SHAH ALAM – The Automobile Association of Malaysia (AAM) today failed to obtain approval from its members to sell its headquarters here.

The association, which has been bleeding financially for the past eight years, had hoped to raise RM7.5 million by selling the building to alleviate its dire financial position. Despite having sold its other properties, it is still debt-ridden, with liabilities totalling some RM4.5 million.

AAM had called for a special general meeting today to solicit its members’ approval for the sale, but the proposal was resoundingly rejected.

Although no vote was taken, the majority of its members were opposed to the sale.

Members did not accept AAM chairman Tunku Mudzaffar Tungku Mustapha’s explanation that after settling debts, the association would have enough money to work out strategies and implement a turnaround plan.

Some of the members said they would not allow the sale unless such plans are presented for discussion to establish its feasibility.

They also said AAM did not get a mandate from members to dispose an immovable property, as required by its constitution.

Subsequent to a 90-minute fiery exchange of views, Tunku Mudzaffar adjourned the meeting after conceding that although it was not illegal, procedures had not been followed in the proposed sale of the building.

Earlier, AAM’s lawyer Shaun Ling told the meeting that it was “normal” for a provisional agreement to be made before approval is given by members.

However, the members objected to such a move, saying the association’s constitution was specific on disposal of assets.

One member said: “You have called this meeting to legalise an illegal transaction, which is totally improper.”

To add to its woes, it is learnt that AAM has already used a RM750,000 payment that it received as earnest deposit for the sale and if the deal is rejected, it does not have the means to issue a refund.

Such were the startling facts that emerged at the meeting, as members increased pressure for the committee to step down.

AAM has also not remitted EPF contributions for its staff since November last year, and an EPF spokesman said legal action has been initiated.

The first signs of problems in the 84-year-old institution emerged last month when staff complained they had not received salaries for three months. Subsequently, AAM called for the meeting today to seek approval to sell the building.

theSun had reported last week that AAM had issued a letter of offer on May 3 to sell the building to WOWRC Sdn Bhd.

Six days later, it appointed one Yong Sow Wai of Architectonic Design as “marketing agent” for the sale and authorised the individual to collect monies on its behalf.

The Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents later confirmed that Yong is neither a registered nor probationary real estate agent, or a negotiator.

It said a letter would be sent to both parties seeking an explanation on the role of Yong in the transaction.

– Sundaily