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ATHLETICS: Shahidan a no show at inquiry

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FORMER Malaysian Athletic Union (MAU) president Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim could not be bothered to attend an independent inquiry into the conduct of his ex-deputy and did not even sign a written statement he provided to the investigators.

A report prepared by the inquiry committee headed by former Court of Appeal judge Tan Sri V. C. George said both Shahidan and National Sports Council director-general turned down an invitation to appear at the inquiry.

  "The Committee notes with disappointment the refusal of the (former) MAU president to assist the Committee in its task by attending and testifying in the hearing. We are equally upset that director-general of NSC also turned down our invitation," said the report.

  Zolkples' failure to attend is due to a schedule conflict on the date he was supposed to appear though he did reply to the inquiry's queries in writing.

  But Shahidan's absence meant the committee could not fulfil one of its terms of reference -- to make recommendations in relation to the administration of MAU to prevent recurrence of similar complaints if the complaint is justified.

  "What each of them did was to send us a written statement, the one by the president (Shahidan) not even signed! The committee could not give and has not given any real weight to these statements.

 "Accordingly, we do not deal with (this) term of reference," it said.

  Shahidan had steadfastly remained silent on the Karim case which several affiliates cited as a reason for his ouster when he lost the president's post to Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad at MAU's elections on Sept 23.

   By repeatedly insisting that the committee alone should deal with Karim, Shahidan's apparent refusal to condemn Karim effectively sealed his own fate.

  Karim too was ousted as deputy president when he was beaten by Terengganu AAA president Datuk Wan Hisham Wan Salleh.

  Both Zainal and Wan Hisham said after being elected that the Karim report will be discussed at the next council meeting, scheduled for next Thursday.

  Neither declined to say what action would be taken against Karim though several affiliates have said Karim could be banned from the sport for life.

Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim


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