The Workers’ Party (WP) member Kenneth Foo Seck Guan took to his Facebook on Wednesday (22 July) to raise concerns about the technology gaps in society, especially among the senior citizens who face difficulty adapting to the digital transformation amid this COVID-19 pandemic.
“Technological advancement in this rapid changing world is beneficial yet we must also be aware of the gap in the society,” Mr Foo wrote.
Sharing his experience during the election campaign, the WP member who contested in East Coast GRC said that he had encountered an elderly man who accidentally blocked his wife on his mobile phone and had no idea how to resolve it, adding that the man was so relieved once the issue was resolved.
“A simple task like unblocking at a click seems easy to us but could be very stressful, especially for seniors like the uncle I met who may not be well versed with technology,” he explained.
Mr Foo also recalled that Sylvia Lim – the WP’s chairman – had raised the issue regarding the Government’s Seniors Go Digital Movement during the Fortitude Budget.
While he acknowledged that the movement is a good initiative, he questioned whether there are “adequate support” from the Government to “bridge the gap in knowledge and technology deployed to seniors” so they don’t feel stressful upon having to do a lot of catching up.
“The current COVID-19 had given the impetus to accelerate the digital transformation. However, we have to keep in mind that not everyone can nor have the ability to do so and there should always be friendly options made available to them,” Mr Foo concluded.
During the Fortitude Budget, the WP’s chairman has suggested the Government to provide low-cost plans for the elderly as well as “non-digital options” for those who are struggling to use the online account management, such as counter service.
On top of that, Ms Lim also repeated the same call during the WP’s e-rally series for election campaigning “The Hammer Show”, in which she opined that the elderly should be given the options to access the Government services over the counter as many of them are not familiar with the digital transaction like SingPass.