Punggol chosen as location for PM Lee's National Day Message

Children performing at yesterday's Ang Mo Kio-Hougang National Day Dinner, attended by PM Lee and his fellow MPs, as well as around 1,300 residents. His National Day Message, recorded at the newly opened Safra clubhouse in Punggol, will be broadcast
Children performing at yesterday's Ang Mo Kio-Hougang National Day Dinner, attended by PM Lee and his fellow MPs, as well as around 1,300 residents. His National Day Message, recorded at the newly opened Safra clubhouse in Punggol, will be broadcast tonight.ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Picturesque Punggol will form the backdrop of this year's National Day Message, as it showcases the next 50 years of Singapore, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee said he is always on the lookout for a good venue to record the annual message, and has chosen the newly opened Safra clubhouse in Punggol this year.

"You can see and experience the Singapore that we are building together in the next 50 years - the beautiful Punggol Waterway, the new HDB homes and the young families strolling or exercising along the park connector," he said.

In a behind-the-scenes photo on PM Lee's Facebook page, he is seen dressed in a blue shirt and recording the message, with Punggol Waterway Park and the area's new Housing Board flats in the background.

Last year's Golden Jubilee National Day Message was recorded at Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall.

The message, which usually focuses on economic issues, is normally recorded ahead of time and telecast on the eve of National Day. PM Lee said he recorded this year's message before his official visit to the United States last week.

Yesterday, he attended his first National Day dinner of the year with about 1,300 residents of his Ang Mo Kio GRC and fellow MPs Koh Poh Koon, Gan Thiam Poh and Darryl David. Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, a former MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC, was also present.

They were treated to song and dance performances by students from schools in the estate. The military band from Bowen Secondary School played the National Anthem, and children from a PCF Sparkletots pre-school led the audience in reciting the National Pledge.

At the event, PM Lee thanked Mr Yeo for his contributions as an MP and grassroots leader for the past 20 years.

Mr Yeo, an MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC from 2011 to last year, had been active in grassroots work since 1996. He was part of the People's Action Party team that lost in Aljunied GRC in last September's General Election.

PM Lee presented Mr Yeo a book containing photographs and newspaper clippings of initiatives started by the former MP.

"It's a very meaningful gift," said a visibly touched Mr Yeo.

Viewers can watch PM Lee's National Day Message in English on Channel NewsAsia at 6.45pm tonight. It will be shown in Malay on Suria at 8.30pm, in Mandarin on Channel 8 at 8.45pm, and in Tamil on Vasantham at 9pm.

All four will be uploaded on the YouTube channel of the Prime Minister's Office after the telecasts.

Pearl Lee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2016, with the headline 'Punggol chosen as location for PM Lee's National Day Message'. Print Edition | Subscribe