3,600 in Potong Pasir to get Merdeka package from MP Sitoh Yih Pin

Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin giving out Merdeka Generation Package items to Madam Thng Bee Keow, 69, a retired beautician, on Monday. He will make his way through 59 blocks in the next three weeks to deliver the packages by hand. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHU
Potong Pasir MP Sitoh Yih Pin giving out Merdeka Generation Package items to Madam Thng Bee Keow, 69, a retired beautician, on Monday. He will make his way through 59 blocks in the next three weeks to deliver the packages by hand. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

About 3,600 citizens in Potong Pasir will get their Merdeka Generation Package delivered with a smile instead of through the mail.

Their MP, Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, along with grassroots volunteers and ambassadors from the Silver Generation Office (SGO), will make his way through 59 blocks over the next three weeks.

Residents will also get a commemorative crystal as a keepsake.

"This is meaningful exercise, and it's the way we do things here," said Mr Sitoh, who was elected in 2011 by a close margin after losing twice to long-time MP Chiam See Tong in 2001 and 2006.

Mr Sitoh was re-elected in 2015.

He added that he had to make a case to the SGO, a community-based organisation that oversees senior engagement, to deliver the packages by hand.

"They were concerned we would be unable to finish giving them out within the three weeks. I assured them it would not be a problem and that I will visit all the households personally," he said.

 
 
 

If residents are not in, grassroots leaders will make a second visit.

The remaining packs will be delivered by post.

The Merdeka Generation Package, to be distributed to half a million people, includes a card qualifying the holder for outpatient care subsidies at general practitioner and dental clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme from Nov 1.

Announced earlier this year by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, the package aims to offset healthcare costs that come with ageing.

It includes an annual $200 Medisave top-up for eligible Singaporeans from this year until 2023.

The first top-up will be automatically credited next month.

Singaporeans born from Jan 1, 1950, to Dec 31, 1959, including those who attained citizenship by the end of 1996, are eligible for the package. It is also open to Singaporeans born by Dec 31, 1949, and those born overseas by this date who became citizens by the end of 1996, if they did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2019, with the headline '3,600 in Potong Pasir to get Merdeka package from MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe