PM Lee launches gyms for the elderly who must pay for entry

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At an Ang Mo Kio community event last Saturday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that he will launch more gyms catering to the elderly and disabled.

The first of these gyms, that are to be built in mature HDB estates, will be opened at the Ang Mo Kio Community Centre next year. By the end of 2019, five community centres are expected to feature senior-friendly gyms, according to Sport Singapore.

The gyms will promote the active ageing initiative by motivating the elderly and the retired to participate in activities like aerobics, taiji and dance so as to keep their minds and bodies active.

Those hoping to take advantage of the gyms, however, will have to pay a fee per entry. Those under 55 will be charged $2.50 while those above 55 will be charged $1.50 per entry on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Entry on Wednesdays is free.

It remains unclear whether the entry fee can be deducted from citizens’ ActiveSG accounts.

While many Singaporeans welcomed the gym initiative, several netizens have slammed the authorities for charging the elderly an entry fee to use the facilities. Some have also pointed to the free senior citizen exercise corners at most housing estates and asked whether the elderly will be more likely use the free facilities or pay to use the new gyms: