MINUTES OF THE 67th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION OF THE VISUALLY HANDICAPPED (SAVH) HELD ON SATURDAY, 26 JUNE AT 2.30PM VIA ZOOM TELE-CONFERENCE
48 members were present virtually through Zoom and telephone.
STAFF IN ATTENDANCE:
- Mr Robin Lee Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- Mr Kevin Koh Head of Finance
- Mr Kan Teck San Head of Compliance, PDPA, Cybersecurity & Membership
- Mr Tan Siow Huee Head of Operations Support and Security
- Mr Chong Kwek Bin Head of Advocacy, Communications, Employment Training
- Ms Krishveen Kaur Dhillon Communications Executive & Minutes Recorder
1.1 At 2.30pm, Chief Executive Officer Mr Robin Lee welcomed all to the 67th Annual General Meeting. He announced that the SAVH constitution required a quorum of 40 members, however, due to the consideration arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, votes were conducted through proxy means in accordance with the government covid-19 temporary advisory for AGM proceedings and members were allowed to submit a proxy form authorizing the Chairman of the AGM to represent their attendance in votes, which were received by an external third party vendor, Trusted Services Pte Ltd, for counting.
1.2 In view of the above process, CEO noted that as of the closing date 25 June 2021, there were a total of 160 ballot proxy forms received comprising of 126 forms which were submitted through hardcopy mail, 18 submitted through email and 16 submitted through an online platform provided by the external vendor. He confirmed that the valid proxy votes for each resolution added up to more than 40 and conducted a roll call which noted that 48 members were present virtually (through zoom and telephone) at the start of the AGM, which formed a quorum for the meeting to begin.
1.3 CEO commenced by introducing the serving Executive Committee (EXCO) and also alerted all on the presence of Ms Tan Wei Ling from RSM Chio Lim Audit firm and SAVH’s Honorary Legal Advisor Mr Adrian Tan Gim Hai who was there to observe the proceedings. He also informed all that the AGM would be conducted in English and updated members that for the safety of everyone, including members and staff, as well as a very strong advisory from authorities, the Association had decided to remove the physical element of the AGM and conduct the meeting virtually through zoom conferencing and over the telephone only. He apologized for any inconvenience caused.
1.4 The CEO proceeded to list the ground rules that members needed to observe in order for the meeting to proceed smoothly with minimum disruption. He reminded all that there would be no live questions, only answers to questions submitted in writing as set out in the AGM notice sent out to members.
1.5 Following which, he highlighted that there will be a change in the order of the Agenda items for this AGM as it would be easier to present all the items which are listed in the proxy form in a continuous manner. The order of the proceedings are listed as such:
i) Opening Address by the President of SAVH
ii) Matters arising from the past AGM
iii) Any/and or other matters for which notice has been given in writing to the Honorary Secretary
iv) Confirmation of the Minutes of the 66th AGM held on 31st August 2019, to receive; consider and adopt the annual report 2019/2020and the audited statement of accounts for the financial period of 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020
v) The election of the Exco Members for the period 2020/2022
2.0 Opening Address by the President of SAVH
2.1 CEO invited SAVH President, Dr Toh See Kiat to give his opening address.
2.2 President thanked members for attending the AGM.
2.3 He referred to the President‘s Message in the Annual Report in which he had given an overview of the significant efforts made by the Association over the past year to transform the lives of the Visually Handicapped beneficiaries. Alongside this, he extended gratitude to the good team of competent Exco members that have placed the needs of the Association before themselves and stressed that the positive outcome in the Annual Report would not have been possible without the undistinctive support of the Association’s clients, members, volunteers, supporters and donors towards the programmes, activities and services.
2.4 The President noted that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was important to continue to see things in a positive light and remain steadfast to the cause of the Association and focus on charting the mission for the future of SAVH together. He urged everyone to continue to help the Exco to pursue constructive ways of learning, listening and working together to achieve greater success for the Association and emerge stronger out of the pandemic.
