The wants of a few triumph over the needs of many...
By a Young Doctor at the MMA AGM, Melaka, 28-29 May, 2010
The AGM was shown in all its fault this 50th AGM.,... Where it should have heralded a new era for the MMA, it showed us at our lowest point.
It was said in the last 2 AGM's that only those that care for the association attend the AGM. The arrogance displayed by those in attendance was astounding and I was ashamed to have brought my friends in attendance to see grown man attack each other without regard for the professional image we strive to uphold daily. Our feelings and thoughts from 4 different states at least were brushed aside just because we were of a small number in the AGM.... and therein lies the fault of the association and the constitution we try so valiantly to follow,
A mere 2% of the membership wield the power to change the constitution at their whims and fancy. As shown in this AGM, all that is needed is the will to bring a few dozen members who are sympathetic to your fight and you can win any resolution put up. Perhaps we did not learn from last year where it was the timely intervention of the Opthalmo society which staved off the inevitable. There are many who attend the AGM year in and year out and perhaps by seeing the same faces yearly have become, if I may call it arrogant in their thoughts that they are the only stalwarts of the Association. Perhaps this year we lacked the calming force of Dr Roy McCoy, and the feel good feeling after Dr Abdul Hamid's rousing speech last year. The lack of respect for the smaller members were evident and finger pointing the letter of the day.
I concur with Dr John, we have to make a stand. Even now I see, that perhaps having Dr Hooi as a dissenting voice on the council was not that bad an idea, rather than having another lackey to the group. I feel for Dr Mary and she will need us to be her staunchest supporter in the year or 2 to come. Next year, for sure one of the mentioned will stand to be elected, now its up to us to decide, are we going to stand by and let the handful control the association that I am sure many of us hold dear, or will we answer in force telling them that the earthquake this year will lead to a tsunami from the others next year.
We have to stand and put a stop to this trend of changing the constitution at the whim and fancy of a few. Perhaps moving with the times, we need to implement a more tech savvy mechanism for voting and dissemination of information. The archaic manner of snail mail should be reevaluated. I would suggest that we put forth a multibranch constitutional amendment to state that any constitutional change should be done by referendum. The argument that only 20% of members vote for any due cause, it is still more than the 2% attending the AGM. This fact was repeated many times to the group sponsoring the amendment but fell on deaf ears and I find this amusing to say the least, as even a child could tell you that 20% is much better than 2% of any group.
We should also look to limit the changes in the constitution, in the way that after an agreed amendment has been passed by a majority of the members, then that amendment should not be challenged for another say 5 years. This is to ensure that we do not yo yo between groups and further divide the association.
Many a times it was said that my youthful enthusiasm is just youthful enthusiasm, and we should look to the elders for guidance. However, the sentiments amongst many of the younger set are clear, remain relevant to us and all member, else you find yourselves obsolete and irrelevant to the cause. We need to work hard to ensure that the younger generation, more interested in surviving their careers and starting a new chapter in life, remain passionate about the going ons of our profession by way of this time honoured Association.
I hope for the leadership of all who came before me, to see that common sense must prevail and that we must make a stand for our rights as members. I look to you for guidance and to correct my youthful enthusiasm if I am wrong.... Lead the bull that charges, harness its energy and your fields will be plowed.