Is extra $20m for NDP worth it?

This year's National Day Parade will cost $39.4 million ("NDP 2016 at Sports Hub to cost $39.4m"; yesterday).

This is about double the cost of previous NDPs at the Marina Bay floating platform.

Is it worth it to pay an extra $20 million to hold the parade at the Sports Hub?

Other than accommodating twice the number of spectators at the Sports Hub's National Stadium than at previous venues, what other benefits are there to justify the steep increase in the spending?

I acknowledge that the NDP is a significant event for Singapore, as it is the birthday of the nation.

However, we should also bear in mind the opportunity costs forgone by having to spend an extra $20 million on this national event.

This is especially so when the performances at the Marina Bay floating platform were as spectacular, if not more so, as those held at the old National Stadium.

Given that preparations are already under way for NDP 2016 and that it may not be possible to change the venue at this juncture, perhaps the Ministry of Defence could review whether to continue holding the NDP at the Sports Hub after this year.

Tan Jeh Yaw

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2016, with the headline 'Is extra $20m for NDP worth it?'. Print Edition | Subscribe