Ms Quek May Ling, in her letter on the Pioneer Generation Ambassador (PGA) outreach programme ("Volunteers' pay may send wrong message"; Oct 12), said the allowance given to the PGAs should be considered a salary and questioned whether PGAs were volunteers.
As a PGA, I am proud of what we do. Many of us understand the importance of investing time and effort to listen to our pioneers and take down their feedback so that there is timely follow-up.
Although PGAs do not expect to be compensated for our time, we appreciate the Pioneer Generation Office's gesture in providing a modest allowance to offset transport and meal expenses incurred during engagements.
In fact, some of us use this allowance to buy small items - such as biscuits and packet drinks - for needier pioneers.
It is certainly not a salary.
We come forward because we want to serve the Pioneer Generation and help them benefit from the Pioneer Generation Package.
I also commit to regular training to keep myself updated on the various schemes.
Ms Quek should not trivialise the commitment of the PGAs.
I hope more members of the public can come forward as PGAs, and reach out to support this special generation of people who have done so much for us and for Singapore.
Magdalene Choo Mee Lan (Madam)