June Ho comments as roundtable participant in BT: “Leaving no one behind on road to progress”

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11 July 2019

June Ho comments as roundtable participant in BT: “Leaving no one behind on road to progress”

Features June Ho

TSMP Law Corporation Head of Community Services June Ho participated in a roundtable discussion published in the Business Times on 11 July 2019 on how corporates ensure that nobody is left behind in Singapore’s race towards becoming a smart city. Her responses are reproduced below:

THE BUSINESS TIMES: AS SINGAPORE RACES TO BECOME A SMART NATION, HOW DOES YOUR COMPANY ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND?

June Ho: We focus on three groups of beneficiaries that we feel are underserved: children and youth at risk, the elderly and transient workers.

In relation to the elderly, we recognise that the government’s drive for a cashless society – which has reached even hawker centres – has left seniors who grew up using notes and coins feeling daunted just paying for daily necessities. So last year, our Handprint Committee partnered with the Tembusu Senior Activity Centre and the South East Community Development Council to run a digital clinic outing at Kallang Wave Mall for more than 30 seniors to empower them with basic skills for navigating the digital age.

Our lawyers and staff taught the beneficiaries how to use e-payments, sign up for Wireless@SG, take selfies and wefies with their smartphones and communicate via WhatsApp group chats. The beneficiaries were brought on a grocery shopping trip where we taught them how to use self-checkout counters. They also enjoyed a good cup of kopi at a cafe where we showed them how to pay with the NETS Flashpay that we provided them with.

Also recognising that the elderly is a particularly vulnerable class in the digital age, we educated them about online and offline scams to ensure they don’t lose their hard-earned savings for fake lottery tickets or divulge personal information in “official surveys” etc.

This year, our Handprint projects will guide selected groups of elderly through end of life issues such as filing a lasting power of attorney and advance medical directives online.

THE BUSINESS TIMES: WHAT ARE THE NEW GAPS THAT HAVE BEEN EMERGING IN THE DIGITAL AGE, AND HOW IS YOUR FIRM TACKLING THE ISSUE?

June Ho: We recognise that in this rapidly changing economic and social landscape, the elderly are very often (and too conveniently) left behind. We at TSMP have chosen to bridge this gap through our Handprint efforts which consistently focuses on the elderly.

By educating them and equipping them with skills to traverse the digital landscape, we hope to provide easy-to-follow guidance in this digital age to the elderly to help them tackle issues ranging from simple daily transactions to more complicated (yet essential) end of life planning.

THE BUSINESS TIMES: HOW CAN CORPORATES (BIG OR SMALL) ENSURE THAT NO ONE IS LEFT BEHIND IN THE DIGITAL AGE (AND TO HELP THE VULNERABLE)?

June Ho: We do not underestimate the potential and contributions of the Millennial generation, many of whom have life goals that extend beyond success in their careers. We have tapped into their networks to identify and reach out to segments of the community that may need a helping hand.

This also leads to a virtuous cycle: many of the trainees and graduates whom we recruit are attracted to work for us because of our giving DNA.

The full story may be found here: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/life-culture/leaving-no-one-behind-on-road-to-progress