Asean Para Games: Thai general Osoth Bhavilai elected head of Asean Para Sports Federation

SINGAPORE - Thailand's Maj. Gen. Osoth Bhavilai was elected the new president of the Asean Para Sports Federation (APSF) for the 2016-2019 term, after winning an election held at Marina Bay Sands on Friday night.

Bhavilai, 64, who is also the Thailand National Paralympic Committee (NPC) secretary-general, garnered eight votes in a one-to-one contest against Ng Keng Chuan of Malaysia. Ng, the vice-president of the Malaysian Paralympic Council (PCM), garnered one vote.

Former President, Dato Zainal Abu Zarin, who was the federation's president for the past three terms, stepped down and did not contest the election.

Nine countries cast their votes in the election.

Osoth has been a long-time member of the board since APSF's inception in 2001, and holds a Master degree of Art. His long involvement in the Paralympic movement includes serving the Thailand contingent as its chef de mission in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.

APSF, which acts as governing body for the Paralympic movement in South-east Asia, is made up of Asean countries comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Timor Leste is a provisional member of the federation.

The four vice-presidents elected for the 2016-2019 term are Vietnam's Vu The Piet (Sports Committee) who garnered four votes, while Dr Than Than Htay of Myanmar (Medical and Sports Science Committee) picked up seven votes.

Cambodia's Yi Veasna (Development Committee) and Dr Kesone Sisongkham of Laos (Media & Marketing Committee) won uncontested.

For the treasurer's post, Thailand's Nopodol Jiraboondilok was elected after amassing 8 votes. He beat Malaysia's Dr Ang Kean Koo, who picked up one vote.

Osoth, in his first remarks as president, thanked former chief Dato Zainal for taking APSF to greater heights since its inception in 2001.

"I hope Dato Zainal, with his wealth of experience will continue to contribute and share his valuable experience with the new board."