomed anyone to challenge him, as long as they follow the democratic process at the AGM.

Former national sprinter U K Shyam, who has held the 100m record since 2001 with his time of 10.37sec, stressed that change has to come from within.

“If you look at the history of disputes with athletes like Haron Mundir, Muhamad Hosni, James Wong, the Chinese throwers, myself and the 4x100m relay uproar, you would be lying to deny that you have a problem on your hands,” said the 33-year-old. “There are obvious signs that basic problems need to be addressed, whether it is sitting down to talk with the parties or infusing new blood.”

Asian Athletic Association secretary-treasurer Maurice Nicholas, who is the SAA’s chairman of international affairs, called for cooperation.

“There should be dialogue and these groups should try to come in and work together, contribute and try to change things,” said the man whose ties with the sport go back to the ’50s. “Change must come from within, not outside.”

Read More »

Update on 30th September

Possible replacement for the might-be-outgoing SAA President Loh Lin Kok.

Three men and an NSA

by Low Lin Fhoong

Today throws up a trio of former athletes who could fire up athletics as president

The Former President

Tang Weng Fei, 55

Director, Ramtron Marine Services

The former hurdler was hand-picked by Loh Lin Kok to take over the helm in 2004, but left after just one two-year term.

Asian Athletic Association secretary-treasurer Maurice Nicholas backs his return, and former national sprint champion Canagasabai Kunalan agrees.

“He’s a successful businessman and knows the way the association works,” said Kunalan.

But he warned that the future president faces a tough task.

“We’re likely to host the 2013 SEA Games, and they had better be in a position to bring in medals then,” he said.

Tang, whose resume includes a two-year stint as chairman of S-League club Woodlands Wellington (2002-2004), stressed he’s not keen on a comeback.

“I am not inclined to run at this point in time as I’m busy with my business due to the volatility of oil prices.”

National sprinter Amanda Choo remembers Tang well. “I was new to the national team then … the 4x100m relay team were trying to qualify for the 2005 SEA Games for the first time and he was very supportive,” said Choo, who was part of the quartet that set the current national relay record (46.98sec) two years ago.

“He would come down to training, talk to the athletes and he gave us all a lot of support.”

The Businessman

Richard Seow, 47

Chairman, Parkway Holdings Limited

He has had a varied career in banking and finance, chalking up over 16 years with the likes of Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan. Seow has been chairman of Parkway Holdings since July 2005, and heads the Anglo-Chinese School Board of Governors. He is deputy chairman of the Republic Polytechnic, and a council member of the Singapore Sports Council.

The first Singapore schoolboy to clock a sub-11 second time for the 100m in 1978 (10.9), Seow’s sprinting career ended prematurely following stress fractures on both shins.

Some say his business acumen and passion for sports will stand him in good stead at SAA’s helm.

“We need someone who thinks outside the box, and he has a passion for athletics,” said Tang.

“The job takes a lot sacrifices and you need someone who is his own boss. An employee will not have time to manage an NSA (national sports association) effectively.”

The Long Shot

Canagasabai Kunalan, 67

Assistant professor of physical education and sports science, National Institute of Education

The 1966 Asian Games 100m silver medallist is remembered fondly both for his achievements and humility. He won three gold medals (100m, 200m 4x400m) at the 1969 SEAP Games in Rangoon.

At the Mexico Olympics in 1968, he clocked 10.38sec for the 100m, a national record that stood for 33 years. He was named Sportsman of the Year in 1968 and 1969 and has groomed and inspired many a young runner in his heyday as a teacher.

Read More »

Update on 29th September

A reader slams our very own NSAs when 36 per cent of NSAs missing from crucial annual meeting on funding. And guess who is among the 23 absent NSAs … you guessed it, SAA.

An unsporting lack of concern

Letter from M Lukshumayeh

I REFER to the “New plan to obtain funds” (Sept 24), which reported that the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) “in a bid to continue to streamline management practices … kickstarted their Annual National Sports Association Grant Exercise for the fiscal year 2010 with a dialogue session” held on Sept 23.

This dialogue session, chaired by the SSC chief executive officer Oon Jin Teck, was an important meeting. It focused on the need for National Sports Associations (NSAs) to adopt multi-year, long-term planning, the development of sports pathways and the need for professionalism in the administration and development of their respective sports.

Yet though there are a total of 64 NSAs in Singapore, only 41 were represented. The 23 absent NSAs constitute 36 per cent of NSAs here. This seems to be an alarmingly large number of absentees for an important meeting.

