600 sign up to get S'poreans e-ready

Every day, Madam Pearlie Ow, 69, uses the MyTransport.sg mobile application to check for bus arrival timings. She also reads the e-books she downloaded on her phone via the National Library Board mobile app.

The finance clerk believes being digitally connected has allowed her to lead a more independent and empowered life. "I can find my way around without constantly asking people for help with directions and this independent way of living is a very good thing to have at my age," she told The Straits Times.

The digitally-savvy senior, who is a member of the Merdeka Generation, has been passing on her knowledge to peers around her age since she signed up to volunteer as a Smart Nation Ambassador in February.

At events organised by the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), Madam Ow would teach seniors how to use the apps that she has found useful. She was in action yesterday at the first Digital Inclusion Festival, a three-day event held since Friday by the Infocomm Media Development Authority at the Lifelong Learning Institute.

The SNDGO said yesterday that there are now around 600 Smart Nation Ambassadors.

Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is the Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative, yesterday highlighted the role and contributions of Smart Nation Ambassadors in helping the society get digitally ready.

Speaking at a breakfast session for members of the Merdeka Generation, referring to those born between 1950 and 1959, he also encouraged seniors who are not familiar with technology to keep an open mind and take small steps to stay digitally connected.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2019, with the headline '600 sign up to get S'poreans e-ready'. Print Edition | Subscribe