MP Er Dr Lee Bee Wah cried after announcing today (15 Aug) that she will not be seeking another term as the President of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA).
She is stepping down to give way to a new candidate to replace her, after helming STTA for the past 6 years.
She shared with the media her super achievements during this time when she was in charge of table tennis, especially getting the Olympic Silver for Singapore.
She also revealed that it is likely that Sembawang GRC MP Ellen Lee will be the candidate to take over from her, but the official announcement will only come on Aug 25.
It’s not known why a sports association has to be helmed by a PAP MP.
Er Dr Lee herself took the helm of STTA in 2008, replacing former MP Choo Wee Khiang.
In her departing words, Er Dr Lee said she has a capable team to take over and would like them to groom more young native homegrown players to attain world-class standards in table tennis.
Er Dr Lee came under heavy fire from netizens after the recent Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Team Singapore finished 11th with 8 golds, 5 silvers and 4 bronzes. The gold medals were coming just from 2 sports – 2 from shooting and 6 from table tennis.
Table tennis brought home 10 out of 17 medals. The team’s foreign-born table tennis players were mainly behind this success. Many Singaporeans were not proud of this:
n particular, she had praised the China-born Lin Ye, comparing her to Feng Tianwei, because of their similar aggressive and energetic style of play. Lin Ye hails from Funan, China and was talent-spotted in 2008. She became a Singaporean last year and plays full-time.
And during the Commonwealth Games, eight times Australian National Champion and Commonwealth Games Men’s Singles silver medalist (2006), William Henzell, hit out at the Singapore table tennis team, claiming they tarnish the spirit of the Commonwealth Games by “stacking their squad with Chinese players” [Link].
Henzell accused Singapore of bringing a “professional team” to Glasgow that was largely made up of PRC-born players.
“I don’t think what Singapore does is in the spirit of the Games,” Henzell said. “It’s disappointing to see.”
Henzell said that Singapore only had two “token” Singaporeans in their team – Clarence Chew and Isabelle Li – while the rest were all hailed from China.
“They decided it was much easier and quicker to buy a team rather than produce a team,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Singaporean table tennis team declined to comment on Henzell’s outburst.
In any case, it’s unclear why Er Dr Lee Bee Wah cried after announcing her stepping down.