According to the report, the SSC chief had told the attending NSAs “every member of the fraternity – whether big or small – should strengthen themselves and emerge stronger, ever professional players. Only then will sports in Singapore thrive”.

So, how can Singapore sports thrive if 36 per cent of NSAs, who are the main stakeholders of their respective sports, absent themselves from such important meetings? Surely they are doing their sport an injustice with their absence?

Read More »

Update on 25th September

SAA was absent at an important funding meeting for the NSAs.

New plan to obtain funds

by Tan Yo-Hinn

FOR the current fiscal year, a total of $58.8 million in direct and indirect grants have been set aside by the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) for the 64 National Sports Associations (NSA) – an increase of 24 per cent over the same period last year.

However, not all NSAs have been able to tap into the funds due to financial and management issues.

In a bid to continue to streamline management practices, the SSC kick-started their Annual National Sports Association Grant Exercise (Ange) for the fiscal year 2010 with a dialogue session yesterday.

SSC chief executive officer Oon Jin Teik chaired the two-hour long session which was attended by 41 NSAs.

In his speech, Oon said: “Sporting success takes years to build and will require multi-year plans. Multi-year planning must become a baseline requirement for all NSAs if they are to achieve sustained competitive excellence at world and Olympic events in the short, medium and long term.

“NSAs which develop multi-year plans will also have greater certainty and predictability when it comes to grants that they receive from the SSC.”

The session focused on the need for NSAs to adopt multi-year, long-term planning, the development of sports pathways and the need for professionalism in the administration and development of their respective sports.

A copy of the Multi-Year Sports Performance Plan Guidelines was handed out to each NSA, who have until Dec 31 – two months later than last year – to submit their budgets for the next fiscal year.

For the current fiscal year, 20 NSAs have received more funding, with 37 seeing a cut and seven with no change.

Last year, the Singapore Silat Federation saw funding frozen by the SSC until their finances were sorted out. The Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) – who were not at yesterday’s session – have yet to receive SSC funds after they failed to meet submission deadlines for their training and development programme.

“Everything we do is connected,” said Oon. “It is impossible to have a succession of athletes, coaches and officials, without a quality base to choose from … Every member of the fraternity – whether big or small – should strengthen themselves and emerge stronger, ever-professional players. Only then will sports in Singapore thrive.”

Singapore Swimming Association president Jeffrey Leow believes the multi-year planning model is the way to go.

“It’s trying to get NSAs to be run like a corporation, instead of thinking in simple money in, money out terms,” he said. “This model will encourage NSAs to plan and anticipate all kinds of scenarios.”

While welcoming SSC’s move, SingaporeBowling president Jessie Phua felt NSAs also needed assurances.

“Just as the SSC asks of the NSAs, the NSAs also need to know what’s the bottom line,” she said. “Knowing how much funding is available will help NSAs plan and move forward with more confidence, instead of holding their breath.

“For example, if NSAs show concrete plans for the next three, five years, then the SSC could also help by committing in-principal a certain amount. It takes two hands to clap.”

Read More »

Update on 22nd September

An old news, but still a concern. Not just local athletes are up in arms over SAA management, but their foreign imports too.

Sacked thrower demands payment from SAA

by Low Lin Fhoong

A CHINA-BORN shot-putter who was dismissed five years ago is claiming damages from the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA).

Luan Wei, 26, who was recruited by the SAA under the foreign sports talent scheme in 1999, was dropped by the national sports association in 2004 after they claimed his performances were poor.

Now, Luan Wei is going to the Subordinate Courts to claim loss of earnings and expenses arising from the SAA’s breach of contract.

No amount has been indicated in the statement of claim, but Luan Wei’s lawyer, Edmond Pereira, said civil claims pegged at $250,000 or less are heard in the Subordinate Courts.

The case is likely to be heard in November, added the lawyer.

“Luan Wei and his mother want to right the grave wrong that was done to him … he was doing well in China and was going to a sports school in Shanghai,” Pereira told Today.

“No doubt about it, we have a strong case, and strong witnesses. The truth will be told.” The SAA are contesting the suit.

Aided by contributions from family, friends and sympathisers, the thrower has raised the $45,000 required as security for costs for the trial, and is expected to return to Singapore in two months’ time.

The sum is a deposit if a foreigner decides to take a Singaporean entity or person to court.

Court documents show that Luan Wei was forced to vacate his accommodation and seek alternative employment as a sales assistant after the termination of his contract.

In 2005, Luan Wei and another China-born athlete, E Xiaoxu, sued the SAA (formerly known as the Singapore Amateur Athletic Association) in the High Court for unfair dismissal.

