Saturday, January 09, 2010

Time to go

I marvel at Mr Loh Lin Kok, erstwhile President of the Singapore Athletics Association (SAA). But I don't envy him. It is amazing that this man is taking such an nonchalant attitude towards it woefully underachieving group of athletes under the SAA umbrella - the biggest and probably the only group that brings together the athletic fraternity in Singapore. That he has been at the helm since 1982 without being challenged is also damning of the more capable athletes who should have stepped up to the plate to dislodge a President that has presided over the steady decline of athletics over the last 28 years. It had to take a crisis, such as their failure in the just concluded SEA games in Laos, for someone to step up to the plate to challenge his almost uninterrupted reign at a key national athletics body. Only 2 golds were won, with one coming from an ageing athlete.

Personally, I thought Mr Loh should have stepped aside voluntarily ages ago, or at least made a real effort to find someone more capable than himself to take over. But his heck-care attitude, and derisive stance, even in the face of auditors findings of serious lapses in the way the Association has been run just demonstrates why athletics has slid so far. He ridicules the Singapore Sports Council (SCC) and anyone else who tries to help, and he always blames the SCC for withholding its funding, but seems to forget that this money comes from the taxpayer. He seem to imply that the SAA is entitled to this money, but I think the SCC has done right in demanding more accountability towards the use of public funds. Looking at Loh's behaviour, I, as a taxpayer, wouldn't even trust one cent of my money to his management of it in the SAA. Who cares if you have put out your own money for entertainment and the like on behalf of the SAA? SAA doesn't belong to you, Mr Loh. It is not your personal fiefdom. If Mr Loh wants to boast about his generosity and self-sacrifice, then let him really be generous - don't put those money he has spent on SAA's books. The man cannot see where he may be wrong. He doesn't know how 'shame' is spelled.

Mr Loh, it is time to call time and fade into the sunset. Otherwise, you will likely get booted out, which is already too kind a gesture for your mismanagement of athletics in Singapore.

P.S. I don't know Mr Loh personally, nor am I an athlete. Whatever views and opinion expressed here has been formed from various local media reports. I am just an interested Singaporean who is concerned about Singapore athletics.

No comments :