PETALING JAYA: The Seremban International Golf Club may have another problem on its hands now that its president Aminuddin Harun, the Negeri Sembilan menteri besar, has said he would resign after members voted to restore beer sales.
And Aminuddin himself may be in a Catch-22 situation.
This is because the club constitution states that whoever is the state’s menteri besar automatically becomes club president.
Former club secretary Shanjoy Choudhury said Aminuddin would not be able to resign as the post was exclusively held by whoever was the menteri besar of the state.
“Article 15.1.1 states the president shall be the person who, for the time being, holds the post of menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan.
“This means, he can only stop being president if he resigns or ceases to be menteri besar,” Choudhury told FMT.
Since 1991, the menteri besar and the state secretary have automatically been elected as president and deputy president. The menteri besar also appoints the secretary, treasurer, club captain and five committee members.
The state government owns the 18-hole golf course, but the 1,500 members own the clubhouse and other sports facilities. Club members are mostly civil servants, pensioners and private sector employees.
Choudhury, who was a committee member and later club secretary between 2003 and 2014, said Aminuddin could, however, remain as president but stay away from chairing meetings and not take part in any activities.
Alternatively, he said, Aminuddin could be relieved of his position if there was an amendment to the club’s constitution stating that the menteri besar need not automatically become president and that the club president could be elected from among members.
“Preferably, the entire committee should be elected just like in the good old days but that will be wishful thinking,” Choudhury said.
Choudhury said this in response to Aminuddin’s desire to give up the club presidency after members unanimously voted to lift the ban on beer sales that the committee imposed last August.
“I have resigned in principle, and I will submit the letter in the near future,” he told reporters in Seremban on Monday.
Aminuddin had previously said he would step down as president if the club continued to sell alcoholic beverages. He had said that the sale of beer did not take into account local sensitivities as the club was surrounded by mosques and housing estates where the majority of the residents were Muslims.
He said he respected the members’ decision made at an extraordinary general meeting on Sunday.
“I have no issue. It is in their constitution,” he had said.
The club had served beer prior to August last year. However, a ban came into effect in August after Aminuddin took office.
Members argued that the decision to stop beer sales went against the club’s constitution and a 63-year practice of selling and serving beer. It was also against the will of the majority of the members.
Choudhury said former menteri besar Mohd Isa Abdul Samad never chaired any meeting in 2003 when he was president.
“His deputy, the state secretary was the one who chaired the monthly committee meetings,” he added.
He said a provision that any member of the committee who failed to attend three consecutive meetings without valid reason and was deemed to have resigned did not apply to the president and the deputy.
Choudhury said, in order of seniority, the constitution also allowed one of the two elected vice-presidents, the club captain and any one committee member to chair meetings
“Nine of the 17-member committee, including the chairman, shall form a quorum,” he said.