SINGAPORE - Residents in Ang Mo Kio's Teck Ghee ward were greeted with some early festive cheer on Sunday morning when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid them a visit.
Mr Lee, who was accompanied by his wife, first attended a Chinese New Year community event before he went on a walkabout to meet residents at neighbourhood shops.
In a brief message to open the event at Teck Ghee Community Club, he said: "I wish everyone a happy new year and may all your wishes be fulfilled."
"In the Year of the Goat, we had a very meaningful Golden Jubilee year. In the upcoming Year of the Monkey, I wish everybody an even better year ahead," added Mr Lee, who is MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC.
About 430 needy senior residents were given red packets with $150 cash and $50 Sheng Siong supermarket vouchers at the event. They were also given four bottles of chicken essence and two mandarin oranges.
Among them was Ms Leong Chui Wan, 65, who earns about $500 a month doing odd jobs.
Ms Leong, who is unmarried and lives alone, said the $150 red packet was substantial and - together with the aid she is getting on social assistance schemes - will be able to tide her over for some months.
Another attendee was Madam Adisah Soip, 59, who felt the event helped foster a community spirit and was a good way for her to make friends of other races.
Mr and Mrs Lee also penned their wishes on light bulb-shaped "sky lanterns" yesterday. Some 8,000 of the lanterns, with the wishes of Singaporeans islandwide, will be on display at this year's Chingay parade.
Mr Lee's message read "One people, one nation, one Singapore", while his wife's read "Let us all be kind, be fair, be helpful to each other".