Why charge for a National Day observance ceremony?

I was surprised to see on a flier that residents in Tampines have to pay $2 to buy a ticket to attend a National Day observance ceremony held at East Spring Secondary School.

Why should residents pay to observe National Day? Why can't the organisers use funds from renting out stalls at the regular community flea markets instead?

It makes sense to charge residents for the National Day dinner, because it is an eight- to nine-course meal. But the observance ceremony is not the same.

Furthermore, the area consists of many three-room flats, housing the poor elderly, retirees and lower-income households. While $2 may not seem like a lot, it means much to them.

A national event is for every Singaporean to share their joy, pride and loyalty to the nation.

If residents have to pay for the ceremony, it may deter them from attending, which would be against the themes and objectives of the event.

Francis Cheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2016, with the headline 'Why charge for a National Day observance ceremony?'. Print Edition | Subscribe