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eCelebrations Singapore - Getting Singaporeans Connected

Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore - Statement eCelebrations Singapore Press Conference, IDA Auditorium

Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer, IDA Singapore - Statement
eCelebrations Singapore Press Conference, IDA Auditorium

Singapore, 18 February 2000

1. It is my pleasure to welcome you to this morning's media conference on eCelebrations Singapore.

2. These days when you turn on the television or radio, flip open the newspapers, you are very likely to get reports about telco mergers, internet start-ups, content hosts, and the changing technology in these revolutionary times. Indeed the infocommunications technology is upon us and is rapidly changing the way we conduct business, the way we work and the way we live and play.

3. For Singaporeans, the challenge is to harness this infocommunications technology to enhance our quality of life. The 1999 IT Household Survey shows that 59% of households owns a computer at home, while 42% of the households have Internet access. Feedback shows that many older people are afraid to touch a computer. For those who are plugged in or 'connected', they stand to enjoy conveniences such as online shopping from home, access to a wider variety of products and services from both local and international markets, and access to information worldwide for learning, research or entertainment.

4. The benefits of being 'connected' must be shared with all Singaporeans. The danger of a societal digital divide developing between those who are connected and those who are not, is very real. IDA has the responsibility of urging all Singaporeans to embrace the infocomm technology and be part of the digital revolution that is rapidly changing our lives.

5. Emerging from the digital revolution would be an Information Society, where Singaporeans have to adopt a new set of communication skills, which impact the way we live, work and play. This has great implications for Singapore in its goal to be global hub in infocommunications technology. By having a population and workforce who is ICT savvy and knowledgeable will increase our competitiveness in the global market economy. Indeed the ICT sector has been identified as a major sector of growth for Singapore, and much hinges on individuals and companies here to rise to the challenge of developing an attractive and vibrant ICT culture and industry in Singapore.

6. In this regard, IDA is launching ICT Culture Promotion Programme, eCelebrations Singapore - a three-year programme to bring ICT to Singaporeans and encourage them to use the Internet and gadgets in the information society. Through eCelebrations Singapore, the IDA aims to create an ICT culture in which Singaporeans are ICT savvy - whether at home, school, work or play. The IDA's approach is to promote the benefits of ICT to everyone, and to accelerate the adoption of ICT in a pervasive manner: the workplace, school, home, library, shopping centre, community centre and also through a multi-sectoral collaboration with industry players, government agencies, community groups and the media.

7. This programme is conceptualised and planned in consultation with the ICT industry, community organisations like People's Association, educational institutions and the media. We have formed a Steering Committee, comprising representatives from these organisations, to facilitate multi-sectoral partnership, harness support, review and recommend strategies.

8. The valuable advice and feedback given by the Steering Committee members have helped shape the eCelebrations Singapore programme. I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for their time and contributions thus far. There is much work ahead for the Committee and we look forward to working closely to achieve the objectives.

9. At the organising and implementation level, an Organising Committee has been set up to identify, recommend and implement strategies and programmes to foster an ICT lifestyle. Chaired by Mrs Pam Soh, Deputy Director of IDA's Culture Promotion Department, this committee comprises 24 members from the public, industry, community and media sectors. Now I will hand you over to her to take you through the programmes and activities lined up for eCelebrations Singapore.

10. Thank you.