Singapore active ageing: shopping malls, do your part!
One of the tests of a true-blue Singaporean, apart from holding a pink Singapore identity card issued by the Singapore government, is how fast off the block you are when a new shopping mall opens its doors to the public.
The latest shopping mall is Nex in Serangoon North. Apprehensive of a bruising battle with sharp elbows with the expected hordes of curious shoppers, I waited patiently for about two weeks for the craziness to subside before venturing forth.
So what’s so special about Nex? Frankly, nothing. Just another mall with the usual retailers like Watson, NTUC, BreadTalk, Starbucks, McDonald’s etc except the National Library Board which has a branch on the rooftop.
What struck me was that the silver brigade was out in full force, some tottering on walking sticks. Even they could not resist the lure of a new shopping mall. They give active ageing a new dimension.
But there was not a single seat in the mall for the senior citizens. The reason is not far to seek: to drive them to the eateries.
Shopping malls should not be driven solely by profit. They should also show some corporate social consciousness towards society by making their premises more senior- friendly.
And where did the seniors go to rest their arthritic legs? I found many of them in the public library, including one with a walking aid.
Perhaps, Mr Lim Boon Heng, Minister-in-charge of ageing issues in the Prime Minister’s Office, could look into this problem. Don’t forget Singapore has one of the fastest ageing societies in the world.
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