It is hard to believe that there is no shenanigen in the deprivation of the Coach of the Year award to coach Liu Guo-dong.
Never since Tan Howe Liang won the silver medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics has Singapore bathed in such Olympic glory as when the formidable Singapore women table tennis team won the silver medal in the Beijing Olympics last year. Does the pretentious STTA president Lee Bee Wah really believe that this achievement was possible without the sterling effort of the dynamic coach Liu Guo-dong in guiding and directing the Singapore team to victory. It was coach Liu and not the surly Lee Bee Wah who brought this great honour to Singapore.
One would have expected Lee Bee Wah to show gratitude to coach Liu for Singapore women's team silver medal achievement but I think Singaporeans were flabbergasted, if not dumb-founded, by her childish display of petulance in threatening not to extend coach Liu's contract upon expiry for some alleged omission which was blown out of proportions. Not unexpectedly her petulant display at once brought forth mammoth indignation and anger from right-thinking Singaporeans who wondered why she had not been replaced as STTA president. The public was completely flummoxed because her behaviour was a manifestation of immaturity and impetuousity. It was understandable, however, if the government wanted to give her a second chance.
Of course one would have expected a more sobering STTA president following the Government's generosity. So it follows that there would be no grudge against coach Liu. Coach Liu has since not renewed his contract and is now a coach of the Indonesian table tennis team. So what part has Lee Bee Wah played in withholding the nomination of ex-coach Liu for the Coach of the Year award? Being a responsible president she has now pushed the responsibility to a committee within the STTA for making the decision. Are we asked to believe that as STTA president she had played no part in infuencing the members of the committee. She portrays herself as a person with lofty principles who would not allow personal grudges to influence her deliberation in official matters. She is implying that ex- coach Liu was not professional and did not have integrity. Since when did she discover that ex-coach Liu was not professional and what did she do about it? Has she any proof of ex-coach Liu's dishonesty? Was it reported to the authorities if corruption was involved? She is treading on dangerous ground with her allegations and she could be sued for defamation by ex-coach Liu.
The withholding of the nomination of ex-coach Liu for the Coach of the Year award is a great disservice to him in view of his outstanding service to table tennis in Singapore in general and to STTA with Lee Bee Wah at the helm in particular. He has unselfishly, despite being from China, brought the prowess of Singapore table tennis to the world stage.