SMA taken over in "coup"
angry doc notes that proposed amendments to the SMA Constitution tabled for the latest AGM were not discussed due to "the lack of of quorum", which of course gives him an idea...
Unknowns knock out veterans at SMA polls
Caught off-guard by big turnout, longtime members lose to fresh faces
Singapore - The Singapore Medical Association (SMA), the national medical organisation representing the majority of doctors in Singapore, has seen a dramatic changing of the guard - which some members are describing as nothing short of a leadership grab.
When SMA held its annual general meeting on April 5, everyone expected the usual: No more than 30 or 40 members would turn up at its College Road centre, and a prepared slate of candidates would be voted into office easily. Instead, more than 100 people came, the majority of whom had joined SMA only in recent months.
And when the election of office bearers began, almost every position was challenged by new faces, who won by wide majorities.
In the end, nine out of 16 council spots went to the newcomers.
Outgoing president Dr Wong Chiang Ying, said: 'There were many faces I had not seen before, and I found that very strange.'
'In previous years, even if there were new members, they would be known to one or more of the older members.'
The first indication that something was afoot came when Dr Wong, who has served on the SMA council since 1995, was challenged and defeated handsomely by new member Dr Ang RY.
'It was alarming,' said Dr Raymond Chua, the outgoing Honorary Secretary.
'How could a new member who had just joined for a couple of months, and whom we knew nothing about, be picked over someone who has been with SMA for more than 15 years?
Some of the older members immediately began checking the attendance list.
Dr Chua said: 'We found that about 80 of the 102 who turned up were new members who joined between January and March this year.'
As it dawned on them that a leadership grab was imminent, some older members at the AGM tried asking the newcomers who they were, what they stood for, and why they wanted to be in charge. They got only the briefest answers, they said.
Dr Wong said he tried suggesting that new members serve a stint on SMA's various sub-committees before standing for election to leadership positions. But such suggestions went unheeded as the election proceeded, with more newcomers winning executive committee positions by landslide margins.
Dr Chua said: 'We were simply outnumbered. Technically, they got in legitimately.'
He added that the way the election proceeded was so unusual, it was hard to imagine that the takeover was not a planned effort.
Older members were keen to know if the newcomers shared SMA's vision and values, including fostering and preserving the unity and aim of purpose of the medical profession as a whole. But almost a fortnight into their new roles, the new leaders of SMA were not entertaining calls from the media this week. New President Dr Ang told The Straits Times a press release would be issued 'in a few days' together with the new council's 'scientist mentor' Dr Lim LH, and added that until then, the council would not answer any questions.
A check showed that Dr Ang had previously authored a blog and had written posts criticising the SMA's support of non-evidence based therapies.
In reality SMA's constitution has enough safeguards to make sure that something like that cannot happen, but if you are a doctor who thinks that the SMA should take a more pro-active stance in promoting evidence-based medicine and combating quackery, do leave your contact details in the comments section and angry doc will see if we can work something out...
Labels: bogus story