Storm in an Ipoh Tea Cup

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My name is Stewart Hoo and, until this past April, I had been the president of the Royal Ipoh Club (RIC) for two consecutive years. This letter was prompted by the publishing of an article in Ipoh Echo issue 120 written by Fathol Zaman Bukhari outlining some of the events surrounding the recent Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the RIC members.

As you might imagine, I was not pleased with what Fathol reported since it did little but cast a negative light on me and my committee’s performance. I am writing to offer my views on what transpired at the AGM in the hopes of dispelling some misconceptions that readers may have gotten from the article.

Let me begin with the CCTV issue. CCTV was originally installed to curtail inappropriate behaviour by some members. As one might expect, those mostly affected by this system were members whose actions were what prompted the installation of the system to begin with and naturally, they were primarily the ones to initiate demands for its removal. At the 2010 AGM, a motion to remove the system was overwhelmingly defeated by a vote of 14 to 2. Thus, no action was taken to remove it.

The ROS matter which was brought up was not reported accurately. The ROS (Registrar Of Societies) has, in fact, not initiated actions to de-register the club. In actual fact, ROS only sent a show-cause letter and the club’s Management Committee has replied and is now awaiting an answer from ROS. There are reasons why this matter was brought up at the AGM which I choose not to detail here as it is not my intent to cause further embarrassment to the member(s) involved.

Regarding my inaction over a fracas involving a member of my committee, it was explained to the membership that this matter is under police investigation and since there had been no formal complaint filed by any members, the matter could not be referred to the disciplinary committee (DC).

One thing that was not mentioned by the reporter in the article was the behaviour and manner that was displayed by some of the members at the AGM. It was at times, reprehensible and mob-like, to say the least.

On a more positive note, some of the things achieved during my tenure as President were:

I negotiated with Palmgold Corporation Bhd’s owner to allow Royal Ipoh Club members to use their building at Jalan Datoh (next to Overseas Restaurant) as Royal Ipoh Club Sport Annex free of charge for the next thirty years with the entire building and facilities fully refurbished and renovated.

During my presidency, my committee recruited approximately 100 new members and collected new membership fees of RM7,500 per member.

Palmgold Corporation Bhd also sponsored RM550,000 (Five-hundred and fifty-thousand) in CASH as a renovation fund for Royal Ipoh Club’s main/existing clubhouse.

The Idris Bar, Dining Room, Veranda, main entrance door and the ladies’ and gents’ washrooms were completely renovated.

I introduced the ISO9001:2008 (Quality Management System) so that the club will be run by any management committee under the standard quality management system.

All in all I am very pleased with what was accomplished during my two years as President of RIC but, as is the case with any organisation, you can’t make everyone happy all of the time. In my role as President it was my responsibility to ensure that the best interest of Royal Ipoh Club and the majority of its membership came first. I believe I have achieved this goal and made the club a better place for it.

Stewart Hoo