Friday, February 5, 2010

The Clash of the Titans – Rotary Wins

An article from Rotary Trainer :

I drove to Ipoh yesterday to testify in Rotary’s trial of the century. The first of its kind since the inception of Rotary in Malaysia in 1929. The players were 2 distinguished Past District Governors and Rotary Icons in their own right. But more importantly, two really good friends.

PDG Ariff is as good an decent as men come and PDG Jimmy is a great champion of Rotary and a man who has the courage of his convictions. Both imbued with the great Rotary spirit of Service Above Self. Another day and under different circumstances, one could be the mentor and the other his prodigy. But not today.

The trial was the emanation of a lawsuit brought by PDG Jimmy against PDG Ariff for defamation because of statements he is alleged to have made over the micro credit project undertaken by the former. Those of us that attended the District Conference at the Syuen Hotel will be familiar with the issue and would have thought that in the light of the District apology to PDG Jimmy in the matter, everything was settled.

But everything continued to simmer in the background. And there were many malevolent invisible players I suspect who nurtured it along on both sides. With rumours and gossip and all manner of foul innuendoes – people who had their own axes to grind. They continuously fanned the ambers that grew into a large fire and imploded into a lawsuit that was about to engulf us all in Ipoh today.

How is a man to testify in a case where two of his best friends are on opposite sides? You cannot imagine my anxiety! One thing was crystal clear to me, regardless of what the outcome, Rotary was going to be the loser today.

Then like a miracle – the fog lifted. I was informed that both parties had been called into chambers with the judge and that the matter was settled amicably with a handshake. They had agreed for Rotary’s sake to end the fued and shook hands. This is leadership by example. I am absolutely confident that it could not have been easy for either party, convinced of their righteousness, to have given in and yet they did – Rotary Wins Today thanks to two great men, who sacrificed their personal positions for the greater good.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let’s Keep Rotary Non Political

An interesting article from

My good friend Dato Muslim from the Rotary Club of Pudu recently sent me an email asking me why some Rotarians are posting material of a political nature in the Rotary group email. One in particular referred to some article which apparently appeared in the Times of India about our PM Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak employing APCO for his image building.  This story was apparently published in Free Malaysia Today (FMT).

The interesting fact is that Dato Muslim did a search with the Times of India to verify the authenticity of this article and he says,  ”Regret article not found.  I wonder why this Rotarian is passing this FMT  story around.  Doesn’t he know that Rotary is non-political, non-racial and non-religious?”
Good question.
Rotary is a service organization of business and professional leaders whom are united globally to carry out humanitarian projects, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, work towards world understanding and peace – and encourage fun and fellowship in local communities around the world.
I cannot emphasize enough that Rotary is a non-religious, non-political, non-sectarian organization.
It is a fact of life that people have different political views, have differing opinions on moral questions and religion and come from different backgrounds. Rotary is a uniting influence and this unity is forged in order that we all can put our differences aside and serve humanity.
Since the inception of Rotary we have made a real contribution to the quality of life of people around the world. The programs of Rotary have provided exceptional opportunities for youth leaders and young people in general – along with the aged and handicapped; we have contributed millions of dollars to a myriad of vital community projects;  we have worked hard to lift vocational standards and business ethics within our professions and  businesses;  and we have almost eradicated polio from the face of the Earth.
And it’s important to acknowledge that we have achieved all of the above without intrusion into the family and social lives of our members.  It is generally agreed that everyone serves in our own way, in whatever way the can and for their own reasons.
My friends, Politics is divisive and whatever our convictions are, we should keep it out of Rotary. I believe strongly in this.
My final word on politics is that of Aesop, “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”
Notwithstanding my personal views on the subject, I most certainly welcome and will publish any comment on the subject.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Que Sera Sera

The Following is an extract from Rotary Trainer.

Its final – AG Mansoor Saat, the candidate chosen by the District Nominating Committee is our DGN to serve after Dr Ravee. And PP Bindi, in her second attempt failed once again to secure the nomination.

Both Mansoor and Bindi are my good friends and it was with great relief that I welcomed Bindi’s magnanimous decision not to challenge Mansoor and abide by the decision of the District Nominating Committee.

Being a challenging candidate myself before, I know only too well that the road to the Governorship is not an easy one. And that is perhaps the way it should be. Being a Governor requires many qualities – but perhaps the most important ones are patience and humility.

I have often heard Rotarians talk about this candidate being better or that candidate being better. This much I have learnt – our own estimation of our abilities, whilst important, doesn’t count in job that requires popular support. Who the better candidate is, in any given year, is a highly subjective question – and my view is that the answer is – whomever WINS!

In any democracy, majority wins.

That brings me to another issue that is closely related – the constitution of the District Nominating Committee. There has been much reform in this area, thanks to the pioneering efforts of the District Strategic Planning Committees of past. We have moved from an exclusively PDGs based nominating committee to an more representative model, involving non PDGs. But the reform is not complete. Currently, only the non PDG members of the District Nominating Committee are selected by popular vote, whereas the PDGs are not chosen by popular vote. My view is that with the exception of what is mandatory, all other members of the District Nominating Committee should be selected by popular vote at the Conference. This will make the District Nominating Committee even more representative than it is now.

Perhaps this is something we should work on for the future.

For now, Congratulations AG Mansoor. And PP Bindi, all I can say is,

Que Sera, Sera,

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours, to see

Que Sera, Sera

What will be, will be.

GOD bless the both of you for offering to serve and may our District reach greater heights in the years to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Istanbul Institute 2009

Date : December 9-14th.

