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ST photo of Lee Bee Wah and Ellen Lee in 2014

Singapore Table Tennis Association replies TOC with threat of legal action for enquiry then goes on Facebook to deny claims of election misconduct

In response to a Facebook post on 16 September by Mr Tan Kai Kok alleging misconduct of the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) Management Committee elections during a biannual general meeting, the STTA issued a media statement refuting his claims.

STTA said the Facebook post contained serious untrue statements and they disagree with the allegations made by Mr Tan in the post, saying also that the biannual general meeting and the elections were carried out legitimately and validly.

On the claim made that Dr Toh Kian Lam who stood in the elections was forced to resign from his position as a grassroots leader, the STTA called it an untrue and baseless allegation. On the claim that Ms Ellen Lee used her own power in the STTA to recruit nine new members, the STTA denied as well and said that all new members joined as per the STTA constitution.

Mr Tan also mentioned in his post about a one year probation for new members that was waived by Ms Ellen Lee to allow the new members to vote in the elections. Of this, the STTA says that there is no mandatory or minimum probation period between becoming a new member and acquiring full membership with voting rights. Therefore, they say that there was no probation period to be waived and that all full members acquired that status as per the process laid out in their constitution.

STTA also denied Mr Tan’s claim that several members of Tean 3H were being investigated and dismissed it as being irrelevant to Ms Ellen Lee or STTA. They also flatly denied the allegation that Minister Grace Fu and Dr Lee Bee Wah influenced the elections in favour of Ms Ellen Lee.

Specifically on the voting process, Mr Tan had claimed that the procedures were changed without prior notice and that the ‘show of hands’ method of voting as arbitrarily used to forcefully pass the change. The STTA denied that claim as well. They said that the new procedures were proposed by the management committee but disputed by Team 3H. Subsequently, the changes were put to a vote during the biannual general meeting where it was voted on by ‘show of hands’. Specifically, on the method of voting, the STTA simply states that it is a lawful method and does not contradict the association’s constitutions.

STTA concluded its statement by categorically denying Mr Tan’s claims and called them ‘serious falsehoods’. They also stated that they ‘reserve the rights against the author of the post and those who choose to repeat those falsehoods and baseless statements’.

When contacted by TOC, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah wrote back to say that she is no longer involved in the affairs of STTA and asked Ms Lee to follow up on the matter while Minister Fu did not respond to the queries.

Letter from lawyers representing Ms Ellen Lee

Ms Lee in her response, got her lawyers to issue a legal letter, stating that legal actions may be pursued if TOC decides to publish the claims set out in Mr Tan's Facebook post. A day later, STTA issued the above statement. This begs the question of why Ms Lee needed to issue the legal letter to TOC since the replies are provided to the public and whose money is used to engage the lawyer to issue the letters?