NAYPYITAW, Dec 9 (Bernama) -- The absence of the Malaysian contingent's Chef-de-Mission (CDM) at the wushu arena for the prize presentation ceremony has caused a stir among organisers and the Malaysian contingent at the 27th Myanmar SEA Games here.
The CDM for the games, Datuk Wira Amiruddin Embi was not around to give away the prize for wushu gold medal winner Diana Bong Siong Lin on Saturday and again today when Phoon Eyin won the gold medal which also happened to be the country's 1,000th gold medal in the SEA Games series since 1959.
Diana Bong had won the country's first gold medal in the women's Nanquan on Saturday and Amiruddin's absence had raised more questions than answers to the wushu team and the organisers who were frantically looking for him to give away the prizes at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium, the venue for wushu.
Only the National Sports Council's (NSC) acting director of athletes' preparation Arrifin Mohd Ghani represented the country at the prize presentation ceremony, leaving the wushu team gasping for answers.
Bernama was later informed that the CDM would only arrive in Naypyitaw today (afternoon).
National wushu coach Yoong Thong Foong said the absence of the CDM was an embarrassment to the country since everyone was looking for him while CDM from the respective participating countries were already present in Myanmar.
"I was embarrassed when everyone the organisers were repeatedly asking me for the CDM. Even more disappointing was when the athletes questioned his absence today. On our part (wushu) I have already informed the CDM that we have targetted three gold medals," he told reporters here, today.
Yoong said due to the absence of high ranking officials, he had to give away the prizes.
"Such things (coach giving away prizes) has probably not happened in such a high level competition. We have already won three gold, five silver and five bronze medals," he said.
The million dollar question at the arena was, if the NSC and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) knew that Amiruddin would be arriving in Myanmar late, why was there no contingency plan to ensure his deputy or any high ranking official was at the arena to represent him.
From Ahmad Muliady Abdul Majid -- BERNAMA