Spectacular NDP Preview, with a few issues

My family and I were fortunate to be able to watch the National Day Parade Preview last Saturday.

It was a spectacular performance for Singapore's 50th birthday.

While most of the limelight was on the participants on the field, there was a group of people quietly serving that I would like to salute: the young ushers and volunteers from Touch Community in the stands who helped keep spectators entertained before the show began.

Their youthfulness and cheer made the wait under the hot sun so much more bearable.

And when the show ended, the volunteers were still high enough in spirits to wave good night to everyone.

And when the show ended, the volunteers were still high enough in spirits to wave good night to everyone.

However, a couple of incidents almost marred what would have been a perfect event.

First, there was confusion at the queueing station across from the Singapore Recreation Club (SRC).

When we first went there to queue, we were told by police officers that the site was not approved for queueing, and were directed to go over to the St Andrew's Cathedral side.

When we went over, we were told by the army personnel there to go back to the SRC side instead.

Between the army and police, no one seemed to know where the queue was and no one took ownership of the issue.

I hope they will solve this problem before the actual day.

Second, in the stands, there were scenes of ugly Singaporeans who wanted the corner seats or seats with the best views and refused to follow the instructions of the volunteers to move in and fill up the seats there.

This created a massive bottleneck. I hope all participants will cooperate and not make life difficult for these young volunteers.

I also hope the organiser will station a few police officers in the stands to deal with such situations.

Anyone who refuses to sit on the seat that he has been directed to should be asked to rejoin the queue.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 06, 2015, with the headline 'Spectacular NDP Preview, with a few issues'. Print Edition | Subscribe