They claimed that the association had reneged on promises made, including education, training and food arrangements, allowances and a chance of gaining Singapore citizenship.

The trial stalled after they could not raise the money for the security for costs.

Pereira subsequently applied for the case to be moved to the Subordinate Courts, which requires a low payment for security for costs.

Read More »

Update on 20th September

Hear SAA side of their story. What do you think?

Athletics body opens up

by Low Lin Fhoong

HE matter may be in the hands of their lawyers, but the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) are determined to clear the air on their disagreement with the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) over a routine audit check.

“We’ve received various calls from people asking why we’re not open to the audit, and we need to clear the air,” said SAA CEO Steven Yeo on Friday.

“We’ve always been agreeable to the audit, on a mutually agreeable date, and we will always honour our part of the NSA (national sports association) agreement.”

The disagreement came to light last week, after Today reported that both parties had reached a standoff over a check on the association’s compliance of financial regulations.

According to the SSC, they had informed the SAA on July 16 of their intention to conduct the audit check within a month, but the date was postponed several times. The SAA eventually asked for the audit to be delayed till Oct 24, but the SSC said last week that they would not agree to a further extension.

The claim was disputed by Yeo, who said SSC’s director of audit, Marcus Quek, had agreed in an email exchange dated Aug 21 to postpone the audit till end October.

Earlier this week, the SSC communicated a new audit date of Oct 1 to SAA’s lawyers. The association have left it to their lawyers to decide on the next course of action. Yeo, who joined the SAA on July 1, stressed that there was good reason for their request for the postponement.

“This postponement would not have been necessary if SSC had paid our dues from the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008 on time and the secretariat did not have to spend the better part of July and August settling the claims,” he said.

“There are two very important activities which we have been preoccupied with: Recovering the marathon dues and SSC’s indefinite suspension of grants for the financial year.

“The secretariat had to do extensive review of its corporate plans (due to the suspension) and reprioritise our work.”

The SAA have had their government funding of approximately $900,000 withheld since July after missing submission deadlines for training and development plans.

Read More »

Update on 18th September

A new article on the audit update of SAA by SSC. By the way I’ve reopened the poll.

SSC issue SAA audit date of Oct 1

by Low Lin Fhoong

AFTER nearly a month of back and forth, the Singapore Sports Council (SSC) confirmed yesterday that they have informed the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) of their intention to conduct an audit of the national sports association’s books on Oct 1.

In a statement, Alvin Hang, SSC’s director of corporate communications and relations, said: “The SSC have notified the SAA on Sept 14, 2009, that SSC will be conducting the audit on Oct 1, 2009.”

SSC began conducting audits of national sports associations (NSAs) in 2007 and Today reported last week that both parties had reached an impasse over the routine check of SAA’s compliance with financial regulations.

Read More »

Update on 17th September

More responses by readers, here’s a compilation below.

Change must come from within

by WW

I would like to propose the followings to Mr. Loh-1) Change the SAA’s Constitution (2 Terms for President) to groom Successor. 2) Transparent on the Development Plan for Coaches and Athletes. 3)Improve on the Planning, Admin and Finance-No more late submission of Budget and last minutes cancellation of meets. President and Mgt Comm are responsible for the Budget and Budgetary Control. Don’t forget that SAA is using Taxpayers’ money. 4) Engagement and Communication with Stakeholders. Don’t sit in the Ivory Tower. 5) Be Professional – no personal agenda – SAA needs Leadership and Professionalism. Lastly, has a heart for Athletes. No Athletes, No SAA. Blessed

by YTLee

Time and again, SAA have shot themselves in the foot. How can the sport progress if the chief surrounds himself with yesmen and stooges. Genuine and interested parties can never succeed to put things right if they could hardly be able to get a foot into the Association. All office bearers would have been pre-selected prior to any elections at the AGM.

by Elcee

When confronted by the petition of no confidence from his own fraternity, all Loh Lin Kok could say was he has connections with overseas bodies like IAAF, adding the petitioners can achieve “nothing”. I think he needs to be reminded that his primary responsibility is to Singapore athletics. It is irrelevent who he consorts with outside when he can’t get his own house in order. In fact, the IAAF should be informed of what a good job he’s done here for the last two decades. I’m sure they will drop him like a hot potato the moment a new team is elected to helm Singapore athletics. I’m afraid the writing’s on the wall for Loh and his entire team.

