TL;DR – Merdeka Generation appreciation post.
“Merdeka” literally means freedom in Malay.
However, in exchange for this “freedom” and a better tomorrow for the future generations (yes, people like you and me), it meant sacrifices and hardships for the Merdeka generation. The Merdeka uncles and aunties of were born between 1950 and 1959. They lived through the times when Singapore underwent a tumultuous period that led up to its independence in 1965, as well as the early nation-building years thereafter.
Life for the Merdeka generation was certainly not a bed of roses.
The Merdeka Stories
As a tribute to Singaporeans from the Merdeka Generation who have helped to shape post-independence Singapore, four short films – known collectively as The Merdeka Stories – will be launched by media group mm2 Entertainment in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information.
Directed by four local directors, Don Aravind, Martin Hong, Priscilla Ang Geck Geck, and Wee Li Lin, along with local writer Jean Tay, each film is three-minute long and will document Singapore’s earlier years through the eyes of people from the Merdeka generation, touching on themes like resilience, sacrifice, and the kampung spirit.
The short films – inspired by real-life stories – will portray four characters of the time:
1. A soldier who served in one of the earliest batches of National Service
2. A mother raising a family while working from her own kitchen
3. A young factory girl who gave up her studies to help provide for her family
4. A group of helpful kampong neighbours
The films will be shown in cinemas before movies, on Gov.sg YouTube channel and on free-to-air television 31 January 2019 onwards.
Merdeka Generation Package
Announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally last year, the Government will provide a “Merdeka Generation Package” for the 500,000 Singaporeans born in the 1950s.
The intent is to support this cohort with their medical expenses, as well as to express the nation’s gratitude.
The Merdeka Generation Package will cover:
- Outpatient subsidies
- MediSave top-ups
- MediShield Life premium subsidies
- Payouts for long-term care
More details will be announced on 18 February during the Budget statement.
Hold on, does it mean that we have slowly forgotten about our Pioneer Generation?
Of course not, duh.
Even if there is no new announcement for the Pioneer Generation (PG) come Budget 2019, it doesn’t mean that the Pioneer Generation have been forgotten because the 450,000 Pioneer Generation grandpas and grandmas can enjoy the PG benefits for their entire lifetime.
If you recall, it was announced in Budget 2014 that the Pioneer Generation package will help the Pioneers with their healthcare costs for life.
So yup, all’s good!