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Lee Kok Choy elected SSA president

The former Secretary-General of the Singapore Swimming Association defeated Jessie Phua by one vote.

SINGAPORE: Lee Kok Choy is the new President of the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA), after beating Singapore Bowling Federation chief Jessie Phua in Friday's (June 13) hotly-contested election.

33 votes were cast in total, and Mr Lee, who was previously the association's Secretary-General, won 17-16.

The new SSA president laid out his first order of business - reworking athlete selection policies for big competitions to make them more transparent. "The basic thing is to draw out the right policies, comprehensive policies, and hold the line in selection, so we will only have a few complex cases to deal with at the end," Mr Lee said.

"Of course when you lose by that narrow a margin, it's heartbreaking. But I am also very proud of my team. We fought a good race," said Ms Phua. "I think the results are very telling - that there are divides in the fraternity." 

Mr Lee acknowledged the apparent divisions as well: "The most important thing right now is that we want to really unify all of swimming in Singapore. We want to make sure that swimming is the winner."

Mr Lee will take helm of the association for the next two years with former Singapore Sports Council CEO Oon Jin Teik as Secretary-General. Mr Oon trounced Nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan for the post, 22-11. 

Singapore Environment Council Chief Executive Jose Raymond, who was Mr Lee's pick for Vice-President (finance) won 18 votes to 14. He was up against ex-national swimmer Gerald Koh. One vote was spoilt

The rest of results shut out Ms Phua's picks as well.

40-time SEA Games gold medallist Joscelin Yeo has taken the post of Vice-President (swimming), edging out former swimmer Mark Chay from Ms Phua's team with the same margin.  

Waterpolo veteran Samuel Wong is now Vice-President (water polo). He had 19 votes over Samson Tan's 14. 

As for the position of Treasurer, Sylvia Peh won the vote 18-11. She had been up against May Schooling. Four votes were spoilt. 

Throughout his campaign, Mr Lee's team has called for the need to work towards improving training, affiliate engagement, as well as coaching quality.

They also recently assembled a team of advisers to assist the executive committee, including Singapore Table Tennis Association President Lee Bee Wah and former Singapore Sports Council Chairman Alex Chan.

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