More dialect-speaking Singaporeans will get help in understanding the Pioneer Generation Package and MediShield Life with the launch of new Teochew and Cantonese music videos.
Released online last Thursday, the videos were officially launched yesterday at a roadshow for residents in Ang Mo Kio, who enjoyed performances by getai artiste Lee Pei Fen and Project Superstar 2 winner Daren Tan.
Ms Lee sang the upbeat Teochew version while performing a cheerleader-style workout for viewers to follow along. Mr Tan put on a glitzy performance of a familiar song by Hong Kong singer Sam Hui with adapted lyrics.
The videos follow a popular Hok-kien one viewed more than 1.6 million times online since its release last month. It features local getai artistes Wang Lei and Liu Ling Ling playing characters from the Chinese classic Journey To The West.
The new videos will be broadcast on free-to-air TV from 10.30am to 12.30pm on Fridays for four weeks each, beginning this Friday for the Teochew video and next Friday for the Cantonese one. Malay and Tamil videos will also be released within the year.
Law and Foreign Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said on the sidelines of the event that the videos would complement efforts such as house-to-house visits to raise awareness about the help that is available to senior citizens.
"You have an extremely important package that helps every single senior citizen and (many) don't know about it, so we said we need to do something," he said.
The videos could popularise the new schemes in the heartland, he added. "You need to find the right way of bringing it across, the right medium and the right people."
On the use of dialect, he said: "I think we use whatever means possible that can get through to the senior citizens."
Ms Lee and Mr Tan, who are both Hokkien, said they had to learn the lyrics line by line and took some 12 hours each to film the videos. "It's important as Singapore is a multi-dialect community. I feel honoured to be able to help," said Mr Tan, 32.
Ms Lee, 28, said she hoped using dialect would close the gap between the generations and help the pioneers understand the message.
"I hope the light-hearted music video and simple dance moves will get them on their feet," she added.
It seemed to work for Teban Gardens resident Lim Ah Teo, 70, who said he woke up at 5am to go to Ang Mo Kio to watch Ms Lee perform.
"I've been listening to her sing for four years. She's friendly and warm," said the army camp lorry driver, a Teochew. "The Teochew video was easy to understand and I like to listen to music."