Fun and facts for pioneers on outings

A Ramadan bazaar and a day out at the River Safari provided two unconventional venues for volunteers and grassroots leaders to explain the Pioneer Generation Package of medical subsidies yesterday.

At a "listening point" at a bazaar for the Muslim fasting month in Geylang Serai, volunteers distributed brochures and explained details of the scheme to passers-by.

"A certain segment of the Malay-Muslim community may still not understand what the package is all about, and therefore, we need to use all touchpoints possible," said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim, who was visiting the booth with Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

More people know about the package now than a few months ago, said Madam Halimah, who chairs the Pioneer Generation Joint Committee (PGJC). "But what they do not know are the details."

A collaboration between the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore and Mendaki, the committee aims to honour Malay-Muslim pioneers and explain the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP) to them.

The three-day "listening point" is run by government feedback unit Reach, in partnership with the PGJC and the Tabung Amal Aidilfitri Trust Fund, a Malay/Muslim charity that raises funds for the needy during Ramadan.

It runs from 5pm to 10pm today, which is its last day. On the previous two evenings, volunteers reached out to about 600 people. "I don't know much about this, but now, I think I will find out," said a 34-year-old housewife, who wanted to be known only as Madam Nazrinah.

Madam Halimah noted that the pioneer package "is not just assisting the pioneer generation per se, but also helping the children and grandchildren" - something that has made it well-received on the ground.

This was Reach's second "listening point" on the PGP. The first, last month, was for the Chinese community.

Earlier yesterday, 80 Admiralty residents from the pioneer generation enjoyed an outing to the River Safari, before attending a lunch reception where grassroots adviser Vikram Nair and leaders explained the PGP to them.

In the afternoon, a Tamil dialogue on the package was held in Nee Soon.

About 250 residents attended the session with grassroots adviser and Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam, who fielded questions such as what benefits the package gave and when they would kick in.

Previous sessions in Nee Soon were held in Chinese dialects and Malay.

This article was first published on July 13, 2014.
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