Taekwondo: Interim chief Koh vows to continue late president Lee's vision

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Taekwondo Federation (STF) said that deputy president David Koh will lead the association in the interim, following the passing of its president Edwin Lee on Saturday (May 29).

“Any long term decisions will be made at a later date,” it added in a short statement.

The national sports association also expressed its “deepest condolences” to Lee’s family, adding that his “leadership, generosity, and spirit will genuinely be missed”.

The cause of his death was not made known to the media.

Lee, who was 65, had been STF president since Sept 26, and was one of four new faces in the nine-strong leadership elected at the STF’s annual general meeting.

Under the association’s constitution, five of its board members will serve four-year terms while four will serve on a two-year term. Lee was among the latter.

In an interview with The Straits Times last December, he said that his team’s top priority was to reinstate its affiliate status with the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and World Taekwondo, the sport’s governing body, following suspensions stretching back to May 2019 over governance issues.

They have yet to be reinstated.

It has also been embroiled in legal issues with its former secretary-general Wong Liang Ming.

Koh, who had also stepped in as acting president for the STF in Oct 2018 after then-president Milan Kwee resigned, paid tribute to Lee’s dedication to achieving the target he had set out for the STF board.

“While I have only known him (Lee) for nine months since he took up the presidency, Edwin has worked tirelessly for the STF,” said Koh.

“We would like to thank him for his kindness and effort during his tenure. The board will continue to work towards the vision (Lee) established for the STF and continue to guide the organisation to realise these goals.”

At the time of his passing, Lee was also SNOC treasurer, Singapore Olympic Foundation director, and Chinese Swimming Club president.

The veteran sports administrator previously also had lengthy tenures at the national associations for table tennis (20 years) and tennis (15 years).

STF board member Jessie Phua, another veteran sports administrator who is also concurrently serving in the SNOC as a vice-president, said: “Singapore has lost not only a great champion of sports but also a most generous son who warmly supported many community causes.

Deputy president David Koh stepped in as acting president for the Singapore Taekwondo Federation in Oct 2018. PHOTO: SINGAPORE TAEKWONDO FEDERATION

“A warm, sincere and kind gentleman with a heart of gold, I will definitely miss this dear friend of over 30 years.”

Benjamin Sim, a member of STF’s high performance standing committee, said Lee had an “exuberant charisma in addressing working issues with a wicked sense of humour”.

“He has led with candour and quickly earned the respect of the committee to roll out various initiatives towards the sporting agenda. It’s been an honour and privilege to have crossed paths with him and I will be forever grateful for his mentorship and friendship,” said Sim.

National taekwondo exponent Raja Zulfadli Raja Mahmod paid tribute to Lee , saying he and his teammates “will always remember Mr Edwin as a fatherly figure who took care of our welfare so that we can focus on training hard and better our chances at international games”.

More on this topic

Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

Source: Read Full Article