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Community Collaboration to Get Everyone Connected

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development, IDA Singapore - Presentation Community Leaders' Summit 2001, Suntec Singapore

Dr Kaizad Heerjee, Assistant Chief Executive, Online Development, IDA Singapore - Presentation
Community Leaders' Summit 2001, Suntec Singapore
Singapore, 27 March 2001

1 Good morning, ladies & gentlemen, esteemed community leaders, friends and colleagues.

2 Recently at the media briefing preceding e-Celebrations 2001, I spoke on how Singaporeans can move towards adopting an e-lifestyle by adopting the 4Es, namely, e-Communications, e-Entertainment, e-Learning and e-Transactions.

3 I am happy to report that 65,000 Singaporeans who attended e-Festival, the anchor event for e-Celebrations, have been given a taste of an e-lifestyle.

4. This year's e-Celebrations activities are designed to catalyse the transition from awareness to adoption, by imparting the 4Es that are relevant and beneficial, to our daily lives. At the end of e-Celebrations on April 12, a total of 500,000 people would have had a hands-on experience of an e-lifestyle.

5 The path from awareness to adoption is speckled with opportunities and challenges, one of which is that of language.

6 To facilitate the outreach of our programmes beyond the English language, the Malay Internet Steering Committee and the Tamil Internet Steering Committee were formed last year. Both these committees have been invaluable partners in bridging the language divide.

7 They have organised public education activities and promoted e-commerce with products and services customised to their communities' needs as well as facilitated multilingual content aggregation in Singapore.

8 Last July, the Tamil Internet Steering Committee helped to organise the Tamil Internet 2000 International Conference and Exhibition. This occasion also saw the inauguration of the International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, whose secretariat is currently based in Singapore.

9 Most recently, just last weekend, in conjunction with the launch of the Malay Internet Week, ePedoman was unveiled. This portal offers bi-directional real time automatic translation which enables Malay/Muslim users to search, access, and read English content in Malay and vice versa. Through this innovation we are able to leverage on the availability of interesting content in an English-dominated online environment and make the content usable by the Malay/Muslim community.

10. As representatives of your cultural and interest groups, you are here today as key influencers within your own communities. You have the knowledge and ability to help our people to discover their true potential through an e-lifestyle.

11 Robert Lynd, in his book, "Solomon In All His Glory", penned this interesting observation:
"There are two sorts of curiosity - the momentary and the permanent. The momentary is concerned with the odd appearance on the surface of things. The permanent is attracted by the amazing and consecutive life that flows on beneath the surface of things".
It is my hope that our efforts to promote the adoption of an e-lifestyle will engage the people at a more personal level so that they would not conceive technology as merely a new or trendy thing but internalise the benefits and truly integrate the "e" into their lifestyle.

12 For example, e-Celebrations recently brought together housewives whose interest in cookery were taken a step further at e-Festival when they were introduced to on-line recipe exchange and cooking demonstrations. These housewives discovered that quite opposite of being a distant, irrelevant concept, technology plays a very important enabling role in their daily lives and interests.

13 Today's summit will let us take stock of the progress we have all made to engage Singaporeans in living an e-lifestyle. Your feedback on will be vital in helping us review our efforts

14 From your views we will be able to identify further common grounds that an e-lifestyle can bring to our diverse communities. We appeal for your continued support and further collaboration in future outreach programmes.

15 I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our existing partners, many of whom are present today, for your continuous support in building the bridges for our communities to adopt an e-lifestyle in a city that is truly connected.

16 Thank you