9 November 2010 - Address by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Deputy Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee (MICA), As Guest of Honour at Youth Infocomm Day, *Scape
Address by Mr Baey Yam Keng, Deputy Chairman of Government Parliamentary Committee (MICA), As Guest of Honour at Youth Infocomm Day on Tuesday, 9 November 2010, 10.35 Am at *Scape
Distinguished Partners and Guests,
Teachers and Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. It gives me great pleasure to be here today. Every year, Youth Infocomm Day brings youths together from the various schools to share their projects and to learn from each other about infocomm. I am delighted to see that leading technology firms like Adobe, Blizzard, Microsoft and NAVTEQ, and the computer schools from the various Institutes of Higher Learning, are also here today. This is a very unique opportunity for all students present today to find out more from these leading industry players about an infocomm career and education.
Infocomm Enables You to Make a Difference to the World
2. From my tour of the National Infocomm Club Awards exhibition earlier, I also saw videos, Flash animations, websites and games, all developed to present an important message of "Green ICT", in a simple-to-understand yet fun way. Some examples I recall include the Jurong Secondary School video on the use of foldable bikes, called "The Green Journey", Boon Lay Garden Primary School's Flash Animation "ICT Busters", Rosyth School's interactive website, "Go Green Rosyth" and White Sands Primary School's "Crabby Adventure" game. The other submissions I saw were also very impressive and I understand that in total, 100 projects were submitted for this year's awards. I would like to commend all of you for the hard work you have put in your projects and hope that everyone would continue to use the infocomm skills you have acquired to innovatively solve a problem that you face or in the world around you to make a difference.
3. Beyond the National Infocomm Club Awards, some of you will also be appointed as Infocomm Club Ambassadors today and will represent the voice of the students in the infocomm community. Congratulations. I urge you to contribute actively to the many activities you will be involved in like co-planning and co-organising Infocomm Club events and participate in community work.
Infocomm Skills are Portable and Allow you to be Creative and Innovative
4. I can sense a great vibrancy in the atmosphere at today's event. In schools, there has been great participation in infocomm activities. The number of infocomm clubs has almost doubled, from 150 in 2008, to more than 260 in 2010. In addition, the number of students in infocomm clubs now stands at close to 15,500 in 2010, more than twice as many students from two years before. The increase in the number of clubs and students is a reflection of the success of the partnerships that involve MOE, IDA, the industry and the learning institutions. With this partnership, the curriculum is always kept current, and students have opportunities to understand about career opportunities and the relevance of their infocomm skills to the industry, through seminars and visits to companies and projects. An event like today is an excellent manifestation of this close partnership.
5. Infocomm as a skill is special as it allows you to be creative and innovative with out-of-the-box products and solutions. For example, many of you would be familiar with the food and beverage portal, "HungryGoWhere.com". The three founders of HungryGoWhere began with a simple purpose and passion - to unite the global food community. Their solution was to create an online social media platform, where passionate foodies could come together and share their dining experiences on the go, and with success locally, to then expand their portal to an international audience. Their website has been a success, with HungryGoWhere sites for Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, which draw a total of 800,000 unique visitors every month and generates 4 million monthly page views. As a mark of recognition for their creativity, innovation and passion, HungryGoWhere was also awarded the National Infocomm Award for Most Innovative Use of Infocomm Technology in the Private Sector, SME, in October this year.
6. Similarly, Blizzard Entertainment, one of our industry partners here today, was started with a single minded passion and purpose - to make fun games. The company originally named Silicon & Synapse, also started off with three people, two computer science and one electrical engineering graduate from the University of California, Los Angeles, working as programmers on games by other companies. The release of "Warcraft" in 1994 however, was a huge breakthrough, vaulting Blizzard towards where it is now, as one of the most admired and successful game developer and publisher in the world. Today, Blizzard has made Singapore the South-east Asia hub for their Battle.net service and have recently launched StarCraft II in Singapore. You would be interested to know that the creation of such games and the way games are accessed online are based on fundamental infocomm skills such as networking, software programming and security.
7. Both HungryGoWhere and Blizzard, though in completely different industries, are firm examples of what infocomm is truly about - that it is a skill that allows you to be creative and innovative, is applicable to different fields and is very portable. If you love infocomm, find an area that you are passionate about, use the infocomm skills that you've acquired, and do something you truly enjoy. Talk to our partners from the polytechnics, universities and the industry to find out how you can pursue an education and career in infocomm. I am sure that they will be happy to share their thoughts with you.
8. In closing, I would just like to thank everyone present today. Special thanks goes to the event sponsors Adobe, Asiasoft, Nikon, Tucano, iHome and Microsoft as well as our event partners from the Institutes of Higher Learning and the industry. To our students, I hope you learn a lot from the activities today and I wish you a good Youth Infocomm Day ahead.
9. Thank you.