Dr Francis Loh has taken over as Aliran president after P Ramakrishnan decided to step down at the 35th annual general meeting of the society today.
Aliran members present unanimously elected scholar-activist Loh, the outgoing honorary secretary, to lead the organisation.
Dr Mustafa K Anuar, the outgoing assistant secretary, was elected honorary secretary replacing Loh, while Leena Mohan takes over as assistant secretary. Anil Netto was returned as honorary treasurer.
Ramakrishnan will remain in the Aliran leadership as he was elected to the executive committee. Also elected were Dr Prema Devaraj, Andrew Wong, Dr Soon Chuan Yean, Dr Andrew Aeria, Sarajun Hoda bin Abdul Hassan, Angeline Loh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dr Lye Tuck-Po, Ch’ng Teng Liang and Henry Loh.
Jaya Mohan a/l Kathamuthu was elected the honorary auditor.
In his keynote address, outgoing president Ramakrishnan told members, “Based on the Auditor-General’s Report, the BN has forfeited its right to stay on in power. Political change is inevitable; it will come. Let’s go for it.”
The AGM paid tribute to Ramakrishnan’s 18-year stewardship of the organisation. As president, Ramakrishnan was known for issuing forthright statements against injustice, undemocratic practices, unethical politics and human rights violations. “Rama provided steady and courageous leadership over the years, and I have personally been inspired and have learned much from his leadership,” incoming president Loh told the meeting.
Ramakrishnan, who joined the organisation immediately after it was formed in 1977, was first elected president in 1993, at a time when Aliran was faced with a leadership vacuum. As Aliran Monthly editor since 1984, he transformed the organisation’s journal into one of the most respected periodicals in the country, a voice of conscience in Malaysian society.
In a parting note as president, Ramakrishnan reflected, “It’s been 18 years of fulfilling, enriching and rewarding experience.”
20 November 2011