Officials learnt that admin exec was convicted of theft just last month
By Leonard Lim
HOT on the heels of public criticism of the Singapore Badminton Association’s move to re-hire an employee convicted of corruption back in his previous post, officials were stunned with another find yesterday.
On the association’s payroll is someone who, just 13 days ago, had pleaded guilty to theft. It had hired him without knowing about his case.
Court documents showed that SBA high performance executive Ramesh Techinamurthi had admitted on Sept 26 to stealing $425 last December while working as a sports executive at the Singapore Cricket Club. He was arrested by police on April 11.
He is appealing against the 20-week jail term handed down by a District Court.
Ramesh, 40, who joined the SBA in March, is in Indonesia on a national training trip and is expected back this weekend.
‘I’ve been instructed not to speak,’ he said over the telephone last night.
SBA staff were shocked and said they knew nothing about Ramesh’s case when told about it yesterday.
Responding to queries, SBA chief executive officer Edwin Pang said in an e-mail: ‘He did not declare his conviction to us as required under the terms and conditions of his employment as an Administrative Executive (high performance).
‘The disciplinary committee plan to interview him upon his return to decide on further action.’
Pang declined further comment.
The latest development is bound to put the SBA under the spotlight again.
Last weekend, The Sunday Times reported that the SBA had re-employed Zheng Qingjin as its technical director, effective on Oct 2.
This, despite the 65-year-old having been fined $20,000 last December for abusing this very position to accept bribes totalling $6,000.
The technical director is overall in charge of training national shuttlers and coaches, and coach recruitment.
Zheng, who stepped down in 2006, citing ill health, took bribes in return for recommending that former women’s coach You Guangli be made chief coach and that You’s contract be renewed.
These offences happened between 2004 and 2005.
Members of the public questioned the wisdom of hiring Zheng in the same post in which the offences took place.
But the SBA insisted on Tuesday that the Fujian native, a former China doubles specialist, was still the best man for the job.