1 October 2011 - Address by RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Active Agers Awards Ceremony, Hilton Hotel Singapore

Address By RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore at the Active Agers Awards Ceremony, Hilton Hotel Singapore, Grand Ballroom, Saturday, 1 October 2011

Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health and Minister-in-charge of Ageing,
Mr Gerard Ee, Chairman, Council for Third Age,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening

1. Many of us are aware of the power of infocomm and how it is transforming our lives. We no longer have to make physical visits to the bank to carry out transactions or to the post office to pay our bills; we can do that online. Instead of writing letters, we talk to our friends on email or Facebook.

Seniors as Role Models

2. In recent years, we have seen more and more senior citizens actively adopting infocomm in their daily lives. Many of them have been signing up for the infocomm workshops at the annual Silver Infocomm Day, and this year's Silver Infocomm Day will see a record attendance of 5,500 when it ends its run tomorrow. We have also seen more seniors taking their first step to embrace infocomm by attending Basic Computer courses. Compared to last year, there has been a 10% increase in the number of Basic Computer classes conducted during Silver Infocomm Day. Other infocomm lifestyle classes such as Social Networking, e-Communications and e-Travel have seen packed classes, and in many instances these workshops have been led by seniors themselves.

3. This exemplifies the spirit of active ageing, where senior citizens who have picked up infocomm skills and honed them through practice, are now stepping forward to train others. In the process, they have become role models for the silver community. Some of our past Active Ager Award winners like Mr Dick Yip, Mr Sam Liu and Mr Harry Lo, continue to be active in advocating infocomm adoption amongst their peers. They have served as good ambassadors by helping others join the digital world as cyberguides, trainers and speakers.

Winner of Active Agers Infocomm Champion Award 2011 - Mr Roland Ng

4. This year's recipient of the Active Agers Infocomm Champion Award is Mr Roland Ng.

5. Roland, who spent his career in the maritime industry, taught himself how to use the computer when he was 55 years old. He began taking an interest in computers when he saw his then 29-year-old son struggling with virus and password issues and paying what seemed to him too much to get the problems fixed.

6. A chance encounter with a Residents' Committee Chairman, Mr Martin Pereira, led to Roland's involvement in training other senior citizens in infocomm. Roland learnt that Mr Pereira was facing some computer problems and helped him to resolve them. He also offered to conduct IT courses, free of charge, to other seniors in the Moulmein Tekka area. Since then, he has been teaching skills ranging from basic IT literacy to computer assembly. Roland likes to refer to himself as a 'teaser' and not a 'teacher' - he loves to spur people's interest and get them excited about things that he himself is excited about.

7. Roland is a great example of how senior citizens, and not just the young, can lead an active digital lifestyle. It is heartening to see him so passionately sharing his knowledge and experience with other senior citizens, and encouraging them to use IT to remain connected with family, friends and the community.

Bringing the Benefits of Infocomm to All

8. IDA is committed to partnering organisations such as the Council for Third Age in recognising the contributions of individuals like Roland, and in bringing the benefits of infocomm to all.

9. Under our Silver Infocomm Initiative, we recently added three new Silver Infocomm Junctions to provide more convenient access to these senior-friendly IT learning hubs. The new facilities at Anchorvale Community Club, Eunos Community Club and Zhenghua Community Club bring the total number of Silver Infocomm Junctions islandwide from 9 to 12.

10. To bring our senior citizens up to speed with the latest technologies, Silver Infocomm Junctions run by RSVP and CARE will also be introducing courses on using the iPad from this month. IDA is also working with industry partners to pilot smartphone workshops in the later part of the year.


11. I strongly encourage our seniors to take advantage of these opportunities to embrace infocomm to enrich their lives. We hope that you will be excited about infocomm and ready to embrace the benefits of a digital lifestyle. We believe it will lead you to new experiences, connect you with people from different generations, and open up a whole new digital world of fun and opportunities. Thank you.

Last updated on: 13 Mar 2023