Athletics: Ho bidding to retain SA presidency

Singapore Athletics (SA) president Ho Mun Cheong.
Singapore Athletics (SA) president Ho Mun Cheong. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Singapore Athletics (SA) president Ho Mun Cheong will bid to retain his position at Friday's extraordinary general meeting (EOGM), with six of his current team set to back him.

Yesterday was the deadline for candidates to submit their nominations for a new management committee, which will be elected at the EOGM by SA's 20 affiliates.

Ho's team of 14 - the number of seats on the SA management committee - includes vice-president Loh Chan Pew (competitions organising), cross country and road running chairman Ghana Segaran, racewalking chairman Leong Lee San, chairman of officials Joe Yap, chairman of technical and equipment Ong Choon Poh and tug of war chairman Terry Tan.

There is talk in the fraternity that vice-president (training and selection) Govindasamy Balasekaran, who was on Ho's team when they won in a landslide in the association's election last June, is leading a team to contest the presidency.

Balasekaran did not respond to a query from The Straits Times yesterday.

The call for a snap poll is believed to have been prompted by repeated disagreements over a raft of issues, causing conflict within the seven-member executive committee. The current exco comprises Ho, three vice-presidents - Balasekaran, Loh and R. Rajendran (finance) - as well as honorary secretary Alexander Charles Louis, honorary assistant secretary Tan Ming Jen and honorary treasurer Alvin Phua.

The leadership split comes barely 10 months after the last election, which was also a fractious one.

Then, Ho's team captured 12 of the 14 seats on the management committee in the second round of voting, after the first ended in a dead heat.

Ho reiterated that he is "cautiously optimistic" about the outcome of the election, but added: "May the better team win - we cannot lose sleep over it. I try not to think too much... whoever is better, let them take over.

"We hope that Singapore athletics will improve and be a force to be reckoned with, and be at least in the top three in South-east Asia."

Each of the 14 positions on the management committee, including the post of president, can be contested. Even if the incumbent is unchallenged, he must still submit his nomination form.

Nicole Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 29, 2017, with the headline 'Ho bidding to retain SA presidency'. Print Edition | Subscribe