For the first time in history, there will be a contest for the president’s post at the Table Tennis Association of Malaysia (TTAM) elections tomorrow.
Going for the top post is incumbent vice-president Datuk Michael Tiah Thee Seng who heads Penang TTA.
He is credited with cleaning up the association after it was revealed in TTAM’s financial statement (ended March 31, 2018) that RM8 million loans were granted to two private companies – Ekal Jaya Sdn Bhd and Iktimewah Sdn Bhd (RM4 million each).
Businessman Tiah had challenged all those involved in illegal loans to step down. He is now making his bid to become president after helping TTAM recover the RM8 million loans and the return of an additional RM1 million to TTAM accounts, following disputed cheque-signing which did not follow its constitution.
He has also received the blessing of outgoing president Tan Sri Koo Yuen Kim. Koo was TTAM president for six years and there are moves to make him TTAM patron to thank him for his services.
Challenging Tiah is another prominent businessman, Table Tennis Association of Sarawak president, Datuk Seri Tee Lip Sin. A close contest is expected as both candidates have served TTAM at different times and are well known to all the delegates.
In a letter sent to the delegates, Tiah wrote: “My team has representatives from seven states, five of whom are state TTA presidents.
“This team under my leadership had and will continue to ensure more transparency, feedback and fairness in the process of decision making. Players from all states had and will continue to be assessed fairly and given their due recognition based on merit, quality of play, commitment and right discipline.”
Tiah is expected to unveil his “Go4Gold” programme which hopes to see Malaysia win gold medals in the SEA Games, Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games.
Tee, too, has promised to inject more funds into TTAM and help it reach its full potential.
List of candidates
Datuk Michael Tiah Thee Seng (Penang)
Datuk Seri Tee Lip Sin (Sarawak)
Dr Chin Kuen Liang (Kedah)
Tan Poh Chuan (Melaka)
Edward Chua Soon Ann (Sabah)
Richard Wong Yoke San (Negeri Sembilan)
Chen Lai Hock (Perlis)
Chin Yit Hin (Perak)
Dr Balachandran Gopal Krishnan (Terengganu)
Ling Kiing Tasn (Sarawak)
Yeoh Lip Khoon (Penang)
Syarizal Abdul Rahim (Kelantan)
Poon Soon Cheong (Perak)
Koh Tak Chun (Terengganu)
Teoh Hock Poh (Kuala Lumpur)
Ting Hie Phin (Sarawak)