Singapore Taekwondo Federation resignations are sign of trouble

As a voting member of the sports association, I disagree with the views of Singapore Taekwondo Federation acting president David Koh and Sport Singapore chief executive Lim Teck Yin (There is no problem: TKD chief, Oct 17; and Put athletes first, Lim tells new STF leaders, Oct 22).

An abrupt exodus of half a management committee in any association is a seismic event which is an emergency.

It is a clear-cut indication that something internally has gone gravely wrong.

When half a ship's deck is already underwater and a newly appointed captain of the ship says "there is no problem", that in and of itself is a grave problem.

It shows that the captain clearly does not have situational awareness or sound judgment.

Mr Lim's comment, urging the new leaders of the Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) to put the interests of their athletes first, is only partly true.

Putting athletes first is important, but that should not be the top priority during such an emergency.

The most critical mission of any sports association is not just to serve a handful of selected athletes and their coaches, but also to manage the welfare and interest of all the members in the association.

The protection of the personal particulars of members, the accuracy of financial reporting and safety matters must be managed professionally.

When there are lapses, individuals responsible for them must be taken to task.

Otherwise, a repeat of the same lapse may be inevitable.

Good governance, sound management and full accountability to all stakeholders must be the foundation to make any sports organisation stable, strong and successful.

Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'Singapore Taekwondo Federation resignations are sign of trouble'. Print Edition | Subscribe