by Emman

Why must the SAA remove Coach Loh Chan Pew when the SEA Games is only 6 months away and cause the breakup of the Ladies Relay quartet? The team broke the long standing National record. Surely, team performance is a measure of the coach’s capabilities and not just some Cat 5 coaching certificate.

by Elke

It is not surprising how much controvesy surrounds track and field. Even as we discuss it over and over again, there is no doubt in my mind that young athletes are being pushed beyond the capabilities of their tender years by ambitious coaches. You can do that in China where there’s always a thosand more waiting in the wings. But, here, we are lucky if even one of these young athletes survive in the scene into their adulthood. There has to be monitoring of such unhealthy attitude or track and field will continue to suffer.

by Thomas Tan Lau Keng

Enough is enough. For how long more does track and field need to suffer in Singapore? Can someone please help the sport survive and lead a team to take on Loh Lin Kok and team at the next AGM. The affiliates need to wake up. And I cannot imagine why they continue to support a team which is clearly devoid of ideas. Surely the affiliates have the sport at heart. Or do they?

Turmoil at the Athletic Association

by ywy

let’s face it…. the principal can only provide the necessary infrastructure for the teachers (coaches) and students (athletes), the rest is up to them. if the principal has provided training and upgrading opportunities for the teachers and engage the students in enrichment classes in addition to the basic education (training) program, then he has done what he could. If the qualified teacher cannot produce the results year after year after year, the problem can only be on either the teacher or the students…. instead of admitting their weakness, the teachers now wants to put the blame on the principal… no wonder they cannot and in my opinion, will never produce any decent results. i think the mistake of the principal is to continue to relay on the same teachers…. on a similar note, can we blame the PM and his team for not being able to bring the singapore birth rates up.. for the last 20 yrs?!?!

by Concerned Reader

because the society is changing and definitely this association and this sport cannot keep staying the same as before. and it is not fair to dismiss us as Not hardworking and Unpassionate about our sports. if we are what you mention,this petition issue will not surface,because we simply won’t care. and what’s with the “local talents”(the use of inverted commas) ? Frankly, in track and field, we see the most True Blue Singaporeans ~our own talents. Also, it is the responsibilty of an association to carry out its duties and prepare athletes well enough. If you want glory for the country, it takes 2 hands to clap. //it is not the lack of results, it is the lack of Good preparation. If an athlete is physically ready for his competition, he may not be mentally assured by the management because of the uncertainty and ‘lack of interest’ attitude it potrays which in turn brings down the whole morale i suppose.

by ywy

using an analogy to describe the situation – seems that we have a case where students did badly for their exams and then both teachers and students write a petition against the principal and board members…. how come the coaches themselves, who fails to produce good athletes to win medals, complains against the management for lack of results?!?!?!

by Mariann Maes

Just less than 20 years ago, our athletes were hardworking , passionate, and surely not spoiled unlike the sort of “local talents” we’ve painstakingly churned out these days. There were no such things as stipends, income compensation, etc, and definitely no prior notice of the travel arrangements till the 11th hour! We are breeding spoilt brats. Of course parents would endorse such a petition.

Enough is enough, sports council tells athletics body

by Jezreel

I smell a big scandal coming….

Update on 12th September

Looks like the petition support is gaining momentum. The poll indicates more than 300 votes has been casted and 289 of those voted they would sign the petition. More support once again in the form of Today sports editor who posted his view on the SAA saga. He entails challenges lies ahead for the new management if they managed to oust the incumbent SAA members.

Change must come from within

by Leonard Thomas

LOH Lin Kok is right about one thing: Those in track and field here who feel that the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) are moving in the wrong direction should galvanise the base and challenge the management committee to come up with answers.

Or bring together a credible group and challenge the incumbent team led by Loh for leadership at the next annual general meeting in March.

The petition sent to the Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports urging him to clean house at the much-maligned sports association comes as no surprise.

National athletes are unhappy over the association’s selection process for the December SEA Games in Laos. The Government froze funding after the SAA missed the deadline to submit their budget plans, prompting their chief executive officer to resign.

Medals have slowed to a trickle where once the country’s track and field programme unearthed athletes of Asian calibre. Some say Loh has run out of ideas on how to revive track and field.

In 1973, when Singapore first hosted the SEAP Games – now the SEA Games – the Republic’s track and field athletes won six gold medals.

Loh, 62, assumed the presidency of the association in 1982 from A W Kirby.

In 1983, the SEA Games returned to Singapore and K Jayamani’s women’s marathon gold was the only time the Majulah Singapura was heard at the National Stadium.

