Letter: Leadership transition smooth, insists acting chief of Singapore Taekwondo Federation

Acting Singapore Taekwondo Federation chief David Koh wrote a statement to The Straits Times on Oct 30, 2018, headlined "No trouble at all. Everything under control".
Acting Singapore Taekwondo Federation chief David Koh wrote a statement to The Straits Times on Oct 30, 2018, headlined "No trouble at all. Everything under control".PHOTO: SINGAPORE TAEKWONDO FEDERATION

We refer to 'Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) resignations are sign of trouble' by Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng (The Straits Times, Oct 30, 2018).

As a voting member under Xavier Sports Taekwondo, an affiliate of STF, Daniel Tay should know better that the STF is not a ship. It is an institution which is robust enough to weather any storm and emerge stronger.

The STF website article on the resignation of Mr Milan Kwee as STF President is a true reflection of the situation. Mr Kwee left on his own accord for reasons stated by him. Although he had been toying with the idea for quite some time, it might seem quite sudden to a lot of people who were not in the circle.

Mr Kwee qualified himself at the STF Annual General Meeting on 29 September 2018 when he announced his resignation that he was still a taekwondo member who loved the organization and would not let it be destroyed. He is still with us.

The Management members who left with him are generally brought in by him to assist him. One of them frankly pointed out that she had to leave because she was there to support Mr Kwee. So when Mr Kwee left, she felt that it was meaningless for her to remain. Some others, who wanted to leave much earlier but was held back by Mr Kwee, have offered their services to STF on an ad hoc basis. STF will continue to have their support.

Guided by STF Constitution, we have put in place a new Management Committee under my leadership. We will hold the fort till June 2019 when we will have our next AGM. The transition from Mr Kwee to me was arguably smooth and there was not much administrative and operational hiccup.

Let me assure the taekwondo community that as the new captain, I am fully aware of the situation and has sound judgement. Why not? I am grateful that the 162 STF-affiliated clubs are still with us and our service delivery to them has not been disrupted in any way.

We strongly agree with Sport Singapore Chief Executive Lim Teck Yin that STF must be athlete-centered as STF is fully aware that its only soft spot is its high performance program. The Management will form a sub-committee to explore ways to enhance the standard and the welfare of our athletes so that they can bring honour to Singapore.

The other areas - protection of personal data, accuracy of financial reporting and safety matters - mentioned by Daniel Tay are in place and are not an issue. For better understanding of our position, we invite readers to visit STF website and read the articles under the headings 'Responses to serious allegations by Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng', 'STF's response to another unfounded allegation by Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng on his social media' and 'Daniel Tay Xiong Sheng's accusations proved baseless. SportsSG clears STF of any safety lapses.'

David Koh

Acting President

Singapore Taekwondo Federation