$69,000 given out in red packets to Chong Pang senior citizens for Lunar New Year

SINGAPORE - More than 1,600 senior citizens from the Chong Pang Constituency received Lunar New Year festive packs on Sunday, which included a total of $69,000 distributed in red packets.

The celebrations at the Chong Pang Community Club were part of an annual tradition dating back more than two decades, in which seniors aged 65 and above from all races come together to mark the start of the Lunar New Year.

Those aged 65 to 89 each received a $40 "hong bao", and those 90 and above were given $120. A dozen residents on public assistance got a further $200 each.

Among the gifts in each festive pack were commemorative PAssion Cards, which allow seniors to attend one free hour-long course at participating Community Clubs, on top of discounts for other activities. This comes under a nationwide initiative by the People's Association to issue these cards for free to 200,000 senior citizens aged 55 and above, as part of Singapore's 50th birthday celebrations.

Nee Soon GRC MP, Law Minister K Shanmugam, who was guest of honour at Sunday's celebrations, said he hoped the cards would encourage seniors to participate in more activities and courses.