Read More »

Update on 12th September

The responses to Mr Pavan Jeev Singh letter at the ST forum (Problem not with SAA but with athletes who lack drive) has struck a nerve with the readers it seems. The responses seems to rebuke that the athlete are at fault.

Posted by alternateview

To me it is very obvious that Loh must make way for new blood and new ideas. SAA has not progress since Kunalan and Chee Swee Lee. We have wasted 30 years and it is time to catch up with the rest of the other nations. Loh is just power hungry full stop.

Posted by artemide37

I guess Mr Pavan Jeev Singh is a good friend of SAA, thus quick to defence and point fingers. I always believe in leadership, which is obviously lacking in SAA; the dire result speaks for itself.

Dear Mr Loh, time to move on. I honour all that you have contributed over the past 3 decades.

Posted by kiacarens04

Being a former school athlete in the late 80s and early 90s, I was and am still very passionate about track and field. I follow athletics very closely at the Olympic, world and regional level as much as I can. But our local track and field is such a disappointment! Except for James Wong, we are just crap, making a fool of ourselves in regional as well as other international meets. Track and field is definitely not our forte now. Is there any athlete who is household name? Does the majority of S’pore know any of our current athletes? A big NO! Why? Simply because there are NO results at all! Pathetic! We are wasting taxpayer’s money on athletes. Lin Kok has to go for this rot to stop. Get in passionate people, passionate about athletics. Revamp the whole system. New blood, fresh ideas, effective systems and most of all, RESULTS!! Loh Lin Kok has to go, period!

Posted by Twocentsworth123

In any big commercial corporation, if the CEO is not bringing in the results after some period of time, he has to start packing his bags. Shouldn’t the top guy is SAA start packing his bag now instead of shamelessly giving lousy excuses. SAA stop wasting taxpayers money and show some results.

Posted by perry0164

30 years being paid for doing nothing. This is ridiculous and unecceptable.

The question are:

1. Who decided to keep him that long?

2. Are they going to keep him for another 30 years?

Posted by kampongkid

Hello Mr Singh! Who exactly are you, huh? Who are you to pass such comments about the athletes??? Do you know the athletes real well? You said that you’ve been following the controversy; did you also follow those athletes on their ‘holiday trip’???

If indeed those athletes had went on a holiday instead of a serious training trip as you’ve claimed, then who should be held responsible for such kind of attitudes??? Who is not doing his job???

BTW, why did you look at the performances of our football team ONLY when there’re so many great achievements by our other national teams such as swimming, sailing or bowling??? Hmm………no wonder, 30 yrs under the same president with no great result to show and you’re still singing praises for the president! Haha! Amazing indeed!!!

You also mentioned that – “The problem lies with athletes in Singapore, not the SAA management. Athletes here are not hungry for success……” – then I’d like to ask, why are schools able to produce some outstanding young athletes during their school years??? Obviously the problem doesn’t lie with sg athletes but it’s with the association which manages them!!!

My son who is sports lover likes running a lot besides other games. However, I told him that participating in any other sports is fine but it’s definitely a “NO! NO!” for running. I discouraged him to take up athletics in school for the simple reason that there’s no hope and no future in this sport in sg.

Almost 3 decades!!! In 20 over years, many other sports have already produced so many medals / results and so many outstanding athletes have come and gone. Yet athletics in sg has nothing much to show under this same president for sooo…….long, and he’s still sitting in that same seat like a ‘tua pek kong’!!! Untouchable??? Definitely something must be seriously wrong!!!

When athletes didn’t perform to expectations, coaches gave them the boot! And when coaches failed to achieve their targets, sports presidents gave them the sack! What about the presidents themselves? If the Ministry can’t interfere, then in this case, athletics will definitely remain in its pathetic state for as long as no one dares to touch this ‘tua pek kong!!! Oh! And pls don’t tell me that presidents are elected at the AGMs. Who are those ppl who sit in on that kind of meetings??? Ppl like Mr Singh, I suppose???

Posted by MarBohTan

“”Almost 3 decades!!!…………………..Yet athletics in Sg has nothing much to show under this same president for sooo……long,””

“” ‘tua pek kong’, Untouchable “”

LOL !!!, “si beh jialat leh”, like that sure got no hope one lah !!!.

Posted by kampongkid in response to MarBohTan

bao no hope la!!! This tua pek kong is so damn tua gong, nei!!! Almost 30 yrs liao and he’s still untouchable, irremovable and irreplaceable. That‘s why athletics in sg is sibeh sibeh jialat liao; as good as liao liao!!!

