Singapore celebrates its 47th birthday, Olympic success

They cheered, they sang and they danced.

The occasion was Singapore's 47th birthday, but there were oh so many more reasons to celebrate the Republic at the National Day Parade (NDP) on Thursday night - not least of all, Singapore's second bronze medal at the ongoing London Olympics.

As a video montage flashed a picture of the country's most-famous paddler Feng Tianwei across a giant, Singapore-shaped screen, the 26,000 spectators at The Float@Marina Bay roared and applauded.

The celebrations also played out across Marina Bay, with 100,000 packing the area to inhale the festive atmosphere.

It was a resounding show of national unity - a key note brought up by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his annual National Day message on Wednesday.

The nation's independence was being celebrated amid an "unsettled world", he said, but Singapore is still doing well.

The economy grew 1.7 per cent in the first half of the year, and the growth forecast for the full year has been revised to between 1.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent.

PM Lee pledged that the Government would do more to build an inclusive society underpinned by hope and love.

Singapore is a success story, "but the world is not standing still", PM Lee had said, before he asked Singaporeans what sort of future they wanted for themselves and their children.