Low Thia Khiang questions move to end Teletext service

Low Thia Khiang questions move to end Teletext service

Opposition member Low Thia Khiang, who is an Aljunied GRC MP, raised in Parliament on Monday the Government's decision to allow MediaCorp to pull the plug on Teletext.

The 30-year-old information service, which anyone with a television could access, was shut down on Sept 30, with MediaCorp citing declining usage as the chief reason.

But this has affected many elderly citizens who depended on the service, said Mr Low.

Addressing Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim, he said: "There were quite a lot of complaints on the ground. What is the minister's answer to that?"

He quoted a 2011 survey by the Infocomm Development Authority, which found that only 15 per cent of those aged 60 and above used the Internet, while less than half of those in their 50s said they had used a computer or the Internet in the previous 12 months.

Mr Low asked why MediaCorp was in "such a hurry" to terminate the service before government programmes had ensured seniors were prepared to switch to the alternatives.

Dr Yaacob replied that his ministry and MediaCorp had received feedback, especially from the elderly, about the shutdown. But "a long list of programmes" had been rolled out "long before 2011" to help the elderly learn to use the Internet.

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