'Kopi Tuesdays' hit the spot for seniors in Tampines North

Enjoying their discounted cuppa on Tuesday at Everyday Come Coffee Shop in Tampines Street 43 are (from left) Madam Koh Lang Gheng, 70, Madam Koo Lan Che Mui, 70, Madam Sim Soo Wee, 81, Madam Eva Chia, 62, and Madam Lee Han Yuen, 62.
Enjoying their discounted cuppa on Tuesday at Everyday Come Coffee Shop in Tampines Street 43 are (from left) Madam Koh Lang Gheng, 70, Madam Koo Lan Che Mui, 70, Madam Sim Soo Wee, 81, Madam Eva Chia, 62, and Madam Lee Han Yuen, 62.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

They give thumbs up to discount, part of Senior Citizens' Tuesdays project

After being told about the discount senior citizens get for their morning cup of coffee in Tampines North, Madam Ismath Bee, 68, changed her routine.

"My niece, who lives here, told me about the offer," said the Pasir Ris resident, in between sips at Block 477, Tampines Street 43.

"So I decided to take a bus here to do my grocery shopping and have my coffee after, just to see how it is. It's a good idea. They should do it for all neighbourhoods."

On Oct 26, The Straits Times reported that instead of the usual 90 cents, senior citizens like her pay 50 cents for a cup of kopi-o, kopi, teh and teh-o at nine of 11 coffee shops in Tampines North every Tuesday.

The discount is part of a Senior Citizens' Tuesdays project launched by Tampines GRC MP Baey Yam Keng and will run from Nov 1 to April next year.

All they have to do is flash their senior citizen travel concession pass or Pioneer Generation card when buying the drinks.

Tampines resident Jameela Jamaldeen, 77, said her regular routine of a cup of tea before her morning walk is a little cheaper now.

"It's nice to get cheaper drinks because we are not working," said the Tampines North resident.

Seniors are not limited to just one cup of tea or coffee, as long as they have them between 7am and 11am. The coffee shops directly subsidise the drinks.

"It is not a loss of income. It's charity and you cannot put a value on charity," said Mr Mohd Abdul Shukor, 68, who runs Zaleha Food Corner at Block 462, Tampines Street 44. "It's only natural to help the senior citizens because of their contribution to society."

Mr Mohd, who previously gave free meals to seniors on his own, is now considering extending the beverage discount period after the initiative ends.

"We hope there will be more of these projects and we don't mind turning it into a regular discount instead of a weekly thing," he added.

Senior Citizens' Tuesdays is the latest in a chain of offers targeted at seniors. From entertainment to food, seniors have access to more discounts with their Pioneer Generation card, which was started in 2014 and entitled those aged 65 and above to subsidies.

That year, NTUC FairPrice stores introduced a pioneer generation discount for seniors on Mondays, in addition to its existing discounts for those aged 60 and above on Tuesdays. With the promotion, seniors get 3 per cent off their purchases at the supermarket chain.

FairPrice gave out over $10 million in discounts to seniors and pioneer generation shoppers from January last year. Mr Gerry Lee, FairPrice's deputy CEO of operations, said the discount days are now popular shopping days and response has been positive.

For Madam Jameela, the discounts for everything from her morning cup of tea to her grocery bills have helped in other ways.

"It helps me and my daughter-in-law bond by grocery shopping together," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 10, 2016, with the headline ''Kopi Tuesdays' hit the spot for seniors in Tampines North'. Print Edition | Subscribe