In support of the new Marts constitution, the present MARTS council under Hj. Aris' leadership considered the life membership scheme, started many years back (initially as a means of accumulating funds for a clubhouse, so we were told), did not get us anywhere near the intended objective.

Although some funds were collected and remain in MARTS' bank account, this had been gradually diluted by the many councils that came into office, used for one or the other purposes. For too many years also, MARTS had been maintaining the same membership fees and with these membership numbers somewhat declined, with some members having resigned, and with some still stubbornly remaining in default of paying their dues till today, the state of MARTS' finances started to look very daunting.

As a functioning society, MARTS really needs a valid and fee-paying membership to meet all its expenses especially in the face of the new increased TM repeater site rentals, additional mandatory high-cost safety certification requirements just for repeater sites access/visits, and increased maintenance charges for the upkeep of all our repeaters, the additional burden of financial shortages from a one-time payment life membership will be discontinued and a small increase in regular membership fees imposed, all now necessary in order to eventually increase our membership fee collections.

However, in grateful recognition of those who did step forward for MARTS when the scheme was originally introduced, all life memberships on record will be recognised and maintained for another five years from last month (October 2014) but thereafter, all 'life membership' members will revert back to an ordinary fee-paying regular membership status.

It is not the council's intention to add to MARTS' unpopularity but purely in the interest of maintaining its own survival and faced with today's much increased costs, what other choice did we have?

Our mandate as your council members stipulates our duty, first and foremost, towards the promotion and preservation of amateur radio in Malaysia with all its continuing and all future benefits and privileges, all within the regulations imposed by our own regulatory authority and also within the framework and guidelines of the IARU in which MARTS remains an active contributing component member.

Of course, the above all being said, many people will have super ideas and criticize us to death and while we desperately welcome these complainants to join us to work for the good of amateur radio in Malaysia, they still refuse to come forward to work for the society in spite of having their gift of genius, remaining content only to point fingers at us.

So, it remained with the few of us who stay committed and willing to face the members wrath to work within our own abilities and limitations to try and steer a safe course out of this mayhem which was a legacy of our several past councils.

We hope this will in some way explain our quandary and justifiably settle all your concerns, although we are sure, you may all still harbour some discontent. Please update your membership by depositing RM80 tp the Secretary or Treasurer.