The coronavirus pandemic has severely hampered the ability to meet with face-to-face. Travel restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have prevented such interaction to a halt. Like many others, ASEAN Flag convened its 73rd Council meeting virtually on 7 July 2020. Respective council members updated the surveying professional situation, preventive measures in place and the economic factor of their country.

Extract of President Gerry’s speech taken at the 73rd ASEAN Flag Council virtual meeting that shouldn’t be miss :-

“Living in an unprecedented time, this is the new norm. What began as a local public health emergency has since become a global health pandemic.  It has disrupted the international system, caused, and forced many to change what was being used to do ways of living.   For example, unable to travel as we used to, crossing borders for business, leisure and especially for ASEAN Flag meetings.

We have to learn to live with Covid-19 in the long term and get used to this situation, and define new norms in the way we live, we work and play.

We need to redefine our industry.  Our profession is in a very good position knowing that design, planning, analysis and simulation have to go on. How do we pursue these things? We need to rethink and redefine to digital delivery standards between professionals and clients to allow and support a digital mode of submission and data sharing

In the midst of the lockdown, our industry can still function effectively and efficiently. There are initiatives taken by various governments to deal and contain the spread of Covid-19.  To allow the economy to carry on running, we collectively play an important role.

Councillors and HPs, in the new norm, we are leading the industry in the digitalisation… We are in a very good position to influence our industry and those industries that depend on us…. And I’m very excited knowing our profession is able to move forth.

I want to encourage us to embrace the changing times positively. I want to leave us with 3 Rs. Firstly, is to Reinvent your businesses, reinvent your business models towards addressing these perspectives towards the new norm of digital economy.

Secondly to Retrain yourself and your staff on modes, models, and methods.  We are just scratching the surface as there are new things coming in and we should embrace them. There is a lot to glean from if we can retrain.  Every one of us are leaders in our respective workspaces be it the private sector or the government sector. And we even have someone holding in the high office like our fellow councillor Datuk Safar. We are in positions of leadership, of authority and trusts. We indeed have great responsibilities.

Finally, to Retool. Retools means, as we embrace the technologies, we also need to know there are new ways of engaging and doing things. Today’s modern technology such as 3D laser scanning, you sit in your car and drive along the street. What used to take 3 months to map now only requires 10 mins of driving to get the same if not better result. It used to take 3 months to collect 1 gigabyte and at present you can gather 1 terabyte of data within 10 minutes. It changes the whole dynamics. We are effectively creating digital twins.

We are reinventing our business model knowing what is available in the market and how we can digest.  Planners, architects, engineers, consultants, owners, analysts, simulators – without data, nothing happens. Data acquisition and data management are our domain. We need to lead not just for our industry.  In fact, we are in the position to drive economies. And I am convinced that as ASEAN Flag, we need to share these respective messages to our various governments and stakeholders.  In the meantime, we can all play our part and influence others to do likewise.”