This AGM marks the completion of service for the current council elected for the two-year term 2018-2020. The current Council had to remain in office for an additional four months (May 2020 to August 2020), till we were able to hold the virtual AGM with "Proxy" votes as defined by and allowed by ROS (Registry of Societies) due to the Covid-19 safety restrictions. I thank all members and especially the current council, immediate past president (IPP) and Chairpersons and members of committees/task forces for their support in joint service of SIP. Following are the milestones accomplished by your council in the second year (+ 4 months) of their term:
A) Strategic Level for SIP's Future Development and Growth
Meetings were held in 2019 and 2020 with the Design Singapore Council (DSg) and Enterprise Singapore (ESg) to follow through with the necessary funding application to carry out SIP's 3-year Road Map and Plan, based on the study completed in September 2018, and the Round table Discussions held with RTPI (UK) and APA (USA) in Nov 2018, to learn from our established counterparts their respective experiences in developing their Accreditation processes and requirements and their Continuing Professional Development programmes.
We also reached out to the main public sector agencies involved in planning (URA, HDB & JTC), to seek their support in SIP's journey to work out a framework towards the certification of planners and their continued professional development.
B) SIP Members' Level
SIP's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme saw its third-year run in 2019-2020. A total of 35 CPD programmes (plus 1 in Nov 2018) were recognised for members to attend and earn their SIP CPD points. We would like to express our appreciation to our external CPD providers for their continued support and programmes extended to SIP members. SIP will continue to collaborate with external CPD providers and to refine and develop its overall CPD framework. With the meeting restrictions imposed during the current Covid-19 situation, it became increasingly evident that we ought to further develop an e-learning platform in the future via online discussions, talks, seminars, forums and e-publications. The pandemic has also opened our eyes to possibilities yet explored via online engagement and the e-platform.
The 6th SIP Planning Awards received a total of 58 submissions in 2019. An online judging platform was adopted for the preliminary rounds of judging followed by a 2-day long physical judging by the panel of judges at The URA Centre. A total of 26 submissions were commemorated at the Planning Awards Dinner held on 12 September 2019. The Planning Awards dinner was graced by the Minister of National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong. Our distinguished guests included four generations of past Chief Planners - Dr Liu Thai Ker, Mr Khoo Teng Chye, Dr Cheong Koon Hean, and Mr Lim Eng Hwee, as well as, the current Chief Planner, Ms Hwang Yu-Ning. More than 200 members and friends attended the occasion.
After the launch of our then new SIP Website in Nov 2018, the SIP e-Platform was further developed in 2019 to include a Membership portal and a CPD portal to serve you better.
Following the Minister of National Development, Mr Lawrence Wong's invitation to SIP and SIA to jointly participate in the planning of PLAB (Paya Lebar Air Base), URA held meetings with both SIP and SIA together since November 2019. SIP then conducted two surveys with our members to gauge the level of interest amongst our members to participate in the planning of PLAB. More than 40 SIP members responded indicating their interest and available time commitments. Discussions with URA on engagement details are still on-going. Once all the administrative matters are firm, we will update members on the likely commencement date of the project.
Concurrently, URA held an 'Ideas Competition' (Open to the public) for the planning of PLAB from Jan to April 2020 with SIP and SIA as partners. SIP President also served in the jury panel for the Open Competition. The 'Jurors Evaluation' was held on 21 May 2020 and the results of the competition will be announced by URA.
C) SIP External Relations and Collaborations
In the past year, SIP continued to develop its relationships with key planners from government agencies (MND, URA, HDB, JTC & CLC).
SIP also collaborated with the Design Singapore Council and participated in its industry meetings and was present in the various Design Cluster IA's (major events of SIA, SILA, REDAS, etc.). President SIP served as juror in the jury panel for the Singapore Good Design 2019 Competition.
SIP maintained contact with the various IHLs (NUS MUP, NUS MAUD and JCU) in 2019. However, due to the Covid-19 situation in 2020, SIP's discussions with the various IHLs were unfortunately put on hold in the first half of 2020.
SIP continued to build its relationship with our counterpart planning institutes: RTPI, APA, PIA, HKIP, HKIS, CPIJ (Japan), IAP (Indonesia) both in the region and internationally. On 13 Sep 2019, as SIP President, I represented SIP in the Meeting of ASEAN Planners in Jakarta. In Nov 2019, the President HKIP and his delegation paid a courtesy call to SIP to express interest in collaborating with SIP on mutually beneficial programmes. After some discussion over the next few months, an MOU signing ceremony with HKIP was held via Zoom online in May 2020. Representatives of CPIJ (Japan) also visited SIP in Nov 2019 and followed up with email correspondences and a zoom meeting in July 2020 on the signing of an MOU with them in Q3/Q4 2020.
I would like to take this opportunity, with the Council, to pay tribute to the late Mr Chua Peng Chye Christopher. Mr Chua, the founding President of SIP and a Fellow Member, passed away on 16 April 2019. We remember Mr Chua and the legacy he has left us and the future planners of Singapore.
Finally, it has been a fruitful two years in office for the present Council, despite the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 in the first half of 2020 toward the end of our term. The Council and I would like to express our sincere thanks to you for all your support this past year in enabling us to serve you during our term in office.
Wilfred Loo, President (2020 –2022)