Monthly Archives: April 2010

My take on Loh Lin Kok asking Subhas Anandan to run for the SAA presidency

The report:

This report was published in yesterday’s edition of The Sunday Times. It is a follow-up to a story earlier in the week about embattled  and beleaguered Singapore Athletic Association president Loh Lin Kok asking his good friend, renowned lawyer Subhas Anandan to consider running for the presidency of the SAA in the elections in June.

Subhas is no stranger to the world of sports administration as he is the president of Cuesports Singapore. In his four years at the helm, he has slashed the $700,000 that CS owes to its creditors to $100,000. Singapore has also won several SEA and Asian Games medlas in snooker and billiard since his arrival at the helm.

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‘I won’t run against Loh, but I’m not his puppet either’

(The Sunday Times, 25 April 2010)

Subhas Anandan will not throw his hat into the ring if incumbent Loh Lin Kok decides to stand for the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) presidency again.

‘I think our friendship is much more valuable than the presidency of the SAA,’ said Anandan, the 62-year-old president of Cuesports Singapore.

‘I will not sacrifice my friendship with him even for 10 presidencies. Lin Kok knows I will not stand against him. I think if I stand, he will step aside.’

The pair have known each other since their days at the then-University of Singapore law school in the 1960s.

Oil trader Tang Weng Fei, 56, the SAA chief between 2004 and 2006, has already formed a team to contest the biennial elections, which must be called by June.

Anandan is no stranger to sports administration, having held the reins of Cuesports Singapore since 2006.

Back then, the association was saddled with debts of about $700,000. It now owes about $100,000.

Under his tenure, the Republic’s snooker, pool and billiards players won two golds, three silvers and four bronze medals at the 2007 and 2009 South-east Asia Games.

If he wins the SAA election, the criminal lawyer wants to remove the ill-feeling that has built up between the SAA and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) in recent months and ‘start the reconciliation process’.

Anandan added: ‘The SSC knows I will not be a proxy for him (Loh). I am not that type of fellow who gives people the opportunity to say I’m a puppet.

‘If I do things, I’ll do it my way.’ 

Leonard Lim

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My thoughts:

You have to hand it to crafty old Loh Lin Kok. He’s clearly been hard at work thinking of ways to ensure that the Tang Weng Fei-led team does not win this June’s elections.

And asking Subhas to come on board is a brilliant move since the veteran lawyer has proven his mettle at sports administration with his leadership at Cuesports Singapore.

There is, I hear, another reason why Loh is looking for someone to run in the elections. The fiercely loyal leader that he is, I hear that he is wracked with fear that the successful election of Tang and crew would mean the sacking of all his paid staff at the SAA.

I guess to lose office is one thing, but to cause the loss of other people’s ricebowls as  result of the loss of office is another altogether. (Whether or not these people are actually competent in the first place is another matter altogether, I guess)

What’s my take on all this?

Well, I am all for a electoral battle come June because I firmly believe that it is always good to have a contest.

But I am wondering who will make up Subhas’ team if he does throw his hat into the ring. As Tang indicated in today’s edition of The New Paper, we don’t know who will make up the rest of his team.

So my reading of the situation is this (and I would advise that you take this with a pinch of salt):

It sounds like a case of Loh asking Subhas to stand for the presidency IN HIS PLACE, and with HIS TEAM.

In other words, it does sound as though Loh has finally decided that since he is the person causing the most antagonism to the Singapore Sports Council, the best way to solve this situation is to bequeath his team to Subhas, and take himself out of the running.

Of course, if the make-up of the current SAA leadership is still offensive to the sporting powers, then Loh can always recommend a few names to Subhas, or Subhas can always choose a couple of his own trusted lieutenants, to show that the team is not entirely made up of Loh’s loyal officers.   

Maybe then the SAA affiliates, especially those who are sitting on the fence with regards to their vote —  as in keen to vote for Loh but fearful of reprisals from the sporting powers — can then be emboldened to vote for Subhas, and tilt the voting numbers towards Loh’s team (oops, I meant Subhas’ team, actually).

After all, they can always explain their choice by saying that Subhas’ team now presents the best of both worlds: a new credible leader, and a management team with experience in running athletics.

 What will then happen to Loh if Subhas’ team does win the election?

Well, I am sure that he will lie low for several months.

Then down the road, he will be invited to come back as a special adviser to the SAA, given his many years of experience and international clout, and to help Subhas, whose own schedule must be pretty packed as it is, giving him not as much time to spend on athletics as he would like.

And then the athletics scene will come full circle once again.

Dear readers, what are your thoughts on this?

