The further confirmation that the ACCA leadership treats the overseas members as second class was clearly evident at the 2000 AGM held on 4th May.

Members from Malaysia tabled four resolutions. The proposers of the resolutions had already been disenfranchised. The ACCA holds its AGMs on a Thursday which makes it difficult for members from abroad (and many UK members) to attend. They cannot take advantage of ay cheap travel and always need to take time off work. In 1996, one of the resolutions at the EGM proposed that the AGMs should be held on a Saturday. But the leadership placed its racist card by saying that the proposers of the resolution were anti-Semitic (Can you believe it!!!). Due to high mid-week travelling costs, the organizers of the resolution led by Leong Chee Hong could not attend. They were represented by at the AGM by Prem Sikka.

As expected, the leadership attacked the four resolutions placed by members from Malaysia. ACCA President John Brockwell attacked the Malaysian who did not want to be further disenfranchised. They want to retain the number of signatures needed for EGMs to 100. The motion was lost.

Malaysian members, in common with many others, receive poor services. They do not have locally elected councils. They have no library and not much local news. So the Malaysians, quite rightly want to pay lower fees - about 70% of the present figures. Currently, the Malaysian end up subsidizing the UK members, the ACCA’s regulatory role in the UK and so on. The UK members and the leadership did not want to hear any home truths. The motion was lost.

The Malaysians are unhappy with the meddling in the affairs by the unelected officials of the Malaysian Advisory Committee. This meddling is the direct result of the policies pursued by the ACCA management. In the February 2000 EGM, it used members’ monies to bribe, threaten and lobby members to  defeat the EGM. The leadership did not want to listen and it does not care how Malaysians (or anybody else from outside the UK) feel. The motion was lost.

The Malaysians are unhappy with the ACCA’s colonial model of governance. Like some Viceroys, ACCA Presidents and chief executive visit other countries for photo opportunities. But there is no democracy. ACCA does not have a decentralized structure. Local areas do not have autonomous councils. Everything is decided in London. They want more democracy. But the leadership in London said “no”. The motion was lost.

The voting on the resolutions is shown below. Please note the votes shown in  brackets are the votes cast before the debate at the AGM, mostly as proxies through the President. The votes without the brackets are the final votes counted after the debate. The difference between the two figures represents the number of votes cast at the AGM itself.

                                                        FOR          AGAINST

Resolution 8:
Signatories for the EGM                 990 (754)         3,746 (3,729)

Resolution 9:
Lower Subscriptions                     1,095 (858)       3,647 (3,630)

Resolution 10:                                887 (650)        3,824 (3,807)
Meddling by ACCA Management

Resolution 11:                            1,084 (845)         3,634 (3,619)
Local Autonomy

It is clear that after listening to the debate and weighing up the leadership's replies (or non-replies), those attending the AGM supported the resolutions by very large margins. But the ACCA does not believe in debates. In a civilized organization, all voting on resolutions should be preceded by a n open debate - e.g. through the official magazine. But the last thing that the leadership wants is a debate. The official magazine remains highly censored.

The message is clear, the leadership does ot give a damn about the non-UK members. It is time the overseas members gave an appropriate response. They can leave the ACCA and join their local accountancy bodies. Or, they can work to end the ‘colonial’ rule from London by seeking to secure a ‘federal’ system with locally autonomous councils in each geographical area. They won't be able to secure any change or respect by sucking-up to the leadership. They will need to ensure that they only vote for those individuals who support their aspirations. They should boycott all meetings that are addressed by the Viceroys (ACCA President, Chief Executive etc.). Only through these strategies will the non-UK members be able to secure their rightful place in the world.