Merdeka Generation folders for 120,000 already sent out

About 350 Merdeka Generation women volunteers at a celebration organised by the People's Association Women's Integration Network Council on July 7, 2019.
About 350 Merdeka Generation women volunteers at a celebration organised by the People's Association Women's Integration Network Council on July 7, 2019.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Over 400,000 of them will be mailed by end of July; delivery tracking system also in place

About 120,000 Merdeka Generation (MG) welcome folders have been mailed to eligible Singaporeans as of last Thursday, Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said yesterday. Efforts are on track to have over 400,000 folders sent out by the end of this month.

"We know the MG seniors are eager to receive the welcome folders as soon as possible, so we appeal to them for their patience. We are working very hard together with the publishers, the production company as well as SingPost to mail this out as soon as possible," said Dr Khor, who co-chairs the Merdeka Generation Communications and Engagement Taskforce.

She added that there is a delivery tracking system in place so that undelivered folders can be re-sent after addresses have been updated.

Dr Khor was speaking to reporters at a lunch event to celebrate the contributions of MG women volunteers, organised by the People's Association (PA) Women's Integration Network Council.

The welcome folders include the MG card and a list of Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) clinics near the recipient's home. Another 80,000 folders had been given out at community events.

Dr Khor said that besides home visits, the Silver Generation Office has held more than 200 group briefings on the MG Package at workplaces and will continue to do this until the end of next year, as about 60 per cent of the MG are still working.

Details of the MG Package were announced in February during the Budget speech. It aims to offset some of the healthcare costs of Singaporeans born in the 1950s and encourage them to stay active.

 
 
 

At yesterday's event, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo said women here have the world's longest life expectancy of 87.55 years, so it is imperative for them to stay active and healthy through volunteerism, lifelong learning and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Women were the biggest contributor to rising resident employment rates in the last decade, she noted in a speech to about 350 women. From 2008 to last year, women formed two-thirds of the rise in employed residents, said the Manpower Ministry.

Mrs Teo also highlighted the role of Women's Executive Committees - PA groups with about 2,500 members in all that organise programmes for women to contribute to the community.

In the early days, they organised sewing, hairdressing and cooking classes which helped equip MG women with skills to re-enter the workforce, when many had less education due to family circumstances, or were housewives. Over the years, they have created platforms to empower women and enable them to play meaningful roles in the community.

Mrs Teo commended the volunteers for balancing work and family life, and sacrificing their personal and family time for others.

She also paid tribute to members of the MG, who "played a critical role in shaping Singapore into a vibrant city state with a prosperous economy and strong social fabric".

Yesterday's event at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre included a roadshow to promote awareness of the MG Package and volunteering opportunities.

Various constituencies are also holding activities to raise awareness of the MG Package, and last night, around 2,000 MG residents from Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas were treated to a dinner and concert that included songs from the past.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2019, with the headline 'Merdeka Generation folders for 120,000 already sent out'. Print Edition | Subscribe