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Merdeka Generation helped make Singapore First World: PM Lee

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Members of Merdeka Generation get welcome folders at appreciation ceremonies

From weathering economic downturns to building up a newly independent country, Singaporeans from the Merdeka Generation helped write a large part of the Singapore story, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.

At an appreciation ceremony at the Institute of Technical Education College Central where Merdeka Generation Package welcome folders were given out to 300 Singaporeans born in the 1950s, PM Lee, who is himself part of the Merdeka Generation, said: "We grew up in the early years of independence. We travelled with Singapore from Third World to First. We helped build this nation and make Singapore a successful little red dot."

PM Lee, who was born in February 1952, said the path was not always straight and level.

"We weathered several economic crises, and workers experienced dislocation and uncertainty as we transformed the economy and upgraded the workforce," he added.

In total, about 8,300 Singaporeans received their welcome folders yesterday at community events held around the island.

The package includes top-ups to the Medisave accounts of those who are eligible, as well as outpatient subsidies at Community Health Assist Scheme clinics, among other benefits.

The ceremony yesterday was part of the first of 23 Merdeka Generation Roadshows planned for this year.

The roadshows, organised by the Ministry of Communications and Information, are expected to reach about 100,000 individuals, including members of the Merdeka Generation and their families.

They will feature activities, games and performances, as well as booths offering resources and information on active ageing, tips on digital literacy and discounted rates for Sport Singapore's ActiveSG facilities.

Seniors who wish to learn new skills or pick up new interests can sign up for various programmes at the booths. They can also consult volunteers from the Silver Generation Office on how they can tap the package benefits.

The next roadshow is on June 22 at Our Tampines Hub.

In another event yesterday, 500 Merdeka Generation Nee Soon residents received their package at an appreciation dinner at Chong Pang Community Club.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who distributed the welcome folders, said that with the package, the Government hopes to assure the Merdeka Generation that their concerns are being recognised.

Born in 1959, Mr Shanmugam is part of the Merdeka Generation.

Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, who attended the Sembawang distribution and tribute event for 250 Merdeka Generation residents with the other grassroots advisers of Sembawang GRC grassroots organisations, called the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations "very special generations of Singaporeans".