Truckload of special deals, discounts and activities for the pioneer generation in the heartlands

SINGAPORE - A new truck will be making its rounds from Saturday to bring activities and special deals to pioneers in the heartlands.

Launched on Wednesday by the labour movement's deputy secretary-general, Mr Chan Chun Sing, the truck will run on weekends for six months, offering programmes such as free health screenings and cooking demonstrations.

To start, it will be at Thye Hua Kwan Senior Activity Centre in Ang Mo Kio this weekend. Besides free health screenings, there will also be discounts on Unity house brand products such as hand sanitisers and Vitamin B tablets.

The initiative is the newest part of a 15-month Pioneers OK! campaign by the social enterprise arm of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) since last October to honour and thank Singapore's pioneer generation.

Under the campaign, pioneers get discounts on groceries and priority seating at food courts.

"We hope that this movement to honour our pioneer generation goes beyond the monetary benefits that we have rolled out," said Mr Chan, speaking to some 100 pioneers and grassroots leaders at the launch of the truck at Bukit Merah.

He added that the various social enterprises - which include NTUC FairPrice, NTUC FoodFare and NTUC Learning Hub - would continue to work together beyond the current campaign.

"Going forward we will also be making a greater effort to integrate the services of NTUC social enterprises to better take care of the needs of our residents, not just today's Singaporeans but also the future generation," he said.

For more information about the Pioneers OK! truck, the public can call 6681-5747 or visit www.pioneersok.sg.

Mr Chan also opened NTUC Health's seventh SilverACE senior activity centre at Block 117 Jalan Bukit Merah, which is expected to serve some 500 seniors in four rental blocks of flats.

The centre includes a karaoke room and has been operating since December last year, and one of its daily visitors is Mr Leong Chee Hong, 74.

The retiree lives in a one-room rental flat with his wife, who is 68 and works part-time. He used to go to a library to read or walk around, but said having a clubhouse near home is more convenient.

"I don't need to take the bus and go out under the hot sun," he said. "I don't have to worry from the time I wake up about where I can go that day."