A Glance Back, And The View Ahead

4 min read
At AA Singapore’s Annual General Meeting this year — the first time it has taken place online — Members were given a review of significant developments of the past financial year, and a preview of what lies ahead.

The Automobile Association of Singapore held its first virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020 on 16 September, following the postponement of AGM in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During the Circuit Breaker, the Multi-Ministerial Task Force had announced a set of safe distancing measures to pre-empt the trend of increasing local transmission.

Following the guidelines from Ministry of Home Affairs on the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures), Act 2020, (Alternative Arrangements for Meetings for Registered Societies) Order 2020, members were required to pre-register through the AGM weblink in order to access the AGM-related documents and to attend the virtual AGM on actual day. A live webcast was broadcast via the virtual platform.

In his speech to Members who had registered and logged on for the event, AA Singapore President Mr Bernard Tay addressed the following issues:


NEW PREMISES
Since AA Singapore shifted to its current premises, known as AA Centre, at Kung Chong Road in September 2019, the relocation has brought greater convenience to Members and the public. This is because the seven-storey building houses not just the corporate office, but also all of AA Singapore’s subsidiaries. “Our common goal for the Association is to stay on the cutting edge of developments and continue to explore and bring better benefits to our Members,” affirmed Mr Tay.

The official opening of AA Centre will be postponed to 2021 due to the ban on large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another point of convenience for Members and the public is the fact that AA Singapore also has branches located in the heartlands: GB Point and 51@AMK. The outlet at 51@AMK will be relocated to Broadway Plaza, situated at 4190 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 — “eight minutes away from the current location,” quipped Mr Tay.

DIGITALISATION DRIVE
As part of its effort to reduce carbon footprint and bring greater flexibility to Members, AA Singapore replaced all Membership cards with a digital version in March 2019. Members can simply present their digital card on their mobile devices to enjoy benefits, as well as overseas reciprocal services and worldwide discounts under the AAA Discounts and Rewards Scheme.

Another asset that has gone digital is Highway. What was once a magazine published every two months is now an integrated online website as well as an interactive app. Members can now access the e-magazine from their desktop or mobile device, and it is available on both Android and iOS platforms.

AUTOVENTURE AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
On to a different kind of drive. One of the most significant AUTOVENTURE expeditions that AA Singapore has organised took place from 10 August to 7 November 2019. The London–Singapore convoy was a 92-day adventure that the 31 participants in 16 cars would not soon forget. Covering more than 22,000km across 15 countries, the convoy marked Singapore’s Bicentennial, driving off from London the day after National Day. It was also a good occasion to put AA’s Overseas Safe Driving tips into practice.

Besides AUTOVENTURE, AA Singapore also organised other well-received activities. In 2019, a total of 27 motoring and lifestyle workshops such as Basic Car Maintenance clinic, Know Your Car course and Kimchi Making workshop  were organised and coordinated.

COVID-19 FALLOUT
Looking ahead to FY2020/2021, Mr Tay cautioned that the society has been financially impacted by the economic slowdown caused by COVID-19, but promised that AA Singapore will continue to “explore the world of digitalisation as we try to adapt to these extraordinary times”. While the Association will continue to offer roadside assistance with safe distancing measures, Mr Tay advised that longer response times can be expected during Circuit Breaker.

One bright spark amid the gloom of COVID-19 measures was when AA Singapore was named one of ‘Singapore’s Best Employers’ by The Straits Times and market research firm Statista during the Circuit Breaker, based on a survey of more than 8,000 employees and 160,000 evaluations. “We were ranked 27th out of 150 companies selected,” enthused Mr Tay. “The Association is deeply honoured by this award, and we are glad to be able to support our employees during this difficult time.”

Following the Phase 2 of Safe-Reopening announcement by the Multi-Ministerial Taskforce, the Association has resumed most of the services. To help minimise community spread, the Association has put in place various measures, which include scanning of the SafeEntry QR code before entering and departing our premises, as well as cleaning and disinfecting at high-traffic areas and all contact points. Hand sanitisation procedures for all visitors have been implemented. Mr Tay would like to assure Members of the Association’s commitment towards the continuity of services amidst the COVID-19 crisis, as the Association safeguard the interest and health of our Members and the community.

Mr Tay would also like to extend his sincere gratitude to our General Committee member, LTC (retired) Chan Chik Weng, for his contributions and dedication to the Association.

To conclude, Mr Tay thanked the AA Members for taking the time to participate in the virtual AGM and to continue building on the successful history with Members as AA Singapore anticipate the future needs of road users and be ready to adapt to changes.