CHAIRMAN'S MESSAGE

January 2021

 

Dear Members,

 

As we recently celebrated the arrival of a brand new 2021 in a low key fashion;  in a few weeks' time, we will celebrate and welcome the auspicious year of the Metal Ox.

On behalf of the Exco and Staff of the Alumni Association-Southern Branch, I would like to thank you for your support and contribution, and to take this opportunity to wish all our Members and family a very Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.

In Dec 2020, I shared with Members the priorities this Exco has set up to focus on. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic which seems to rage on with no sign of slowing down, a lot of norms we are so used to in the past have been disrupted, that included some of the activities we regularly organise for our Members. As such, we have to continue adjusting the way we live, work and play. We are mindful that such adjustments cause some inconvenience to our Members, for that we ask for your patience and understanding.

 

On the priorities, below are some status update for your information. As usual, we welcome your continued support through participation, provide feedback or offer some suggestions how we can improve continually.

  1. Members’ Activities and Benefits

    • We plan to resume physical CME but the COVID-19 situation would likely preclude such possibility for many more months to come. So safety and health considerations would shift our focus online. A webinar has been planned with Schwabe Pharma Asia Pacific to invite a German CNS & Geriatrics clinician and researcher to speak on Neurosensory Symptoms & Cognitive Impairment. More details here and please contact the office for webinar registration.

    • We plan to feed more updates and event notifications via our website and Facebook page. Hope you enjoy the flexibility of going online instead of relying fully on hardcopy mailers for a speedier and more environmentally friendly updates.

  2. Ensure financial viability of AA-SB

    • As an urgent matter, we have sought relief or assistance for AA and our sub-tenants to tide through the financial challenges due to the pandemic. Our idea to defer our monthly rental payment to preserve our limited cash reserve came with significant interest charge which the Exco considered a non-starter since we can take up any bank loan for far lower borrowing interest!

    • Another effort was to rent out the former SDA office which has not yet been rented out to permanent occupant for regular rental income.

  3. Engagement of key stakeholders

    • After meeting NUS, SDA, SLA and our sub-tenants to discuss some collaboration and develop further plans together, more engagements are in plan but we have to do so by abiding by the restrictions and control measures to prevent spread of COVID-19.

    • The Catalyst-AA Innovation Programme plan has taken shape and be ready for launch in February. The offer letter from NUS has been finalised and once commitment from Catalyst is signed, we should be ready to start the actual launch and outreach phase. As this is funded by the AA Rotating Professorship Fund, we strongly urge our Members or our contacts with innovation idea to come onboard and be recruited to start the innovation programme journey with the larger ecosystem in Singapore. Link to the programme can be found here.

  4. Prepare for lease renewal with SLA

    • We met with SLA in Dec’20 to discuss the AA Clubhouse lease renewal for next 3 years. Follow up meetings will still be needed.

  5. Prepare for the Centennial Celebration in 2023

    • We have tentatively outlined some areas, target donors and parties to reach out. It would be crucial to form a standing committee and chairman of this project as soon as possible, definitely within this year. Nomination or volunteers from Members will be highly appreciated.

    • The plan to publish a centennial book and few video clips will be rolled out to capture the rich history of Alumni Association. So far we tentatively have 2 Members who would be part of this efforts, but we need more volunteers to step forward.

 

I hope you find the update useful.

Meanwhile, as our tradition to show appreciation to our hardworking Secretariat team in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year, I’m sure they will be very thankful to receive your generous contribution to their Ang Pow Fund.

 

Gong Xi Fa Cai,

 

Ng Cheng Tiang

Chairman, Alumni Association Southern Branch

N.B. : The Secretariat office will be closed on CNY Eve from 11-Feb-2021. Office will resume on 15-Feb-2021.

December 2020

 

Dear Members,

 

Warmest greetings and hope you and all at home are keeping well and safe.

Following our recent Annual General Meeting which was held on 2-Oct-2020, I have the great honour and privilege to assume the Chairmanship of the Alumni Association-Southern Branch; taking over from Dr. Lai Jiunn Herng, under whose leadership, the Southern Branch hosted a very successful and memorable Reunion in November 2019 before COVID-19 hit. His EXCO continued to soldier on to ensure that Alumni operated safely and viably despite the pandemic and Circuit Breaker restrictions.

The newly elected 2020/21 EXCO is featured in the Meet Our Family page. The team comprises a diverse mix of professionals who will be working with you and for you at the Alumni in conjunction with our veteran team of secretariat led by Adeline.

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on and many countries in the world, both developing and advanced economies notwithstanding, are still experiencing second or even third wave of outbreak. Although Singapore has fared very well and with incredibly low fatality rate despite the high number of confirmed cases; this is a testament of the highly effective and sound public health policy, and pragmatic intervention by our highly skilled healthcare team and frontline staff. In the months ahead, we hope the restrictions imposed so far on social, economic and other normal daily activities will be eased progressively, allowing recovery and normality to return in earnest!

Meanwhile, the new EXCO team members have started focusing and working on few key priorities.

  1. Members’ Activities and Benefits

    • We have re-opened the Mahjong room

    • Planning is afoot to resume the CME as soon as practicable.

    • The swimming pool is now open with safe distancing to be observed.

    • We are talking to our sub-tenants, especially the F&B outlets to explore more food choices and hopefully better benefits to members

    • Publicity – we hope to use more electronic means to communicate with our members going forward. So more regular, faster and timely updates can be shared with Members more cost-effectively.

  2. Ensure financial viability of AA-SB

    • With SLA drastically increased the land lease more than 2 years ago, leading to the departure of our sister organisations; revenues for Alumni were adversely affected. Thus in the coming months we need to urgently step up some measures to overcome and tide through this financial hardship.

    • Few of the root causes were listed below and we also welcome Members' ideas or recommendations to address the challenges:

      • second floor space not fully let out, leaving SDA and part of PSS space still not rented.

      • late start of tenancy by Aardvark/CATALYST with about 1 full year of loss income.

      • significant repairs/upgrade to the Club House, especially the toilets and other essential parts of the old building

    • Financial difficulties of our long term tenants, i.e. Ka-Soh and Owl Bar – COVID-19 outbreak has caused quite some hardship to these partners. They have reached out to us and we are working closely with them to put in some plan to help them through this difficult phase together.

  3. Engagement of key stakeholders

    • We have started meeting NUS, SDA and SLA to discuss some collaboration and develop further plans together.

    • More engagement with key government officials are being planned and schedules will be shared when available.

  4. Prepare for lease renewal with SLA

    • Start discussion with SLA for next 3-year’s lease renewal of the Club House.

    • We invite Members or friends with good contact and strategies could reach out to any of the EXCO members to share their thoughts or spare time to work on this project together.

  5. Prepare for the Centennial Celebration in 2023

    • This is a once-in-a-century event and a standing committee is being formed to coordinate this important project

    • We plan to publish a centennial book which shall capture the rich history of Alumni Association

    • The committee will also plan to use this occasion to raise fund for Alumni Association

    • Engagements of relevant stakeholders /partners / donors etc. have to start early so that they can make budget provisions well in advance.

 

Hope this message provides a bit of insight and updates about the Alumni Association.

I will come back with more update soon.

Meanwhile, as 2020 will come to an end soon. On behalf of EXCO and the Secretariat, we wish you and family a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year 2021.

Kind regards,

Ng Cheng Tiang

Chairman, Alumni Association Southern Branch

N.B. : The office will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

6223 4680

2 College Rd, Singapore 169850

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