A test of endurance
The past month witnesses the onslaught of the fifth wave of COVID-19 on Hong Kong. The confirmed case count has quickly surpassed one million with thousands of reported deaths. Mathematical models run by local universities predict that half of our population have already been infected. Very sadly, the feeble and weak are once again the worst struck by the pandemic. We are all deeply saddened by the loss of life and our thoughts are with all the families affected. At the time of writing, there are tens of thousands of confirmed cases daily and severe social distancing measures are still in place. On a more positive note, we are seeing a slightly downward trend in reported cases over the past few days, bringing us hope that the adversity will eventually come to an end.
For the Institution, I am reporting with a heavy heart that around 20% of the Secretariat staff has been infected. The health of our staff and members is always our top priority. We have arranged several rounds of deep cleansing to provide a safer environment for work and institutional activities. Rapid testing kits are also distributed to our fellow colleagues to ensure that contracted cases are identified as early as possible to cut off contagion chains.
Despite the growing strain on our already stretched resources, we are making the best endeavours to maintain our services to the maximum extent possible. Nevertheless, the latest social distancing restrictions oblige many of the institutional activities to adopt the online or hybrid mode. The Council of the Institution has also agreed to postpone the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of this Session to 24 August 2022 whilst Division AGMs will be accordingly put off until early June to mid July 2022. Circulars for each Division’s AGM will be sent to Division members’ registered email addresses and posted onto the websites of both the Institution and Divisions. Please stay tuned for these updates. To ensure that you will receive the most upto- date news from the Institution, remember to update your correspondence information and membership status in the Member Login area or by contacting the Membership Section at email@example.com if necessary.
A glimpse of hope
During this difficult time, with the unfailing support from our country, engineers are working relentlessly to bring about community isolation facilities at an unprecedented speed. Early successes are already accomplished in Tsing Yi, San Tin, Fanling, Yuen Long and the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge with the facilities completed in only around three weeks and providing nearly 20,000 beds. Many more are being built in areas like Kai Tak and Penny’s Bay all with the prime purpose of easing the heavy emergency isolation demands.
With the city’s reported cases gradually trending down and the Government’s recent announcement of a roadmap towards lifting flight bans, cutting quarantine periods and easing various social distancing rules by phases starting from late April, we have good reason to remain hopeful for the city’s returning back to normal soon.
Let’s work hand in hand to combat the pandemic. With the glimpse of light ahead of us, the end of the tunnel is not far away.
Election of Council
The 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Institution will be held on 24 August 2022 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The Council noted the nomination of candidate for vice presidency. In accordance with the nomination procedures for election of Vice President, the candidate will be invited to make a presentation to the Council Members before the Council finalises its nomination of Vice President for election by Corporate Members on the day of the AGM. A Council meeting (Special) will be held on 21 June 2022 for the purpose and the meeting will be open for Corporate Members to view the proceedings of the meeting and presentations of candidates by real-time broadcasting from the HKIE Headquarters.
In regard to Elected Ordinary Members, the Council resolved that there would be five seats for Elected Ordinary Members up for election on the day of the AGM.
The eligibility for election to these posts is stipulated in the Constitution.
Proposal on the arrangement of the 47th AGM
Arising from the impact of the pandemic and on the recommendation of the Executive, the Council approved postponing the 47th AGM to 24 August 2022 and that the nomination period for election of Vice President shall not be re-opened. The Council also approved to set up a task force to study various matters for taking forward hybrid or virtual meetings and e-voting in the future.
Renewal of the Agreement of Co-operation with the Institution of Engineers (India)
On the recommendation of the Learned Society Board, the Council approved the renewal of the Agreement of Co-operation with the Institution of Engineers (India).
Setting up HKIE Student Chapters at School of Professional and Executive Development (SPEED) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) (Tuen Mun)
On the recommendation of the Administration Board, the Council approved the increase in funding allocation to Student Chapters from HK$200,000 to HK$240,000, to include the two new Student Chapters of SPEED at PolyU and the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tuen Mun).
Revised Composition and Terms of Reference of HKIE Student Chapters and HKIE Overseas Chapters
On the recommendation of the Administration Board, the Council approved the revised Composition and Terms of Reference of HKIE Student Chapters and HKIE Overseas Chapters respectively.