Posted by grandfather

Simply put, if petitioners could get the support from the majority of SAA members, they can pass a vote of “no confidence” on Mr Loh L K. The way forward is through an open and transparent process according to the rules and regulations enshrined in SAA constitution.

In fact Loh L K had been thus challenged a few times previously. He got the endorsement of the majority of SAA members each time.

Would our National athletes have performed better under a new administration? My guess is as good as anyone’s.

Let us not delude ourselves that we have the wherewithal to produce world champions under existing circumstances.

Let me explain:

Most parents want their kids to achieve academic excellence. Their kids should devote much more time studying than playing. Present day school kids are up to their neck with worksheets, assignments, homework, tuition, supplementary and remedial classes etc.

After school hours are not time to relax, play and recreate. Cloistered in their HDB flats, kids while away their time playing computer games, watch TV, chat online, surf the Internet, smsing their friends etc.

Most parents are too busy to spend time with their children and foist their responsibility onto the maids, care givers, grandparents etc.

In schools across Singapore, kids are ushered into packed school halls to read, the moment they set foot in the school. Play? Run? Skip? Jump? Climb ? Wasteful activities lah!

Why do you think we have so many overweight kids? Why do we have a special PT programme to ensure the obese recruits are whipped into some semblance of acceptable fitness for their BMT?

Coaches engaged by schools to train the kids for CCA know better not to be too harsh on their trainees lest the over-protective parents scream blue murder!

Professional coaches hired to whip our National Sportsmen/Women into shape for regional and international competitions know how difficult it is to talent-scout for potential world beaters given the abysmally tiny pool of raw talent available.

I can go on to list all the factors which militate against us producing world class sportsmen/women but would that ever make an iota of difference to the mindset of most parents, educators etc?

Let me say in all fairness that there are young Singaporeans who aspire to excellence in the sporting arena. They are the rare breed who have the single-mindedness, the dedication, the tenacity and steel-like resolve to overcome all obstacles to mount the winners’ rostrum.

Update on 12th September

More responses to the first letter sent to ST Forum by Teu Koon Kiat regarding the petition – Petition against Singapore Athletic Association overdue

Posted by: grandfather

Simply put, if petitioners could get the support from the majority of SAA members, they can pass a vote of “no confidence” on Mr Loh L K. The way forward is through an open and transparent process according to the rules and regulations enshrined in SAA constitution.

In fact Loh L K had been thus challenged a few times previously. He got the endorsement of the majority of SAA members each time.

Would our National athletes have performed better under a new administration? My guess is as good as anyone’s.

Let us not delude ourselves that we have the wherewithal to produce world champions under existing circumstances.

Let me explain:

Most parents want their kids to achieve academic excellence. Their kids should devote much more time studying than playing. Present day school kids are up to their neck with worksheets, assignments, homework, tuition, supplementary and remedial classes etc.

After school hours are not time to relax, play and recreate. Cloistered in their HDB flats, kids while away their time playing computer games, watch TV, chat online, surf the Internet, smsing their friends etc.

Most parents are too busy to spend time with their children and foist their responsibility onto the maids, care givers, grandparents etc.

In schools across Singapore, kids are ushered into packed school halls to read, the moment they set foot in the school. Play? Run? Skip? Jump? Climb ? Wasteful activities lah!

Why do you think we have so many overweight kids? Why do we have a special PT programme to ensure the obese recruits are whipped into some semblance of acceptable fitness for their BMT?

Coaches engaged by schools to train the kids for CCA know better not to be too harsh on their trainees lest the over-protective parents scream blue murder!

Professional coaches hired to whip our National Sportsmen/Women into shape for regional and international competitions know how difficult it is to talent-scout for potential world beaters given the abysmally tiny pool of raw talent available.

I can go on to list all the factors which militate against us producing world class sportsmen/women but would that ever make an iota of difference to the mindset of most parents, educators etc?

Let me say in all fairness that there are young Singaporeans who aspire to excellence in the sporting arena. They are the rare breed who have the single-mindedness, the dedication, the tenacity and steel-like resolve to overcome all obstacles to mount the winners’ rostrum.

Posted by: creativesti14

MYCS will never want to get involved in such issues. Just look at STTA, I dont think they are really better off now then before, but they are just lucky they have a pool of chinese players. Its just a waste of time to have all these old man or woman chairing the sports association, who speaks more than they do. MYCS should just limited chairing of sports association to perhaps 4 years, sufficient for a go at one olympic game, so the association can renew itself and improve. Even Ministers gets rotated to different Ministries.

