SCC leaders retain posts at special general meeting

SCC leaders retain posts at special general meeting
Singapore Cricket Club (lower left).
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A dispute between the Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) leadership and seven general committee members has ended with both sides keeping their places. Moves to remove either side were turned down during Thursday's crowded and raucous special general meeting held at the SCC Padang clubhouse.

A notice issued to members by the club's general manager Nigel Stearns said that a resolution to get SCC president Baldev Singh and his deputy Brian Teo to vacate their office was not carried.

A no-confidence motion brought against the seven general committee members who had sought to oust the leadership also failed to be passed, and a move asking for a probe into the conduct of the seven was declared invalid. The president and his deputy had no part in the move to oust the seven.

Members of the club were divided as to the reasons for the discontent. Supporters of the seven claimed there were concerns about club rules not being followed when committee decisions were made.

But others were said to have taken issue with Mr Singh and his deputy over a plan to preserve club finances by tightening the sports membership scheme - creating worries that the club may lose its sporting tradition.

Sports members, who can play cricket, football and rugby at a proscribed level, pay a fixed annual fee of $2,500. Ordinary members fork out around $20,000. Both types of members pay $103 in monthly subscriptions.

According to sources, Thursday's meeting was attended by around 900 members. It was marked by the loud views of members promoting their sides.

Long-time member George Joseph said the meeting was " totally unnecessary, costing distress, time and money. Better standards would have been expected of this premier club". "The parties concerned should have known better than to settle differences in this way," he added.

Added lawyer P. Suppiah, also a member: "Perhaps a template should be drawn up to indicate the general circumstances when a no-confidence motion can be initiated. It would be unfair to the incumbent office-holders if their performances are up for scrutiny and impugned just by collecting the required minimum of member signatures for a general meeting."

Others, like Mr Mark Mirosevic- Sorgo, a 58-year-old ship broker who became a member four years ago, sounded upbeat.

He said that during the meeting, there were discussions between the members and main players involved in the dispute, and he felt they were already on the path towards reconciliation.

Veteran member and former SCC women's hockey captain and convenor Josephine Ee, speaking on behalf of the rules and membership sub-committee, said the issue "is not about changing the criteria for sports membership but about applying the current sports membership rules".

Mr Singh, who had earlier made clear the club's commitment to sports, told The Straits Times yesterday: "This has been a learning experience for all of us. My colleagues and I are humbled by this show of support. We can all now move forward and put our efforts together in making this club the great club that we all want it to be."

This article was first published on November 14, 2015.
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