SRC members vote to retain most incumbents

Sarbjit Singh.
Sarbjit Singh.

Singapore Recreation Club members have given a resounding show of support for its current management team, voting in 10 incumbents for the 12 posts at stake.

Vice-president Sarbjit Singh - standing for the top post - scored the highest winning margin, warding off rival Steven Goh by about 200 votes.

The keenly watched election, held at SRC's annual general meeting on Saturday, was pitched as a choice between continuing with the team elected two years ago or reverting to the previous one led by veteran president Johnny Goh.

In the 2014 election, nine of the 12 posts went to members of the incumbent team, with Dr Johnny Goh and Mr Steven Goh among the three of the old guard who were re-elected.

Members of Dr Singh's team re-elected this year include Mr Fabian Chan, who is the new vice-president, finance member Derrick D'Souza and games control board chairman Ronnie Chua.

Dr Goh, who was president for 22 years, was barred from running after he was suspended for eight months after a disciplinary probe for, among other things, "soliciting signatures for a false and malicious resolution". He failed in his appeal against the suspension last month.

Dr Singh, an orthopaedic surgeon, said Saturday's result was "a mandate to continue with the positive improvements and changes we have brought to the club ".

The committee plans to upgrade the gym's facilities after members at the AGM approved a $185,000 budget boost for the purpose.

"As more and more members age and cannot be expected to take part in field games like soccer or hockey, a gym uplift would be an alternative," said Dr Singh.

His other goal for the second term is to put in place a strong team to negotiate the club's lease renewal terms with the Singapore Land Authority, expected to come up for review in 2018. "We will also try to minimise, if not stop, all the political infighting which members agree the club can do without," he added.

Long-time SRC member Leo Meng Tong said he was "very happy" that most of the management had been re-elected, adding: "We want them to continue.

"They have brought back some sanity and peace and order to the club and that is what we want."

Defeated rival Mr Goh told The Straits Times: "The members have spoken. I accept the members' choice." More than 900 members attended Saturday's meeting.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2016, with the headline 'SRC members vote to retain most incumbents'. Subscribe