Arrest of Kau Git Kaur uncovers deep faction in gymnastics federation

Kau Git Kaur Rachel Lau

The arrest of Malaysian Gymnastics Federation (MGF) deputy president Kau Git Kaur has opened a can of worms as the focus is now on the in-fighting within the national body.

Questions have also been raised over the businessman’s involvement in MGF and his links to the political appointees, some from Johor, who were among the 17 arrested during a drug party in Puchong over the weekend.

Kau, a former national gymnast who won a gold medal at the 1991 SEA Games, is the owner of GK Sport & Recreation Sdn Bhd. The company supplies sporting equipment and was involved in several Malaysia Games and the 2017 SEA Games.

This year’s Malaysia Games is in Johor in July.

Since then, several factions have come out to say Kau and MGF president Rachel Lau do not see eye to eye and the latter is using this episode as an excuse to get rid of him.

There was also allegations of a heated argument between Kau and Lau during a meeting on Saturday where Lau had described Kau as being “intoxicated”.

Lau admitted she has had discussions with deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim over Kau’s alleged overcharging of equipment as the squabble between the top two does not augur well for the sport.

“We have always advocated transparency and good governance in financial management … not only the government must have good governance, sports associations too,” said Sim.

“Many national sports associations’ office-bearers sacrifice time, money and effort for the love of the sports. We applaud them.

“But those who think they can make illegitimate money or pursue selfish personal interests via their involvement in NSAs, be warned. We will not compromise.”

Sim added Rachel had told him about the “expensive purchases of certain equipment in the past”.

“We both agreed not to proceed with future purchase using such old methods. No new purchase was done since then, as far as I am concerned.”

Kau was detained alongside several Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia members including Dengkil assemblyman Adhif Syan Abdullah, a Youth and Sports Ministry officer and five women.

It is understood that the weekend “function” was a “birthday party”, although there have been reports suggesting the gathering was to lobby for government contracts.

The Youth and Sports Ministry yesterday issued a statement saying it has had no dealings with GK Sport & Recreation since Pakatan Harapan came into power in 2018.

The ministry is seen as distancing its minister, who is from Bersatu as well as the MP of Muar, from the individuals involved.

Efforts to contact Kau yesterday once again proved futile.

Separately, reporters from The Mole visited GK Sport & Recreation on Monday but were not entertained.

Despite repeated requests through the intercom, reporters Zaidi Azmi and Shaira Idris were told: “Boss is not in. We don’t know anything. Thank you and goodbye (sic).”

GK Sport & Recreation
Reporters from The Mole visited GK Sport & Recreation on Monday. Image: Zaidi Azmi/The Mole

Twentytwo13 also contacted GK Sport & Recreation yesterday following the statement from the Youth and Sports Ministry but was told: “No, not interested (sic).”