Vatanen names Deputy President of Mobility


Bernhard Tay was elected President of FIA Region II (Asia and the Pacific) in April 2009. He has been a life member of the Automobile Association of Singapore (AAS) since 1983 and has served in the AAS General Committee for more than 20 years. First co-opted as a volunteer member in 1988, and thereafter an elected member since the year 2000. Serving on the AAS General Committee has given him the opportunity to actively address motoring and motoring-related issues. In 2004, he became the Vice-President of the organisation and he became President in 2006. Continuing the club's position as the voice of motorists and an advocate of road safety, Bernhard has been playing a significant role in championing road safety programmes and activities through the club's various channels. This includes engaging in dialogues with relevant authorities and agencies on road safety issues

Mr Tay, why have you chosen to support Ari Vatanen's campaign?
Bernhard Tay: After discussing with members of my Club's committee and after some very serious consideration, I have decided to join Ari's team as Deputy President for Mobility. I support Ari's call for change. I feel that there is a need for real change in leadership and direction, a need to reform this 105-year-old organisation and bring it to greater heights. As mentioned in Ari's manifesto, it is important that the policies advocated by the FIA align with the views of the FIA clubs. This is important as we tackle the various mobility issues. All the clubs have come together to be a part of the FIA family, and we must all feel inclusive; no club must feel left out or that it has no part to play in the FIA. We are bound by our passion for motoring, and as a part of the family, we have a duty to protect and strengthen this bond.

It takes someone who has a deep-rooted passion for motoring to know what motoring is all about. Having taken part in numerous rallies, and championed many road safety causes during his tenure as a member of the European Parliament, I have confidence that Ari can lead the FIA and the international motoring fraternity to achieve more for world motor sports and mobility.

You are representing the AAS. Can you give us some key figures about your association?
BT: AAS is the leading motoring body in Singapore. Founded more than a hundred years ago, AAS is committed to serving the needs of its 80,000 members and the local motoring community. The Association is a voice of motorists, acting as a bridge between the motoring public and the relevant authorities and agencies. AAS members can enjoy emergency roadside assistance as well as benefits and privileges at a myriad of motoring and lifestyle outlets both locally and worldwide. AAS' vision is to be the partner in motoring and to excel as the leader in quality vehicle recovery and motoring services in Singapore.

Your association is one of the smaller clubs within the FIA, yet with a long tradition. The fact that you are on Ari Vatanen's proposed cabinet shows that smaller associations have a strong position in the FIA as well, do you agree?
BT: There is very little that a single club, regardless of its size, can achieve based on its own effort. It is a challenge to bring together and engage with the more than 200 FIA clubs worldwide, especially when we all come from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, and do not even speak a common language. But, all of us have come together to be a part of the FIA family, and we must all feel inclusive; no club must feel it has no part to play in the FIA. We are bound by our passion for motoring, and as a part of the family, we have a duty to protect and strengthen this bond. The Deputy President for Mobility will be responsible for bringing the mobility clubs together to address world mobility issues and achieve common objectives that will enhance world mobility. These objectives will be set by the FIA leadership together with the clubs, who will all have a say in the policy making.

What are the key issues related to mobility in your part of the world and what possibilities do you see for the FIA to address them?
BT: We have three of the most populated countries in the world, namely China, India and Indonesia, and each has its own particular needs in terms of road safety and mobility. We need to re-ignite the interest of these clubs as well other clubs in this Region, and get them to participate in meetings and activities to better understand the traffic situation in these countries, and work with the authorities in their country to tackle various issues like road safety, access to mobility, affordable and sustainable energy, environment and eco-friendly tourism. It could be helping to chart the directions, shape policies, and developing and improving road infrastructure.

Every day, many people get killed on the roads due to road traffic accidents; every life lost on the road is one too many. In this aspect, FIA Foundation and iRAP can play a more proactive role in funding public education programmes, improving road infrastructure, etc.

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Published: 01/09/2009
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