Gymnastics: Rachel will not step down, MSCC report to be lodged

“I have no intention of backing off as there is no ability to have to the “vote of no confidence” according to constitution. I will clean up MGF before I go,”

That was the defiant stand of Malaysian Gymnastic Federation President Rachel Lau when asked on what was ongoing in MGF which had been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

With MGF facing a RM1.3m civil suit initiated by GK Sports, the case management being held yesterday; Rachel said that she feels duty bound in cleaning up all of MGF’s irregularities before her term ends in March next year.

And the former gymnast will be filing a complaint with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Council and PDRM for the authorities to investigate on possible financial misconduct and irregularities, dating as far back as 2014.

“To be honest, I regretted my life as an athlete as well as an administrator from 2019 as I have now realized again that if you want to do the right thing, you need to pay a price, a personal price at that ,” said Rachel.

“Is this what our sports scene really is about? I am shocked with the lack of governance; conflict of interests and how checks and balances can be disregarded. At the end of the day, the Sports federation loses out especially the gymnasts.”

The whole issue started purportedly with a sum of money owed by MGF, dating back to 2014 Asian Championship, a subject which now lies at the Hight Court.

“The question is how we ended up with that amount of debt since 2014 as audited reports need to be submitted and records and appropriate documentary evidence are required. What do you do if this doesn’t stack up?”

“So perhaps the best option is to let the relevant authorities decide.

“Besides the matter is already before the judiciary and it will be sub judice to dwell further into it.”

Rachel said she had two options in this matter, the easy way is settling the claim and walk away; or clear the name and clean up the image of the sport, and she opted for the latter.

Rachel who assumed the Presidency of MGF alleges that she and the Treasurer were not allowed to look at the files and records until the change of the appointed Secretary.

“The password to the official email account was changed in 2019 and I was not allowed into the email account for months,” stated Rachel.

With regards to her alleged dispute with her Deputy President, said by many to have triggered this impasse, Rachel said MGF followed procedures.

“A Disciplinary Committee was formed according to Article 19.6.1, independent of Council and I was never in the committee,” added Rachel.

“The interim suspension was keyed out by the DC, and even at the AGM it was made crystal clear by the DC Secretary Dr. Farrah-Hani, that the DC was happy to recuse itself should the Council found its formation irregular.

“The DC was even prepared to lift the interim suspension should a letter clearing the Deputy President was produced, it’s so simple. Just provide proper documentation.”

Rachel who preaches transparency and good governance hopes there will a closure and justice in this matter.

“I am not the first one as there have been others before me who had tried to get to the bottom, as Dato Jaya, the previous president faced the exact predicament in 2018”

The MGF saga will soon get more complicated if MACC and the police get involved.

And it will no longer be a sport of hoops, ribbons and balls, with parallel bars and Roman rings in the way to podium.