11 October 2009 - Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, as Special Guest at the Active Agers Awards Ceremony, The Marina Barrage
Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, as Special Guest at the Active Agers Awards Ceremony on Sunday, 11 October 2009, 8.30 pm at The Marina Barrage
Mr Gerard Ee, Chairman, Council for Third Age,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. The Active Agers Awards recognise seniors who have a zest for life and embrace an active lifestyle. As Singapore develops into an intelligent nation and a global knowledge city powered by infocomm, I am pleased to note that many of our senior citizens are also embracing a digital lifestyle. This is not surprising, given that more than 75% of households in Singapore now have broadband Internet access1. It is becoming more common to see parents and grandparents glued to their computers, blogging, interacting on social networking platforms like Facebook and Myspace, or surfing the Internet for information on news, financial markets and travel.
2. With the building of our Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network which saw the first home connected by the network fibre two months ago, we can expect to see online services and applications becoming even more readily accessible to the public. In particular, developments in the areas of telemedicine, health monitoring devices and video conferencing seek to improve the quality of life for senior citizens, enabling them to remain connected and socially active.
3. Later this evening, we will be presenting the Silver Infocomm Champion Award 2009. This award, which was launched last year, aims to recognise senior citizens who make use of infocomm in different ways to improve their quality of life and inspire their peers to keep ahead in this Digital Age. Our winner of the award this year, Mr Sam Liu, aptly personifies these traits - embracing an active and fulfilling lifestyle with the help of infocomm and actively promoting and encouraging the use of infocomm among his peers.
4. Mr Liu used to be a satellite engineer and is now semi-retired. He owns two companies and enjoys travelling. With such a busy lifestyle, Mr Liu uses infocomm applications to help him stay connected in both his work and social engagements. He is able to keep in touch with his family, friends and business clients from all over the world, whether from the comfort of his home or while on the move, through his BlackBerry smartphone.
5. Mr Liu has also been actively promoting the use of infocomm among his peers. He volunteers as an IT trainer in RSVP, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme, as well as doing voluntary teaching to the patients at the Institute of Mental Health. Mr Liu's efforts are indeed commendable.
6. To promote infocomm usage among senior citizens, IDA started the Silver Infocomm Initiative in 2007, which most of you may be familiar with. One of the key initiatives is the setting up of Silver Infocomm Junctions, which are neighbourhood infocomm learning hubs offering affordable computer access and training courses for senior citizens. Currently, there are four Silver Infocomm Junctions located in different parts of Singapore - at CDAC@Bukit Panjang, Marine Parade Family Service Centre, Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club, and RSVP Singapore at Bishan, where Mr Liu volunteers at. Besides offering a comprehensive curriculum, the Silver Infocomm Junctions tap on a ready pool of infocomm-savvy senior citizens to act as course instructors, making learning easier and more effective for the participants of the activities there.
7. In addition, IDA also holds the annual Silver Infocomm Day, a mass-training event where senior citizens have the opportunity to experience the latest in infocomm applications and acquire hands-on infocomm skills. Last year's Silver Infocomm Day attracted about 2,400 senior citizens, with nearly 700 participants attending the training courses. This year, the Silver Infocomm Day will be held at the Singapore Polytechnic over two weekends, on 28 and 29 November, and 12 and 13 December. This means that more participants can participate and benefit from the Silver Infocomm Day. I encourage you to be take part in this exciting Silver Infocomm Day with your families. It can be a day of fun where you can bond with one another, and you can also take the opportunity to impress your grandchildren with your infocomm savviness!
8. Finally, I would like to thank all our 465 Active Agers Awards nominees, of whom 50 were shortlisted for the Silver Infocomm Champion Award. I was heartened at the many different ways in which our nominees sought to use infocomm to enrich the lives of others. On this note, I wish you all a more fulfilling lifestyle that is enriched by infocomm, as you continue to discover the joy of using infocomm.
9. Thank you.
Note to Editor:
1 Based on IDA's Annual Survey on Infocomm Usage in Households and by Individuals, 2007 and 2008(74% in 2007 and 76% in 2008).