So why has the 17th February 2000 EGM been organized? It is because ACCA does not offer any suitable way for members to air their concerns. The official magazine is censored, questions at AGMs are not answered, massaged minutes of AGMs are published, critical letters receive a short-sharp shrift and there is no independent ombudsman to hear members' complaints about the administration. The council members are petrified to say anything because the the proxy votes are used to silence them. It is hardly surprising then that EGMs are the only alternative.
Unlike the council which organized an EGM in 1995 to abandon the name ACCA and lost £600,000 in its bungled attempt, concerned members have to incur personal costs to organize an EGM. In 1995, ACCA council did not obtain the signature of even one member to call the EGM. The same individuals have squandered millions on publishing, television ventures and JDS schemes.
Now ACCA's masters have hit upon another idea. They are happy for members to have rights on paper as long as they don't exercise them. So they are planning to make it impossible for members to demand accountability of the leadership - yes the kind of thing Stalin and other dictators thrived on.
The powers to be are planning to propose at the May 2000 AGM that in future the number of signatures needed from an EGM be raised from 100 to 1,000. Now let us look at this.
In many countries, ACCA only has a handful of members. They have little contact with any ACCA members outside their countries. So those members have no chance of securing the signatures. They will effectively be disenfranchised. The requirement of 1,000 signatures means that nearly 25% of all Malaysian members need to sign a petition to secure an EGM. Nearly 10% of the Hong Kong members will need to sign the petition. Will this be feasible?
More than 50% of the ACCA membership is outside the UK. It will be silenced. Let us look at the UK position. With a membership of more than 125,000, the ICAEW is the largest UK based accountancy body. Most of its membership is based in the UK. It only requires signatures of 250 members to requisition an EGM. In recent years, it has faced two EGMs over its education proposals (ACCA members are never asked to approve any such proposal) and the leadership was defeated on both occasions. In contrast, the ACCA's UK membership is unlikely to be more than 35,000. The idea that 1,000 signatures will be needed to requisition an EGM is absurd. Of course, the leadership will be happy with this. It wants to silence concerned members and continue with its own secretive ways.
In democratic societies, the safety-valve of dissent is needed. This is also a constructive force in that it raises uncomfortable questions and shapes the policy about the future. Close this valve and the organization begins to die. This will be the inevitable consequence of the ACCA moving to the far right. The first casualties of this will be the members from Malaysia and Hong Kong. As they seek more autonomy and control over their local affairs, they will find that the leadership does not want to talk, the magazine is closed and they have no means of alerting the rest of the membership to the issues. The outcome will be that members will join other bodies and the ACCA will begin to shrink.
ACCA leadership is not concerned with such strategic issues. The individuals
pursuing the right wing policies are only concerned with seeking revenge
in an age when slavery has become freedom and ignorance has become strength.