PUTRAJAYA: National Sports Council's (NSC) project manager for athletics M. Mahendran may have landed himself in trouble for an alleged accusation hurled at Malaysian Amateur Athletics Union (MAAU) vice-president Karim Ibrahim.
Karim, who is also the MAAU Coaching and Development Committee chairman, said Mahendran’s accusation that he (Karim) had lobbied to include Mohamed Awang, who is the athletics team manager for the Doha Asian Games, for a one-month training stint in South Africa beginning today was baseless, seditious and malicious.
He said the accusation was certainly uncalled for and baseless and that the matter would be referred to the MAAU Executive Board, the MAAU-NSC Joint Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“I will also consult the Sports Advisory Panel before seeking any professional legal advice on the report that appeared in a local daily,” Karim said.
“My suggestion to include a manager to accompany the athletes for the South Africa stint was to make sure that the welfare of Doha-bound athletes was well taken care of,” he said.
Karim said that the last time woman pole vaulter Roslinda Samsu was sent to Europe for a three-month training cum competition stint starting in June, she was left in the lurch and had to come home alone, without her coach or any official accompanying her.
“Furthermore, when she went to Europe, the poles that she was supposed to have used for training, arrived only three weeks later and when they arrived, eight poles were reportedly broken.
“Nothing was reported to the MAAU. It was all due to the “tidak apa” attitude of some officials. Worse still, she even had to fork out her own money to pay for excess baggage,” he said.
He said that when he questioned Mahendran about the incident during a working committee meeting on Oct 17, he (Mahendran) could not give a logical explanation.
“Allowing a woman athlete to travel alone without a chaperon or official is a very serious matter and that was why I suggested that this time round such a thing should not happen and that a manager should accompany the athletes,” he said.
Meanwhile, MAAU Executive Board member S. Rajasegram, who was equally upset over the accusation by Mahendran, was puzzled as to why triple jumper Ngew Sin Mei had returned to Berlin after her South Africa stint when there are competitions in South Africa as claimed by Doha 2006 athletics coordinator Jorg Teichmann.
“If there are competitions in South Africa, why must Sin Mei go back to Berlin? Would it not be better for her to stay behind and compete, especially when the others are also going there as well?” he asked.
The MAAU and the NSC have a very good working relationship, especially under the Sukan Teras Programme, and the authorities or the powers that be must look into the way some officials - paid officials - carry out their duties well and not undermine the good work and effort of the government. –Bernama