Court orders Singapore Swimming Club to allow disqualified candidate to stand for president's post

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

SINGAPORE - 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 last week.

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 as 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 its order on its noticeboards and website.

The club's general election is due on Sunday (Sept 27), 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 only be decided by the court 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 said.

 
 
 

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

In court documents supporting his case, 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 the position of president by relying on a separate rule for its decision.

Two candidates were disqualified from running for president but the other disqualified 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 as well.