Addenda to President's Address: High-tech convenience and security on MHA's agenda

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority will tap technology to make its services more convenient.

SINGAPORE - Renewing or applying for a new passport may be done with a click on one's mobile phone in future.

That is the goal of MyICA, a new Web portal that the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority rolled out last month.

Users can log on to the portal - currently in its beta testing stage - with their SingPass to apply for a passport, identity card or address changes, among other services.

The digital change is part of the agency's plan to make its services more convenient, said Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Tuesday (May 8) in his ministry's addenda to the President's Address.

The various ministries will issue their addenda - statements that spell out their priorities and plans for the rest of the Government's five-year term - from Tuesday to Friday.

Their addenda are grouped into the five key priorities that President Halimah Yacob outlined in her inaugural address on Monday, including securing Singapore's place in the world and building a world-class city.

Mr Shanmugam on Tuesday said the Home Team will also use technology to maintain homeland security.

He noted that crime and terror threats are increasingly sophisticated, with criminal syndicates exploiting technology and the Internet, and operating across national boundaries.

"Online scams and online trafficking of drugs have become more prevalent," he said.

To tackle these challenges, the Home Team will "take bold and transformative steps to develop stronger capabilities, leverage emerging technology for operations", he said.

For example, the new Home Team Operations Centre will be a nerve centre that will "employ cutting-edge technologies and harness data" to ensure a fast and coordinated response to threats. The islandwide network of cameras and sensors will be further integrated so that the authorities can identify threats more efficiently, Mr Shanmugam added.

Seven ministries and agencies issued their addenda on Tuesday. Besides the Home Affairs Ministry, the National Security Coordination Secretariat, the Defence Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Ministry set out their plans to keep Singapore safe and secure.

The Transport Ministry, Environment and Water Resources Ministry and National Development Ministry outlined ways to develop a world-class city.

Members of Parliament will scrutinise and debate the ministries' plans when Parliament sits next Monday.

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