Updated: 06/24/2014 18:05

PM Lee pledges to make visit to Gardens by the Bay for patients free



PM Lee pledges to make visit to Gardens by the Bay for patients free

When netizen Riana Lim made a suggestion on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's Facebook page last week, she did not expect the Prime Minister himself to respond. 

But he did. 

And thanks to a pledge he made, patients and volunteers from the Institute of Mental Health or IMH may soon get to visit Gardens by the Bay for free. 

Our reporter Lianne Chia with more. 

Riana Lim had good reason to ask that IMH patients visiting Gardens by the Bay be given free admission. 

She runs a group of about 700 volunteers that works with Tai Pei Social Services, SunLove, and St. Andrew's Nursing Home, on top of IMH. 

And when they bring patients out, they usually pay for admission tickets, food and transport with their own money. 

Riana explains why she would rather not use funds from the institutions. 

" I know that IMH has, but I don't want to ask because there are so many groups of volunteers. If everybody has to depend on IMH, IMH will have to spend a lot."

With admission to Gardens by the Bay costing up to $20 for an adult Singapore resident, purchasing tickets for patients alone could cost Riana as much a thousand dollars per field trip. 

That's why she's delighted by PM Lee's response. 

"I hoped that he would at least acknowledge and consider my suggestion. I guess my wish came true. Oh, can't believe! I mean he is such a busy man, I mean, he does care!"

And IMH has told us that Gardens by the Bay has already reached out to them, in order to make this free trip a reality. 

Volunteer groups can also turn to other organisations, which have special programmes just for them. 

Resorts World Sentosa's Senior Communications Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility, Lynn Lee, elaborates. 

" We have an annual programme that brings less privileged children and youth to Resorts World Sentosa for a day of fun. For VWOs interested in visiting our attractions, requests will be offered preferential rates upon writing in to us."

The Sentosa Development Corporation, which manages attractions like the Merlion and Fort Siloso, has welcomed charity organisations to contact them atadministrator@sentosa.com.sg.

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