Singaporeans mark nation's 52nd birthday with art and exercise

The banner painting measuring 52 by 62m which set the Singapore book of records at Marsiling’s National Day Observance on Aug 9, 2017.
The banner painting measuring 52 by 62m which set the Singapore book of records at Marsiling’s National Day Observance on Aug 9, 2017. ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO
Mr Zaqy Mohamad and Madam Halimah Yacob at the banner painting which set the Singapore book of records at Marsiling’s National Day Observance on Aug 9, 2017.
Mr Zaqy Mohamad and Madam Halimah Yacob at the banner painting which set the Singapore book of records at Marsiling’s National Day Observance on Aug 9, 2017.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - From unveiling huge paintings to taking part in a 52-minute workout, Singaporeans took time on Wednesday (Aug 9) to mark the nation's 52nd birthday in unique and symbolic ways.

Citizens recited the pledge and sang the National Anthem at observance ceremonies around the island.

Over at the Marsiling constituency, residents unveiled a record-setting 52m-long banner painting that charts the development of Singapore from independence in 1965 till today.

Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Zaqy Mohamad and Madam Halimah Yacob helped to apply the finishing touches. Mr Zaqy was appointed on Tuesday (Aug 8) to replace Madam Halimah, who stepped down as grassroots adviser to the Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

Get The Straits Times
newsletters in your inbox

The artwork, which took three months and more than 100 volunteers to create, sets a new record in the Singapore Book of Records for the Longest Banner of Historical Drawings, smashing the previous record - a 15.2m banner completed two years ago (2015).

Mr Kenny Chua, 56, the chairman of the Marsiling Zone 4 Residents' Committee (RC), said they wanted to do something special for National Day.

"We wanted to tell the story of Singapore, from the kampung days, up till today, which was represented by the Changi Airport Terminal 4," said Mr Chua, who is an events manager.

Over at Yishun, about 1,500 residents of Sembawang GRC stood in solidarity against potential threats to Singapore's security.


Sembawang GRC MPs Khaw Boon Wan, Ong Ye Kung, Amrin Amin, Lim Wee Kiak and Vikram Nair during a National Day observance ceremony held in Yishun. PHOTO: SEMBAWANG GRC GRASSROOTS ORGANISATION

Some 200 of them, who had recently completed first-aid training as part of the national SGSecure movement, formed marching contingents while donning safety vests with first-aid kits slung over their shoulders.

They were led by the group representation constituency's grassroots advisers Khaw Boon Wan, Ong Ye Kung, Amrin Amin, Lim Wee Kiak and Vikram Nair.

Research officer Aneetha Sundram, 39, one of the participants, said: "It felt good to know that everyone in the neighbourhood is trained and ready to handle any attacks."

Over at the Singapore Sports Hub, fitness buffs took part in a 52-minute National Day fitness workout, and also an aquathlon workshop, among various activities.

In Clementi, people gathered to catch a live-screening of the National Day Parade, with a picnic under the stars, at a basketball court.

Madam Eng Kim Hiang, 67, a retiree, used the occasion to spend time with the family.

She said: "Every National Day, the whole family will get together to have a meal and watch the parade. I look forward to that."