Name: Michael Yi Chang Lai
Nominator: Self; Seconder: Georgina Callaghan
Length of Practice in Singapore: 7 years 2 months
Membership with PA(S): 2010 to 2013(?), 2016 to 2017
Past PA(S) committee: None prior
I am a plain-spoken man, and I have a plain and singular mission statement for why I wish to be the President of the PAS: To bring about change to the practice and culture of the profession in Singapore.
The above is the only reason I am running to be president. Once I feel that the profession has been safeguarded against the current dangerous faults in its firmament, I intend to fully return my attention to my own career, where I am quite busy already.
I have been averse to political activity for the entire time I have been in Singapore, because political and social influence was not, and is not, attractive to me. However, my reclusiveness must change now. After 14 months in private practice, away from the insulating cocoon that was SGH, critical weaknesses in the profession have impelled themselves acutely to my notice. There are strategic course corrections for the young and vulnerable profession in Singapore which I believe is necessary for its long-term survival; I have come to accept that I must be the harbinger of the change that I wish to see. Therefore, this voluntary self-nomination, in my eyes, is not an act borne of personal wish but an act of necessity: The welfare of the entire profession in Singapore, is necessarily my own welfare.
As a podiatrist who was trained in the USA, I carry something unique. The obvious is that I had experienced greater scope in practice, but the deeper uniqueness of which I refer to is the matter of perspective. I was trained as a private podiatrist; the culture of American podiatry is private-oriented. I have the aspirations and astute awareness of a self-employed businessman beaten into me through relentless training and exposure to successful role models, which I have come to realize that young Singaporean podiatrists sorely lack. This is important to my platform; I will make the case that the current dangerous situation which podiatry occupies in Singapore can only be addressed if podiatrists understand their profession in a different light, that it is not coincidence that American podiatrists enjoy the most professional respect in the world of podiatry, and that Singapore does not have to be the country with the most limited podiatry scope in the world.
Michael attended approximately 21% of PA(S) events in 2015-17. Michael was recently reviewed by the PA(S) committee for provision of services not in keeping with podiatry practices, product endorsement and laudatory publicity.