MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: ROYAL SELANGOR CLUB ON FIRE BATTLING MONEY INVESTIGATION
Clearly what was earlier reported on the myriad of problems infecting the two premier social clubs in Malaysia, these being The Royal Selangor Club (RSC) and the Royal Lake Gardens Club (RLGC) are more than mere allegations and reports.
On 19 December it was reported that some members of the RSC walked out of the EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) held in Kuala Lumpur in what has become practice by a desperate group of disgruntled former board members and members supporting the old board.
The walk out is one in a series of walkouts at various levels that occurred previously designed to stop the board from passing resolutions allowing it to further investigate the conduct of the previous board. That practice commonly known as “Quorum Busting” has become the hallmark of a dissident group at the RSC resisting independent scrutiny of its finances.
The RSC’s disruptions are believed to be directed by a former president of the RSC aided by a group of disgruntled members who appear to believe that they ought to be consulted on anything and everything the new RSC board decides upon.
There appears to be particular resistance by these dissidents over the prospect of an independent external audit into the club’s finances. They the dissidents see it otherwise and claim a denial of natural justice principles as their reason for Quorum Busting..
There appears to have been serious financial misconduct/ misappropriation and diversion of funds and property at the RSC. It is either that or simply the absence of financial and regulatory oversight or a case of gross negligence relating to the RSC’s finances over at a period of at least 3 years. This point is only disputed by the dissidents to the extent they will not allow a properly called meeting to conclude by their practice of Quorum Busting.
This device of frustrating proper board and club business is an invitation to a court sequel hopefully ending with a court ordering an independent external audit into the RCS’s finances. The motion whether called and approved or not calling for an independent external audit of club (RSC) finances is inevitable in one form or another.
The problems at the RSC (and the Lake Club) run much deeper than mere management style differences or denials of natural justice principles.
The recent walk out at the EGM raises serious questions about unlawful practices in the club that can be traced to a small coterie of members and office holders under previous management and the previous board of the RSC.
The dissidents it appears do not want what an investigation has already begun to throw up to see the light of day. And from what there is in available information the dissidents have much reason to fear a comprehensive external independent audit of the club.
The Quorum Busting and walkouts do not help anyone or the situation as an unlawful and unprincipled action it compels an external investigation into the club and its finances by independent external auditors.
The walkout has drawn an immense amount of curiosity, heat and interest into the RSC, its finances and its history. People – especially members – have begin to volunteer information identifying unlawful practices by individuals over the years relating to contentious unauthorised practices that they as members were never allowed to be tabled under the former board. Same issues the dissidents now complain of-Not being heard.
On the information available, there has already been discovery of possible misappropriation, misdirection or diversion of funds under previous administrations that total more than MYR 1,500,000 possibly twice as much.
Money diverted and directed to the uses of individual members, their benefit and in at least one instance to a complementary private business that absorbed club property in a seemingly seamless transfer of property appears to have been common under the RSC’s previous boards and managers.
It appears that the walkouts and the “black operations” of the few suspended and serving members is a desperate rear guard action by and on behalf of the few who benefited from receipt of RSC property and who now may have to account for the missing funds at the club.
These dissidents appear to be disrupting and frustrating the functions of the present board and investigators by preventing membership and the board at meetings from advancing their investigations into misappropriation of club monies through the legitimate procedure and process of meetings.
Whilst the disgruntled factions of dissidents claim denial of natural justice (no evidence of) and denial of procedural fairness, those claims on closer examination appear to be a “red herring” to distract the club, its members, the authorities and the public from the real core problems that carry criminal sanctions if these allegations and the evidence prove accurate. Prosecutions are likely to follow.
For the present and on the available evidence there is nothing in available evidence that would suggest the claims against previous boards are inaccurate.
It appears that the RSC with its serving judges, journalists, doctors, academics, politicians, lawyers and other professionals who have a lot to lose in their reputations or whats left of it now are likely to be the biggest losers in this fight. None seem too particularly disturbed by the possible consequences of the dissidents.
This is not over by a long shot yet. There are amongst the fighting factions, retired and serving judges who appear to also be taking sides in what appears to be a parlous game for a power grab at the RSC.
The EGM must proceed and an independent external audit must be conducted to explain by what authority individuals had siphoned large sums of money to their own personal causes however disguised and padded in their invoices.