[Photo credit: Ministry of Communications and Information]
IF YOU are in your 60s, congratulations! You are now part of the Merdeka Generation and you will be getting help from the government.
At the 2018 National Day Rally on 19 August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the Merdeka Generation Package to help you and your fellow 60-something Singaporeans with healthcare expenses. It is similar to the Pioneer Generation Package introduced four years ago to help Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier cope with healthcare expenses. This is good news, especially for those who narrowly “missed out” on receiving the Pioneer Generation Package when it was launched.
Who are the Merdeka Generation?
You are the 500,000 Singaporean baby boomers born between 1950 and 1959. The word “merdeka” means freedom in Malay. You lived through the birthing pains of a new country and joined the tumultuous road to independence and self-governance.
Many of you, especially the women, did not complete your education and entered the workforce to support your families, and the men were among the first to serve the then newly formed National Service (remember the Temasek Green uniforms?).
As PM Lee said: “Most were old enough to sense the electricity in the air, to share the excitement of the changes, to feel the hope of a brighter tomorrow. I think we owe something to them.”
As most of the Merdeka Generation have either left the workforce or will soon be retiring, the Package will help you with your medical expenses, and more importantly, assures you that your contributions to the nation have not been forgotten.
What will the Merdeka Generation Package have?
It will include benefits such as outpatient subsidies, Medisave top-ups, MediShield Life premium subsidies and payouts for long-term care. PM Lee pointed out that the benefits of the Merdeka Generation Package will not be as substantial as the Pioneer Generation package as most of you are generally better off compared to your seniors. However, he assured Singaporeans that a “significant sum” will be set aside for this package. More details will be announced in 2019.