Athletics: Singapore Athletics election now unlikely to go ahead after U-turn by SA chief

Singapore Athletics president Ho Mun Cheong holds a press conference ahead of Friday's election, even as the subject of the Extraordinary General Meeting itself has been called unconstitutional.
Singapore Athletics president Ho Mun Cheong holds a press conference ahead of Friday's election, even as the subject of the Extraordinary General Meeting itself has been called unconstitutional.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Less than a fortnight after calling for snap polls to elect new leaders, the Singapore Athletics (SA) extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) slated for Friday (May 5) evening now seems unlikely to happen.

Speaking to members of the media on Thursday afternoon, SA president Ho Mun Cheong said he would ask the 10 affiliates who had signed a requisition for an EOGM to withdraw their request.

The about-turn comes after a consultation with, and on the advice of, Ng Ser Miang, a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Ho said they were taking the advice of Ng, who is also a Singapore National Olympic Council executive committee member.

"We had a long discussion with (Ng)," said Ho. "We gave our point of view, why we wanted to have an EOGM and wanted to start afresh.

"Mr Ng advised that it is most important that we think of the country, of the sake of track and field in Singapore, and that all this infighting is not good for the sport."

Ho emphasised that the decision to ask affiliates to withdraw their request for the EOGM was made solely after taking Ng's advice.

The about-turn was welcomed by SportSG and SNOC, who issued a joint statement, saying: "SportSG and SNOC are appreciative that the Singapore Athletics leadership had agreed to meet us. We are glad that they have agreed to find an amicable way forward."

Ho and his team had called for an EOGM to elect new leaders barely 10 months after they were elected. He said it was prompted by disagreements within the management that have made working relationship untenable.

He was slated to field a team of 14 - the number of seats on the SA management committee - that included vice-president Loh Chan Pew (competitions organising), cross-country and road running chairman Ghana Segaran, racewalking chairman Leong Lee San and chairman of officials Joe Yap.

The opposing side was led by SA vice-president Govindasamy Balasekaran (training and selection), and included members such as honorary secretary Alexander Charles Louis.