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Saturday May 19, 2012

Battle of the millionaires

A DOCTOR and a property developer will square off again tomorrow for the top post in the Penang Sports Club, one of the oldest sports clubs in Penang.

The contest dubbed the ‘battle of millionaires’ has become the talk of the town since it is the first time in the club’s 65-year history that an adjourned AGM is being held to elect a president.

In the elections on April 29, incumbent Dr S. Shankar and R. Retinam Pillai secured 174 votes each, thus forcing an adjourned AGM.

In the AGM on April 29, most of the contested posts such as vice-president (two positions), secretary and four committee members were won by candidates aligned to Retinam Pillai.

Dr Shankar is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at a private hospital while Retinam Pillai is a nephew of the late tycoon N.T.S. Arumugam Pillai.

It is learned that the outcome of the AGM is crucial since the victor would have to deal with the club’s 33-year land lease which would expire in 2017.

“The club is negotiating with the state government to extend the land lease for 60 years. In return, the club has been asked to pay RM24mil land premium to the state government.

“Members have to vote wisely since the elected president has to make key decisions including how best to safeguard members’ interest,” said a veteran member of the club.

When contacted, both candidates declined to comment on their chances of winning.

A source said the adjourned AGM would be held at 4pm.

It is learnt that the club has about 2,000 members. However, it is not known how many are eligible to vote.

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