Singapore Notes, 26 Feb 2014
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office (sounds much better than Minister Without Portfolio) Grace Fu must have felt inadequate to address the 200+ mostly dialect speaking seniors roped in to be convinced about the merits of the Pioneer Generation Package (PGP). It was not enough Lianhe Wanbao editor Lee Huay Leng was there for linguistic support, but former Rediffusion DJ Lin Ruping could speak in Hokkien and Mandarin. The million dollars may have changed her mind about the of loss of personal time with her family, but they sure didn't do a darn thing for her communication ability with the older folks.
The question would resonate in any language. Speaking in Hokkien, an auntie asked if she could get cash instead of Medisave top-ups. Ms Lin, using also Hokkien, correctly said the Government had planned for the money to go to towards health care and insurance premiums. Not to put food on the table or make sure the taps won't run dry because the utility bill is not paid on time. Then, when auntie is starving (humans can live for 46 to 73 days without food, 10 to 14 days without water), she can make her way slowly to the nearest subsidised clinic. That's how they plan to give the pioneers peace of mind. And truckloads of profit for the insurance companies. Full story