Your Letters

Provide seniors with non-digital options too

I empathise with Mr David Lam Yan Choon's situation (Streamline online maid application process; March 11).

I am a 70-year-old senior and had a frustrating experience when I renewed the work permit of my 105-year-old mother's helper.

The last time I went through the process was more than two years ago, and I had used my mother's SingPass.

Since that time, her password has had to be reset and two-factor authentication applied for.

This required letters from the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), an e-mail address and a mobile phone number. Since my mother had no e-mail address, and my e-mail address and mobile phone number were already linked to my SingPass, we had to use her postal address.

The letters also took several working days to arrive. I obtained an extension of the work permit's expiry date when I realised that the renewal would take longer than I thought. However, despite this, I was bombarded with multiple MOM reminders, including one warning of the dire consequences of non-renewal.

I tried to find out how to renew the work permit in person, but I got nowhere. It seems as if the MOM is trying to discourage this.

Surely alternative solutions should be made available in situations like mine.

It is not that seniors may find digital processes confusing (Bridging the elder digital divide; March 12) - I am managing all right for myself.

The problem is when seniors need to cross the digital divide on behalf of their even more senior family members.

This is a period when the aged are still with us, while their elderly children are coming to grips with digital tools. We cannot expect the aged generation to have mobile phones and e-mail addresses.

Amy Loh Chee Seen (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 19, 2017, with the headline 'Provide seniors with non-digital options too'. Print Edition | Subscribe