Goodies for 700,000 seniors to mark SG50

Seniors in Singapore will enjoy a slew of goodies, from 50-cent hotel buffet lunches to $50 worth of transport vouchers for use on the MRT or buses.

Announcing the SG50 Seniors package yesterday, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who is also the minister in charge of ageing, said these special offers are to thank seniors for making Singapore what it is today.

More than 700,000 people aged 60 years and older can benefit from the more than 200 discounts and freebies given by over 100 organisations.

These range from discounted dining to leisure activities such as free admission to the Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park and Gardens by the Bay conservatories, and offers ranging from a free PAssion card for five years to 50 per cent off travel insurance.

Some goodies are for all Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 50 and older. Others are only for smaller groups, such as those born in 1965, the year Singapore gained independence, or those of the Pioneer Generation, or Singaporeans aged at least 65 last year.

The validity period also varies - from a couple of months till the end of the year.

Pointing to the "tremendous progress" made in the past 50 years, Mr Gan said: "Singapore is what it is today because of the blood, sweat and tears that our pioneers have contributed to nation-building."

The Ministerial Committee on Ageing that he heads is trying to make ageing exciting, fun and delightful.

Speaking to about 1,000 seniors at the Nee Soon Central Community Centre last night, he said: "With good healthcare and advances in science and technology, we can not only live longer but also live healthily for longer.

"So instead of worrying about 'getting older' as we approach a certain numerical age, we should think about how we can maximise the longer life years we will enjoy."

He encouraged all seniors to take advantage of the offers in the SG50 package to stay active.

Turning to younger Singaporeans, he urged them too to take advantage of these offers to take their parents and grandparents out, "whether to places of attraction or for a good meal, and enjoy some quality time with mum or dad, grandpa or grandma".

A booklet on all the offers will be mailed to seniors 60 years and older. Others can check the offers on

Looking ahead to SG100, Mr Gan said the Committee on Ageing is looking for feedback and suggestions for its Action Plan for Successful Ageing.

Spelling out what the committee hopes to achieve, he said: "We envision our seniors to be healthy, active and happy. We envision a loving community where there are strong bonds between the young and the old, and where the old are treated with love and respect."

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to for more stories.