SINGAPORE: Team LKT, led by Mr Lim Kia Tong, will head the leadership of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), after defeating the challenge led by Mr Bill Ng on Saturday (Apr 29).
The 64-year-old, who is a criminal litigation lawyer, overcame his rival Mr Ng from Team Game Changers by 17 votes after all of the 44 FAS affiliates had cast their vote at Black Box Auditorium.
Mr Lim's team won the election 30-13, with 1 spoilt vote, FAS confirmed via its social media channels.
With Team LKT winning the FAS election on Saturday, the new council will consist of Bernard Tan as the FAS’ deputy president, with Edwin Tong, Teo Hock Seng, S Thavaneson and Razali Saad taking up their vice-president roles. Individual council member candidates from Team LKT’s slate - Mr Forrest Li, Mr Dinesh Nair and Mr Darwin Jalil - were also voted in.
Other individual council members also voted in were Mr Lim Tong Hai, Mr Yakob Hashim, Mr Rizal Rasudin, Mr Michael Foo and Mr Kelvin Teo.
As Team LKT did not have a required female candidate on its slate, Tanjong Pager United women’s player Sharda Parvin has been deemed elected by acclamation, FAS said.
WE HIT 'WINNING MANDATE' OF 30: LIM
Speaking to reporters at the elections venue, Mr Lim Kia Tong said: "Getting a mandate of close to 30 votes had always been the plan.
"Well we had done our calculations, and the winning mandate ... (was) the magical figure – of 30," he added.
"The plan now, going ahead, is to address issues connected to football and to bring the local game to a higher level, as well as to bring the community together to heal the local scene."
New FAS vice-president Bernard Tan said that the new council will have their work cut out.
"Given what has happened over the past few weeks, it's important to address the issues of governance as well as the issues of the clubs that are involved in the issues of gaming machines," he said. "It is important for football to move forward, as it is important for the community."
"It will be a challenging time, but I think it will be one of the first things that we need to put right in order to move the game forward," Mr Tan added.
In a statement on the Team Game Changers' Facebook page, their leader Mr Ng extended good wishes to his victorious opponents.
"As part of our campaign, Team Game Changers raised many pertinent and pressing issues which had been affecting the development of football in Singapore. After a hard-fought campaign, the winning team has been chosen by the affiliates," said Mr Ng. "We offer our sincerest congratulations to Team LKT."
"We will continue to be the 12th man ... for Singapore football and will continue to play a supporting role for the betterment of the game," added Mr Ng.
TIME TO UNITE: GRACE FU
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu said after the election result was out that the local football fraternity should put aside its differences and unite to work together for its future.
"With the conclusion of its first election, the new leadership of FAS should engage its stakeholders, and rebuild trust and confidence with the stakeholders and the public," she wrote in a Facebook post.
"There are pressing issues for the FAS leadership team to address, including the development of local football and the future of the S.League.
"It is critical that the new FAS leadership prioritise the review of its internal governance structures and processes, to implement a more robust system going forward," Ms Fu added.
Sport Singapore, too, issued a statement on Saturday wishing the new council all the best in leading the local football fraternity.
CEO Lim Teck Yin also said: "As a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC), the FAS must maintain a high standard of regulatory compliance and best practice. Future public funding support will very much depend on this, and the confidence in the FAS’ strategies, plans and actions to develop football in Singapore and our national teams."