Vote for my whole team to end in-fighting: SA president Ho Mun Cheong

They were united when they won last year's Singapore Athletics election, but Ho Mun Cheong (left) and Govindasamy Balasekaran (second from right) will be on opposing sides in Friday's poll for a new management committee.
They were united when they won last year's Singapore Athletics election, but Ho Mun Cheong (left) and Govindasamy Balasekaran (second from right) will be on opposing sides in Friday's poll for a new management committee.ST FILE PHOTO

SA president hopes to avoid a split committee in Friday's polls

Singapore Athletics (SA) president Ho Mun Cheong has called on all the affiliates casting their votes this Friday to pick his entire team to avoid a repeat of the in-fighting that has plagued the sport.

Ho and his vice-president (competitions organising) Loh Chan Pew have assembled a 14-member side for the upcoming extraordinary general meeting, where the SA's 20 affiliate members will elect the association's new management committee.

Ho and Loh have been at loggerheads with their fellow executive committee members.

The other five - SA vice-presidents Govindasamy Balasekaran (training and selection) and R. Rajendran (finance), honorary secretary Alexander Charles Louis, honorary assistant secretary Tan Ming Jen and honorary treasurer Alvin Phua - have formed a breakaway team of eight.

Each of the 14 positions on the management committee, including the post of president, is contested individually.

This raises the prospect of a split management committee should the affiliates vote in candidates from the opposing camps.

It would be best to avoid such an outcome, Ho told The Straits Times yesterday.

  • SINGAPORE ATHLETICS ELECTION CANDIDATES

  • Team led by:

    Ho Mun Cheong (president)

    Tan Wei Leong (vice-president, training and selection)

    Loh Chan Pew (vice-president, competitions and organising)

    Tan Yang Nang (vice-president, finance)

    Clarence Lun (honorary secretary)

    Joseph Soh (assistant honorary secretary)

    Hoe Boon Kwee (honorary treasurer)

    C. Jeyapandiyen (statistician)

    Choo Sau Mei (women's representative)

    Ghana Segaran (chairman, cross-country & road running)

    Leong Lee San (chairman, race walking)

    Yap Choon Hoe (chairman, officials)

    Ong Choon Poh (chairman, technical and equipment)

    Terry Tan (chairman, tug of war)


    Team led by:

    Govindasamy Balasekaran(president)

    Chan Chee Wei (vice-president, training and selection)

    Ow Kok Meng (vice-president, competitions and organising)

    R. Rajandran (vice-president, finance)

    Alexander Charles Louis (honorary secretary)

    Tan Ming Jen (assistant honorary secretary)

    Alvin Phua (honorary treasurer)

    Tan Yew Ling (statistician)

The 68-year-old added: "It would be better to just vote one side, we can do things much easier. But who can tell what they (the affiliates) would vote for."

The call for a snap poll, to be held at the SpexHouse beside the former Singapore Sports Council office in Kallang, was prompted by numerous disagreements over several issues, which has caused conflict within the seven-member exco.

Balasekaran, 54, is running for the post of president. He declined to elaborate on his plans and said he would address questions regarding the election at his press conference today.

Ho will hold his press conference tomorrow. He said: "Mr Loh and myself could not work with the other five exco members and that's why we're stuck.

"We came to a grid-lock and could not move forward."

Citing the recently concluded Singapore Open as an example, Ho said that the event ran into issues with funding owing to problems within the exco.

This will be the SA's second election in barely 10 months.

Ho had led his team to a landslide victory at last June's election, capturing 12 of the 14 seats on the management committee. His predecessor, Tang Weng Fei, who served six years, had decided not to stand for election, citing the internal strife then as a key reason.

Ho said: "No matter who gets elected in, the most important thing is the passion for track and field."

"Currently the goal is to bring the standard of track and field up in Singapore. We are behind the likes of Malaysia and Vietnam in South-east Asia.

"I believe we all have track in our hearts, but the only thing different is our ideas and ways of doing things."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2017, with the headline 'Vote my whole team in to end in-fighting: Ho'. Print Edition | Subscribe