SICC Issues sign now

7th June 2011

General Committee
Singapore Island Country Club
240 Sime Road
Singapore 288303

Cc: Chairman & Deputy Chairman

Dear members of the General Committee,

RE: RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AT SICC

We the undersigned members of SICC, would like to express our concern over some of the developments at the club and herewith request transparent and satisfactory answers from the General Committee on the following matters:

1. USE OF THE DRIVING RANGES BY GUESTS:

Members may now introduce guests to use our driving ranges at very nominal charges of between $10 - $40, depending on the location and time. Our driving ranges had cost members millions of dollars to construct and yet we are now giving away our exclusivity for a mere $10 (at the lowest end of the scale)? Our range balls are generally newer yet cheaper than public driving ranges. Hence most guests will come to realise the benefit of practicing at SICC instead of public driving ranges. Encouraging more guests to use our driving ranges also means additional wear and tear to our facilities, which ultimately members have to bear when it comes time for refurbishment.

Allowing guests to use our driving ranges will also subject our facilities to additional abuse of privileges as it will be difficult to monitor whether such guests then proceed to use our shower facilities after their practice. If left unchecked, the number of guests could potentially deprive members of the use of the practice bays. We simply do not understand why the facilities of our otherwise exclusive club should be made available to non-members at nominal charges.

2. NEW STARTER HUTS FOR NEW COURSE

The minutes of the 26th GC Meeting reported that the GC approved the recommendation to approve a sum not exceeding $300,000 for the Design and Build of Starters Huts at the 1st and 10th Tee of the New Course. This proposal was also endorsed by the Projects Committee.

A member of the Projects Committee has verified that the Projects Committee had in fact rejected the award of the contract because the cost of these huts were assessed to be far higher than they should be and were without the provision of detailed specifications but were told that the contract had already been awarded without their approval (Projects Committee meeting 15th March 2011). It is further denoted that the signature of the Tender Committee Chairman on the award was dated 6th April 2011, even though the Projects Committee were informed on 15th March 2011 that the tender had already been awarded.

We understand further that the Tender Committee Chairman had personally awarded the following contracts in his sole capacity during the period after the September 2010 AGM when the appointment of the Tender Committee had lapsed and no Tender Committee was in existence:

Island & Bukit Christmas & New Year Decorations
Island P2 Landscape & Irrigation
Outsourcing of Pro-shops, Driving Ranges and Golf Pro Services
Tree Surveyors & Consulting Engineering Services

Is this in line with proper tender award procedures and is there any provision in the SICC Tender Policies and Procedures which provides for the Chairman to approve tender awards by himself?

3. REPLACEMENT OF SAND RAKES, FLAGS, TEE-CONES AND NEW ROPE BOUNDARIES

The new sand rakes are extremely heavy and not user-friendly. These heavy rakes will actually discourage members from raking the bunkers properly as they are so tedious to lift and use. In fact, it was pursuant to members past feedback that the lighter rakes were then introduced by a previous committee.

The flags used to mark the cups on the courses as well as the practice putting greens have been changed to a loud checkered design. The design is certainly not aesthetically pleasing and not in harmony with our beautiful green surroundings.

The tee boxes previously had nice sand-filled clay pots that served the dual purpose of allowing members to refill their sand canisters and dispose of broken tees. These have been replaced with coned-shaped containers. Furthermore, there are now less places for members to refill their sand canisters. Does the General Committee wish to discourage members from repairing their divots?

Many new ropes have been installed along all the fairways and greens. Is it necessary to have so many ropes in place? Some of us have actually tripped over these ropes as they are really positioned too excessively and pose a danger to members.

Arent the expenses on all the above changes a frivolous waste of the clubs money?

4. F&B VOUCHERS FOR MOVIE ATTENDANCE

The minutes of the 27th GC Meeting reported the following:
Amendment to Theatrette Bye-Law
DOO also presented the proposal made by the Lifestyle Committee that members be allowed to bring two guests to the Theatrette on Fridays in order to increase patronage. This would mean that the theatrette bye laws would need to be amended to allow for this. The GC decided that the amendment should reflect that members would be allowed to bring two guests, who would be given $5 F&B voucher per guest. The decision of the GC would be conveyed to Lifestyle Captain for their further discussion.

We find it irrational to award guests with F&B vouchers when they are already receiving the benefit of watching free movies. On the one hand the General Committee preaches exclusivity and on the other hand, opens our facilities to more guests. Isnt this a contradiction of what was promised to members?

5. FOOD PORTIONS

Our Vice-President, Mr Chua Tiang Hee reported in the April 2011 issue of the Islander that the Management had successfully brought food costs down from 45\% to 37\%. However, we members noticed that food portions have concurrently been reduced by the same proportion or even more. Hence, no credit is due for the reduction in food costs.

6. NEW COURSE BOULDER STACHION BOARDS

The minutes of the 27th GC Meeting reported the following:
New Course Boulder Stanchion Boards
GM presented to the GC the proposal that granite boulders be used as stanchion boards which would read S. Index. The granite boulder stanchion boards would be used at the New and Old Courses; while possibly the new type of stanchion boards would be used at the Sime and Bukit Courses. The total cost for these boulder stanchion boards would be $22,680 per 18-hole course. The GC approved the proposal.

As our current stanchion boards at New Course are still relatively new, is it really necessary to change to these boulder stanchion boards? Isnt this another case of wasting the clubs money?

7. ASIAN AMATUER CHAMPIONSHIP

The minutes of the 28th GC Meeting reported the following:
iii) The Gala Dinner would be held either on Wednesday 28 September 2011 or Thursday 29 September 2011. The venue had yet to be chosen and the delegates were currently exploring the various hotels to host this dinner. President suggested that the Conference facilities of Marina Bay Sands which has an outside feel would be ideal to host this dinner.

Our new beautiful clubhouse at Island location with its new Chinese restaurant, International restaurant and function rooms would be functional by then. Shouldnt we make use of our wonderful new facilities to host the Gala Dinner, rather than increase expenses by hosting the dinner elsewhere?

8. INCREASE IN STAFF NUMBERS

The minutes of the 28th GC Meeting reported the following:
The GM added that in respect of the New Clubhouse that was due to be opened in June 2011, there would be a need to hire an additional 100 staff. The advertisement for the various positions would be out in the newspapers in Malaysia and Singapore on 18th March 2011 and the mass recruitment fair would be held on 25th March 2011. The staff recruited would commence work in April 2011.

We are concerned that this significant increase in the number of staff will ultimately increase the clubs operating expenses and members monthly subscriptions.

We seek factual and transparent explanations from the General Committee on the rationale behind these decisions and that members be provided with proper accountability on all these matters.

Thank you.
Yours sincerely,
Natalia Tan T1099
Lee Ai Tee L0543
Tan Kheng Hwee T1174
Marie Loo Li Ming L1311
Chew I-Jin C1286
Priya Sen S0088
Kee Bee Khim K0456

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Melisa PowersBy:
People and OrganizationsIn:
Petition target:
SICC GC, Chairman & Deputy Chairman

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