KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim did not attend the Malaysian Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU) general assembly (AGM) yesterday.
But he still won the presidency easily, beating Datuk Laksamana Danyal Balagopal, the incumbent deputy president.
The 56-year-old Danyal has now resigned as deputy president as well.
Shahidan, however, will have his hands full not only in politics but also in sports as he is the president of four sports associations.
Besides being the new president of MAAU, he is also the president of Amateur Swimming Union of Malaysia (ASUM) and Kabbadi Association of Malaysia (KAM). He is also the FA of Perlis president.
Being in charge of both athletics and aquatics could be a handful as both are among the eight-core sports identified by the government.
Datuk Syed Aidid Syed Murtaza, who did not seek re-election for the presidency, announced the winners yesterday. However, he would not announce the detailed results.
Syed Aidid said that Shahidan had sent him a letter saying he could not attend the AGM as he had to accompany the Regent of Perlis to Sabah.
“In his letter, the MB of Perlis said he would do his best to develop athletics at state and national levels,” said Syed Aidid.
Perlis AAA secretary M. Iyaru said that although Shahidan had a tight schedule, he could still find time to concentrate on athletics.
“Shahidan is a man of action and does not believe in theories. His vision is to see a Malaysian winning the first medal in athletics in Olympics in 10 years’ time,” said Iyaru.
Danyal, who looked dejected after the defeat, said he had resigned as deputy president, a post he has held since September 2002.
“I wish the MB of Perlis the best and hope he can help fulfil the 2012 Olympic blueprint, which I submitted and endorsed.”
In the blueprint, Danyal hoped to see a Malaysian reaching the final round of the 2012 Olympics Games.
Meanwhile, Karim Ibrahim retained his post as vice-president, beating J. V. Jayan while Negri Sembilan AAA secretary S. Chinathamby and FTAAA secretary S. Vegiyathuman also kept their seats on the board, garnering more votes than Selangor AAA secretary K. Yogesveran.
The post of woman vice-president was retained unopposed by Rajemah Sheikh Ahmad.