MBAM’s reply to Koon Yew Yin on Master Builders president

By Foo Chek Lee

It has come to the attention of the Master Builders Association Malaysia (MBAM) that our past secretary-general Koon Yew Yin has written an open letter in his blog koonyewyin.com that has caused much confusion among our association members.

His letter was circulated in the public domain and published in the local Chinese press and news portal freemalaysiatoday.com on June 28.

His remarks under the title “Tan Sri AK Nathan deserves to be MBAM president” raised serious allegations with regards to the recent conduct in the MBAM AGM on June 23 that elected 26 council members to lead MBAM for the two-year tenure from 2018 to 2020.

The import of his remarks has blemished the reputation of the MBAM which is the prime mover and recognised voice of the Malaysian construction industry.

I would like to put the record straight.

The June 23 MBAM AGM was a demonstration of the democratic rights of MBAM members to cast their votes to choose the office bearers for the next two-year tenure (2018-2020).

The entire transition process in the election of the new office bearers must follow the rule of law. The AGM was properly convened with sufficient notice given to members with voting rights to express their interest in vying for a position as one of the 26 council members.

These 26 elected council members will in turn vote to select the one person among themselves whom they feel will be able to lead and serve in the best interest of all MBAM members.

The conduct of the election of the 26 council members during the AGM on June 23 was transparent, supervised by elected scrutineers and witnessed by over 100 members. The quorum was met.

The MBAM appreciates Koon’s concern about MBAM and respects his personal preference of whom should lead MBAM into the future, but does not share the sentiments expressed by the strong and opinionated words used.

As an NGO that celebrated its 64th anniversary last month, MBAM will always acknowledge the invaluable contributions of all its previous office bearers including Koon and especially AK Nathan.

MBAM is indebted to Nathan for chairing the preparations of the 44th International Federation of Asian and West Pacific Contractors Associations happening in Kuala Lumpur on Nov 12 this year.

Koon served as MBAM secretary-general for nine years. He should know the proviso of the MBAM constitution that granting his personal wish to invite Nathan to be president, even when the latter was not elected, is tantamount to a travesty of the rights of members whom he himself had pledged to uphold when serving in his former position.

Another matter I would like to address is the suspicion voiced by Koon that Chinese contractors did not vote for Nathan because he is an Indian. This “flies in the face of the democratic process” and shows his disrespect of the electoral wishes of MBAM members who voted.

The duly-elected 26 council members have made their views heard and they do not have the jurisdiction vested in them nor can they afford the luxury to pander to his personal choice as to whom he wishes to head MBAM.

Foo Chek Lee is president of the caretaker council of the Master Builders Association Malaysia.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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