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Singapore must not shut itself off from technology if it’s to stay relevant: DPM Heng

Singapore must not shut itself off from technology if it’s to stay relevant: DPM Heng

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat (sixth from left), Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan (to Heng's right) and NTUC Deputy Secretary-General Heng Chee How (third from left) at the inaugural Smart Nation & U event on Nov 30, 2019. (Photo: Brandon Tanoto)

SINGAPORE: Singapore must not shut itself off from technology if the country and its people are to remain relevant as the world advances, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Saturday (30 Nov).

Mr Heng said that while new technologies will give rise to many opportunities, one risk is that it will render many jobs and skills redundant.

“If we do not keep up with the changes, we might find it difficult to adapt at work. And as a society, we might end up with a new digital divide between those who know how to use technology, and those who don't."

Another risk, according to Mr Heng, is data security and on that front, the Government is doing more to improve its own processes, as well as to educate companies and organisations on how to protect their data.

Mr Heng was speaking to more than 20,000 residents at the inaugural two-day Smart Nation & U event in Pasir Ris.

The event is an example of the kind of outreach events the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) and National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) are organising to educate the public on the benefits of new technologies, as well as to equip them with basic digital skills.

More of such events and activities will be organised under a partnership signed on Saturday between SNDGO and NTUC.

READ: Singapore rolls out national strategy on artificial intelligence for ‘impactful’ social, economic benefits

Under the agreement, citizens will also have a greater say and involvement in the creation of digital government services through a citizen engagement programme - Smart Nation Co-creating with Our People Everywhere.

Through the programme, citizens can test digital government services and provide feedback on how such services can be improved.

The public can also try out these new services and other Smart Nation initiatives at NTUC premises and provide feedback before they are deployed.

Source: CNA/nr


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