PM brings festive cheer to Teck Ghee residents

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a stall owner during a visit yesterday to Teck Ghee market in Ang Mo Kio, where he met residents and stall owners to exchange New Year greetings and give out red packets.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greeting a stall owner during a visit yesterday to Teck Ghee market in Ang Mo Kio, where he met residents and stall owners to exchange New Year greetings and give out red packets.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

For Madam Gena Tan, yesterday's visit by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Teck Ghee market to exchange Chinese New Year greetings with and distribute red packets to residents and stall owners held special significance.

This is because PM Lee had attended her mother Sim Chiu Hong's wake when she died suddenly at age 73 of a heart attack two years ago, around the time he was to have visited the market.

"He had posted on Facebook that he was giving hongbao at Teck Ghee market, and I had responded that my mother had been looking forward to taking pictures with him, but she suddenly passed on.

"A residents' committee member then told us Mr Lee was coming to pay his respects. He is very kind," said Madam Tan, whose family's Choon Kooi provision shop has been operating in the market for around 40 years.

Teck Ghee is in Ang Mo Kio GRC, where PM Lee is a Member of Parliament.

"It was a comfort seeing him during our difficult time two years ago," she told The Straits Times yesterday after PM Lee visited the market and stopped by her shop. "He always asks how we are doing."

PM Lee yesterday also visited Teck Ghee Community Club, where around 470 senior residents in the Teck Ghee Division got a head start on the Chinese New Year celebrations as he exchanged festive greetings with them and handed out hongbao, bottles of chicken essence and mandarin oranges.

Each senior resident received a hongbao, which contained $150 cash and a Sheng Siong supermarket gift voucher worth $50.

Ms Suzie Ng, 72, who has polio and uses a wheelchair, said PM Lee has done quite a lot for people who are disabled, in terms of housing and building ramps for them.

Ms Apple Tan's baby clothes shop BellaBaBy.sg Handpicked By Moms also received an unexpected visit from Mrs Lee, who accompanied PM Lee yesterday.

"It is my first time seeing Mrs Lee here," said Ms Tan, 55, whose shop opened at the market about a year ago. "She bought two baby cheongsam jumpers - a pink one, and a blue and yellow one."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 04, 2019, with the headline 'PM brings festive cheer to Teck Ghee residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe