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Speech by Mr Leong Keng Thai
SPEECH BY MR LEONG KENG THAI
DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND DIRECTOR-GENERAL (TELECOMS & POST)
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
AT THE POLYTECHNIC'S 54TH GRADUATION CEREMONY
FRIDAY, 23 MAY 2014 (SESSION 3)
Mr Tan Choon Shian, Principal and CEO, Singapore Polytechnic,
Teachers, Parents and Graduands,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am honoured to join you today on this joyous occasion at the 2014 Singapore Polytechnic, School of Digital Media & Infocomm Technology Graduation
Ceremony. Let me start by thanking Principal and CEO of Singapore Polytechnic for the kind invitation to speak at this ceremony, and congratulations to all
the graduands, family and friends. To the graduands, I also would like you to take a moment to thank your parents or whoever that helped you to get to
where you are today. Today will be a day you will remember for many years to come. It marks a major milestone in your lives - attaining the diploma you
have worked very hard for.
Singapore Polytechnic's 60th anniversary
This year also marks a significant milestone for SP as it celebrates its 60thanniversary. You would, of course know that SP
is Singapore's first educational institution of its kind, set up in 1954 to train technologists and professionals to support the industrialisation and
economic development of Singapore. SP's first batch of 192 students graduated in 1961. This year, 5,510 students will graduate with 389 graduands receiving
their diplomas in this session. To date, enrolment in SP has grown to more than 178,000 students, some of whom have gone on to become parliamentarians,
captains of industries, senior executives of multi-national corporations, and successful entrepreneurs and professionals in Singapore and overseas.
Likewise, I am certain that SP has given you a holistic education that will empower you to pursue your dreams.
Growth of ICM industry and demand for talent
- Your future is promising. Following your graduation, I would like to encourage you to enter the Infocomm and Media (ICM) industry and make your mark. I
can assure you that the ICM industry is a growing and very exciting one for you to be in right now. In January this year, Gartner, an IT research
and advisory company, predicted
that worldwide spending in IT and telecoms will total US$3.8 trillion in 2014. This is a 3.1 percent increase from the 2013 spending and in Singapore
alone, projected IT spending this year is forecasted to exceed US$20 billion. This is an increase of almost 4.4 percent from 2013. Some facts from
Deloitte's recent study
showed that Singapore is witnessing a 7.3 percent employment growth in the Interactive Digital Media industry last year. Revenues in this industry grew by
14.5 percent. With such promising growth, many companies, investors are looking at Singapore to capitalise the growth curve.
- We are witnessing the evolution of technology and media every day. If numbers do not appeal to you, then look around you. You will see an endless flow of
new innovative products, services and solutions that empower enterprises. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have literally
transformed the way we socialise and interact (I am sure some of you are tweeting or instagramming this moment as I speak!). And you cannot miss the fact
that literally all of us cannot live without our mobile phones. Our phones serve as our diary, our roadmap, our food guide, our camera. Oh and occasionally
we use it to call our friends. Some of us are also adopting smart devices to track our health, diet and even how much we sleep! In the digital media
sphere, there are gesture control devices, which literally allow you to communicate with great accuracy by simply waving your hands. Thus, isn't the ICM
industry exciting? There isn't a better time to enter the industry and be part of this evolution! But of course, it is natural foryou to wonder. "What's
- There are many doors to open. Apart from the ICM sector itself, ICM professionals can also look to applying their skills in many meaningful
opportunities in other sectors. For example, in the healthcare sector, ICM is increasingly transforming the way healthcare can be made more accessible and
affordable to everyone. Smart textile and wearable technologies for instance can allow for remote, automatic and uninterrupted monitoring of health status
away from the hospital. It delivers accurate and fast results, while lowering the costs that patients may have to bear as compared to traditional health
checks by doctors. In education, ICM will certainly revolutionise learning in the classroom through highly engaging experience and instant access to global
information. My future grandchildren and your children will learn differently and more effectively. The classrooms of the future will no longer be the same
and ICM will definitely impact the lives of our future generation.
Benefits from IDA-SP collaboration
- IDA has been working very closely with Singapore Polytechnic over the years. We have been supporting students in achieving progress and success in their
academic journey through various scholarships and programmes. To date, 101 SP students - the highest number among all polytechnics - have been awarded the
Integrated Infocomm Scholarship or IIS in short, since its inception. This scholarship enables outstanding 'O' level achievers to pursue infocomm-related
diploma and degree courses from polytechnic through to university. Jess Tan, who sits amongst you today, is one outstanding, real-life example.
- Jess graduates with a Diploma in Digital Media today and has already been offered a place at NTU Computer Science. Jess's passion for technology began
at the age of 13, when she created a personal blog and took on coding, and also learnt HTML and CSS, to customise her blog. Today, Jess is a User
Experience designer with a leading technology firm and has out of her free time developed several apps, two of which are already in the Apple App store. In
fact, if you have been using either of the two apps called "Pasar Malam" and "Random"; she is the face behind them. Well done, Jess!
- Another scholarship such as the National Infocomm Scholarship or NIS, enables IDA to provide opportunities for students who wish to
pursue an infocomm related degree in local or overseas universities. Apart from the financial support, scholars will also seek to gain extensive industry
exposure through networking and internship opportunities with leading organisations from start-ups to MNCs. This year, the scholarship was also enhanced to
expand the career choices for graduates. NIS recipients can select the companies to serve their bond in, during the final year of their studies. We have 28
SP students who have received the NIS recipients to date.
- It is important for you to upgrade yourselves after graduating today, and it is easy and possible. One of IDA's initiatives is the Company-Led Training
or CLT programme which seeks to equip fresh professionals with industry specific skills. Since 2011, we have worked with various global organisations such
as IBM, DBS Bank and Dimension Data. In early February this year, Google, too has joined the programme, and has committed to training 20 fresh
professionals in data & analytics for the digital advertising space. IDA has also launched various Centres of Attachment with leading technology
providers such as leading providers like EMC, Microsoft, Revolution Analytics, National Healthcare Group, and the Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific who
are equipping IT professionals with in-depth skills in emerging areas through industry projects and industry attachments.
- So my message to you is, take advantage of the many opportunities that IDA has for you. I have been an infocomm professional all my
working life, and have not looked back since. I am proud to be one and I believe you would too. I assure you, as an infocomm professional, you will be
ahead of the curve.
You have a future as critical thinkers, entrepreneurs, lifelong learners, and contributing members of the society. Singapore has the unique opportunity
to be the world's first 'smart' nation, and as the future players of the society, you can help us make that happen. As you move on in your ICM career, I
hope you can take up jobs that allow you to create, innovate and value-add.
- In closing, let me join all lecturers, family and friends in congratulating our graduands today. Remember the people who got you here today. Be proud of
your accomplishments. Make friends, build networks and be sure to stay connected with the ICT community.
- Your lifelong learning journey has only just begun. May your road ahead be filled with exciting challenges and conquests!
- Congratulations Class of 2014! Thank you!
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