Sunday August 19, 2012
Predecessor has only praise for maligned sports official
By JOSEPHINE JALLEH
GEORGE TOWN: Penang Sports Council (MSNPP) deputy chairman Datuk Ong Poh Eng labelled an opportunist by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik, does not do things for his own benefit.
MSNPP immediate past deputy chairman Datuk Sonny Soon who came out in support of Ong, said the latter is a sportsman, not an opportunist.
“He has encouraged (weightlifting world champion) Ng Chow Seng in his sport and made him the man he is today,” he said, adding that Ong had also donated a mini gymnasium to the Penang Prison in Gaol Road in 2001.
Soon, 75, who is Penang Chinese Foot- ball Association president, said he respected Ong for his honesty, integrity and com- mitment to uplift the standard of sports, not only in Penang, but also globally when he acted as a jury member in the weightlifting events at the recent London Olympics.
“I have no doubt that Datuk Ong has done a lot for sports here, in particular in his area (weightlifting),” Soon said yesterday.
Soon is also the former long-serving Penang Tennis Association president.
It was reported yesterday that Ong had tendered his resignation but the sports council’s board had rejected it on the basis that he had “genuinely” helped in the development of sports here.
The report also quoted board member Leong Kin Weng as saying that Ong had contributed his time, effort and even used several hundred thousand ringgit from his own pocket to support the growth of sports by sponsoring equipment and attire.
Ong’s resignation followed the controversy after Ng called Ong an opportunist.
The vernacular media had quoted Ng as saying that Ong’s position in the board was a conflict of interest as he owned a sports equipment business.
Ong, who had responded by saying that he had sold off his business, tendered his resignation during a meeting on Friday morning.
Ong could not be reached for comments at press time.