Controversial property investor Pearl Oriental Holdings blasted the stock exchange ruling council's decision to vote down its application to enter the securities broking business, calling the voting process opaque and unfair. It said it was considering legal action 'in the interest of protecting its public shareholders' interests and the interests of society and public investors in general'. Pearl Oriental said it was shocked by the council's decision as its application had been approved by the membership committee and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The company said it had hoped to begin operations of Pearl Securities - in which it had invested $5.5 million - next month. 'The disapproval ballots cast by some individual council members have not only caused considerable financial loss to the company but was also a waste of human effort and time,' it said. As a consequence of the decision, many professionals would be faced with redundancy, the company said. Pearl Oriental also said its application was not fairly dealt with - the SFC had approved its application a week ago. 'Because the stock exchange is a public institution, everything it does should be fair, legal, reasonable, in the right perspective and in the public's interest,' Pearl Oriental said. 'The ruling council's decisions cannot be appealed against . . . and it doesn't have to furnish any reasons. 'Our board of directors has no idea how the ruling council can use such an unfair process, unfairly destroying a listed company's - and one which fulfills the regulations - chance to participate in the securities business. 'Ultimately, the interests of our public shareholders will be adversely affected by the same body meant to protect them,' Pearl Oriental said.