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan  

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Arrested: The teenage thug who assaulted two ACS (I) boys after rugby final

The report:

This report appeared in today’s edition of The Straits Times:

Teen arrested over bus-stop assault

(The Straits Times, 23 April 2010)

Boy, believed to be student, surrendered after call from police

By Chan U-Gene

POLICE have arrested a 17-year-old boy suspected of assaulting an Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) student at a bus stop after the Schools National B Division rugby final last week.

It is believed he is a Secondary 4 student from St Andrew’s School (SAS). The police succeeded in identifying and tracking him down with the help of a photograph an ACS(I) teacher took of him following the altercation.

It is understood the boy surrendered himself on Tuesday at the Tanglin Police Station after receiving a call from the police.

Both schools declined to comment as the police are investigating.

The attack on the ACS(I) student and his friend took place at a bus stop near the Old Police Academy, the venue of the April 12 final. They got away from the aggressor by boarding a bus. One of the victims suffered a broken nose and was taken to hospital.

The match, which ACS(I) won 8-7, was marred by an ill-tempered end. SAS player Daniel Tan hit ACS(I) opponent Leonard Wee, sparking an on-pitch invasion by students, parents and old boys from both camps.

SAS has punished Daniel and the Singapore School Sports Council is investigating.

The ACS(I) and SAS principals met last Friday and have agreed to a reconciliation session for both teams at a later date.

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My thoughts:

I had refrained from commenting on the post-match fracas and pitch invasion that took place after the National Schools Rugby U-17 Police Cup final between St Andrew’s School and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) because there was already so much being written about the incidents in the print media and online.

I didn’t think I had anything else to add to it.

But this was the report I was waiting for. I had wondered whether the police would ever catch the thug that did this to the unsuspecting ACS-I student whose only crime was to support his school at the final, and to be at the bus stop at the same time as him.

I really hope the law comes down really hard on this hooligan and I hope his school shames him too.

Stupid moron. What a stain he has brought upon his school’s name too.

Trust me, I will be looking to find out his name and picture and I will not hesitate to publish it here  if and when I do get my hands on this.

I hope the two ACS-I boys have recovered from their injuries and trauma, and I wish them well.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Shanti, Eugenia, Zachary and Zhi Xuan shine brightest on last day of National Schools C’ships

Shanti Pereira, Eugenia Tan and Zachary Devaraj produced stunning record-breaking performances today to provide a fitting end to an exciting National Schools Track and Field Championships.

Singapore Sports School sprinters Shanti and Eugenia, who are coached by Pedro Acuna,  had a day to remember as they both cracked the Girls C Division 100m record and played a role in helping their school to set a new 4x100m relay mark.

However, it will be Shanti’s name in the record books as the new holder of the 100m mark.

The 14-year-old blazed the track at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium to clock 12.75sec in the 100m final, slicing 0.08sec off the prevailing record of 12.83sec. Schoolmate Eugenia also went under the record as she clocked 12.81sec to finish second.

Both Shanti and Eugenia were also part of the 4x100m relay team that set a new record of 49.67sec to smash the 50.53sec record. Incidentally, that record was also set by the Sports School back in 2004.

The duo then grabbed their second relay gold medal when they starred in the 4x400m relay. Although they did their best, the quartet’s time of 4min 13.31sec was just off the record of 4:12.84, also set by the Sports School in 2004.

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) distance runner Zachary Devaraj broke an 11-year-old B Boys record as he stormed home in 4:12.61sec, more than a second faster than the 4:14.13 that Kannan Poobalan set in 1999 in Victoria School’s colours.

The 16-year-old collected his second distance record at the Championships today after slaying the 14-year-old 800m record  of 1:58.38 last Thursday with his effort of 1:57.34.

The ACS (I) 4x100m quartet was also in magnificent record-breaking form today. They clocked 42.58sec to break the 11-year-old mark of 43.14sec which was also set by the school in 1999.

The most significant new record, in my humble opinion, was set by Cedar Girls’ Chan Zhi Xuan. She hurled her discus to a distance of 37.94m in the B Girls final to crack Wan Lay Chi’s meet and Schools National record of 37.25m.

Stunning stuff.

As Lay Chi has gone on to represent Singapore at the SEA Games, it means that Zhi Xuan definitely has the talent and potential to do the same eventually if she decides to continue in the discipline. I do hope she will.

Can you imagine what a wonderful sight it would be to see two local-born female throwers in action for us at the SEA Games?

As it is, it was a proud moment for me as a long-time observer of Singapore athletics to see fresh young talents Matthew Goh and Stefan Tseng jumping at last year’s SEA Games. 

Back to the National Schools Championships. It seems that a totalof 18 championship records and six schools national records were set at this year’s meet (I say ‘it seems’ because I counted 18 while the website says 16. I wonder what’s causing the discrepancy.)

My  heartiest congratulations to all the record-breakers. May this spur you on to greater heights. Hopefully, we will get to see some of you representing Singapore at the SEA Games one day.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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