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SAA AGM – It’s a landslide victory for Tang Weng Fei and Co.
  • June 28th, 2010

Last Friday, on 25th June 2010 was a historic turning point for local athletics.

The various Singapore Athletics Association affiliates; a majority of them all agreed that the current deplorable state of track and field in Singapore was unforgivable, and with that they decided to mark the start of changes by voting for Tang Weng Fei and Committee into power.

With that, they have put an end of Loh Lin Kok 26 year reign at the association. He was first elected President in 1982, before taking a two-year hiatus in 2004/2006, and was back as President the following year, until now. Loh with three others, decided not to contest SAA top post of President, Vice-President (Training & Selection), Vice-President (Finance) and Honorary Secretary.

Held at the RELC International Hotel, somewhere in the heart of Orchard, I sat in the back row watching in anticipation of the proceedings. Eight positions was up for grabs that night, and each time a post was contested between SAA old-guard versus Tang Weng Fei’s committee, the outcome was the same, it was an outright win in terms of votes for the latter.

SAA’s CEO Steven Yeo turned MC for the night calling out for voters within the affiliate ranks to make their votes, while up in-front the outgoing SAA President Loh Lin Kok looks sombre to me, and sitting beside him was Tang Weng Fei, the man who is set to replace him, now burdened with a heavy responsibility to get Singapore Athletics out of the rut.

Going into the AGM, I didn’t know what to expect, but as I sat down and spoke to some of the observers, I was told the chances looks good for Tang Weng Fei and Co.

In the end, for each post that was contested, Tang Weng Fei’s team have gotten no less than 35 votes. There’s 21 affiliates in total, and each affiliate is given 3 votes. So do your math … yup indeed it’s a clean-sweep.

Post for Vice-President (Competitions Organising)

Post for Honorary Assistant Secretary

Post for Statistician

Post for Women’s representative

Post for Cross country and Road Running

Post for Race Walking

Post for Officials Standing Committee

Post for Technical and Equipment

Everyone at the AGM looked civil, but of course I would love to know what goes through the minds of a couple of prolific figures present that night.

As I continued watching the event, an observer made a remark that it was a full turn-out for the first time ever based on previous SAA’s Annual General Meeting. Indeed it was, there was a shortage of chairs, and couple of people had to mull around standing.

This matter of Singapore Athletics saga has been dragged in the media for far too long for all the wrong reasons.

I would like to think despite the huge win by Tang Weng Fei and Co., I do hope the SAA old-guard wouldn’t harbor any hard feelings, and that they would still serve and contribute to Singapore athletics be it on their own accord, or whenever the Association sees fit delegating them roles in the future.

Now that the AGM is over and done with, now comes the hard part. Please don’t expect overnight success by the new committee. Let’s give them the chance, time, space and trust in whatever they’re planning.

From what I was told by sources in the committee, and I say this is just a tip of the iceberg, the plans to revive and bringing back the glory days of Singapore Athletics is promising!

Expect the athletics club scene to return, a much less attrition rate of losing young talented athletes in the future, to setting more focus on our neglected senior national athletes.

On another matter, if based on media reports are indeed true that the current SAA staff such CEO Steven Yeo, technical director C Veeramani and events/marketing director Lim Jit Kee are quitting right before the AGM, well then it’s disappointing news then.

Of course it’s their prerogative to quit, but that would implicate that they tendered their notices a month in advance quietly. That means that they knew this day would come, and they had no whatsoever faith with their then current committee to succeed.

Well is it a form of protest? Or are they trying to make a statement, but if there’s one thing for sure, they’ve lost any credibility with such a move if the reports are indeed accurate.

Yes we want changes at SAA, but we still need a certain form of continuity. In my opinion if they’re confident enough that they’ve done a good job, then they wouldn’t have been worried of being sacked. I guess they would rather quit first, dumping their job to the next person, than continuing to make any good impact.


Posted by Uncle Sha.
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