Monday, 21 April 2014

Heated but civilised

I attended the annual general meeting of The Old Frees' Association yesterday. Normally, I wouldn't bother to arrive until about half-way through the meeting because there is always so much work to be done at home on Sunday mornings, but for this particular AGM, I decided that perhaps I should be present from its start to view the complete proceedings. And I did stay till the end for once too.

Many other members must have felt the same way, that they had to attend this AGM, because it had been a long time since the OFA hall had been jam-packed with so many people. Unofficially, I heard that there were 189 or 190 members present. 

I have to admit that my decision to arrive early was also based on an item on the Agenda where the out-going Management Committee was proposing an amendment to the association's Rules. Through the grapevine, I had already heard that many members were pretty unhappy about the proposed amendment. I really wanted to see for myself whether the proposal could be adopted or so.

Apparent not, because from the onset the feedback from the floor was very much against the proposal. Speaker after speaker did not mince their words, until the out-going Management Committee finally decided to pull back the proposal.

Personally, I just felt that the objections were not completely justified. As far as I could see, there was no ulterior motive by the Committee in proposing the amendment. The Old Frees' Association sits on a pot of gold and it would be irresponsible for any Management Committee not to look into maximising the use of its assets even though there may be no immediate need to do so.

So while I agree with the floor that the OFA should not make it easy to sell or dispose of this asset, we should still look into ways of increasing the value or income of what we enjoy presently. If there is a reason for redevelopment of the land and premises for the better of The Old Frees' Association, and if we need to amend the rules to make it easier to achieve our goals fast, I am for it. Just don't sell off the land, that's all I ask, and that's all I want.

Before the meeting began in the morning, the Chairman called for a one-minute silence to be observed for the late Karpal Singh. I felt that this was a very good gesture for Old Frees to stand by the Old Xavierians when the latter had suffered an irreplaceable loss like this. The demise of a towering Malaysian like this law-maker should be felt by Malaysians from all quarters and not simply from a section of society.

Do you get the impression that the letters 87TH were added to the backdrop only as an afterthought? Not only are they crooked, they do not balance. The whole design is lop-sided.

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