MGF , a time bomb ticking

Below is the full version of a Press Statement of the President of Malaysian Gymnastics Federation.

A no confidence notice was sent to the President on Tuesday, purportedly signed by 7 out of the 11 affiliates.

Now there is no way to certify if the seven who signed the no confidence motion had got sanction by way of a council meeting in their respective states, something the Sports Commissioner needs to ascertain.

Let’s see how this drama unfolds and how the main stream media covers it tomorrow.

I will certainly spring some surprising revelations tomorrow.

MGF statement by Rachel Lau, President of Malaysian Gymnastics dated 7 Oct. 20

Ahli gabungan hilang kepercayaan

Since taking office in January 2019 as MGF President, The Exco 2019/20 (which now consists of Dr Farrah Hani, KolMajor Al Hambra Tun Juhar, Tengku Ahmad Ridhwanuddin, the 3 Vice Presidents, Lin Si Ling, Sec Gen, Ewan Abbas, who is the Asst Sec Gen, Raja Hamzah Abidin Raja NongChik, Treasurer, and Datuk Shamrat Sen Gupta, Asst Treasurer) have discovered irregularities within the federation’s management and accounts. Given the gravity of the situation, we have sought external auditors and requested for an investigation by the authorities into the matter. It is verycoincidental that as these irregularities are being audited externally and investigated by the authorities, calls for a no-confidence vote is trickling in. I sincerely hope that the calls for my removal have nothing to do with my efforts to strengthen governance and accountability in MGF especially its financial affairs and transactions.

This move by certain parties within MGF is very déjà vu as  the previous MGF President, Datuk Jaya Al Bakri was also subject to a no-confidence vote. The motion to remove Datuk Jaya came about over allegations of lack of technical knowledge, the inability to cooperate or  make decisions. Unfortunately, Datuk Jaya was voted out of office in 2018, which one can argue is a breach of constitution. 

On the claims made against me during my time as MGF President, I would like to ask the Ahli Gabungan who are seeking  my removal to please provide clarity and details ontheir allegations, plus evidence to back up their claims. At the moment we are working with vague allegations and this does not help to resolve the issues at hand. My door is always open to those who are sincere and wish to seek clarification as to why certain actions are taken. However, I recognise that I will never be able to please anyone with an ulterior motive or agenda.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I will be the second consecutive President that the Ahli Gabungan has launched a No Confidence Vote in 2 years; is this purely a question of the President’s competence or are there other ulterior motives or agenda at work. Irrespective, I will not cease my efforts to promote greater governance and accountability concerning past and present financial affairs and transactions involving MGF.

What is the cause of this event?

The Exco 2019/20 and Dato Jaya (President 2017/2018) hadfound accounting irregularities and misconduct in the years 2014 to 2016 and Exco 2019/20 have reported this to the relevant authorities. I have continued to advocate good governance and accountability within MGF especially where financial affairs are concerned.

I have reason to believe that given the uniformity of all the letters, that there is an agenda to remove me in an orchestrated manner and the Exco 2019/2020 by people for whatever reasons they may have but this will not stop the efforts by the Exco and myself to put in place proper checks and balancesand to disclose irregularities (if any). 

Throughout my tenure as MGF President, I have sought to rectify the irregularities within MGF and to establish a better reputation not just for the sport, but also for the sports federations. The public needs to see that sports federations are making a difference in producing better athletes and doing it right. Parents need to feel safe sending their children to gym classes knowing that the adults running the federation are trustworthy and reliable and that the moneys entrusted to MGF are properly spent and managed.

The next steps taken

I have always emphasized governance and the need to comply with established rules and regulations under our MGF Constitution in all affairs and this extends to any purported action to remove me as the President. It is pertinent to note that there are no provisions for a “vote of no confidence” under our MGF Constitution, this was confirmed by Dr Wirdati Mohd Radzi, Sports Commissioner last week. So, any move to do so is illegal, invalid and defective. To my critics and detractors, please abide by the Constitution and act accordingly. 

To those who have shown support for my role as President at this time, I thank you. To those who may seek to pressure me to resign, I will not be intimidated and will not be cowed by anyone.

We have reported the irregularities to authorities and have closed conversations with PJS, OCM and KBS on what the next best steps are. At the same time, we have launched an internal investigation and will engage forensic accountants to determine the extent of the damages and losses which may have been incurred against MGF over the years. 

Given the severity of the situation now, the Exco 2019/20 is proceeding to report these financial discrepancies to MACC to conduct a thorough investigation.

On a personal note, the allegations against me on BernamaTV yesterday by Tuan Haji Razak is baseless, unfounded, unwarranted and unnecessary. At the AGM last week, the members (including those who are now calling for my removal) called for any disagreement to be resolved internally “within the family” to which I agreed for the sake of MGF.This is why (unlike my detractors) I choose not to air any specific issues or instances publicly and shall instead cooperate with the relevant authorities to complete their investigations. 

In the meantime, where my personal space and rights have been infringed, I shall seek appropriate legal advice on the next course of action.

Rachel Lau 

President of Malaysian gymnastics Federation 

7 October 2020