Judokas up in arms over AGM

Veteran judoka and Olympian Koh Eng Kian (front), 55, about to demonstrate a judo throw.

SINGAPORE - Questions are being raised by members of the Singapore Judo Federation (SJF), following its failure to call for an annual general meeting (AGM) within the time frame stipulated in its constitution.

The Straits Times understands that a letter of demand was sent through lawyers last month, asking that a meeting be held.

Seven parties within the association had initiated the letter.

It is stated in the SJF constitution that an AGM is to be held in April or May.

This year's meeting would involve an election of an executive committee, a process that takes place once every two years.

SJF president Chow Ngai Hung, 52, said a meeting has yet to be called because the association's statement of accounts is still being audited.

He added that he has no intention of standing for the top job again this year.

There are 11 posts within the SJF's executive committee.

Chow said on Tuesday: "I'm not sure when the audit will be done but we've been chasing the auditors.

"I think we should be able to call the AGM within a month."

A request for an extraordinary general meeting (EOGM) made earlier this year also did not come to fruition.

It is understood that some of the federation's voting members had planned to propose a vote of no confidence at the EOGM.

Chow, a world-class judo referee who was elected chief in 2010, said in response: "It is up to me whether I want to call for an EOGM."

In response to queries from ST, the Singapore Sports Council's chief of sports development group Bob Gambardella said: "We have advised (the) SJF that they should abide by their own constitution and we expect a response from them soon."

The calling of meetings is not the only issue that is bothering the members.

Some are also questioning whether several members of the current executive committee have been validly appointed.

SJF vice-president Koh Eng Kian, for instance, questioned if proper procedures were bypassed in installing Felix Tseng as assistant honorary secretary general at last year's AGM.

He alleged that Chow "had proposed him (Tseng), nobody seconded it, and yet it was passed".

Chow's reply was this: "There were no objections then when I co-opted Tseng along with many other executive committee members. Why only raise it now, a year later?

"The past two AGMs were both held in September. I don't know why they are chasing for it this time round."

But he did offer an explanation for the discontent brewing in the federation.

He said: "I've been trying to introduce reforms since I took over the position... improve the standard of judo in Singapore. There have been some good results these two years."

Judo claimed a bronze medal at the 2011 SEA Games.

Singapore's last gold medals at the Games were won in 1989.

The Republic will also be represented by a record 10 judokas at the SEA Games in Myanmar in December.

Chow added: "I want to promote a young team, the new generation."

maychen@sph.com.sg

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.