Residents usher in new year with PM

Mr Lee greeting children taking part in a drawing activity at the Teck Ghee countdown event in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park last Saturday.
Mr Lee greeting children taking part in a drawing activity at the Teck Ghee countdown event in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park last Saturday.ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Teck Ghee residents partied and cheered the start of the new year at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park last Saturday night, as they counted down to 2017 with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

At midnight, fireworks lit the sky in splashes of red, green and gold, ushering in the new year.

Just moments earlier, the 5,000- strong crowd had sung the popular National Day ballad, Home, with Mr and Mrs Lee.

Mr Lee, who had returned from a holiday in Japan just hours earlier, joined his constituents at a countdown party under the stars.

His wish for the new year: peace and progress for Singaporeans and Singapore.

"A very happy new year to all of you. I wish you peace, progress and prosperity, and happiness and good health," he told the crowd.

Earlier, Mr Lee toured various booths and greeted residents young and old.

Children tried their hand at games and art activities, such as kite-making and making photo frames. They also got to touch sea creatures, such as a starfish, a horseshoe crab and a sea cucumber, in a "touch-pool" set up by Resorts World Sentosa's (RWS) S.E.A Aquarium.

For many merrymakers, the highlight of the party was the five-minute-long fireworks display.

Ang Mo Kio resident Masreny Ramli, 43, who was there with his wife and two children, said: "It's a great way to celebrate - to see people of different races having fun together. It's what Singapore is about."

Also at the party were housewife Katherine Goh, 37, her husband and two sons.

Her older son Jarrett, seven, got to touch sea creatures at the RWS booth. "He really enjoyed it," said Madam Goh.

Earlier last Saturday evening, 920 Marsiling residents celebrated the new year at a year-end constituency dinner with their MP and Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2017, with the headline 'Residents usher in new year with PM'. Print Edition | Subscribe