Mix of new elements and old at NDP 2013

Audience to get 'live' point-of-view shots as nod to hardware operators

Primary 4 pupil Jamie Lim has let her big secret slip: She is performing in the National Day Parade for the first time this year.

"I didn't tell anyone, so they wouldn't know if I made a mistake," she told reporters at a media briefing yesterday.

She will be dancing to a song from hit local movie Ah Boys To Men, and admits she is "excited but also nervous" about her gig.

When her two older sisters told her that they thought it was "a waste of time", the gutsy girl responded with: "No, it's for our country, so don't act like you're jealous."

Jamie is part of a team of 200 pupils from Yishun Primary School who will be performing at the celebration of the nation's 48th birthday on Aug9. Held at The Float@Marina Bay, the parade will showcase a mix of old and new elements.

Military buffs can look forward to seeing about 40 pieces of defence hardware on display. Three will be making their debut at the parade: the Singapore Armed Forces' light strike vehicle Mark II, the Singapore Civil Defence Force's compressed air foam fire engine, and the Singapore Police Force's armoured personnel carrier.

For the first time, the audience will be given "live" point-of- view shots on a giant screen, as a tribute to the operators behind the dynamic defence display machines. "This year, we will showcase not only the hardware but also the heartware to thank those people who are at the front line of Singapore's defence," said the display's committee chairman, Colonel Dinesh Vasu Dash.

The parade and ceremony segment will be a more traditional affair, with aerial flypasts and 31 civilian and military contingents marching into the arena.

In keeping with the parade's theme of "Many Stories... One Singapore", a photo-montage of presidential inspections at past parades will be shown, along with a video of stories about Singaporeans and their reflections.

Safety manager Kelvin Tan, 46, will be taking part for the sixth time. This time, he will lead the pioneer contingent from the People's Association Community Emergency Response Team.

He said coordinating their movements had been a challenge at times, but weekly six-hour practices since mid-April are paying off. "We've been sharpening our skills in marching," he said. "We're near perfection now."

mellinjm@sph.com.sg