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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  25 November 2014  

PM Lee outlines the Smart Nation vision: Meaningful lives, enabled by technology

SINGAPORE: The Republic needs to take full advantage of technology, particularly information technology (IT), in order to be one of the outstanding cities in the world to live in, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. This means fostering a Smart Nation, where people live meaningful and fulfilled lives enabled by technology.

Mr Lee, speaking at the Smart Nation launch event on Monday (Nov 24), said taking full advantage of technology cannot be "piecemeal" - something that is already being done - but be approached systematically, to integrate all the different technologies together "in a coherent and comprehensive way".

Singapore has already embarked on its Smart Nation journey, he said. Nine out of 10 households in the country have broadband access, while every home will soon have access to higher-speed fibre broadband. Some other initiatives introduced include e-government services such as IRAS e-filing, NLB book borrowing services, and an integrated electronic medical records system that allows doctors to access patient information regardless which hospital they visit.

"We need to build on these valuable elements to make a national effort, and set ourselves the goal of becoming a Smart Nation," Mr Lee said.


Integrating the online with the offline world would create more opportunities for the community to interact and help one another, he said. One example is in the care for the country's senior citizens.

"Many of us have elderly parents to take care of - we worry for their health and safety. But many seniors also want to be independent and live their lives fully, rather than be completely reliant on others," the Prime Minister said.

To this end, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is piloting the Smart Elderly Monitoring and Alert System sensors in HDB flats, which uses a combination of sensors, so that if the system detects something out of the ordinary, it can raise the alarm and alert family members or neighbours.

"We will have more than 900,000 seniors over 65 in Singapore by 2030, and our Smart Nation vision can radically change how we approach the challenge of active ageing, to give our seniors more to look forward to in their golden years," Mr Lee said.

Looking after the elderly with IT is just one idea out of the "endless possibilities" that the Smart Nation vision enables, he said. The Government will lay the foundation - building the infrastructure, facilitating innovation and creating the framework for contribution - but ultimately, everyone needs to contribute to make the Smart Nation vision a reality, he said.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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