Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health & Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Ageing, at the Official Launch of the SG50 Seniors, 22 May 2015

Special Guests

Company Representatives

Residents of Nee Soon GRC

Ladies & Gentlemen

1.            Good Evening. I am very happy to be here to join our guests, residents and many “young” Singaporeans aged 50 years and above, at this community event, which also marks the launch of the SG50 Seniors package.

Celebrating Ageing

2.            2015 is a special year for all of us. We have achieved tremendous progress as a nation in the past 50 years, because of the hard work of all Singaporeans working together. In particular, Singapore is what it is today, because of the blood, sweat and tears that our pioneers have put in for our nation building.

3.            SG 50 is a time for celebration. It is also a time to look forward, to plan ahead for an even brighter future in SG 100. In the next 50 years, all of us, including me, will be older. But the good news is that, with good healthcare and advances in science and technology, we can not only live longer, but also with good health.

4.            So, instead of worrying about “getting old” as we approach a certain numerical age, we should think about how we can maximise the longer life years we will enjoy, to fulfil aspirations that we have, and to live life to the fullest.  

5.            As we look to SG 100, we envision our seniors to be healthy, active and happy. We envision a city for all ages. And we envision a loving community where there are strong bonds between the young and old, and where the old is treated with love and respect. My colleagues and I in the Ministerial Committee on Ageing are developing an Action Plan for Successful Aging to achieve this vision.

SG50 Seniors Package Offers

6.            Even as we plan ahead, we are making efforts now to make ageing exciting, fun and delightful. The Ministerial Committee on Ageing has worked with the Singapore Business Federation to put together this SG50 Seniors package for our seniors.

7.            This SG 50 Seniors Package is a present for our seniors. It is a ground-up initiative by our private and people partners to say “thank you” to you for working so hard to build this nation. There are more than 200 types of offers in the various areas of dining, leisure, lifelong learning, lifestyle and wellness. Through SBF, many private organisations have stepped forward to offer special treats for our seniors, as a way for the whole society to come together to recognise and honour our seniors as we celebrate SG 50 together with them. For example, seniors can enjoy free entry to Flower Dome & Cloud Forest at Gardens by the Bay from June to August, discounted entry to several attractions on Sentosa, free entry to the Bird Park and Zoo in June and discounts for watching selected arts performance at the Esplanade.

8.         I am also pleased to announce that seniors aged 60 and above will receive a $50 SG50 Seniors public transport voucher, sponsored by the SG50 Seniors package and the two public transport operators - SBS Transit and SMRT - through the Public Transport Fund. You can use the vouchers if you are travelling to these attractions. There are also other offers like a free 5 year PAssion Card membership and an additional $25 ActiveSG Credit Top-up for ActiveSG members who are aged 55 and above.

9.            So I encourage you to take advantage of the offers and stay active. I also encourage younger Singaporeans to take advantage of these offers and bring your parents  out for a day, whether to places of attraction or for a good meal, and enjoy some quality time with mum or dad, grandpa or grandma.

Thanking Partners

10.         I would also like to thank the 100 over organisations which have come on board to contribute to the SG50 Seniors package, special thanks to our two supporting partners: Singapore Business Federation and Tote Board.  This is what we hope to see in our society – different organizations coming together, doing their part to show respect and kindness towards our seniors.

Conclusion

11.       So, to our seniors, please go ahead and have fun and enjoy SG 50. “Stay Active and Live Well”. I wish you an enjoyable evening.

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