Singapore— Multi-awarded marathoner Soh Rui Yong, who was excluded from the country’s line-up of athletes for the SEA Games in the Philippines later this year, has taken to social media to continue his beef with Singapore Athletics.
Mr Soh said on his Facebook page that he had been blocked from the WhatsApp and social media pages of Singapore Athletics, in a sarcastic post ‘congratulating’ Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied, the executive director of Singapore Athletics, as well as the other officers of the organization.
On August 5, Monday, the marathoner wrote,
“I just want to take 5min to congratulate Malik Aljunied and the rest of his Singapore Athletics management team for being great role models:
- When an athlete disagrees with you, block them on WhatsApp and all social media platforms with no reason given rather than sending him an email/text/calling him, communicating and working it out together.
- Ordering your junior staff to remove me from the WhatsApp group and block me from social media, rather than doing it yourself. I’ve always thought that ‘He who passes the sentence should swing the sword’, but you’ve taught me otherwise now.
Wishing you all the best in your continued attempts to build up the sport of athletics in Singapore. Happy Monday everyone!”
Mr Roh accompanied his post with two screenshots from WhatsApp chats. One, presumably sent to the marathoner, contained the message “Hi bro. I’ve been instructed to block and remove you from our social media platforms. Not my call. Pls dun hentam me.”
The other screenshot showed a group called ‘SAA Closed’ and contained some race results. The most important part, however, was at the bottom where it was indicated that the recipient had even removed from the group, and contained the message, “You can’t send messages to this group because you’re no longer a participant.”
Mr Malik, who has spoken on the matter to both The Straits Times (ST) and TODAY Online, said that Mr Soh’s blocking from SA’s social media and messaging platforms is “temporary,” and the reason for the block is that the runner has been a negative influence.
SA’s executive director Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied told TODAY on Monday (Aug 5) that Mr Soh has been blocked “temporarily” from the association’s social media platforms — including WhatsApp chat groups, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram — to prevent him from posting on them because he was a negative influence.
He told TODAY that Mr Soh’s posts “were very negative and we are concerned about the effect of his posts on the fraternity as a whole. What we would really like to do is to encourage positive postings regarding athletics. We should be celebrating the fact that 20 athletes were selected for the SEA Games.”
Speaking to ST, Mr Malik said he recommended to the management committee of SA to investigate the alleged breaches the runner committed against SA athlete’s code of conduct.
He added, “The main concern for me now is taking care of the SEA Games team. I am serving many roles because we don’t have a technical director or high-performance manager… and our priority is to use sport as a force for good.”/ TISG