Mr Chan Yeng Kit
Person Of The Year, 2008
During his tenure as CEO of Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) from 2005 to 2007, Mr Chan spearheaded the development of the Intelligent Nation 2015 (or iN2015 masterplan), laying down the vision of transforming Singapore into an intelligent nation and global city powered by infocomm.
Mr Chan worked closely with the industry to put in place initiatives to develop infrastructure, grow the local infocomm industry and promote a greater rate of infocomm adoption in sectors such as the Government, healthcare, education and tourism. He was instrumental in the development of the Next Generation National Infocomm Infrastructure (Next Gen NII). One notable initiative is Wireless@SG, which currently offers free internet access at some 6,200 hotspots throughout the island. Singapore is one of the first global cities to enjoy such pervasive public wireless access. Together with the deployment of ultra-high- speed wired broadband network, Singapore will offer a seamless and intelligent infocomm infrastructure that will enable the country to gain a competitive edge in an increasingly globalised and connected world.
Mr Chan knows that manpower development and talent are critical to the growth of the infocomm industry. In this respect, he introduced several new initiatives to groom talent for the industry. One of these is the National Infocomm Scholarships, which has awarded 107 scholarships since its launch in 2005. Infocomm Clubs were introduced in schools 2 years ago to generate interest in infocomm among the youth. Today, there are already 150 infocomm clubs in schools with more than 7,000 student members. The annual National Infocomm Competition is another platform on which he seeks to foster infocomm innovation among the students.
Under Mr Chan's leadership, IDA also shared Singapore's e-Government experiences, such as the e-Government masterplan and services, with other countries. These efforts have helped to generate awareness of local companies' e-Government capabilities and create business opportunities for these companies overseas, such as in the Middle East. Ten Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were signed between IDA and various countries on infocomm collaboration during Mr Chan's tenure.
Mr Chan also oversaw the launch of initiatives aimed at making infocomm accessible to the elderly and disadvantaged. The Silver Infocomm Initiative aims to bridge the digital divide among senior citizens by offering 30,000 training places in digital lifestyle skills. For the physically challenged and visually or hearing impaired, the Infocomm Accessibility Centre offers 4,000 training places through customised infocomm courses, training facilities and on-the-job work projects to help improve the job prospects of these individuals and enhance their quality of life.
Mr Chan has worked tirelessly towards invigorating and energizing the infocomm sector with the various iN2015 initiatives. Today, the infocomm scene in Singapore is thriving. It recorded an all-time high growth in 2006, with total revenue reaching S$45.4 billion and exports accounting for 64% of the total revenue. In terms of infocomm usage among businesses and consumers, by November, mobile phone penetration hit 116% in 2007, and over 77% of households were subscribed to broadband. Singapore has consistently ranked among the top three in the World Economic Forum's Global IT Report in the last 5 years.
Mr Chan holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Mathematics from the University of Tasmania, Australia, and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University, USA.