Mr Desmond Tan, Chief Executive Director, People’s Association
Ms Tan Li San, Deputy Secretary, MCI
Mr Han Tan Juan, Assistant Chief Executive Director, People’s Association
Grassroots Leaders, Residents and Friends from West Coast GRC
Thank you very much for joining us this morning. I am very glad that you are here in such large numbers to enjoy this Digital Carnival. I wanted to talk a little bit about why we are doing this, because it is important to put it in the context of the broader effort.
Digital Readiness Blueprint
2 Earlier this year, I launched the Digital Readiness Blueprint. The Blueprint included a set of 10 recommendations to help the general public, and also segments of our population like the elderly who might need a little more help to enjoy the benefits of technology. We know that technology is present in the work place, living and social environments. We want to make sure that our people, and especially those who may not be naturally exposed to technology such as our older Singaporeans, are able to get exposure and access.
3 We want to recognise that not everyone shares the same starting point, and we want to bring everyone up to speed so that, for example, you are able to watch Channel 8’s broadcast of the SPOP Grand Finals on Toggle, use ePayment to order chicken rice at the hawker centre, and to log on to participate in the latest season of the National Steps Challenge. In other words, for you to be able to use technology to have a more meaningful engagement with friends and family, and to benefit from the broad range of services available.
4 Today, I am very excited, and happy to launch “Tech Connect” – a new initiative that provides dedicated one-on-one tech assistance to any person who may need help with their digital devices and services.
5 How does “Tech Connect” work? You simply walk in to any of the eight CCs that are part of this pilot project and look for PA staff, known as your “Tech Connect Kakis”. These “Tech Connect Kakis” will then provide you with one-on-one assistance. We have PA staff who are here to help you and advise you on a very personal basis.
6 You can look for the #ShowMeHow sign at the doors of the CCs – where our “Tech Connect Kakis” can show you how to send a video to your grandchildren, or how to make a QR code payment, or how to connect to Wi-Fi to watch your favourite Korean dramas.
7 Our “Tech Connect Kakis” are here to answer basic queries and provide quick answers. If you are keen to find out and deepen your knowledge in areas such as coding, your “Tech Connect Kakis” can recommend courses for you, including those that you can use your SkillsFuture credits for.
8 I am pleased to share that the Info-communications Media Development Authority has trained 60 People’s Association staff to be “Tech Connect Kakis”. In fact, many of our “Tech Connect Kakis” are here today. They will be very happy to engage you, to see what your needs are and how best they can meet them.
9 Please join me in thanking all our PA staff, as this is an extra duty they are taking on. Let us thank them for stepping up to lead the way in this initiative. Thank you very much to all the PA staff.
10 This “Tech Connect” pilot will run for one year before we decide how much more we can do. We want to do more. We want to dream bigger. It is not just 60 trained staff who are “Tech Connect Kakis”. All of us are “Tech Connect Kakis”– a grandchild can help his or her grandparents, children can help their parents, and we can advise friends and family. In any environment, at home, at work, and within our social environment, those of us who are already familiar can help those who are less familiar, or anyone else who needs help to get better acquainted with technology and how to use it. This is in addition to our friendly Kakis in the CCs. So, do not be shy to ask your friend, grandchild or neighbour to “show me how” to use digital devices and services.
11 Ultimately, that is what Tech Connect is really about – it is about linking people, minds and hearts so that we can better connect with others through technology. It is only when we have such inclusivity in digital technology, and connection becomes part of our DNA, can we truly say that we have become a Smart Nation. Let me repeat this – what we want to do as we talk about the digital revolution, Smart Nation and about how technology is changing our work, our lives and the way we interact – is that we can only fully realise the benefits of technology if all Singaporeans, regardless of age or background, are able to participate and benefit fully from it. “Tech Connect” is about ensuring that every Singaporean is digitally ready and able to benefit from digital technology in whichever way that is most appropriate for them in their lives. And that is what we want to encourage. I hope you will come forward, and participate fully in this initiative.
12 Thank you very much.