S’pore Taekwondo Federation Sec-Gen will step down in hopes that suspension against it can be lifted soon
But she said her decision has nothing got to do with the STF's suspension.
Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) secretary-general Wong Liang Ming is stepping down.
Wong, who is the figure in the midst of multiple complaints from former and present taekwondo athletes, told The Straits Times that she will not be standing for election at all during the STF’s Extraodinary General Meeting (EGM) on May 19.
She also said she will “not be involved with coaching anymore”.
The four-time SEA Games taekwondo champion said that while many thought she was paid as a coach, she was just a volunteer and what she got was only transport allowance.
“All those years of coaching and contributing my time and resources and all this has happened and people don’t appreciate it… I guess there’s no point continuing.”
She added that it is “part and parcel of life that you cannot please everybody”, and that she has done her best and her “conscience is clear”.
“I’ve done my best for the sport and organisation and for the athletes.”
Decision has nothing to do with STF’s suspension
Wong said her decision had nothing to do with the STF’s suspension by global taekwondo body World Taekwondo (WT) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).
But she added that she is stepping down so the WT can “lift the suspension soonest possible”.
WT had found “evidence of violations of the WT Code of Ethics Articles 2 (Officials) and 9 (Conflict of Interest)” by both Wong and general manager Lim Teong Chin.
Both Wong and Lim are married to each other.
STF committee member resigned a day before
Wong’s remarks come after Leon Koh, a committee member from STF’s top management committee, resigned on Friday, May 11.
He told Mothership that he made the decision as he felt “the needs of the many is (sic) becoming neglected over the needs of a few”.
While he has been contemplating over the decision, he said the STF’s suspension was the “catalyst” that prompted him to resign.
Police report lodged against Wong
Wong’s comments come after a police report has been made against her on early Saturday morning.
Singapore’s national taekwondo team captain Raja Zulfadli told Mothership that he made the police report after Wong allegedly compelled him to show her the group message he has with the SNOC and other athletes, even after he said repeatedly he could not do that.
However, according to ST, Wong had refuted the allegations, saying that she had asked Zulfadli for permission to look at his phone.
Wong had allegedly confronted a group of athletes on Friday night at the STF’s National Training Centre (NTC) when they were there to pack up their belongings at the instruction of the SNOC.
The instruction was made as training is to be resumed next Monday, May 13, under the supervision of an interim coach arranged by the new Major Games Preparation Committee (MGPC), which was set up in light of the STF’s suspension.
Mothership understands that after Wong saw the contents on his smartphone, which included the participants in the group chat, Zulfadli was kicked out of a WhatsApp group that Wong and the athletes’ parents were in.
Soon after, a message was sent by Woon Yong Chuang, the designated poomsae (form) trainer, saying that training would take place as per usual the next day, which is Saturday, May 11.
Chelsea Sim, a Gold medalist at the 2015 SEA Games, also told Mothership that she was instructed by SNOC to relay a message to fellow poomsae (form) athletes to not head back to the NTC for training as SNOC is taking over training matters.
However, she said that Wong allegedly disregarded Sim’s message and instructed Woon to send the aforementioned text message to the WhatsApp group.
Furthermore, Wong allegedly claimed that Sim had “no right” to send the text message to the other athletes.
Mothership also heard from Zulfadli that while he was at the NTC on Friday night, Wong claimed it was Sim who is “behind all these”.
It is unknown what Wong was referring to by “all these”, or if any training took place at the STF on Saturday.
Mothership has reached out to Wong for comments on this matter.