PA and SNDGO Collaborate to Accelerate Citizens’ Appreciation and Understanding of Smart Nation Policies and Development

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Singapore, 14 July 2020 - Artificial Intelligence. Internet of Things. Smart Nation. FinTech. Big Data. These have been buzz phrases of a younger generation plugged deep into the wired, technological world.  Now, as COVID-19 disrupts businesses and economies across the world, and compels an even greater pace of digitalisation, Singaporeans need to be prepared for both the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. With more job opportunities that will come onstream in the technology and information communications (infocomm) sector, PMETs, more than ever, need to open their minds, and understand developments in the digital space.


2. The People’s Association (PA) and the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO) will start a new webinar series called “Smart Nation: In Conversation”. This is a series of online panel discussions to engage PMETs in critical debates on Singapore’s Smart Nation drive. Bringing together panellists from the government, private and people sectors, the series is a step towards a more inclusive and citizen-centric approach in Singapore’s technology push, and understanding the thinking behind policy design from different perspectives. By bringing policy considerations to citizens and inviting citizens to contribute views through the webinar conversations, this series aims to (i) discuss Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives and policy developments; (ii) bring policy makers, industry experts, and citizens together for public discourse; and (iii) be a rallying call for citizens to come onboard and co-create ideas for a Smart Nation. The series will involve a range of government agencies and private organisations to dissect topics ranging from user-centric tech design, to businesses in the age of digital disruption.   


3. To kick-start this initiative, the first session titled “Smart Nation – In Conversation: Partnering Industry to Re-engineer the Government OS” will be held on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 8pm to 9pm. The inaugural session is organised by the SGTech[1], Smart Nation and Digital Government Group (SNDGG), and PA. This webinar will discuss how businesses can partner the SNDGG, comprising SNDGO and the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech), to accelerate digitalisation for Singapore. Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-charge of GovTech, will be the lead panelist. Dr Janil will be joined by Mr Kok Ping Soon, Chief Executive of GovTech and Mr Wong Wai Meng, Chairman of SGTech.  Please see Annex A for more information.


4. The second session, titled “COVID-19 vs Digital Government: Flattening the Curve through Tech Solutions” will be held on Wednesday, 22 July 2020.  The panellists include Dr Leong Hoe Nam, Infectious Diseases Specialist; Prof Ang Peng Hwa, Professor, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University; and Mr. Tan Chee Hau, Director (Planning and Prioritisation), SNDGO. The panel will discuss the role of technology in the contact tracing process, and the challenges of safeguarding public safety vs personal privacy. Upcoming sessions will touch on public interest topics including how digitalisation could save our hawker culture, the role of civic technology in creating a more compassionate and caring society, and balancing tech solutions with data privacy. Besides hearing from the panel, citizens will be invited to share their views and ideas through these webinars.


5. Under this collaboration, PA and SNDGO will co-curate topics and bring in partners from the agencies across the government sector, technology innovators, social and community groups, academics, venture capital sector, and businesses working at the cutting-edge of technologies. A total of seven sessions will take place over five months from July 2020 till end of the year.


6. Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-charge of GovTech said, “We have developed plans to build a digital government and develop Artificial Intelligence as a strategic national capability. These plans are captured in the Digital Government Blueprint and the National AI Strategy documents, both of which are publicly available. To bring these plans to fruition, and to ensure that they benefit all Singaporeans, we hope to use the ‘Smart Nation: In Conversation’ series to bring citizens and stakeholders together to engage in difficult, possibly even contentious but honest discussions about tech’s bread-and-butter issues that will affect every citizen. By being open about the work we do at Smart Nation, we hope to gather more ideas and perspectives, and engage more citizens and businesses in our Smart Nation push.


7. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up both challenges and opportunities in this new norm. We hope the #SmartNationTogether series will bring together government, private, and community partners to bring Smart Nation content into the homes of every Singaporean.”


8. Smart Nation: In Conversation is organised in association with PA’s Industry Guru Series and SNDGO’s #SmartNationTogether online engagement initiative (Annex B). PA’s Industry Guru series is a customised professional programme that aims to give first-hand information from industry experts.  Smart Nation’s #SmartNationTogether is a new “live” online engagement initiative that curates tech-related content from across government, private and community.


9. To register for the ‘Smart Nation: In Conversation’ series, participants can follow the PMET Network Facebook Page, Smart Nation Facebook Page or check out the Smart Nation website ( for more information.



Annex A

 Annex B



For media enquiries, please contact:


Daphne LIEW (Ms)

Senior Manager (Course & Interest Groups Development)

People’s Association

HP: 9625 5852



Terry LIM (Mr)

Senior Assistant Director (Adoption and Engagement)

Smart Nation and Digital Government Office

HP: 9744 2385



Last updated on 23 Oct 2020