While the focus over the last few days has been about the raids on the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and three clubhouses belonging to Tiong Bahru FC, Woodlands Wellington and Hougang United, how much Tiong Bahru FC earned through its jackpot machines with the key issue of the $500,000 donation seems to be all but forgotten.
The issue of the $500,000 came to the fore on 13 April when President-candidate for the FAS elections Bill Ng informed the public how he had been supporting the FAS through contributions, including a $500,000 donation to the FAS and what has become of the donation.
On 18 April, the AFF said in a statement that the “AFF Council members were informed at the 3rd Council Meeting held on 6 December 2015, that the FA Singapore had donated a sum of SGD$500,000 on 4 November 2015 as a payment to develop the System. The Council recorded its thanks and appreciation to FA Singapore for their effort to make the project a reality.”
It then changed its statement to: “We are thankful to our donors and partners who have come on board to support this new programme, including one of the FAS’ NFL clubs who donated $500,000 towards the system”
However, the donation of $500,000 which is central to the entire issue, does not show up in the AFF’s annual report for the financial year which ended on 31 December 2015, which was signed off by the AFF.
Therefore, the big question here is where has the money gone to?
If the donation was received on 4 November, then the donation must have been reflected in the annual report.
What is also conspicuously missing is any mention of the AFF Football Management System in the report.
If this system was to have been developed, and the payment was made by the FAS to the AFF, then it is rather odd that neither the system nor the donation is being reflected in the annual report for that year at all.
So far, former Council member Zulkifli Baharudin who served in the term 2013 to 2017, has sought explanations from FAS, including Winston Lee and former president Zainudin Nordin. It is not known if he has been given any answers.
Also, six members of Team LKT’s slate of nine candidates led by Lim Kia Tong, which is challenging for the elections were part of the Council when the donation was made.
While Lim has claimed ignorance about the donation, the former Council ought to be also held accountable for this woeful lack of governance within the FAS under their watch.
At the present moment, it seems that Lee and the former PAP MP are being thrown under the bus together along with Ng in the allegation of misuse of funds, while SportSG and the media have made no connection to the former Council running for the FAS election this coming 29 April.
A simple question that the Provisional Council can help to answer, just how was the $500,000 donation transferred – by cheque or Telegraphic Transfer? Either way, this will show whose account the money was credited to or is FAS going to continue to be silent on this one simple question?
Reproduced with permission from The Online Citizen.