Football: General secretary Lee's future to be discussed later, insists Lim

Winston Lee was appointed FAS general secretary in 2008.
Winston Lee was appointed FAS general secretary in 2008.

Stabilising the staff at the embattled Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is one of the priorities of the new council's leaders, its president Lim Kia Tong has reiterated.

Lim was responding to queries about the future of general secretary Winston Lee, one of four figures in the spotlight in the run-up to the April 29 FAS election.

"This topic (of Lee's appointment) should be appropriately dealt with at the appropriate time and at the appropriate forum," the lawyer said during the round-table session with The Straits Times on Friday.

"Every staff (member's) performance will be reviewed periodically and if there is any issue in the course of the review, calibrated, calculated and considerate decisions will be made. So at this moment in time, (Winston's future) is not something that should be discussed because we are trying to stabilise the organisation.

"Our main energy, our main drive, must be concentrated on putting into place an organisation that can propel the policies that we want to embark on."

On April 20, police raided the FAS office at Jalan Besar Stadium, carting away computers and boxes of documents. Similar raids were conducted at the clubhouses of Hougang United, Tiong Bahru FC and Woodlands Wellington.

Lee, together with Bill Ng, the chairman of Hougang and Tiong Bahru FC, his wife Bonnie Wong, and former FAS president Zainudin Nordin, were arrested and have been assisting police in their investigations into the possible misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru FC and an attempt by a senior club official to obstruct an audit.

During the election campaign, Ng alleged that Lee had approached him to make a $500,000 donation to the Asean Football Federation to procure a management portal. Lee denied this, insisting it was Zainudin who had sought the donation.

The controversy left the local fraternity unhappy that such a huge amount was allowed to be given overseas when the domestic scene is bereft of funds.

Lee was appointed general secretary in 2008, succeeding Steven Yeo as the man in charge of the FAS' day-to-day running.

When pressed for a specific timeline when Lee's future would be decided, Lim replied: "The case is still under police investigation, so it is definitely not an appropriate time to do certain things that might jeopardise the investigation."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2017, with the headline 'General secretary Lee's future to be discussed later, insists Lim'. Print Edition | Subscribe