Singapore Swimming Club ordered to let disqualified candidate stand for president

The Singapore Swimming Club's general election is due on Sept 27, 2020.
The Singapore Swimming Club's general election is due on Sept 27, 2020.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The president of one of Singapore's largest recreational clubs, poised to be returned unopposed for another term after two candidates were disqualified, will have to face a challenger for the post following a High Court order earlier this month.

Senior Judge Andrew Ang issued an interim order holding that the decision of the Singapore Swimming Club management committee to disqualify the nomination of Mr S. Radakrishnan for president shall not take effect, if at all, until the court decides on the case he filed.

The court further ruled that the decision of the club's management committee on Sept 11 to declare that Mr Yeo Chui Hee is the sole candidate for the position of president and that he is returned unopposed shall not take effect, if at all, until the court decides on the claims.

The club was also directed to place a copy of the court order on its notice boards and website.

The club's general election is due today, and Mr Radakrishnan, a former president of the club, is leading a team to stand for various posts against the incumbent's team.

The club, through its lawyer Chang Man Phing, said Mr Radakrishnan will be allowed to stand for election.

She added that the court has not determined whether he should be disqualified and the issue will be decided by the court only at a hearing, which has not been fixed yet.

"This means that in the event that Mr Rada is elected into office as president, and if the court decides in favour of the club, Mr Rada will have to step down from the position."

"The club denies all the claims made by Mr Rada in his ex parte application - which means that the club was not given an opportunity to present its version of events before the court when the court made its decision," she added.

 
 
 

The club declined further comment as the matter is still pending before the court.

According to court documents, Mr Radakrishnan's lawyer, Senior Counsel N. Sreenivasan, said that when nomination papers were filed on Sept 9 for the post, it was accepted by the returning officer and he was not disqualified based on the club's by-laws.

He argued that on Sept 11, six management committee members had wrongfully disqualified Mr Radakrishnan's nomination as a candidate for club president by relying on a separate rule for its decision.

Two candidates were disqualified but the other member did not take the case to court.

The hearing was held in chambers where the plaintiff argued before Justice Ang that the disqualification meant he would have lost the opportunity to stand for president and members would have lost the opportunity of an election for the post.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2020, with the headline 'Club ordered to let disqualified candidate stand for president'. Print Edition | Subscribe