Tuesday, June 04, 2013

‘What are we fighting for?’

 OCM secretary baffled over smear campaign, leaves fate to members

OLYMPIC Council of Malaysia (OCM) honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi (pic) has never heard Country Joe & the Fish sing the Vietnam Song.

The anti-war song was a hit at the 1969 Woodstock music festival.
Nevertheless, both Country Joe and Kok Chi share a similar view.

The retired civil engineer and former national water polo athlete has come under fire in recent times as certain quarters are plotting his downfall ahead of OCM’s annual general meeting and election on June 22.

He is not enjoying the ‘war’ within.
“What are we fighting for?” questioned Kok Chi.

“I have been transparent over every matter involving OCM. I spend my weekends on OCM activities and I do not take a single sen from OCM. Why must they smear my name?”

Kok Chi was responding to several letters between OCM and the Sports Commissioner Offi ce (SCO) since February after several individuals claimed Kok Chi has been abusing his power in office.
Among the alleged discrepancies include the registration of the Malaysian Dancesport Federation, the selling of Swatch watches and 2012 London Olympic tickets.

This prompted OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar to write to the SCO on April 17 for clarification.

Despite the hostility, Kok Chi is adamant of standing in the coming elections. He also refuted claims he has been hogging the post for too long.

Kok Chi will let members decide fate
Kok Chi is the fourth honorary secretary since OCM was established in 1953. He took over the role in 1992 from Thong Poh Nyen.

The opinionated Kok Chi did not always enjoy a cordial relationship with several national sports associations and the Youth and Sports Ministry, thus many are eager to see him out.
“I will be standing (for elections) and I welcome the competition. I believe I am still the best man for the (honorary secretary) job.

“But if there is someone who thinks he is better than me, by all means. But to go on a smear campaign and say I abused my powers… I’m saddened. I will not resort to such attacks and if there is any truth in what they claim, let lightning strike me down.”

When told he was guilty of failing to groom a successor, Kok Chi said:
“It has to be two-way traffic. I can groom but that person needs to show interest. Also, times have changed. Will anyone want to quit their job and do what I do?”

Kok Chi admitted OCM have paid staff to run the daily operations but as secretary, he had been attending sporting activities after working hours and on weekends.

“People can say what they want. I will let the members decide my fate,” he added.

 by Haresh Deol - MALAY MAIL

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