Strange things can happen in Malaysian sports. On Tuesday, the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) announced that national taekwondo exponents have been excluded from the Laos SEA Games in December.
And, the reason for exclusion is due to the absence of a governing body for the sport in the country. As far as everyone knows the Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) is in existence. Why does OCM think there is no governing body?
For the moment an ad-hoc committee chaired by non other than OCM President Tunku Imran Tuanku Jaafar (picture) is running the affairs of the sport until issues such as the constitution and other matters are settled.
On Tuesday, OCM honorary secretary Datuk Sieh Kok Chi was reported to have said a decision was reached by OCM not to send taekwondo to the Games due to the absence of a governing body for the sport in the country.
"If this is a collective decision made by OCM, then we would have to appeal. But if it is a personal statement by Datuk Sieh, then this remark is callous, misleading and designed to confuse," said MTA Deputy President Datuk Sam Mannan, who is also an ad hoc committee member.
"It also shows a lack of respect to the ad hoc committee, which is entrusted to look after the affairs of taekwondo, and to Tunku Imran, who chairs the committee and is the OCM president, by stating that there is no governing body for taekwondo.
"We have sent a letter notifying the World Taekwondo Federation of the existence of the ad hoc committee and followed up by notifying them of the workings of the committee and that it is the sole authority on taekwondo in Malaysia."
MTA president Ho Kham Paw said OCM did not have the right to prevent taekwondo exponents from competing in the Sea Games.
"Why should our exponents be restricted from competing? I don't understand how such a remark could be made when the OCM president is the chairman of the ad hoc committee."