New SG Digital Office Established to Drive Digitalisation Movement — 1,000 Digital Ambassadors to be recruited by June 2020
SINGAPORE – 31 MAY 2020
Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Communications and Information today announced the formation of the SG Digital Office (“SDO”) under the Infocomm Media Development Authority (“IMDA”). The Office will drive the Government’s concerted new push to accelerate digital transformation and adoption in our community as Singapore embarks on a phased economic recovery post-COVID-19.
Minister Iswaran said, “COVID-19 has irrevocably changed the way we lead our lives. While some of us have been able to make the necessary adjustments to work, learn or socialise from our homes because we are digitally connected, that is not the case for some of the elderly and vulnerable amongst us. Their lives can be better if they too are as digitally connected. The Government recognises that in the wake of COVID-19, digitalisation is now both an imperative and an opportunity. Digitalisation can significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of our people. We are therefore seizing the moment, by establishing the new SG Digital Office and doubling down on our efforts to help every individual, worker and business go digital. For a start, SDO will recruit 1,000 Digital Ambassadors to help stallholders and seniors go digital. Working with like-minded members of the community, corporate entities and individuals, SDO will drive Singapore’s national digitalisation movement, to ensure that everyone has a place in Singapore’s digital future”.
SDO will mobilise a whole-of-nation movement to accelerate Singapore’s digitalisation by building on and ramping up existing efforts to equip every individual and business, including our seniors and small businesses, with digital tools and skills to participate meaningfully in the new social and economic environment post COVID-19.
To educate and encourage all seniors as well as stallholders in hawker centres, wet markets, coffee shops and industrial canteens to go digital, SDO will recruit and deploy 1,000 Digital Ambassadors by end-June 2020. Comprising both full-time staff and volunteers, they will work with companies, community groups and the public to engage these target groups over the next few years, facilitating Singapore's digital transformation efforts.
Our Digital Ambassadors will cover all 112 hawker centres and wet markets in June 2020 to encourage stallholders to adopt SGQR codes for e-payment. The outreach will be ramped up further from July 2020, to include coffee shops and industrial canteens. Our goal is to engage 18,000 stallholders to help them get onboard the unified e-payment solution by June 2021.
We will also help those who have not begun using digital tools to get on board with digital transformation, building on Singapore’s current momentum. IMDA, National Environment Agency, Jurong Town Corporation, Housing Development Board and Enterprise Singapore will provide a bonus of $300 per month over five months to encourage more stallholders at hawker centres, wet markets, coffee shops, and industrial canteens to use e-payments and avoid having to handle cash. They should not be left behind as the whole economy transforms.
The Digital Ambassadors will also reach out to and raise the digital skills of 100,000 seniors by March 2021, up from the current annual target of 10,000 seniors reached through one-to-one skilling efforts. We want to quickly include our seniors in these digital efforts, so that they can join other citizens in communicating and transacting digitally. For seniors from lower-income households who wish to learn but are unable to afford the devices, we will provide them with financial support.