In an established part of Mont Kiara stands a namesake of the glorious alpine forests Switzerland is so famous for. The Swiss Malaysian Business Association (SMBA) convened its 17th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Aspen Clubhouse’s cosy My Casa Restaurant on 11th May 2016 at 7pm sharp.
Chairman Mr. Alain Augsburger immediately called the meeting to order and Secretary Ms. Aileen Chan confirmed there was sufficient quorum to proceed with the AGM. Augsburger then thanked His Excellency, Mr Michael Winzap, Ambassador of Switzerland, for the unstinting support for SMBA by the Swiss Embassy. Standing in for the association’s legal advisor, Dato’ Muthanna Abdullah, was Datin Shelina Razaly Wahi, a Partner at Abdullah Chan who specializes in the sphere of aviation.
After the preliminaries, official matters were attended to, with a confirmation of attendance yielding 39 members registered at the door and the appointing of a vote counter. The first motion to approve the Minutes of the 16th AGM held on 21 April 2015, which was sent alongside the Notice of AGM on 13th April 2016, was mooted and was met with a resounding approval of twenty-four (24) votes.
The Annual Report of the Committee for 2015 was then presented, with the twin goals of creating a diversified and balanced team of Swiss and Malaysian communities experience levels and core activities, as well as focus on a singular target of improving the network in terms of quality, events, and value adding to members. There was a brief slideshow on 2015’s events which included a number of sunsetter talks and luncheons, as well as social mixers such as parties and concerts.
This motion culminated in the recommendations for improvement in 2016 to include the formation of functional committees such as the SMBA HR Committee, which focuses on building a platform for human resources-related issues. There was also a realisation for stronger penetration of existing channels involving both individual and corporate members, along with a need for growing new channels with local companies that represent Swiss business and alumni associations.
Moving forward, a Calendar of Events for 2016 was proposed by the Committee. The events roster included site visits to key corporate members’ workplaces, more networking events with other local chambers, and a look into several key sectors of economy such as healthcare and nutrition, property, as well as macroeconomic factors. There were some events which had levity in them, such as dinners and creative events as well, showing that the Swiss and Malaysian members did know how to ‘let their hair down’ when the event calls for it!
Moving the AGM along, the Chairman then mooted the motion to receive and approve the Audited Accounts for Year Ending 31 December 2015, which were sent together with the Notice of AGM and were audited by T.W. Yong & Co. Treasurer Mr Mathis Heuss took the floor next and presented the financials for FY2015, explaining the profit-loss account and balance sheet items along the way. With no queries from the floor, the Audited Accounts for the Year Ending 31 December 2015 were unanimously approved with 23 votes and one vote in absentia.
The final motion of the evening was the election of Committee Members in line with Rule No.8 of the Constitution. All outgoing committee members had agreed to stand for election and Datin Shelina Razaly Wahi chaired the election of office bearers. For the position of Chairman, Mr Alain Augsburger was returned to office with a resounding 23 votes; Mr Christian Meyer was returned to office as Vice Chairman with the same number of votes; Ms Aileen Chan, as Secretary garnered 24 votes and Mr Mathis Heuss returned as Treasurer with 23 votes. All other committee members took office with 23 votes each, beginning with Mr André Keller followed by Ms. Laura Deutsch, and finally Ms. Pauline Goh.
As a final matter of election, re-appointed Chairman, Mr Alain Augsburger proposed to appoint T.W. Yong & Co as Auditors of the Association effective from 2015 onwards, a motion that met with a resounding 24 votes. There being no other business arising and all matters within the Notice of AGM effectively dealt with, the Chairman thanked the members present for their participation and drew the meeting to a close.
Post AGM Fete
Members made a beeline to congratulate the newly re-elected office bearers of SMBA with little gatherings at different parts of the floor. Some new members were seen introducing or being introduced to the new Committee Members, and handshakes were exchanged while drinks such as beer and wine were served.
The pre-dinner drinks served as a good interval while My Casa Restaurant set up the dinner tables and served up a delicious fusion style menu to attendees as the night wound to a close.