2.5 To conclude his speech, the President thanked the co-opted members who were retiring from serving the Exco, namely, Ms Doy Teo, Mr Michael Tsia, Ms Stephanie Ow and Mr Albert Pang. He also acknowledged the help of Mr Huang Shao Fei, the Chief Information Security Officer at Land Transport Authority (LTA) Singapore and the Singapore Computer Society towards updating and implementing cybersecurity and PDPA compliance related policies at SAVH as they are very vital tasks in the age of technological change and growth.
2.6 On that note, the President called the meeting to order and to proceed with the rest of the Meeting’s agenda.
3.0 Matters arising from the 66th AGM Minutes
The President read out the follow-up actions that were done in accordance with each matter raised.
3.1 Captioning in the Annual Report
3.1.2 The Annual Report Centerspread has now been captioned which is reflected in the 2019/2020 Annual Report. He noted that the Annual Reports are provided in print, Braille or Audio CD, as per the Member’s preferred format, to the addresses they provide to SAVH, along with the notice of the AGM and the minutes of the previous AGM. He also reminded members to contact the Membership office if they are not being provided with their preferred option.
3.2 Better Communication on the AGM, Nominations
3.2.1 The President highlighted that this matter is still a work in progress, especially since this is the first time the Association is hosting a fully virtual AGM due to the COVID-19 safe-management measures. However, he noted that as per the SAVH Constitution, nominations have been placed at the notice boards, put up on the info line and changes in Exco members updated on the website, alongside sending members who have furnished SAVH with their email addresses.
3.2.2 Additionally, he reminded members that general feedback can be communicated through this email address: Honsecretary@savh.org.sg while more specific feedback on operational matters and suggestions for Exco on non-operational matters can be sent through the online forms available on the SAVH website.
3.3 Range of subsidies for Canes
3.3.1 It was highlighted that the subsidies for any canes is based on the means testing that the Association does with each client when they raise their financial concerns in paying for the percentage of the subsidy. The President emphasized that each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
3.4 Suggestion for Braille Signage on Department doors
3.4.1 The President informed members that SAVH is still in the process of replacing the doors at many of the commonly visited rooms at SAVH with the help of sponsorship from our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) partners and also from various sources of fundraising made available by the government. However, he noted that there were disruptions to this process due to the unfortunate circumstances brought about by the pandemic and the current restructuring of departments whose names are subject to change. Despite this, he assured members present that once the disruptions have been taken care of, SAVH will implement braille language signage for the commonly accessed facilities at the Association.
4.0 Any/and or other matters for which notice has been given in writing to the Honorary Secretary prior to the meeting
4.1 The President noted that, as highlighted in the AGM Notice, Members were informed only to raise questions prior to the meeting to the Honorary Secretary and as at the closing date and time, there were six questions asked and no motions for any other matters. Following this, President detailed his respective answers to the individual six questions.
4.2 The first question requested for the committee’s plans to engage younger members. To which, the President replied that throughout his service as President, he has constantly expressed the hope for younger VH to join as members. He urged members to come forward to give ideas as well as to put in effort to help take SAVH forward amongst the youth and pointed out that the success of any measurers that SAVH may rollout will depend on its members’ support. He added that the new Exco will also look into converting the White Cane Club (WCC) into a youth wing of the SAVH, which was an idea that was mooted when the WCC was first established.
4.3 The second question referred to SAVH’s plans to collaborate with other groups, such as blind tennis and Runninghour, which serve Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). The President responded that Soundball tennis and RunningHour are already in touch with SAVH. He noted that plans were in place to start sporting activities at the premises, however, due to the kicking in of the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), activities had to be put on hold till further notice. Additionally, he requested for members to come forward with any other proposals for sporting activities to better serve the needs of the VH.
