Even as information technology is transforming the way we live in ways beyond our imagination, it may be sobering to note what late US President John F Kennedy had said almost half a century ago when computers were alien to the home.
Man, he said, was still the most extraordinary computer of all.
It is indeed a tribute to man that he has made computers serve mankind in an extraordinary fashion.
It is only now that the world at large is beginning to take full advantage of the benefits that accrue from the rapidly unfolding giant leaps in information technology.
But Singapore did not have to wait this long. Always known to think ahead, something even its detractors will admit, Singapore mapped out a blueprint as early as in 1991 to the country turn into an intelligent island through what is known as the IT 2000 plan.
With Y2K long in, Singapore has more than met its goal. There is not a single area where you don’t see the permeation of IT. From schools to shops, homes to hospitals, courts to sports, computers have revolutionised almost every sphere of life.
“An important aspect of Singapore’s Smart Nation vision is to ensure that the benefits of infocomm innovation are made available to all.”
Just consider the following bits of statistical information relating to Singapore:
- Internet Subscribership: More than a million, making it almost one out of three people
- Computer ownership: One out of two homes has a computer, eclipsing even the US where it is one out of three.
- Total no. of mobile phone users: Nearly two million (i.e. every second person)
- Total no. of pager subscribers: 1,158,800 (1 in 3)
- Residential telephone lines: 1,867,500 (581 per 1,000 resident population)
Thanks to the Internet explosion, which is giving communication incredible dimensions, people are fast getting the used to the convenience of doing everything from within the cosy confines of the home, from working to learning. Not only do you have access to a rich repository of information worldwide, you can make friends in cyberspace and conduct business online.
Buildings are increasingly going intelligent, with all ministerial structures leading the way. Queues at airports, banks and such other public places dissipate as fast as snow at sunrise and multimedia splendour is there for you to see everywhere, at bus interchanges, offices and even roads, making information of every hue only a click away.
Writing anything more about it all is really redundant. Now need we say why we call our ehome a smart island! It is a home you will love to call your very own!
- Singapore’s Smart Nation Vision
“The Smart Nation is not just a slogan – it is a rallying concept for all of us to work together to transform our future together because there are endless possibilities waiting to be dreamed of.“
– Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
–G Joslin Vethakumar
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