Flying the nation's flag in a sport at the highest international level is hardly a matter that concerns only that sport, or even the sporting community as a whole. Rather, it impacts the entire nation.
We should be careful in commenting on the Feng Tianwei incident without the benefit of full facts.
But ordinary Singaporeans have the right to be assured that the best athletes with the highest chances of winning represent the nation, and that internal association politics, self-interest and personality clashes do not get in the way ("Feng Tianwei axed from national squad" and "Sudden move raises questions about table tennis body itself"; both published on Oct 26, and "Athlete-NSA link to iron out problems"; Tuesday).
To this end, there must be a better understanding of how national sports associations (NSAs) like the Singapore Table Tennis Association (STTA) are constituted and governed.
Who makes decisions on dropping athletes from national teams?
If it is the board, who elects the board? Who are its members and how does one become a member and vote in its elections? Are they qualified to choose which player to drop?
As the NSAs' decisions go beyond their sports, one may also ask how they are supervised, if at all. Are they accountable to Sport Singapore?
For a major decision, like that on Feng, did STTA consult Sport Singapore, the Singapore National Olympic Council or the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth? What position do these bodies take on the matter?
The fact that the axing of Feng from the national team was buried in a lengthy press statement on STTA's youth development, with a vague and flimsy reason, bodes ill for transparency and accountability.
STTA's attempt at a false dichotomy between Feng and the development of young local table-tennis talent has the unfortunate, if unintended, effect of driving a wedge between foreign and local sporting talents. It also plays into the hands of those who accuse foreign talents of snatching opportunities from Singaporeans.
Cheng Shoong Tat
You may want to read Police raid offices of FAS, 3 football clubs
Friday, 21 April 2017
8 Junior Colleges, 6 secondary and 14 primay schools to merge in 2019 amid falling demand for places
1. Serangoon JC will merge with Anderson JC,
2. Innova JC will merge with Yishun JC,
3. Meridian JC will merge with Tampines JC,
4. Jurong JC will merge with Pioneer JC.
Secondary schools to merge
1. Shuqun Secondary School with Yuhua Secondary School,
2. East Spring Secondary School with East View Secondary School,
3. Hong Kah Secondary School with Jurongville Secondary School.
Primary schools to merge
1. East View Primary School with Junyuan Primary School,
2. Balestier Hill Primary School with Bendemeer Primary School,
3. Da Qiao Primary School with Jing Shan Primary School,
4. Damai Primary School with East Coast Primary School,
5. Coral Primary School with White Sands Primary School,
6. Casuarina Primary School with Loyang Primary School,
7. Cedar Primary School with MacPherson Primary School.
- Low in fibre and protein.
- High in fat, carbs and sodium (861mg/serving).
- Contain monosodium glutamate (MSG).
- A decrease in overall diet quality like protein, calcium, vitamin C, phosphorus, iron, niacin and vitamin A.
- An increase in the risk of metabolic syndrome in women when eating instant noodles regularly like twice a week.
- Decrease level of vitamin D is associated with obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and intake of sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Healthier varieties available using whole grain or lower sodium or fat. Add some raw vegetables and egg to make it healthier. No need to use the whole package of flavoring powder. Use your own flavourings like sliced ginger or pre-packed fried onions.
- Low in calories - could potentially lead to weight loss.
- High in micronutrients like riboflavin and thiamine.
Keep in mind that one package of ramen may contain two servings, so if you’re eating the entire package in one sitting, you are actually eating 2 servings, twice the calories and twice the amount of sodium. High sodium may cause high blood pressure.