Golf: RCC president Yuen under fire

RCC president Simon Yuen had announced controversial plans to upgrade the club’s Palm Course (above).

SINGAPORE - Members of Raffles Country Club (RCC) have signed a petition to remove club president Simon Yuen from his position at the annual general meeting (AGM) later this month.

Yuen's management had announced plans to spend up to $26 million on a golf course upgrade in May.

In the proposal details sent out to members ahead of a meeting that month, the club's general committee had said the Palm Course - one of two at the club - was in need of an overhaul and that the money was a justifiable investment for the rest of its existing lease, which runs until November 2028.

But the notice did not include the full contents of a letter sent by the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) that same month.

It stated that lease extension talks would start before the end of this year.

The club's current lease still has 15 years and three months to run, but there is a chance the Government could take the site back after the term ends.

The SLA have urged the golf clubs to hold off on major development and recruitment plans for now.

Several members of the Tuasbased club are angry over the lack of disclosure, and questioned the timing of a vote to upgrade the course now, before the SLA have made their decision on an extension of the lease.

General meeting

At a general meeting last month, close to two-thirds of the voting members present rejected the proposal.

The petition to remove Yuen was initiated by ordinary member Willie Ong, a former general committee member.

It was submitted to the club's general manageron Wednesday to be included as an item on the AGM's agenda on Sept 27.

Ong, who has more than 150 signatures on the petition - at least 100 voting members are required - plans to call a motion to remove Yuen, referencing article 27.8 of the club's constitution.

The entry, in part, states that "the general committee may not act contrary to the expressed wishes of the general meeting without prior reference to it."

Said Ong: "Many members are unhappy... the most pressing reason being the non-disclosure of SLA's notice.

"The general meeting (where members voted against the proposal) was the turning point.

"That's when everyone realised there were many others who felt the same way. So, they all got united and decided to start this petition."

Yuen could not be reached for comment last Wednesday night.

The club want to draw $16 million from reserves for the course revamp, with the remaining $10 million coming through selling new memberships.

Members will also be asked to pay an extra monthly levy of $100 for up to 40 months. But they will get back some of the levy in the form of golf vouchers, for example.

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