Over 600 call for SRC committee to be dissolved

Members sign petition over issues regarding voting results and membership price

Mr John Tan (above), 53, games control board chairman, and Mr Steven Goh, 56, management committee member, were advised to call for the EGM.
Mr John Tan (above), 53, games control board chairman, and Mr Steven Goh, 56, management committee member, were advised to call for the EGM.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

More than 600 members of Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) have signed a petition demanding an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) so they can dissolve the management committee.

The EGM would also seek to resolve an issue that arose from the last annual general meeting (AGM), when a resolution to oust five management committee members of the 132-year-old club fell through despite getting strong support.

Committee members John Tan and Steven Goh, who started the petition, have also raised concerns over the "historically low" membership price - it has fallen under $5,000 - since the new management committee took office in the 5,500-member club last April.

The petition was handed to the club last Friday, said Mr Tan.

Mr Tan and Mr Goh want an EGM to provide a platform for members Raymond Lim and Ron Tan to air their views over the results of a resolution they proposed at the last AGM. Proposed by Mr Lim, and seconded by Mr Ron Tan, it had alleged that the five members had failed "to safeguard the club's monies by allowing the elected committee member, Mr Sam Wong, to award repairs and renovations contracts to his son's company".

Mr Wong, who is chairman of facilities and maintenance at the club, was accused of awarding jobs to Brio Construction and Engineering, where he is a director and shareholder, "without any declaration of deemed interest and approval from the management committee".

The resolution sought to oust the five committee members, including Mr Wong. It received 241 votes out of the 488 cast. Just 145 members voted against the move, with 23 spoilt votes and another 79 votes sent in blank. Even though the highest number of votes were in favour of the resolution, an SRC spokesman had told The Straits Times previously that the resolution was not passed because it "did not attain a simple majority based on votes cast". The spokesman explained that the voting and counting process was done by independent scrutineers who tabulated and certified the final results, which were accepted by the members present at a meeting held on April 25.

Before the AGM, the members named in Mr Lim's resolution had separately served lawyers' letters, dated April 20, to Mr Lim and Mr Ron Tan for their allegedly defamatory remarks made in the resolution.

Mr John Tan said that despite the two members writing to the club to seek clarifications on the results, no meeting was held by the management committee to discuss the matter. Instead, the two members were advised to call for an EGM to resolve the matter.

"The club's Constitution stated that the committee may, at any time call for an EGM upon the requisition in writing of any 500 members, and we have gathered more than 600 signatures," said Mr Tan.

"Until today, more signatures are pouring in to support the call for an EGM. Even the lady members have signed the petition. It is the first time in the club's history that lady members are involved in a petition."

The club confirmed receiving the petition but declined to comment. Management committee members met last night to discuss the petition.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2015, with the headline 'Over 600 call for SRC committee to be dissolved'. Subscribe