4 October 2008 - Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore As Special Guest At The Active Agers Award Ceremony At The Cavenagh Bridge
Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore As Special Guest At The Active Agers Award Ceremony On Saturday, 4 October 2008, 7.45pm At The Cavenagh Bridge
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports,
Mr Heng Chee How, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office,
Mr Gerard Ee, Chairman, Council for Third Age,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. All of us today, whether seniors or juniors, are increasingly leading a more exciting and active lifestyle, thanks to information technology and communications, or infocomm for short. From the comfort of wherever we are, at home, in the office, even while on the move, we can log on to the Internet - to keep in touch with friends and loved ones through email, chat, or make phone calls; to find out information on a variety of things - Taiji classes, movies and so on. Without having to queue, we can also check our bank statements online, which happens to be a major use of the Internet. Indeed, infocomm offers us a new level of mobility, connectivity and convenience.
2. I am pleased to note that many of our seniors in particular are plugging in to the digital world. According to a recent IDA survey for 2007, more than half of those aged 60 and above accessed the Internet in the past year 1.
Seniors, Be Part of the Digital World
3. In this regard, I am happy to say that, among us this evening, is a senior citizen who embraces infocomm to lead an active lifestyle. He is Mr Dick Yip, a 61-year-old retired PE teacher, who is an inspiration and role model, to both seniors and younger ones alike, by demonstrating that age is no barrier to the digital world.
4. Recently, Mr Dick Yip spent 36 hours at a stretch, through trial and error, to set up his first blog. He came up with the idea of blogging when his mother passed away last year. With more than 100 family members living in various parts of the world, Mr Yip tried to link everyone up through a family blog. He enjoyed some measure of success only after 12 painstaking hours, when he finally managed to upload his first photo on the Internet. I must say this is quite an achievement for someone who did not even know how to attach documents to an email before. Today, Mr Yip continues to fuel his passion for technology by blogging regularly about his community work, travel experience and sporting interests, and keeping in touch with his former students on Facebook, Friendster and Hi-5. I was told he recently uploaded F1 pictures on his blog.
5. I would like to encourage more seniors to embrace infocomm. IDA is committed to helping more seniors use and learn IT skills with their peers, so that together, they can discover the benefits that infocomm brings.
6. Seniors may want to consider participating in IDA’s annual Silver Infocomm Day. This event consists of a series of English, Malay and Mandarin workshops on topics such as ‘Basic Computer Appreciation’, ‘Digital Photography’, ‘eTransactions’ and ‘Online Travel Booking’. This year’s Silver Infocomm Day has been expanded to two Saturdays - on 22nd and 29th of November, at the Singapore Polytechnic. In addition, seniors can also visit the Silver Infocomm Junction, located at the RSVP office in Bishan, which is a learning hub that allows seniors to enjoy affordable infocomm access and courses on a wide variety of lifestyle topics. Do log on to www.rsvp.org.sg to find out more. IDA is in the process of setting up more of such junctions.
7. Finally, I would like to encourage seniors to use infocomm to stay engaged and become more closely connected with their friends and relatives. Infocomm today impacts on the way we live, learn, work and play. Let’s embrace it to lead an even more exciting and active lifestyle. Thank you.
1 IDA’s annual survey on Infocomm Usage in Households and By Individuals for 2007