Residents going about their morning routine in Hougang Avenue 8 yesterday got a surprise gift to mark Mother's Day - pink carnations handed out by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Mr Lee and fellow Ang Mo Kio GRC MPs Koh Poh Koon, Intan Azura Mokhtar, Ang Hin Kee, Darryl David and Gan Thiam Poh, as well as Sengkang West MP Lam Pin Min, gave out about 10,000 flowers.
Said Madam Lim Mei Yam, 64, who received a pink carnation stalk: "It's a nice reminder of the importance of women in society, and it's also good to feel appreciated as a mother and grandmother." The housewife has three children and eight grandchildren.
In all, 200,000 flowers, sponsored by Neo Group, were distributed islandwide in an event organised by the Ang Mo Kio GRC and Sengkang West citizens' consultative committees, together with Sian Chay Medical Institution.
"Mothers are the pillars of our families, with one of the toughest jobs of all," Mr Lee said on Facebook. "While their roles and responsibilities have evolved, mothers' unconditional love and support remain strong and steadfast. Let's celebrate our mothers' contributions as leaders, caregivers, providers and role models. Take time today, and every day, to show your mum how much she means to you!"
Mr Lee and the MPs also attended a ceremony to mark 50 years of national service, and handed out NS50 recognition packages to 350 servicemen. The packages include $100 worth of vouchers, a year's free membership for either Safra or HomeTeamNS clubhouses and a commemorative NS50 Passion Card.
Coffee shop manager Wong Tor Cheo, 60, and his three sons - undergraduates aged between 23 and 25 - all received packages.
Said the regimental policeman during his NS days: "I'm proud that my sons and I all went through this important experience. It's up to the younger generation to defend the country now."
Mr Seow Soon Hee, 67, showed up with an official group photograph taken when he graduated from basic military training (BMT) in March 1971.
In the black-and-white picture was a young Mr Lee, who was in the same BMT company as Mr Seow. The latter was a combat engineer and now runs a steel production company. Mr Seow got Mr Lee to sign the photo, and said of his erstwhile fellow recruit: "I remember he was a hard-working, disciplined soldier."