SINGAPORE - Senior citizens from the Merdeka Generation (MG) will now be able to enjoy the MG discounts at FairPrice, NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam foodcourts or coffee shops even if they have not yet received their MG cards.
Previously, only those who presented such cards could enjoy the discounts.
The NRIC was not accepted as a form of verification since age is not the only criteria for MG eligibility.
To qualify for the MG package, a Singapore citizen needs to be born between Jan 1, 1950 and Dec 31, 1959. Additionally, one also needs to have become a Singapore citizen on or before Dec 31, 1996.
Following public feedback, FairPrice, NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam announced on Monday (July 8) that MG members can now present their NRIC, PAssion Silver Concession Card or letter of MG eligibility for verification to claim the discounts. This practice will be in place until July 31 when all MG members are expected to have received their MG card.
In a press statement, FairPrice chief executive officer Seah Kian Peng acknowledged that while the MG discount scheme will run for a year, MG members wish to enjoy the discounts from FairPrice, NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam immediately.
"However, we understand that there are still MG members who have yet to receive their MG cards. We have thus decided to be flexible and make exceptions to extend the benefit to them through verification via relevant documentations like NRIC or their MG letter."
Since the launch of the discounts, FairPrice has received feedback from about 100 shoppers requesting that the supermarket chain allow MG members who have yet to receive their MG cards to use their NRIC to qualify for the MG discount.
Retiree Francis Cheng, 64, visited a Fairprice outlet earlier this month and was denied the discount because he did not have his MG card.
"I had my NRIC but I was told that only the MG card would be accepted. I felt that they were being too strict," he said.
"Whether we have the MG card or not, we are still part of the Merdeka Generation. So it felt unfair that some would get the discount while others would not."
As of last Thursday, about 120,000 MG welcome folders, which include the MG card, have been mailed to eligible Singaporeans said Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor, who co-chairs the Merdeka Generation Communications and Engagement Taskforce.
She added that efforts were on track to have more than 400,000 folders sent out by the end of this month.
FairPrice is offering MG seniors 3 per cent off their groceries every Wednesday at more than 140 FairPrice stores across Singapore. They can also get a cup of hot coffee or tea for $0.50 on Wednesdays at over 90 foodcourts and coffee shops run by NTUC Foodfare and Kopitiam. A regular coffee or tea costs about $0.90 to $1.60 at Kopitiam outlets and ranges from $0.90 to $1.20 at various Foodfare outlets.