28 November 2009 - Welcome Remarks by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority, As Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony of the Silver Infocomm Day

Welcome Remarks by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority, As Guest of Honour at the Opening Ceremony of the Silver Infocomm Day, 28 November 2009

Dr Philbert Chin, President, RSVP Singapore,
Dr Timothy Chan, Director, School of Digital Media & Infocomm Technology, Singapore Polytechnic,
Distinguished Speakers and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good morning,

1.Let me first begin by expressing my appreciation to Singapore Polytechnic for kindly supporting this Silver Infocomm Day, through the use of its premises and various facilities, and to its staff and students for their efforts in planning and contributing in so many ways to the various activities that we're going to experience today.

2. Today's event is particularly meaningful as it brings together people from different age groups together. For most of us who were born in an earlier generation, computers were not around when we were growing up. So, the sight of youths today, playing games on the computer, chatting over the Internet, SMS-ing on the handphone, listening to music, and all at the same time, is probably quite amazing. But it seems that increasingly, more and older adults are into social networking too. More adults have created profiles on Facebook to keep in touch with old friends as well as their children, and playing the games on that platform too. Such online activities help us remain socially connected and engaged, which is good. I hope that today's lessons would help you continue to enjoy such applications and even better, break new boundaries in your usage of IT.

3. Indeed, infocomm technology can be enjoyed by both the young and the old. Take for example, our first seminar speaker, Mr Sam Liu. In October this year, Mr Liu was presented with the Infocomm Champion Award in recognition for his active use of infocomm and also for inspiring his peers to embrace infocomm to improve their quality of life.

4. Mr Liu was a satellite engineer and is now semi-retired. However, he still owns two companies. He also 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 in the comfort of his home or while on the move.

5. Mr Liu has also been actively promoting the use of infocomm among his peers and volunteers as an IT trainer in RSVP Singapore, The Organisation of Senior Volunteers, as well as doing voluntary teaching to the patients at the Institute of Mental Health. Mr Liu's efforts are indeed commendable. I encourage anyone who is similarly interested to be an IT volunteer, to speak to Mr Liu to find out how you can also do so.

6. Similarly, to promote infocomm usage among senior citizens, IDA launched the Silver Infocomm Initiative in 2007, which aims to bridge the digital divide among senior citizens aged 50 and above. One of the features of the Silver Infocomm Initiative is the setting up of Silver Infocomm Junctions, or SIJs, which are IT learning hubs offering affordable infocomm training, as well as customised curriculum for senior citizens. The current four SIJs are located at RSVP Singapore at Bishan Junction 8, Marine Parade Family Service Centre, CDAC@Bukit Panjang and Paya Lebar Kovan Community Club. These SIJs offer specially tailored curriculum for senior citizens to learn IT skills and new lifestyle and hobby-based course modules are continually developed to meet the needs of senior citizens in their use of infocomm. For example, there are now curriculum materials on communicating on online platforms, blogging and online Social Networking.

7. To make it even more convenient for senior citizens to take up infocomm lessons, 4 more SIJs will be set up islandwide by October 2010. I am pleased to announce that one of the locations for a new SIJ has been confirmed to be at iClickz Club in Tampines Avenue 5 and it will be operational by end of the first quarter next year. Already, since November 2007, more than 8,700 training places have been taken up at the SIJs. This is no surprise, noting that apart from our experienced pool of trainers, the SIJs also tap on infocomm-savvy senior citizens, just like Mr Sam Liu, to act as course instructors or ambassadors to impart their infocomm knowledge to their peers. This allows these instructors to pass on their knowledge effectively as they have gone through similar learning experiences and understand the difficulties faced.

8. Also, as announced by the Acting Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts last Sunday, to make it easier for senior citizens to use computers and obtain internet access, IDA will begin setting up 100 Silver Infocomm Hot Spots at various locations in Singapore from January 2010. These Silver Infocomm Hot Spots, which will have free IT facilities, will be located at accessible locations for senior citizens such as Community Centres, Senior Citizen Connect areas or Clans and Society buildings. The deployment of the hot spots is scheduled to be completed by end-2012 and I hope these hotspots will also provide you with easy access to computers and the Internet, where you can make use of the skills you have picked up today.

9. Finally, should you ever want to look for information on infocomm learning opportunities on the Internet, I would like to mention two useful web portals that have been set up by the IDA. The first is the newly launched Silver Infocomm Training and Information Portal. This website allows you to search for IT events and seminars. On the webpage itself, you would also be able to provide feedback on the events you have attended so that future events can take into account your views and be improved to meet your needs. Another feature on the portal is the mailing list which would notify you of any infocomm learning events which are taking place. I encourage all of you to visit the website at itforseniors.sg and see how you can benefit from it.

10. The second is the Infocomm123.sg resource portal which provides informative and interactive multimedia experience for users. The portal offers varied features for all users, including those who are embarking on their first steps towards infocomm learning. If you have a question on the use of infocomm technology and need an answer, all you have to do is post your question in the portal and you will receive a response from the online community. Already, the portal has answers to useful questions such as 'choosing the right broadband plan', 'protecting your e-mail and instant messaging account' or 'how to use government electronic services', which are easy to read and understand. Periodic contests and activities are also conducted via the portal, where you can put your newly acquired infocomm knowledge into good use. In fact, there will be a contest starting soon in December, especially for senior citizens. Through participating in this contest, you can learn how to sign-up and access a Facebook account and upload photos online.

11. I hope that everyone will be able to find ways to make use of the facilities and websites I have mentioned - the Silver Infocomm Junctions, the Silver Infocomm Hot Spots, the Silver Infocomm Training and Information and Infocomm123.sg portals. Do continue to embrace and learn more about infocomm as it is a lifelong journey of learning and discovery. I also encourage everyone to fully attend all 4 days of the Silver Infocomm. Have a good Silver Infocomm Day ahead.

12. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023