The new line-up for the Malaysia Paralympic Council (MPM), headed by Dato Seri Megat D Shahriman has been officially elected at its long delayed Annual General Meeting (AGM) today.
Dr Radha Krishnan Sinnathamby, s former vice-president of the MPM, makes his return to the executive committee as the new deputy president.
Megat replaces incumbent SM Nasarudin, who did not attend the meeting today while Dr Radha replaces incumbent John Ng.
While there were no contests for both the president and deputy president positions, the duo still had to prove their majority at the AGM. Megat was endorsed by 19 of the 24 affiliates while Dr Radha obtained 15 votes.
The AGM was delayed since June due to the dispute on the legality of the nominations of several candidates filed after the closing date. Former Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and John Ng, where two candidates for the top two posts, whose candidatures were rejected due to their failure to keep to the timeline.
With the top two posts uncontested, all eyes were on the elections of the Honorary Secretary post between Laksamana Pertama (B) Dato’ Subramaniam Raman from the Malaysia Para Athletics Association and Irene Chang of the Malaysia Disabled Volleyball Association.
Subramaniam, who was previously the vice president, was elected to the hot-seat with 14 votes against Irene’s seven. He replaces incumbent Siti Zaharah, who had opted to go for the vice president’s post at the elections. However, Siti’s nomination was rejected as it was filed after the closing date.
Siti was the first to withdraw her candidature after the issue blew out of proportion before the other followed her steps. Only Khairy and John did not withdraw their nominations.
Siti was subsequently suspended by the MPM for allegedly bringing the council to disrepute, a decision is almost certain to be reviewed by the incoming executive committee.
Subramaniam’s easy win was not expected as at least 10 affiliates were earlier seen to be backing his opponent. This was based on the number of affiliates that had voted on an earlier proposal two months ago to call for an EGM to allow the candidature of late nominees. Eleven affiliates had rejected the effort while it was supported by 10.
Based on the voting pattern today, it looks like the three affiliates had abstained from voting this time while the three affiliates that had abstained on the EGM issue have backed Subramaniam.
Speaking to media after the AGM, Megat, the newly elected president said that ot was time to close ranks and work as one family.
“Competition is always healthy in a democratic set-up. It is now time for the new leaders take responsibility to move the council forward with everyone working together,” said Megat.
Muhd Iqbal Sulaiman of the Malaysia Wheelchair Tennis Association received the highest votes in the elections for the three vice president’s position with 23 votes. He will be joined by Hafidzah Abd Khafidz of the Malaysia Para Tenpin Bowling Association and and KM Rajendran of the Taekwondo Malaysia, who received 16 and 13 votes respectively, in the new executive committee. Dr Ang Kean Koo of the Malaysia Wheelchair Basketball Association received only 12 votes and failed in his bid for the vice president’s position.
As per the MPM constitution, Major Azhari Abdullah (21 votes) of the Malaysia Blind Football Association and Noor Syahieda Mat Shah (20 votes) of the Malaysia Para Powerlifting Association were also elected as vice presidents representing the disabled and women respectively.
Kumarusamy Sithambaram (13 votes) of the Malaysia Para Carrom Association was elected as the new treasurer.
The AGM was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sports Commissioners Office as well as the National Institute of Sports.
With the new committee duly elected, the MPM is now focusing on the Malaysian participation at the Asean Para Games in Manila next month.