SINGAPORE - Veteran member Andrew Low romped home as the new Singapore Island Country Club president on Friday night (Sept 29), fending off closest rival Goh Ho Wee by 264 votes.
Mr Low, 57, garnered 716 votes compared to 452 for Mr Goh while other three candidates all failed to secure more than 100 votes in the elections, where a record five candidates had vied for the top post.
The election to the top post caps 36 years of club activity for Mr Low, who has served in various Club positions since 1986 including the General Committee, Club Captain and Vice President.
The SICC, with total assets valued at $555,803,000 according to its 2017 annual report, has a membership strength of about 18,000 including registered spouses and children.
Mr Low had listed the Club's reserves as a major concern in his manifesto, urging prudent financial management to ensure the Club's long term sustainability.
He also cited finalising terms and conditions with NTUC and finding favourable conclusions to both land leases with the authorities as one of his immediate objectives.
"I am passionate to serve the Club. Having relevant experience with club and corporate issues, I wish to lead SICC as a premium club for the benefit of members," he said,
Commenting on the outcome, defeated candidate P Suppiah said the race was well and cleanly fought and there was no rancour or anything of the sort.
"I congratulate Mr Low and wish him well and if he does well for the Club , it is the members who will benefit," added Mr Suppiah, a former vice-president.
Mr Low's election comes on the back of an unusual twist in the run-up where a disciplinary tribunal's order for the suspension of Mr Goh was issued after he had filed nomination papers, prompting the General Committee to intervene and order the suspension be stayed until the appeal could be substantively heard.
In a notice to members on Tuesday, the SICC management explained the three month suspension on Mr Goh had been stayed to ensure he did not suffer prejudice in the event his appeal against the tribunal's decision to suspend him is allowed.
The GC took into account the "exceptional circumstances" in the case, including the timing of the disciplinary tribunal's decision, released after Mr Goh's nomination had been filed and accepted.
The tribunal had suspended Mr Goh on Sept 19, regarding communications he had made to some members.
Mr Goh,77, appealed via email to the GC the next day requesting that his appeal be heard at its meeting the following day.
The GC considered his request but did not proceed to hear or determine the appeal substantively.
"However, having duly considered legal advice obtained in respect of the GC's powers in an appeal and taking into account all prevailing circumstances, the GC ordered that Mr Goh's suspension be stayed pending resolution of the appeal," said the SICC notice.
In ordering the stay, the GC noted it was "unlikely" the substantive appeal could be heard before the GC elections due to take place.
The GC, which also considered the Club Rules, noted Mr Goh had requested his appeal to be heard on an urgent basis, given the timing of the appeal which were part of the exceptional circumstances.
" The GC decided that the status quo be best maintained so as to prevent Mr Goh suffering from prejudice in the event his appeal is subsequently allowed."