Singapore's move to go cashless and have more government services migrate online is to improve people's lives, said Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Dr Janil Puthucheary.
It is not chasing technology for technology's sake, he told Parliament yesterday (Sep 11) when several MPs highlighted how the shift may leave the elderly behind.
Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) and Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson) had asked about plans to help people, especially the elderly, get ready for a Smart Nation. Dr Janil said a Digital Readiness Workgroup has been set up to help Singaporeans get ready for the digital future. It will propose ways to do it by early next year.
The group, which is made up of representatives from the public and private sectors, is set up by his ministry. The effort will complement the official Silver Infocomm Initiative, which has promoted IT literacy among more than 130,000 seniors.
To help ensure no one is left behind, Singapore will consider user-friendly e-payment solutions, including wearables and those with biometric features, said Dr Janil. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will study carefully all the e-payment technology proposals firms have submitted, he added.
"Smart Nation is about making all our lives easier. It is about building a strong society and economy for all, where businesses thrive, opportunity abounds and we look forward with confidence to the future," said Dr Janil.
Source: “Smart Nation push aims to improve lives: Janil” (The Straits Times, 12 September 2017)