Update on 11th September

A Mr Pavan Jeev Singh wrote in to the Straits Times Forum in favor and support of SAA, instead for the petition. Read his letter in full extract below.

Problem not with SAA but with athletes who lack drive

I HAVE been following the controversy surrounding the Singapore Athletic Association (“Athletics body should take stock – and care for the fraternity”, yesterday; “Athletes petition ministry”, Sept 4).

I am told that all this started with an SMS urging for a motion of no-confidence in SAA president Loh Lin Kok.

This puzzles me. The SAA is governed by a Constitution which is supreme. The management committee is elected at an annual general meeting. Things cannot be based on the whims and fancies of petitioners. How can they wake up one morning and decide what is right and what is wrong?

If these petitioners are genuine, they should stand up and be counted and not hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

Mr Loh has been at the helm of the SAA for almost three decades. He is not only passionate but has also done lots for the association.

Mr Loh and veteran track and field official Maurice Nicholas have been raising money for the SAA since he became president of SAA in 1982.

To help develop athletes here, Mr Loh brought in the Asian Track and Field Championships in 1987 and the Asian Junior Track and Field Championships in 1988 and once again in 1999.

The SAA has sent athletes for numerous training stints overseas, including in the United States, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Japan.

Money was raised and spent on these athletes; they failed and subsequently blamed the SAA. They went on a holiday trip rather than a serious training trip.

Take football, for example. Then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said in a speech in 1998 that if France could win the World Cup using foreign-born players, Singapore should also aim to qualify using foreign talent in the 2010 World Cup.

We did not qualify. So do we sack the management committee of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for this failure? Soccer has yet to win a South-east Asian Games gold medal.

Like the FAS, Mr Loh has created opportunities for athletes to excel but they have failed.

The problem lies with athletes in Singapore, not the SAA management. Athletes here are not hungry for success, but they want everything on a golden platter. They are not focused and they do not give their best in training, and subsequently do not perform and end up blaming the association.

Coaches have been offered courses to upgrade their skills, but these coaches challenge the integrity of the management committee.

Mr Loh has a good team but I must say there is some excess baggage in his committee. He should look into the non-performing members.

I doubt if a new team can do better than Mr Loh’s. It will either be the same or worse.

We can put in as much of money as we can, but if athletes are not hungry for success, you will not see the results.

Pavan Jeev Singh

Update on 10th September

Latest update people on the petition against Singapore Athletics Association. It seems SAA has rejected SSC attempts to audit their finances. Hmm it sure does brings to mind, if SAA has nothing to hide in their closet, why deny the audit.

Enough is enough, sports council tells athletics body

by Low Lin Fhoong

THE Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) are at an impasse over a routine audit check of the association’s compliance of financial regulations.

The SSC say that the checks, originally scheduled between July 16 and Aug 16, have been delayed for close to a month following frequent requests for postponement by the association. The council would not agree to any more extensions.

Read More »

Update on 9th September

Former national athlete Teu Koon Kiat spoke out and shared his views at the Straits Times Forum, where his Petition against Singapore Athletic Association overdue forum thread had garnered plenty of responses from the readers there. Here’s a few.

Posted by: Baikinman

Loh Lin Kok should step down gracefully before MCYS takes action. After so many years at SAAA, all he has to show are the perennial dischord with athletes. When the athletes suceed, they did it despite SAAA, not thanks to SAAA.

Posted by: IamSpeaking

LLK is an ageing dinosaur who’s out of sync today.

Over the course of his iron-fisted tenure in the SAA over the past 2 decades and especially over the last decade, Singapore athletics has floundered instead of flourish.

Under him, It’s has been a case of one step forward and two steps backwards for Singapore athletics.

It’s high time for him to move on and give up the reins gracefully instead of grumpily continuing to hang on.

Posted by: rayfelice

What is the use of writting this letter Mr. Teu? Look at the table tennis story….it is all under the carpet now……

Posted by: HC027

Any obvious example of why Singapore will never amount to much in the area of sports. I don’t believe it is the issue with this country not having any talent but the truth of the matter is, we have a bunch of bureaucrats who are probably not even athletes themselves running the sports scene.

They are like a huge ball and chain holding back the best that Singapore has to offer. My suggestion: Earn enough money, take the first plane out and give your kids a chance to be the best. In Singapore, all athletes can only be mediocre at best.

Posted by: 2009lembut

Mr Teu,
Expect a sharp rebuke from Mr Loh Lin Kok after this letter is published. He will fight to his very last breath to refute your every claims.

Update on 8th September

A former national athlete supports the cause for the petition against Singapore Athletics Association and shares his sentiments and experiences via Straits Times Forum. His opinion in full extract below.

