Malik is SA's new exec director

MALIK ALJUNIED
MALIK ALJUNIED

He aims to professionalise secretariat, help athletes & also boost SEA Games contingent

Malik Aljunied's first day as Singapore Athletics' (SA) new executive director is on July 1, but the former national hurdler is already in a rush to leave his mark.

The association's current vice-president (training and selection), he was elected during last October's annual general meeting but will relinquish the role once he joins the secretariat as a full-time staff member.

There are 11 individuals who have met the qualifying mark for this year's SEA Games - based on the third-placed result at the 2017 edition - but he wants to have a much bigger team in the Philippines.

Another 11 athletes are within 2 per cent of the criterion, a further 13 are within 4 per cent and an additional 12 within 5 per cent.

Singapore won two gold, two silver and four bronze medals at the last Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Malik, 51, who has been chairing bi-monthly engagement sessions with national athletes, their coaches and parents, said: "We're pushing hard for the last two groups. It'll be one of the biggest contingents we send to the SEA Games, but it requires support from all stakeholders."

Bringing all parties together is one of Malik's strengths, noted SA president Tang Weng Fei.

He said: "Malik has been involved with athletics for a very long time.

"As a former hurdler, coach and sports administrator, he has held important roles within our fraternity and understands our aspirations.

"I am happy that he has yet again accepted the calling to lead SA as its executive director. I am confident that he will help us - the athletes, coaches, officials, fans and the entire athletics community, to aim higher, faster and further."

HELPING HAND

Each athlete's needs are different... Our job is to help them as best as we can.

MALIK ALJUNIED, on how providing support to athletes will be key in his new role.

Malik's stint with SA will be his second. He was with the then-Singapore Amateur Athletic Association's coaching and development department from 1996 to 1997.

He also served as head of department (co-curricular programme) at Raffles Institution and was most recently with Sport Singapore as its deputy director of character and leadership development under the CoachSG scheme. He joins the Singapore National Olympic Council on July 1 and will be seconded to SA immediately for three years.

His duties will include those of SA's previous general manager Yip Ren Kai, who left in March, although Malik is keen to expand on the work of his predecessor.

Yip joined SA in February last year, when it was plagued by infighting.

Asked what his key priorities are, Malik said: "Professionalise the secretariat and optimise service standards to serve our two most important stakeholders: athletes and coaches.

"Each athlete's needs are different. It could be funding, NS (national service)... Our job is to help them as best as we can."

He has a team of nine staff and is looking to hire a high-performance manager while also streamlining the roles and responsibilities of the secretariat.

Former national swimmer Ang Peng Siong, SA's current honorary secretary, will take over Malik's duties as vice-president.

Eric Song, currently the assistant honorary secretary, will step up as honorary secretary.

The MC member position vacated by Malik will be filled by veteran sports administrator Ho Mun Wai, who will be co-opted from July 1.

These changes will be in place until the next election for office bearers next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2019, with the headline 'Malik is SA's new exec director'. Print Edition | Subscribe