4.4 The third question was on how SAVH was going to provide enhance support for those who acquire blindness and are not familiar with the blind community or support network. The President highlighted that in view of the ageing population, this concern was legitimate. He provided updates that orientation sessions are being conducted for newly registered clients and their caregivers to understand more about the services at SAVH with the help of their social workers who are ready to provide targeted help to clients based on their specific needs. Also, he noted that SAVH is in close contact with government agencies, such as the Ministry of Family and Social Development (MSF) and SG Enable, which is the government body for disability matters and are affiliated with the National Council of Social Services (NCSS). Additionally, he announced that SAVH has recruited a Director of Client Services who will be focusing on developing new and improved services for the VH by working closely with the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) and the government channels noted above.
4.5 The fourth question requested information on what SAVH was planning to do to support the VH in acquiring two important skills – Digital Literacy and Orientation and Mobility. The President highlighted that SAVH currently provides IT and Orientation and Mobility Training to clients but due to resource constraints, there is a limit on how fast clients can be trained. He emphasized that knowledge in these fields are also highly specialized, hence it will take time to build up the capacity to support these needs. Nonetheless, he urged clients to provide their suggestions on how to improve these services.
4.6 The fifth comment noted that the print version of the AGM materials offered as a mode of communication was VH unfriendly. The President pointed out that the SAVH Constitution required that all Members be sent a printed copy of the AGM materials alongside their preferred option. Having said that, he reminded Members that there are options for indicating other formats in which to receive the materials (i.e. Braille, Soft Copy and Audio) and if members have not received their preferred format they can do so by contacting the Membership office at email@example.com or the staff in charge, Mr Kan Teck San at 6251 4331.
4.7 The last question requested to know why members were not being updated of activities, events and programmes through email. To which, the President noted that information on SAVH activities are made available through our InfoLine phone announcements service where members can call the SAVH main line at 6251 4331 and follow the prompts to access the InfoLine. He added that SAVH welcomes further suggestions on this topic and even feedback on the new phone system.
4.8 With no other questions and matters being raised, the President thanked members for writing in and encouraged them to write to the email firstname.lastname@example.org as questions be answered even if they were not addressed within the context of the AGM.
5.0 Ordinary Matters – Confirmation of Minutes and Adoption of the Annual Report and the Audited Statement of Accounts for the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020
Passing of Ordinary Resolution 1 – Confirmation of the 66th AGM minutes held on 31st August 2019
5.1 The President declared that the resolution was passed based on the simple majority proxy vote comprising of 68 (68/137) members who voted in favour of passing the motion, 7 (7/137) who voted against passing the motion and 62 (62/137) who abstained from voting.
Passing of Ordinary Resolution 2 – To receive, consider and adopt the Annual Report 2019/2020 and the Audited Statement of Accounts for the period 1 April – 2019 to 31 March – 2020
5.2 The President declared that the resolution was passed on the simple majority proxy vote comprising of 60 (60/137) members who voted in favour of passing the motion, 13 (13/137) who voted against passing the motion and 64 (64/137) who abstained from voting.
6.0 Election of Executive Committee Members For the Period 2020/- 2022
Election of seven (7) Executive Committee Members 2020/2022 consisting of:
- 4 visually impaired members;
- 3 sighted members
6.1 The President informed that nominations were opened for seven vacancies – four VH and three sighted. He announced that as at the closure of nominations at 4 p.m. on 14 June 2021,11 nominations were received, comprising eight VH and three sighted, as verified by Mr Albert Pang, Honorary Secretary and Mr Robin Lee, CEO.
