Government 'should do more to help the elderly': WP

The Workers' Party slammed the Government last night for not doing enough to help the elderly, as it called for more recognition for their contributions towards Singapore's success.

The party suggested a slew of policy changes to benefit them in such areas as housing, transport, health care and labour.

WP chief Low Thia Khiang led the charge on health care, criticising the Government for the slow introduction of new hospitals. He said some elderly had to wait six months to see specialist doctors and some died during this period.

By-election candidate Lee Li Lian called for those above 75 to be allowed to use Medisave without restriction.

She also said public transport should be free for those above 80.

On housing, Mr Low lambasted the inflexibility when the elderly are denied rental flats because their children owned flats.

"Which parent would not want to stay with their children? Obviously these residents have their difficulties and reasons for needing the rental flats," he said.

Turning to labour issues, Aljunied GRC MP Chen Show Mao called for laws banning age discrimination and for the redesigning of jobs to be elder-friendly.

He said: "We should remember that earlier generations of Singaporeans laid the foundation for our economic success. What we enjoy today we owe in large part to them, whether they were factory workers, business people, civil servants or others."