Thursday, 30 July 2009

Taekwondo: OCM in sticky situation over sport exclusion


THE Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has found itself in a controversy of its own making over the purported exclusion of national taekwondo exponents from the Laos Sea Games in December.

OCM honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi was reported to have said on Tuesday a decision was reached by OCM not to send taekwondo to the Games due to the absence of a governing body for the sport in the country.

But this was at odds with the stance of the ad hoc committee temporarily governing the sport nationally as they work on putting the Malaysian Taekwondo Association's (MTA) house in order.

The committee is chaired by OCM president Tunku Imran Tuanku Ja'afar, prompting Malaysia Taekwondo Federation deputy president Datuk Sam Mannan to round on Kok Chi for "speaking out of turn".

"If this is a collective decision made by OCM, then we would have to appeal. But if it is a personal statement by Datuk Sieh, then this remark is callous, misleading and designed to confuse," said Sam, an ad hoc committee member.

"It also shows a lack of respect to the ad hoc committee, which is entrusted to look after the affairs of taekwondo, and to Tunku Imran, who chairs the committee and is the OCM president, by stating that there is no governing body for taekwondo.
"We have sent a letter notifying the World Taekwondo Federation of the existence of the ad hoc committee and followed up by notifying them of the workings of the committee and that it is the sole authority on taekwondo in Malaysia."

MTA president Ho Kham Paw said OCM did not have the right to prevent taekwondo exponents from competing in the Sea Games.

"MTA has not been dissolved, it is still in existence except that its affairs are being managed by an ad hoc committee. WTF is aware of what is going on and has never said 'no' to us (to compete overseas)," said Kham Paw.

"Why should our exponents be restricted from competing? I don't understand how such a remark could be made when the OCM president is the chairman of the ad hoc committee."

Malaysia Taekwondo Clubs Association president Chee Hock Choong added: "It is a bit premature for him (Kok Chi) to say that.

"All activities are proceeding as usual, the ad hoc committee approves requests by our component members who want to hold a taekwondo event and Tunku Imran has also written to WTF to say that the committee is acting on MTA's behalf." - NST

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