Taekwondo: STF affiliates approve at EGM interim management committee led by SNOC VP Tan Eng Liang

 The Singapore Taekwondo Federation held its extraordinary general meeting at 80 Lorong Limau, on May 19, 2019.
The Singapore Taekwondo Federation held its extraordinary general meeting at 80 Lorong Limau, on May 19, 2019.ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - A five-man interim management committee led by Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) vice-president Tan Eng Liang will take charge of the Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF).

This was confirmed at the STF's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on Sunday (May 19), when its affiliates approved the recommendation to allow the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) to appoint an interim committee to lead the national sports association.

They also approved the acceptance of World Taekwondo's (WT) directive for the current STF management committee to step aside.

Both items were on the agenda for the EGM, which took place at the STF's national training centre in Lorong Limau. Eighty-three members voted in agreement while 21 disagreed.

Acting STF president David Koh would only say after the EGM: “(Today’s result) is the best decision. Everything we do is for the benefit of the affiliates and all the members - that’s our objective.”

The interim committee also includes 1999 SEA Games taekwondo champion S Sinnathurai, SNOC secretary-general Chris Chan, Singapore Sports Institute chief Toh Boon Yi and SNOC Athletes' Commission chairman Mark Chay.

They will be supported by staff from the SNOC and national sports agency Sport Singapore.

Sinnathurai, when contacted by The Straits Times, confirmed that he would be part of the interim committee.


The 47-year-old, who is the Asia sales director for Rotronic Instruments, told ST: "The path I took was engineering and not sports, as there were not many options then to pursue a career in sports.

"I've always wanted to go back to sports, now it's good that I can come back and contribute. Sport has given me everything and it's time I do something for the good of sport."

He hopes to help in implementing good practices and good governance, as well as in the area of athlete development.

Sinnathurai, who stopped competing in 2000, added: "There should be some programme in place to help (athletes) train and compete, so I hope to work with the athletes and their parents and engage stakeholders to ensure that athletes have the right training.

"We can't produce champions overnight but, at the very least, there needs to be proper planning, and it'll be my interest to make sure that we can have proper athlete development."

Former national swimmer Chay, who was Singapore's chef de mission at last year's Commonwealth Games, hopes to improve on existing processes in the area of athlete feedback.

"(The things I would like to focus on are) open flow of information between the federation and the athletes - these include selection policies and training development plans - and having adequate and conducive training and competition environment," he said.

"Together with my previous experiences as a sports administrator and national athlete, I will take an athlete-centric approach to creating policies and making decisions for the taekwondo fraternity."

Jason Tan, 40, from STF affiliate Ignite TKD, said: "The five people in the interim committee are very reputable... Hopefully, taekwondo in Singapore can progress better and we can go back to the days where we can do our sport properly."

Also on the agenda for Sunday's EGM was giving background to the STF's preliminary suspension by WT and the SNOC.

WT had last October expressed concerns to the SNOC over the resignations of seven management committee members, and asked for the situation to be reviewed.

After the SNOC submitted its report to WT, the STF was charged on May 8 with violating the world body's rules on good governance and failure to receive recognition from the appropriate national Olympic committee.

WT said in its e-mail to acting STF president David Koh that it found "evidence of violations of the WT Code of Ethics Articles 2 (Officials) and 9 (Conflict of Interest)" by STF general manager Lim Teong Chin and his wife Wong Liang Ming, who is secretary-general of the STF.

Wong told ST last Saturday that she would be stepping down from her post while Lim resigned with immediate effect on Monday.