KUALA LUMPUR: Ice Skating Association of Malaysia (ISAM) incumbent president Fadzli Johan claims the influx of funding following the sport’s recent successes have sparked an internal power struggle within the national body.
ISAM was scheduled to hold their annual general meeting (AGM)-cum-elections in Cheras on Sunday.
Fadzli, however, claimed that the AGM had to be postponed due to a number of technicalities which included secretary S. Anushia being unable to attend due to illness. The AGM is now expected to be held next month.
A Whatsapp message circulated recently alleged that ISAM, under Fadzli's orders, had purposely brought forward the date of the AGM (to Sunday) to make it hard for certain Malaysian officials on duty at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to attend.
"It is not true that the AGM was purposely held early. It was done in line with ISAM’s constitution and invites were sent out 15 days prior to the AGM. We followed the rules," said Fadzli.
"The AGM was supposed to be held last year but we postponed it as we were quite busy with the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games and other programmes. We also had to conduct an audit (of assets) prior to doing the AGM and this took time.
"There was good attendance this morning, however, we were not able to proceed as our secretary Anushia was unable to attend due to illness."
The Whatsapp message also claimed that ISAM had rejected the membership renewals of those deemed as a threat to his position.
Fadzli, who became ISAM president in 2015, did not deny rejecting the renewals, but said it had nothing to do with the elections.
"Their memberships were not renewed because they had embarrassed the association by writing to our sponsors with baseless accusations against the association. Our sponsors did not like this and felt that it was not good for the sport.
"Again, this was done in line with Article 8 and Article 11.2 of the ISAM constitution. I am only practicing my right as ISAM president for the betterment of the sport.
"The previous regime had also used the same Article to not renew membership of these complainers.
"When we were struggling, nobody wanted to be a part of it, at times we had even struggled to complete a quorum for a meeting.
"But recently we have been doing well and then qualifying for the Winter Olympics.
"When these people saw the money coming they wanted to take over and take the funds for themselves. We have been channeling it to the athletes and to the development of the sport."
Fadzli disclosed that the ISAM have been receiving funding from the National Sports Council as well as a number of corporate sponsors, which he claims is the root of the problems affecting the national body lately.