It was reported in the media today (1 Jul) that Member of Parliament Lee Bee Wah for Nee Soon GRC has also launched her own initiative to give a year-long discount to elderly buying coffee or tea, at coffee shops in her own constituency – Nee Soon South – only.

Her initiative came after NTUC announced in April that it would give discounts to Merdeka and Pioneer generations offering $0.50 for a cup of coffee or tea at all their Foodfare and Kopitiam foodcourt outlets.

It came on the back of NTUC’s moves to help “alleviate concerns about costs of living”. But the offer is only for every Wednesday and ends in June next year – that is, only for a year.

In the case of MP Lee’s initiative, the elderly in Merdeka and Pioneer generations would also pay $0.50 for a cup of kopi-o kosong or teh-o kosong. Similarly, the offer is only for every Wednesday but up till 12pm noon, and ends in June next year – also for a year.

She has roped in some 10 privately owned coffee shops in her ward to join her scheme. The initiative will start this Wed (3 Jul).

The media managed to interview housewife Phua Chew Hoi, 61, for her response to MP Lee’s scheme.

The discount is “not bad”, said Madam Phua in Mandarin. She has lived in Nee Soon South for more than 30 years and this initiative is a first, she told reporters. “We usually order drinks with lower sugar content, such as kopi-o, because some of those in my group have health conditions such as diabetes.”

MP Lee said, “This is a very good opportunity to show our appreciation for our Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation.”

She added that coffee shop owners were “supportive” and agreed to her initiative.

Mr Seth Soh, 29, manager at one of the coffee shops said the initiative was “meaningful”. While acknowledging that overall profits would be affected, he said the initiative was a “worthwhile” one.

In any case, at $0.50 for a cup of kopi-o kosong or teh-o kosong, Mdm Phua would likely be grateful to MP Lee and vote for her again in the coming GE.