This is the kind of reporting that irritates me. It involves S$25 million which the Tote Board gives to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
The Singapore Totalisator Board (Tote Board) is a statutory board.
It “channels gaming surpluses generated from the operations of Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club, as well as from the collections of the casino entry levy, to fund worthy projects and programmes…” (Source: Tote Board website.)
The Straits Times story (below) says the Tote Board “is now handing the [$25 million] sum to Sport Singapore (SportSG) to administer, thus ending a decades-long practice.”
If you read the whole report by the Straits Times here, there is no mention whatsoever of the reason for the change. It only says:
“The Tote Board’s move allows it to streamline its practice, as other national sports associations (NSAs) also receive their funds via SportSG.”
But was this reason/statement given or made by the Tote Board, or the Straits Times reporter (Wang Meng Meng)?
Why the sudden change, and only after the FAS president, ex-PAP MP and Mayor Zainuddin Nordin, has stepped down? (In those 10 years when the Tote Board provided the funds, the FAS had always been headed by a PAP MP.)
Is there more to this than is being said? Was past money properly spent, especially and including the hefty remuneration paid to top FAS management people despite the poor performance of the national soccer team year after year? (S’pore is currently ranked 165th in FIFA’s table, the country’s lowest in years.)
The FAS’ annual reports show several top people being paid as much as half a million per year.
And also there have been numerous complaints and unhappiness among the clubs themselves, of how the FAS had failed to provide adequate funding for them; along with the almost non-existent funding for grassroots football.
Is this one of the reasons for the change – that money was not being properly and justifiably spent?
What is telling is this part of the report:
“A club chairman, who declined to be named, added: “Given the poor operating process and low transparency in FAS for many years, this is an excellent and correct step.””
With such damning accusations, shouldn’t the FAS’ accounts be fully audited by the AGO? Typical Straits Times, always putting a positive spin on things instead of asking more probing questions.