Thursday, March 03, 2005

Reporting news – AGM

On 27 Feb 2005, Penang Island played host to what should have been the highlight of any ham member in Malaysia – The 2004 AGM and the election of the new committee.

Instead, what many of us witnessed was a major travesty of justice. The catalyst of this particular event was the balloting procedure designed by the 2003/2004 committee. - Sending of ballot papers received late dute to Dates and holidays during the CNY holidays
A major point of contention was that the official address for the balloting procedure was altered to an address in Penang in lieu of the one in our constitution. When queried, the Committee chose to ignore this infringement and proceeded with the AGM and election, claiming that it was insignificant. There are other infringements but this is a cardinal point to show that the incumbent and incoming committees care more about ‘convenience’ than about being right and abiding with the constitution. Any person in MARTS who should arbitrarily wield the constitution that binds us must in good faith reconsider his position.

We feel that those in elected positions who choose to serve the society and its members should worry less about their ‘rights’ and power and think more about their obligations and responsibilities – two terms that were never mentioned at this meeting.

Despite numerous protests from at least 5 members highlighting this infringement, the committee chose to proceed, pass the decision to the floor, and then arbitrarily choose to proceed – in that order.

In retrospect, an election is held to choose members who best exemplify the ham spirit and show the greatest aptitude to serving its members. This years elections saw 11 candidates, of which 9 were elected. This is indeed a poor showing and does little to reflect the ideals of democracy. It further shows poor representation of the diverse and varied interest groups in our ham fraternity. Due to the poorly run balloting and administrative skills of the outgoing committee, only 11 members stood for elections.

It is interesting to note that of the 11 members standing for election, 9 were standing for re-election. As one astute member pointed out, what have the 9 members done in the previous term to justify their re-election. As a matter of principle and a point of morality, we feel they should step down on this point alone.

Further to this we also see a conflict of interest in the inclusion of the remaining 2 members with a critical association with MARES. These members are respectively the technical advisor and the secretary of MARES. While reeking of complicity, it is just poor judgement that these two candidates should run, amounting to a conflict of interest.

One other critical observation of the past ‘election’ was the emphasis on representation of Mike and Whiskey class members. If this point is taken to its obvious conclusion, there would be more whiskey representatives aboard.

In our current time, we see self-regulation movements in areas of banking, taxation, local politics and many other areas that were previously controlled by the government. Marts and the ham community is and foremost one of the first self-regulating organizations in the world. That means we impose self limits on ourselves. Why move us back into the stone age by limiting representation?

In the final analysis, every ham member has to ask himself. Are you proud of your elected leaders? Are you convinced at least some of them are in the position to lobby your interests, rights and obligations? If the answer is no, you have an obligation to yourself and the future generations of ham to change the status quo.


9W2XI - Wilson said...

We left KL for Penang at 4.15am and made our way up north. We were full of energy despite the early morning trip, cheerful and in high spirit looking for a change, a better MARTS 2005

I was disappointed and taken aback with the proceeding of the AGM, never before have I seen such unjust from our elected council members conducting the proceeding so partial that one can sense the controversy and spotlights their intention.

Repeated pleas from various party including myself , seeking a postpone of the balloting and a fresh election to be held at a later date because the council members were

1. not sure how to proceed when its members ask for a ‘Null and void AGM’ due to manner council choose to conduct the proceeding which itself is contravene the Society’s Act.
2. they were 9 nominee in the nominee form sent out to members and during the AGM, members were introduce a new nomination form with 11 names.

or open the election to the members on the floor who attended the AGM (with or without the same propose nominee – afterall we as members have the right to elect our council) and we can then move on with the voting of the new council members not forgetting the votes which members have submitted thru proxy. This was outright rejected!!

The council choose not to consider my plea, as a member, but would rather take their que from a representative from another transmitting club seated at the front row as to what to do next!! . I ‘m utterly disappointed with our V. president’s loyalty and integrity , he should instead seek his committee’s opinion, hence I question is action, Why? Is this a plot?

Our vice president & council was ‘waved’ on to proceed, declaring that even there is a technical error – which contravene the law, the council choose to proceed and even challenge its member to do what needs to done.

I quote “ As members, you can do what you want ( referring to making official complain to ROS) and as council members we choose to continue, we carry on”

It seem clear to me from then on that the council members were not interested in our views, not too mention safeguarding MARTS , a society with a 50 years history. Instead of listening , they acted . True to their words, 2 police report is made. Let me remind you that they, the council, is our ‘keeper’ or are they hoping that we, as true Malaysians usually do, withdraw into the comfort of short memory and lupa kan saja ….

I just can’t help thinking that is unfortunate event is just the tip of an iceberg and that there could be a bigger agenda … is the charade ending anytime soon?

Francis said...

I was there to see it with my own eyes and seeing is believing.It is one of the worst and most childish act by the council.

Shame, is all I can say about the AGM.

Caring members were trying their very best to convince the council to stop the proceedings and to declare it "Null and Void" due to technicalities that did not conform to the constitution but were summarily ignored. Even the ones holding the constitution book in their hands and claim that they are well-versed were encouraging the proceedings.

These people were holding stricty to the words of the constitution but when it comes time to address the legality of the balloting postal address, they are suddenly silent and have turned a deaf ear to protests from the members. They instead supported the council to proceed with this illegal election.

These hypocrites are using the constitution to their convenience and ignoring it when it doesn't suit them. What were their motives?

