Old and new feature at Ang Mo Kio-Hougang SG50 Carnival

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong takes a selfie in front of a mural at the SG50 Carnival by Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Grassroots Organisations at Hougang Avenue 8 on May 3, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong takes a selfie in front of a mural at the SG50 Carnival by Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Grassroots Organisations at Hougang Avenue 8 on May 3, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN 

SINGAPORE - Sepia photos and antiques from the past featured alongside robotics exercises at the SG50 Carnival on Sunday morning at Ci Yuan Green Park.

Guest-of-honour Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mingled with residents at the Ang Mo Kio-Hougang Grassroots Organisation event, which combined nostalgic displays of old items and photos with technology to get seniors on their feet.

He was accompanied by Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, as well as MPs for Ang Mo Kio GRC Mr Seng Han Thong, and Mr Yeo Guat Kwang.

At the nostalgia booths, Hougang resident Mr Ang Bah, 68, showed Mr Lee an old kerosene lamp and mobile phone he had used in the 60s.

Said the retired businessman in Mandarin: "It's important to show young people these things as they don't know what it was like then. We had to fight for every cent we got."

Mr Lee also joined a crowd of senior citizens in doing exercises led by robot coach Xuan, a final-year project by Ngee Ann Polytechnic electrical engineering students.

Student Mr Van Koh, 21, who worked on the robot, said: "Technology should be used to encourage the elderly. This robot can get them to interact more with technology and get used to it."

oliviaho@sph.com.sg