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New Table Tennis Chief Wants to Import More Foreign Mercenanaries to Appease Sponsors

New Singapore Table Tennis Association President Ms Ellen Lee is very aware that her tenure at the top will be measures in terms of gold, silver and bronze medals.

And the MP for Nee Soon GRC is also very certain that Singapore needs to continue importing foreign mercenaries in order to keep winning those medals.

She said in an interview with the Straits Times that “For the time being, it’s necessary to tap on the foreign-born players. It’ll be a lie to say otherwise.”

The reason for this, is simple – Singaporeans just aren’t good enough. And if they can’t bring in the silverware, sponsors of the table-tennis sport in Singapore will be very angry.

“For us, we cannot afford to lose… the bar is (already) there, and that is our minimal responsibility to our sponsors. We cannot let our sponsors down.”

STTA is one of the best-funded sports associations in Singapore, clinching sponsorship deals and donations that totaled millions under former president Lee Bee Wah.

For example, in January 2009, STTA pocketed more than S$1 million through a fund-raising dinner at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in one night.

“When we have big sponsors, they also want to see results, and they want to be associated with success. So we must win medals to show them that their sponsorship is also good and is producing results”

Ms Lee Bee Wah said at that time that part of the moey would be used for a retirement fund to support ex-players like Li Jiawei, a PRC-born Singaporean table tennis player who has returned to Beijing.

She also said that some of the money would go to youth development.

Ms Ellen Lee recognised that there are Singaporeans who are unhappy with importing foreign mercenaries to represent Singapore. She called this group of people “distractions”, and is under the impression that they are “the few vocal ones”.

“But we have our own views and we feel that we serve a community that is supportive of us and we won’t stop just because there are some distractions.”

She has urged Singaporeans to support the table-tennis associations decisions, and the players in its stable, Singaporeans or otherwise.



  1. James Ng

    January 5, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Even if SG were to win gold medals in table tennis in the Olympics Games, lwhere is the glory? winning with 100% PRCs. Ellen Lee is misusing tax payers money to buy medals. I urge ITTF to stop this scornful act immediately , Look at other Asian TT power houses like Japan and South Korea, they have 100% locals representing them, no PRCs no foreigners!
    Why having locals like Isabelle Li and Clarence in the team when they have no chance to be fielded in major tournaments, just for show? to hoodwink Singaporeans that locals are be trained and groomed ?These two youngsters are just wasting their precious time warming the benches, better spend their time in their

    • des

      October 5, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      South Korea do have players from China. in fact there are quite a few. Example like Jeon Jihee, Choi Hyojoo, Dang Ye Seo etc. Japan may not have foreign players but they have a Chinese as their coach. This is the trend in the table tennis. u would probably like to research a bit before ranting on government( my perspective of your comment).

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