Shame on the Vice-President for openly declaring that he "know nuts about the constitution". Ignorance is no excuse. Is this the type of Council members that will lead the Society to the future? I think not.

They were elected to take care of the society by the members but what have they done so far. Talk, talk and talk that's what they have been doing. I guess they are still not tired of talking that's why they are still want to be re-elected.

Is that what we want from the council to take care of the society? So caring members, I think the time has come for you and me to practice our rights and do our part in helping MARTS get back to it's glory days.

de 9W2XC

11:09 AM

Anneliza said...

It was indeed a cold morning that 27 February, 2005. It was raining and starting the journey to Penang at 4.30am was no easy feat. But excitement was in the air as we were on our way to meet the other HAM members, for our excursion to Penang.

It was a pleasant trip, what with the jokes and camaraderie over the airwaves, accompanying us all the way to Penang. Everyone in that group was full of good cheer and happy feelings.

The mood however, immediately turned sour when we tried to register ourselves. Our group had banked in our membership fees, but I for one, and a few others, did not realize that we had to fax over the bank in slip to inform the Council that we had made payments, our entry was delayed and we were made to feel like out-casts, no friendly faces assisted us through this. There were only whisperings and discussions until finally we were issued stickers with different coloured markers, codes we presume but didn't know for what ....

Next came the absolutely outrageous proceedings of the nominations, balloting and elections procedures. There were members who tried to give a voice of reason and was ignored as aptly described by the writer, Wilson and Francis.

There were members who had begged, and requested that his plea be recorded as such in the minutes, begged for the Council to consider other options, as what they were doing was illegal. But his plea too was ignored.

There were members who requested that his 4 protests would be officially registered and nobody knew whether this was recorded in the minutes.

After much deliberation by the Council, this portion of the AGM was skipped and moved on the next item.

As this was happening, there were suddenly movements and lo and behold, the ballot papers were being counted....

As a member I was puzzled - how, when and who had decided to proceed with the elections?? Wasn't it being put on hold??

What saddened and angered me was the nonchalant manner the existing Council was taking about the whole AGM proceedings. The AGM was made a mockery of and some members of the floor were more in control of the proceedings than were the Council members.

Another item that was taken way too lightly was the way the financial reporting was conducted. 9W2CP had taken pains to highlight key and pertinent points with regards to some glaring errors that appeared in the financial reporting.

For example, there were alterations made on some of the figures in the financial reports that were not verified by the auditors, some discrepency in reporting that were not clear and Bessie had taken pains to highlight it for the members benefit.

What did our Council members do about it? They practically brushed her aside by saying that they were no expert and they had to find some auditor at the very last minute, and we are lucky that we manage to get an auditor to look at our reports. Apparently, most of the auditors did not want to do it with the short notice given. That comment did not inspire confidence in me, as I now doubt the credibility of the auditors.

That is our members money we are talking about. Our money pooled together to be used for the betterment of the society and its facilities.

By having a member of the floor shouting out loud and asking the Treasurer - Did you cheat us? Did you cheat on any of the reporting? and having the treasurer shake his head DOES NOT make it okay to approve the financial reporting ESPECIALLY since 9W2CP had pointed out glaring discrepencies that needed rectification.

To have it pooh-poohed at by the Council and members from the floor is not funny. It's as good as saying, I am no expert, so trust me to manage it as I will not cheat you because I say so. I for one do not think it's okay. I want proof that you are not mismanaging the funds...credible proof and how can it be that you are appointed as the Council and you do not know? It is NOT okay because you are the elected Council - YOU HAVE TO KNOW...

If all we do is listen to who can shout the loudest and not who has the quiet reasoning voice, MARTS will surely land in more hot water than the land of progress.

I too, although not active on the air-waves, have appreciated the friendships forged along the way and miss the social gatherings, exhibitions and participations in shows and etc, that were a norm back then when I first joined the association.

It has decayed so badly in the past 2 years that the 50+ years of foundation is crumbling and is just waiting to topple.

Good people, let us not just sit and wait for the house to fall in shambles around our feet. We should start today to fix and right the wrongs and make MARTS an association that we can all be proud of once again....

As the Council said on that day, 2 wrongs or 3 wrongs CANNOT EVER make a right. If the Council has embarked and is built on wrong foundations, then it is a house of cards, awaiting the slightest breeze to topple - how can it then, stand a hurricane in its path???

9W2MCT - Tony said...

Aye Aye, Said the matey on deck!
And I say, aye aye, as a member of MARTS, I cannot agree more! WE CANNOT STAND ASIDE SEING INJUSTICE AND THEN SAY IT IS ALRIGHT!

The nonchalant manner in which the council conducted themselves speaks for itself. Till date, I cannot think of a reason sane enough to explain their actions.

I for one, decided to leave my family in KL for that day to see to my responsibility as a member in having a say in our Society. It is as though that I have been slapped in the face. It is as if you went to a family reunion, only to be told by your parents that you do not have a say any more, because, they have decided that your interest in the family does not matter.

But alas, although the proceedings of the AGM was , farcical, I still think that MARTS as a Society has hope!
This is because, that this site, independant, created by members who care, has drawn the best from those others who care more.
Let us stand united to keep our antenna up straight!

Anonymous said...

Dear Editor,

Can we have all the names of the new MARTS council up on the page.It is not publish any where on your page and also it is not on the official MARTS web page.

Thank You