Your Letters

Annual NDP extravaganza can be simplified

I agree that we should experiment with a different approach to celebrating our National Day (Never been to the NDP? Give every citizen a ticket; Aug 6).

I urge the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) to reveal the total cost of organising a National Day Parade and show.

Past reports have stated that it cost from about $16 million to $39.4 million to organise a parade in recent years, depending on the venue.

Did Mindef factor in all the additional cash, services and goods sponsored by numerous corporations and companies? How about the extensive resources of the Singapore Armed Forces deployed to organise and support each parade and its many rehearsals?

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I also wonder how many tickets are available to the public. Besides tickets reserved for members of the establishment and grassroots leaders - many of whom get invited numerous times - sponsors and families of the organisers are also allocated tickets for their support. One wonders how many tickets are actually left for the public ballot.

Also, is an extravagant show necessary?

Couldn't we just have a simple parade comprising contingents from different walks of life marching through the beautiful streets in our civic district or heartland?

Let the marching be spontaneous and reduce the military pomp and pageantry.

The night can be capped off with the traditional fireworks display at Marina Bay, which hundreds of thousands can enjoy.

The Government and People's Association should also encourage and provide more support for ground-up community celebratory activities across the island.

Such an approach will not only be less costly, but will also energise more Singaporeans to participate in this national event.

Tay Boon Khai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 13, 2017, with the headline 'Annual NDP extravaganza can be simplified'. Print Edition | Subscribe