IEEE Malaysia Section Initiatives during Covid-19 Pandemic
Mohd Hafiz Ismail, Educational Activities Chair for IEEE Malaysia Section
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Malaysia Government began the implementationof several different phases of the Movement Control Order (MCO); Phase I MCO (18th March to 13th April 2020), Phase II MCO (14th to 28th April 2020), Phase III MCO (29th April to 12th May 2020), Conditional MCO (13th May to 9th June 2020) and Recovery MCO (10th June – 31st December 2020).
Even though we lose the opportunity for physical networking, Covid-19 did not stop us, the IEEE volunteers in Malaysia in conducting many activities for our members. On 11th April 2020, Educational Activities Subcommittee led by Dr. Mohd Hafiz Ismail conducted the Virtual Chapter Chairs Meeting, followed by the launching of the Virtual Leadership Camp, comprising of on-demand videos on best practices for IEEE volunteers. MySIGHT Rural Technologies, led by Humanitarian Activities Chair, Dr. Robiah Ahmad, has designed and distributed 26 foot-pressed hand sanitizer dispensers for the front-liners at various clinics, schools and mosques starting from 30th April 2020. Besides that, Dr Robiah was also invited by Erbil Polytechnic University, Iraq to deliver a talk on IEEE HAC Funding on 11th June 2020. EDS Malaysia Chapter volunteers, Dr. Maizatul Zolkapli and Dr. Ahmad Sabirin Zoolfakar organized a donation drive in collaboration with CJM Resources to prepare food packs for Hospital Serdang. Prof. Norhayati Soin was invited as panel for a Webinar entitled “Research and Innovation Projects in Response to COVID-19” organized by KPJ Healthcare University College. Dr Nafarizal Nayan and his team developed an in-house hand and surface sanitizer recipe which was supplied to UTHM. SMC Malaysia Chapter Treasurer, Teoh Chee Hooi has joined the police force in helping Malaysia fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tech Insights is another initiative by Malaysia Section with BERNAMA Radio, led by Dr. Fakhrul Zaman Rokhani, the Strategic Communication Chair. The objective of this 6-episode program (conducted in Malay Language) is to highlight advanced technologies developed by IEEE members that bring benefits to the society locally and the humanity in general. The first three episodes which already aired during Campus Life segment were (1) Early Detection Technology for Diabetic Retinopathy by Dr Fawnizu Azmadi Hussin (IEEE Malaysia Section Chair) on 14th July 2020, (2) Fall Prevention Technology for Senior Adults by Dr Alpha Agape Gopalai and Ir. Dr. Siti Anom Ahmad (EMBS Chapter) on 11th August 2020, and (3) PerfectRide: Technology-Assisted Safe Driving by Dr. Sazalinsyah Razali (SMC & RAS Chapters) on 25th August 2020.
Three international conferences have been successfully organized virtually during the MCO; ICSSA 2020 on 6th May 2020 by IMS Chapter, ICP 2020 on 11th May 2020 by IPS Chapter and ICSE 2020 on 28th – 29th July 2020 by EDS Chapter. In conjunction with IEEE PES Day, PES Malaysia has organized 17 series of Webinars between 25th April and 8th May 2020, while two signature programs were conducted on 20th June 2020 by PELS Malaysia in conjunction with IEEE PELS Day. During the Webinar entitled “Post Covid-19: Managing in The New Norm” on 15th August 2020, organized by IET, CMI and IEEE Malaysia Section, Dr. Fawnizu shared all initiatives conducted by Malaysia Section during this Covid-19 pandemic.