Letters to the Editor
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"Annual General Meeting"
Eighty-one members turned up at the College of Medicine Building Auditorium on 11 April 1999 to attend the Annual General Meeting of the 39th SMA Council. After the buffet lunch, the Meeting proper commenced at 2.30pm.
Highlights of the AGM:
1. SMA Pte Ltd
After going through the main Council report, the Honorary Treasurer proceeded to give a presentation on the proposed SMA Pte Ltd. He explained the reasons for Councils proposal to the formation of an incorporated company, the activities of the incorporated company as well as the advice from SMAs Legal Advisor and Auditor on steps to be taken for the formation of the incorporated company.
Based on the advice of the Legal Advisor and Auditor, in order for SMA to form an incorporated company to purchase property, the existing SMA Constitutions would have to be amended. Three Resolutions were tabled for members comments before they cast their votes.
Resolution 1: Setting up of Incorporated Company
"That the SMA membership through AGM authorises the SMA Council to proceed with the incorporation of a private limited company. The company will be wholly owned by SMA and the shares in the company may be held by nominee(s) of the SMA to be appointed by the SMA Council."
Some members expressed concerns about the appointment of nominees to hold the shares of the Company and others suggested alternative systems such as formation of a cooperative instead of a Company.
The House eventually agreed to amend the Resolution as "That the SMA membership through AGM authorises the SMA Council to proceed with the incorporation of a private limited company. The company will be wholly owned by SMA." The amended Resolution was passed.
The other two resolutions that were passed are:
Resolution 2: Activities of the Incorporated Company
"That the SMA membership through AGM, authorises the company incorporated, to be involved in publication, organisation of courses, property ownership and any other activities deemed fit by the SMA Council."
Resolution 3: Property Purchase of the Incorporated Company
"That the SMA membership through the AGM authorises the company incorporated to purchase a suitable property provided it does not exceed $4 million in value."
3. Amendments to SMA Constitution
The next item on the Agenda was the proposal to amend the current Constitution so as to facilitate the formation of the incorporated Company. More than two thirds of the members present voted in favour of the following Constitutional amendments:
Article II Section (XV) (New Section)
"To incorporate a limited company to carry out and/or promote any or all of the objects and activities of the Association."
Article XII Section 2
"All property acquired by the Association shall be held by the limited company incorporated by the Association or vested in three trustees, who shall be recommended by the Council for appointment by General Meeting of the Association. Their appointment shall be approved at the next General Meeting of the Association. Such trustees so appointed shall deal with the said property in the manner and under the direction of the Council, and shall serve for a period of five years."
Article VIII Section 2
"The President shall hold office for one year. His term as Council member may end concurrently as his tenure as President. He is eligible for re-election as President up to a maximum of 3 consecutive years. No member can stand for election to the Presidency unless he has served in previous Councils for at least 2 years."
The House was informed that there is no change in the tenure of the President. It is only a technical amendment to consolidate the Constitution.
Article VIII Section 7
"The 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents, Honorary Secretary, Honorary Assistant Secretary may be re-elected year after year to hold the same office. The Honorary Treasurer shall be eligible for election for up to two terms of one year consecutively."
The Chairman explained that as SMA provides more services to members, the financial aspects of SMA also grow in complexity and scale. Having the option of electing the Treasurer for 2 years facilitates more continuity in the supervision over the finances of SMA. The Chairman further assured that the Registrar of Societies has no objection to the Treasurer holding office for a two year term as long as appropriate amendments were made to the Constitution.
4. Election of the 40th SMA Council for 1999/2000
A secret ballot was conducted as there were 10 nominations to fill 8 vacancies in the 1999/2000 Council. The successful nominees elected for a 2-year term are: A/Prof Cheong Pak Yean, Dr Lee Pheng Soon, A/Prof Low Cheng Hock, Drs Tan Kok Soo, Tan Yu Meng, Ivor Thevathasan, Wong Chiang Yin and Wong Tien Yin. The other Council members who were elected at the last AGM and who would be serving their second term are Dr Ang Peng Tiam, A/Prof Vivian Balakrishnan, Drs Chong Yeh Woei, Chow Wan Cheng, Goh Jin Hian, Tan Sze Wee, Yue Wai Mun and A/Prof Goh Lee Gan.
The following were unanimously elected office bearers of the 40th SMA Council:
President A/Prof Goh Lee Gan
1st Vice President A/Prof Low Cheng Hock
2nd Vice President Dr Tan Kok Soo
Hon Secretary Dr Wong Chiang Yin
Hon Assistant Secretary Dr Tan Sze Wee
Hon Treasurer Dr Yue Wai Mun
These amendments were submitted to the Registry of Society for approval. We shall keep members posted on the development of the incorporation process.
5. Honorary Membership
The House unanimously elected Dr Robert Loh Choo Kiat and E/Prof Shanmugaratnam to SMA Honorary membership. The Membership was conferred to both doctors during the SMA 40th Anniversary Dinner on 1 May 1999 at the Regent Hotel.