Petition against Singapore Athletic Association overdue

I REFER to last Friday’s report, ‘Athletes petition ministry’, about a purported petition signed by more than 100 coaches, athletes and parents of Singapore’s track and field fraternity to the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports, asking the ministry to step in to manage the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA).

As a former national athlete who competed in two South-east Asia Games, I find that little has changed in the scene since my retirement at the end of the 2005 season.

Some of the SAA problems mentioned in the petition, such as lack of planning and transparent selection criteria, are nothing new to athletes like us. More often than not, athletes were left guessing as to how the SAA Training and Selection Committee conducts its selection of athletes to go on overseas trips, as well as who should run in relay teams. I can also empathise with athletes on the fact that the information on the final selection of meets, as well as travel arrangements, was disseminated at short notice, leaving athletes little time to arrange leave.

I also read with dismay Mr Loh Lin Kok’s criticism of these petitioners in Saturday’s report, ‘SAA boss slams petitioners’. As SAA president, he and his management committee should ask themselves if they have fulfilled their role in bringing SAA to greater heights. Instead of labelling the petitioners ‘dangerous’ and ‘disruptive’, as Mr Loh did, the SAA management should reflect on the extent to which they have contributed to the dismal state of local athletics.

With the petition signed by about 100 parents, coaches and athletes, surely the SAA must seriously consider that the petitioners may have some legitimate causes for concern. I think the SAA would do well to focus on winning back the trust and goodwill of the fraternity it was elected to serve rather than dismiss the petitioners. Running the association, after all, is not only about close ties with the International Association of Athletic Federations or knowing international protocol. The core – the athletes, their welfare and development – should never be compromised.

Teu Koon Kiat

Update on 5th September

Someone has forwarded me related articles pertaining to Singapore Athletics Association from 2008 onwards. Read it and you be the judge.

Download: [download#467#nohits] Downloaded [download#467#hits] times

Update on 5th September

Another article by Today on the follow-up of the petition. Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports says they’ll be looking into the complaint and am taking it seriously.

No halt in youth programme, as MCYS look into SAA complaints

by Low Lin Fhoong

A day after a group petitioned the Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) to “step in to manage the SAA”, the ministry said on Friday that it would be looking into the complaints against the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA).

Speaking on the sidelines of the Singapore Youth Sports Development Committee press conference, MCYS Senior Parliamentary Secretary Teo Ser Luck said: “We do take this petition seriously … I think the fraternity has spoken and we are listening and we are looking into it.

Read More »

Update on 4th September

President of the Singapore Athletic Association Loh Lin Kok responds a day after receiving news of the petition against SAA that he heads, responded that the petitioners are “irresponsible minority”.

Extract via Channelnewsasia article

by Patwant Singh

President of the Singapore Athletic Association Loh Lin Kok, who is away in Beijing, described the petitioners as irresponsible.

Mr Loh said: “They are a small slice of the overall cake… they are an irresponsible minority. To get signatures, you have to spin a story, such stories that are shot down… (It) is irresponsible on their part to confuse, especially the younger athletes, if not the parents and coaches.”

Read More »

Update on 4th September

You might have read the papers today, and find an article regarding a petition against Singapore Athletics Association (SAA at www.singaporeathletics.org.sg). Those who signed are parents, coaches and athletes who are not satisfied with how SAA are performing their duties as the national body.

Turmoil at the Athletic Association

by Low Lin Fhoong

THE management of one of Singapore’s most storied national sports association (NSA) has come under fire from members of its own fraternity.

Today has learnt that a petition – expressing a loss of confidence in the current Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) management, which is led by president Loh Lin Kok – has garnered over 100 signatures from athletes, coaches and parents.

The confidential petition – a copy of which was obtained by Today – has been submitted to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS); Mr Teo Ser Luck, MCYS Senior Parliamentary Secretary; and Mr Oon Jin Teik, chief executive officer of the Singapore Sports Council (SSC). It called on the “MYCS to step in to manage SAA”.

Read More »

I might say I wasn’t surprised at all when the petition was raised, as our local athletics scene has always been fraught more with scandals than good news, and the tension between the community versus the association has been a long time coming, and now culminating in this petition.

Your assessment of Singapore Athletic Association (SAA)

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Here’s a few scandal and saga these few years that has made the headlines. A change is what we need, just look at the state of our local athletics, it’s in disarray.

We need to be realistic here, if the people at the association ain’t churning the ‘results’, let others take the rein. It’s as simple as that.


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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