Vice charge stuns sports fraternity

Adam Kamis lost his right arm in a bike accident in 2003 which also left his left arm paralysed. But in 2008, he became the first person with his disability to finish the Vertical Marathon.
Adam Kamis lost his right arm in a bike accident in 2003 which also left his left arm paralysed. But in 2008, he became the first person with his disability to finish the Vertical Marathon.ST FILE PHOTO

Adam Kamis' inclusion in Asean Para Games in doubt after prostitution-related charge

The sports fraternity here has reacted with surprise at news that one of its star para-athletes has been charged with vice-related activities.

A big question mark now hangs over Adam Kamis' participation in December's Asean Para Games. The 36-year-old runner had been pencilled in to compete in track and field events at the National Stadium but it is unclear if the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) will allow him to race.

Adam was charged on Thursday with one count of procuring an 18-year-old woman for the purpose of prostitution within Singapore some time between late October and early November last year. If convicted, he faces up to five years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) president Teo-Koh Sock Miang confirmed Adam was part of the 19-strong contingent for athletics but that his status for the Dec 3-9 Games was in doubt.

She told The Straits Times yesterday: "The SNPC will have to meet to decide if Adam will continue to be part of the contingent in December. It depends on the outcome of his case. At the moment, the SDSC cannot say more as we've only heard about this today."

A former marine engineer, Adam lost his right arm in a motorbike accident in 2003 which also left his left arm paralysed. But in 2008, he became the first person with his disability to complete the Vertical Marathon, leading the SDSC to invite him to represent Singapore in various international competitions.

He went on to win gold in the men's 1,500m at the Asean Para Games in Kuala Lumpur in 2009 and also competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

He is also a motivational speaker.

In court on Thursday, he asked for bail, explaining that being in remand was physically difficult for him as he depended on his mother and wife to help him with basic needs. "I'm requesting bail, just so I can go out to relieve myself. I promise to come straight back to the lock-up after that," he said, according to The New Paper.

District Judge Eddy Tham rejected this, telling him he would have to depend on police officers to attend to his basic needs.

Endurance runner Shariff Abdullah, 46, who has known Adam since 2009 and occasionally trains with him, was stunned when he heardthe news yesterday morning. Mr Shariff said: "I haven't seen him in a few months, but I couldn't believe it was Adam. It's very sad news."

•Additional reporting by Zhaki Abdullah

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2015, with the headline 'Vice charge stuns sports fraternity'. Print Edition | Subscribe