Greetings Dear Members of SAVH!

Hope you are all well. It is a difficult time for us all – but more so for the visually handicapped. If you need help of any sort, please feel free to reach out to me. My email address is at the end of this message.

As you may already know, our President Mr Choo Chek Siew resigned in August 2020. To fill in the vacancy, our Patron Professor Tommy Koh and our Exco invited me to sit in as the President in the interim till the next AGM. I was given three tasks to achieve: one, to calm the waters of the storm following Mr Choo’s sudden resignation; two, to help make changes to the SAVH Constitution; and three, to prepare SAVH for the next AGM. The AGM which was originally scheduled for August 2020 had to be postponed because of COVID-19. It will be held as soon as it becomes possible for our members to meet again physically. One of the things I will be focussing on during my Presidency will be renewal and rejuvenation. In line with this, I will be suggesting some reforms and strategies for the Exco to adopt, and to work out succession plans for leaders and staff. Besides bringing in the requisite expertise, I will be looking out for new Exco and subcommittee members – so come and offer me your names (and ideas) if you would like to rise up to meet this challenge.

I am a practising lawyer and mediator by training and profession; a former President of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), and former Member of the Singapore Parliament. I believe I was invited to serve you as President due to the experiences, training and connections that I can bring to move SAVH forward. As a lawyer who makes a living drafting and interpreting Constitutions – I will bring my expertise to bear to smoothen out some clauses in the SAVH Constitution that has hitherto caused a clash of views. I intend to make the Constitution one that will empower and enfranchise the visually handicapped. It will be oriented to the visually handicapped, and it will be forward-looking.

To the visually handicapped, this is what I have to say to you – this is your association. You must make it work and you must be given the tools to make it work. The Constitution is a very important tool in your quest to make SAVH a significant voice in Singapore. Hopefully, my experience in consumer advocacy will also help you to know how to make yourselves seen and heard. I promise to pass on that expertise and experience to the new Exco that you will elect at the next AGM.

My hope is to fulfil my tasks in the short time given to me and to live up to your trust in me. We will then support our new President and Exco as they work with the Executive Director and staff. Together with members, we will strive for greater heights from the next AGM onwards. I look forward to your support and encouragement.

Dr Toh See Kiat
President
Email address: president@savh.org.sg