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NDP 2013: Parade off to a roaring start

Published on Aug 9, 2013 7:24 PM

In a rare event, low clouds scuppered the much anticipated sky-diving exploits of Singapore's Red Lions, disappointing many in the crowd at this year's National Day Parade.

The parade had roared to life under grey skies at 4.45pm on Friday.

After welcoming the nation's Members of Parliament - dressed in national colours - all heads turned to the skies, expecting the team of Red Lions to dive in.

But it was not to be, as cloud cover made their jump unsafe and Third Warrant Officer Shirley Ng did not manage to make history as the first woman to jump with the Red Lions at the National Day Parade.

Earlier, the parade had begun with a song and dance extravaganza featuring Chinese, Malay, Tamil lyrics and - to some spectators' mirth - Singlish ones as well.

Singer Shimona Kee's comedic take on the Singaporean lingo had the crowd in stitches as they joined in a mass sing-a-long. Random on-camera pop quizzes also tested unsuspecting spectators on Singapore history.

After the contingents started marching in, the crowd waved their mini national flags to welcome cabinet ministers and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

A massive cheer rose from the crowd as Mr Lee Kuan Yew, 89, Singapore's first prime minister, appeared. Many craned their necks trying to snap photographs of him.

He was followed shortly by PM Lee Hsien Loong and President Tony Tan Keng Yam.