Red packets and more as PM joins festive cheer in Teck Ghee

PM Lee captures the moment on camera as students hold "sky lanterns", with their wishes written on them. He and Mrs Lee also penned their wishes on lanterns. They will be displayed at the Chingay Parade, along with 8,000 lanterns with wishes.
PM Lee captures the moment on camera as students hold "sky lanterns", with their wishes written on them. He and Mrs Lee also penned their wishes on lanterns. They will be displayed at the Chingay Parade, along with 8,000 lanterns with wishes. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Teck Ghee was abuzz with festive cheer yesterday morning, when Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid residents there a visit.

His first stop was at a Chinese New Year community event at Teck Ghee Community Club, where he distributed red packets and gifts to needy, elderly residents.

About 430 of them each got $150 cash, $50 Sheng Siong supermarket vouchers, four bottles of chicken essence and two mandarin oranges.

Ms Leong Chui Wan, on receiving her gift, said in Mandarin that the red packet was "substantial". The 65-year-old, who is unmarried and lives alone, earns about $500 a month doing odd jobs, and said the cash gift - together with the aid she is getting from social assistance schemes - will tide her over for some months.

Wishing everyone a happy new year, Mr Lee, who is an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, said: "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."

Later, he went on a walkabout, accompanied by Mrs Lee, to greet residents at the neighbourhood shops.

Mr Lee and Mrs Lee also penned their wishes on "sky lanterns", which will be displayed at this year's Chingay Parade, along with 8,000 lanterns with Singaporeans' wishes.

Mr Lee's message read "One people, one nation, one Singapore", while Mrs Lee's was "Let us all be kind, be fair, be helpful to each other".

Over in Chong Pang, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam was also at a Chinese New Year celebration, where he gave out red packets of between $40 and $200 to some 1,400 senior citizens.

Among them was Madam Faridah Mohamad, 67, who was at her first Chinese New Year event. "It's nice that all the different races can come together to celebrate," she said.

Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 01, 2016, with the headline 'Red packets and more as PM joins festive cheer in Teck Ghee'. Print Edition | Subscribe