For more information please click on the links below

Istanbul Program Information

Click here for Registration & Hotel form

Friday, November 6, 2009

Leadership advice

SOME ADVICE FOR PRESIDENTS – PRESENT AND FUTURE – Principles of Leadership in a Voluntary Organization
By PP Dr Siva Ananthan RC Brickfields

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rotarians are encouraged to participate in a NID / SNID in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. The following are the tentative dates in these countries:

6 Dec 2009 SNID
10 Jan 2010 NID
7 Feb 2010 NID
March 2010 SNID
April 2010 SNID
May 2010 SNID

March 2010 NID
April 2010 NID

10 Jan 2010 NID
14 Feb 2010 NID

For India, I have established contact with Rotarians in Cochin, Kerala and they are willing to organise the internal arrangements for our Rotarians. Should there be a group of Rotarians of at least 10, this committee could assist you in the arrangements. Airasia now flies to Cochin, so the airfare would be very reasonable. The Rotarians in Cochin would also be able to organise a trip in the backwaters and suggested the NID to be in a rural part of Kerala (heart of Kerala). There is no sub-National Immunisation Day in Kerala as there are no reports of endemic cases. Only National Immunisation Days are conducted here. Kerala is very peaceful!

Besides Kerala, you can participate in any part of the country for a NID. However, SNID’s are only conducted in certain parts of the country especially in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

For Nepal, we are looking at March 2010. The destination of Nepal has been suggested to us by RI Media Relations Dept as they are willing to sponsor a media team for this destination. From the communications with the Rotarians in Nepal, the dates have not been announced yet by the Government and as soon as it is, we will suggest an itinerary.

The dates for NID in Bangladesh have been announced as stated above and here again, should there be a group interested, this committee could assist you in the arrangements. I have established contact with the Rotarians in Bangladesh and they would be able to assist us in the internal arrangements.

Yours in Rotary Service,

PP Bindi Rajasegaran
District Polio Plus Sub-Committee – End Polio Campaign

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Worldwide Polio update

Following, a summary of the latest worldwide update on polio cases:

• In 2009 to date, 394 type-1 (WPV1) polio cases have been reported globally, compared with 818 at the same time last year - a 52% decline. In endemic countries the comparison is more pronounced, with 184 WPV1 cases reported compared with 787 WPV1 at this time last year - a 77% decline. WPV1 is the most dangerous strain of wild poliovirus, due to its higher paralytic attack rate and propensity for geographical spread.

• Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari named his daughter Aseefa - the first child immunized in the polio eradication effort by her mother, the late Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto - as Polio Ambassador in Pakistan while launching this week's Nationwide Immunization Days (NIDs).

• Pakistan has been rocked by four serious security incidents this week - including an attack on the United Nations World Food Programme offices in Islamabad. However, despite the instability, the North West Frontier Province polio team estimates that only 8.7% of children under five would be "inaccessible" this round.


• One new case was reported in the past week, a wild poliovirus type 3 (WPV3) case from Kandahar. This is Afghanistan's most recent case, with onset of paralysis on 20 September. The total number of cases for 2009 is 23.


• 36 new cases were reported in the past week (five WPV1 cases and 31 WPV3 cases), bringing the total number of cases for 2009 to 431. The WPV1s were in Samastipur and Begusarai, Bihar, Agra and Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh, and Jalandhar, Punjab. The most recent case (WPV3 from west UP) was reported on 23 September


o No new cases were reported in the past week, meaning the total number of cases remains 382. The most recent case (WPV3 in Sokoto) had onset of paralysis on 30 August. For the second time in five weeks, Nigeria reported zero cases of wild poliovirus (WPV). In the past five weeks, Nigeria has recorded four WPV cases, with this ongoing fall in polio cases validating reports of significant improvements in the quality of immunization campaigns.


o No new cases were reported in the past week. The total number of cases for 2009 remains 62. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 14 September (WPV3 from Quetta, Balochistan).

Monday, October 5, 2009

President's Message for October 2009

My fellow Rotarians:

There are many service organizations in the world today, but none so old or so successful as Rotary. There are many reasons for that, and Vocational Service is one of them. This year, I wish you to place a special emphasis on Vocational Service, which is sometimes the forgotten Avenue of Service in Rotary.

High ethical standards in business and personal life are still as important today as they were in 1905. Indeed, many of the problems our world is facing today have been caused by the failure to observe such standards in business affairs.

Vocational Service, in Rotary, means that we are committed to honest business and unassailable ethics, and that we are equally committed to using our vocational skills and advantages to help others. The idea is simple enough - but it is unique to Rotary.

Many service organizations are open to anyone who wishes to join. That has never been the case in Rotary. Rotarians only seek out as members those who are qualified - those who have the character, the ability, and the resolve to make a real contribution to their club.

I have long believed that the bedrock of Rotary is our commitment to ethical behavior. It has been putting what's right above what's convenient - and Service Above Self - that has made Rotary different from the rest. That is why we must always remember that whatever we do, we are each the public face of Rotary. We are each the standard-bearers of our organization. What one member does, for good or for ill, reflects on all of us.

So much of what we've achieved as an organization has come about because ofthe trust the world has in Rotary and in Rotarians. That trust has been a major part of our success in polio eradication - the fact that we are known in every community, and known to be people of goodwill and good hearts.

If we wish to see our organization grow and prosper, we must keep Vocational Service front and center in our minds and actions. We must seek out skilled and determined men and women of character. We must do what is right, even when it is inconvenient. And we must always, always, put Service Above Self.

John Kenny

President, Rotary International