Former Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) chief executive officer Ung Su Ling is the new Olympic Council of Malaysia’s (OCM) chief operating officer – an appointment which has got tongues wagging.
OCM president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, however, is unperturbed with Ung’s past affiliation with YR1M which is said to be the charity arm of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Norza is expected to announce Ung’s appointment tomorrow.
The Edge Malaysia Weekly, had in its June 11, 2018-June 17, 2018 edition, reported Ung worked at Merican & Partners Asset Management, where she handled investments for fugitive businessman Jho Low. A lawyer by training, Ung later joined Low’s family business Wynton Group after which she was made CEO of YR1M.
It was through YR1M, which received hundreds of millions from companies such as Genting and Tanjong, that cash was channeled to political programmes in the name of charity, as reported then.
While under YR1M, Ung oversaw the formation of the 1Malaysia Football Team which enjoyed training stints at the Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS).
Ung was also CIMB Foundation chief operating officer and had dealt with sports such as squash, rugby and golf among others, mainly at the grassroots.
“We had 59 applicants who went through a vetting process under a special panel (headed by OCM deputy president Datuk Seri Azim Mohd Zabidi),” said Norza.
“Six applicants were shortlisted. After we interviewed everyone, Su Ling was the one with the highest marks.”
Regarding her association with YR1M, Norza said there were hundreds who worked there and they cannot be “guilty by association”.
“People may talk (about her involvement in YR1M) but as far as I am concerned, we have found the right person for the job.”
Asked if he was worried about Ung’s lack of sports experience at the elite level, Norza said OCM has many former athletes and there is even an Athletes Commission which can lend a hand.
“My intention is to bridge the gap between policymakers and management and strengthening professionalism by bringing professionals into the fold
“Even though she has limited (elite) sports background, she is a professional who can help us enhance governance and strengthen the processes,” he added.