6.2 The President next read out the list of VH nominees, their proposers and seconders.
- Mr Chiang Soo Koon Proposer: Mr Chew Kim Hock
Seconder: Mr Loo Kah Chun, Benson
- Ms Chiu Mei Mei, Cassandra Proposer: Mr Tan See Hai, Michael
Seconder: Mr Zhuang Kuan Song, Victor
- Ms Hong Hui Qin Proposer: Ms Loh Pui Peng, Lyn
Seconder: Dr Goh Hock Huan
- Ms Loh Pui Peng Proposer: Dr Goh Hock Huan
Seconder: Mr Tan See Hai, Michael
- Mr Low Teh Lin: Proposer: Mr Lum Fook Kong
Seconder: Ms Ching Bee Yan
- Mr Lum Fook Kong: Proposer: Mr Low The Lin
Seconder: Ms Ching Bee Yan
- Mr Pang Nghee Siang, Albert Proposer: Mr Tan See Hai, Michael
Seconder: Dr Tan Cheng Sim, Anna
- Mr Tan Guan Heng Proposer: Mr Tan See Hai, Michael
Seconder: Mr Chew Hew Jeow, Andrew
6.3 The President then read out the list of sighted nominees, their proposers and seconders.
- Dr Tan Cheng Sim, Anna Proposer: Tan See Hai, Michael
Seconder: Mr. Ali Bin Daud
- Ms Teo Geok Sung, Linda Proposer: Tan See Hai, Michael
Seconder: Dr Goh Hock Huan
- Mr Zhuang Kuan Song, Victor Proposer: Ms Chiu Mei Mei, Cassandra
Seconder: Mr Chew Hew Jeow, Andrew
6.4 There being three (3) vacancies for sighted Exco Members and three (3) sighted nominations received, there was no contest for the vacancies and the three nominated Exco members assumed the role of sighted Exco Members. The President congratulated the three into the Exco as sighted Members.
6.5 As there were four (4) vacancies for VH Exco members and eight (8) nominations, the voting process for the VH Exco Members was carried out through proxy voted prior to the AGM, which was sent to the third party external vendor, Trusted Services Pte Ltd, for counting under the scrutiny of two appointed Exco Members – Chairperson of Nomination Sub-Committee Dr Goh Hock Huan and Assistant Treasurer Mr Michael Tan as well as an auditor from RHT serving as our independent scrutineer to ensure that there was no fraud.
6.6 The President noted that a short introduction of each VH candidate was made available through the InfoLine.
6.7 Additionally, he highlighted that members were allowed to choose up to a maximum of four (4) VH nominees out of the eight (8) VH nominees, where choosing more than four (4) Nominees would result in the vote being invalid.
7 Results of Election of Executive Committee Members 2020/2021
7.1 The President announced the election results:
- Mr Chiang Soo Koon 60 votes
- Ms Chiu Mei Mei, Cassandra 72 votes
- Ms Hong Hui Qin 55 votes
- Ms Loh Pui Peng, Lyn 65 votes
- Mr Low Teh Lin 56 votes
- Mr Lum Fook Kong 56 votes
- Mr Pang Nghee Siang, Albert 24 votes
- Mr Tan Guan Heng, 31 votes
7.2 The President announced there was a tie between Mr Low Teh Lin and Mr Lum Fook Kong for the last slot of the VH Exco members.
7.3 A revoting was carried out by the independent third-party vendor, Trusted Services Pte Ltd’s partner Video Technology Pte Ltd, where members cast their vote through the online poll on Zoom and phone-in. Mr Low Teh Lin got 17 votes and 2 votes from online poll and phone dial-in respectively while Mr Lum Fook Kong got 11 votes and 2 votes respectively. Hence. Mr Low Teh Lin won the re-vote. The newly elected seven (7) sighted and VH Executive Committee Members, in no particular order, were:
- Ms Teo Geok Sung, Linda
- Dr Tan Cheng Sim, Anna
- Mr Zhuang Kuan Song, Victor
- Ms Cassandra Chiu Mei Mei (VH)
- Mr Low Teh Lin (VH)
- Ms Lyn Loh Pui Peng (VH)
- Mr James Chiang Soo Koon (VH)
8.0 End of AGM
There being no other matters, the meeting ended at 4 p.m.
Recorded by: Ms Krishveen Kaur Dhillon
Vetted by: Mr Kan Teck San
Head of Compliance, PDPA, Cybersecurity & Membership
Mr Chong Kwek Bin
Head of Advocacy, Communications, Employment & Training
Mr Robin Lee
Chief Executive Officer
Reviewed by: Ms Lyn Loh
Approved by: Mr Michael Tan
Dated: 19 July 2021