Saturday, May 07, 2005

Malaysian Taekwondo Association Deregistered!

"Malaysian Taekwondo Association (MTA) had become an obstruction to the development of the sport in the country!" This was the reasons given by Sports Commissioner Tan Sri Elyas Omar for his decision to deregister the national body for Taekwondo.

My brother came back tonight (well, actually this morning as it was roughly 12++ midnight), informing the shocking news, as he was just back from a meeting called by Master Moi Chi Keong (MTA 7th Dan). The meeting was at first meant to discuss about internal matters regarding Moi's Taekwondo Martial Arts Academy and it was not suppose to have anything to do with MTA at large. Master Moi however, was not present during that meeting, but instead just left a message to my brother: "MTA is deregistered. I've got another meeting to discuss about this matter. So I can't make it to the meeting."

The family (My father, mother, my brother and me) generally discussed about the implications that might affect me and my brothers. Clearly, the three brothers (me and my other two brothers) are all black belters, certified by MTA. My younger brother and I am 2nd Dan, while my eldest brother is 3rd. My two brothers are teaching Taekwondo classes for their extra income. So if MTA is deregistered, that would mean their classes would than be illegal under the law. That would thus mean no more extra income from Taekwondo.

Coincidentally while we were discussing about those matters, the news came out in the TV. The late night news, where Tan Sri Elyas Omar announced about the deregistration. As TV news are mostly headlines with brief descriptions, so I further checked in the Bernama.com. The two head lines are: Taekwondo Association Deregistered by Sports Commissioner and MTA Cries 'Unjust', 'Extreme' Over Deregistration.

The report, however, I noticed is horrendously manipulated from the actual situation. This is especially when it comes to the internal political problems faced by MTA. Bernama reported:

Elyas also distributed to the reporters photocopies of the 13-page MTA deregistration report and the reasons for the deregistration.

He said the trouble started last year and involved MTA affiliated members -- 17 full members and 49 associate members -- because the associate members did not have voting rights.

"The associate members tried to fight for their rights by forming 'Associate Clubs of MTA' and 'Associate Clubs Committee'.

"MTA responded by firing the club's founder. Following this, MTA president (Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Seth) and his deputy (Datuk Mohd Nazim Abdul Razak) stepped down last November," he said.


The report seems to emphasize that the founder of the MTA (Leow Cheng Koon) acts as a hero. Where, it would generally be understood from the report that Leow tried to fight for the voting rights of the associate members. He was fired by MTA for his struggle to uphold democracy.

The actual scenario (according to a senior student of Master Moi Chee Keong), however, is actually upside down. There was indeed a struggle to uphold democracy in MTA. But instead of the founder of MTA (Leow Cheng Koon) leading the struggle to fight for the associate members' right, he was actually the one against it. Leow was actually the figure who had denied democracy in MTA, and when at last democracy prevails, it was fair enough for the association to fire him.

As opposing to the second head line I mentioned above (MTA Cries 'Unjust', 'Extreme' Over Deregistration), Tan Sri Elyas Omar said MTA has 30 days to appeal against the decision to the Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman. It seems here that as if just is going to take place, where the injured party is given an opportunity to voice out disagreement. However, let's not forget the fact that Dato' Azalina is a senior and active member (5th Dan) of the International Taekwondo Association (ITFM), which apparently has always been MTA's rival in the complicated politics of Taekwondo.

Since Leow was fired from MTA, he founded a new Taekwondo association called the Malaysian Taekwondo Union (MTU). MTU however could not compete with MTA, as MTA already received recognition from its affiliate in Soul, South Korea. MTA is affiliated with the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF), which is the only Taekwondo school recognized by the Olympic Council to be competed in Olympic level competitions.

However, as MTA is now deregistered, there are a lot of possibilities that might happen. MTU certainly is now on a stronger position compared to MTA, as MTA it self technically is not an existing association.

Let's just wait and see...

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