Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Silver IT Fest Opening Ceremony

10 Jun 17 - Speech by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Silver IT Fest Opening Ceremony on 10 June 2017 at 9.35am, at the Lifelong Learning Institute

Good Morning. 

  1. Today, we come together again, to celebrate an initiative that I find very meaningful and close to my heart. 

  2. By now, many of you have already heard me speak more than once about our drive towards building a digital society. Our vision for a digital society has the potential to transform Singapore and improve our lives. However, understanding technology can seem not only intimidating, but is also costly.

  3. This is why the Silver Infocomm Initiative is critical in ensuring that our seniors are not left behind in this transformation. To date, the Silver Infocomm Initiative has served about 150,000 Singaporeans, and continues to look for avenues to do more to ensure all Singaporeans are digital ready. 

  4. Digital readiness is a national effort and we will all need to do more to ensure that our seniors are able to reap the same benefits and add meaning to their lives. I want to highlight three ways where we have come together to do more this year. 

  5. IM Silver Portal

  6. At last year’s Silver IT Fest, we announced the expansion of the number of training centres at Silver Infocomm IT Junctions from 10 to 31 locations island wide. This means, residents in each CDC will be able to choose from between 4 to 11 locations for their learning needs. 

  7. This year, we want to increase the opportunities for constant learning outside of these Junctions. To do this, I am pleased to announce the IM Silver Portal where our seniors can find online guides, eBooks, videos and tips to complement their lessons at Silver IT Junctions and meet their individual learning needs.

  8. Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors

  9. The Silver Infocomm Initiative has been able to achieve a high degree of success for more than a decade because of the community’s strong support. 

  10. This is why I want to take the time to highlight the valuable work that our 163 Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors have done. I have had the pleasure of hearing many stories of how they have helped others go beyond just learning and into finding practical uses for technology. I was very impressed when I learnt that one of our ambassadors, Madam Noorlinda, had introduced Snapchat to her 96-year-old father-in-law. Today, she uses Snapchat to stay connected with her grandchildren. 

  11. We are encouraged by the passion of our Ambassadors, and we are working with PA to groom them so that they take lead in the community to promote a culture of volunteerism where seniors would train other seniors. 29 of our Silver Infocomm Wellness Ambassadors have committed to a new Tech Silver Project where they will continue to help other seniors adopt technology with confidence and meaning. This is peer learning at a senior level. 

  12. The project will enable our Ambassadors with more opportunities to contribute to the community. This includes Uncle Harry, who has been an Ambassador for 7 years. He will be undergoing training by IMDA and PA, so that he is able to contribute better to helping his peers go digital. Another Ambassador, Mr Tariam Singh, can communicate with his peers in multiple languages including Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Punjabi and even Hokkien. I believe they will be more-than-equipped for the task and I am confident that very soon, they will be training other seniors of all races to post photos of their kopitiam breakfast on Instagram.

  13. Corporate Friends of Silver Infocomm

  14. Lastly, I am happy to share that close to 800 volunteers participated in Silver IT Fest events in the past year under the Friends of Silver Infocomm programme. These are our volunteers who have stepped forward to reach out to the seniors. We also saw many Corporate Friends in action over the past year. Throughout the year, a total of 20 companies supported with 280 volunteers to help seniors pick up IT skills. For example, at the Silver IT Fest training classes held at ITE West in March this year, 230 volunteers from 5 companies – Cognizant, Dell, HPE, IBM and Oracle – together with 90 students from ITE College West supported the training of more than 1,500 seniors over 3 days. This would not have been possible without the help of our Friends. Kudos to our Friends of Silver Infocomm! I hope that more individuals and companies will be able to come on board this meaningful project, connecting our seniors with technology. 

  15. Conclusion

  16. I would like to thank everyone again, for playing a part in helping our seniors go digital. This year, we are expecting over 5,000 participants for this festival – all whom I’m sure are excited to see what Singtel, Samsung and Uber have in store. I wish everyone a fun and fruitful time at the IT Fest and hope to see you at the booths later.



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