Why give NDP tickets to private companies?

I understand that tickets for the annual National Day Parade (NDP) are allocated by ballot.

As such, I had applied for NDP tickets several times over the years, as had my wife and in-laws.

To date, we have never had an offer of tickets, and I assume our applications were unsuccessful.

But on the NDP website, in answer to the question "Are there other ways I can obtain NDP 2018 tickets?", it states: "Besides balloting for the tickets, you may also win tickets by participating in contests held on our official Facebook or Instagram pages."

So, I was surprised to see a competition currently being run by ride-sharing company Grab offering four tickets (two for the "Grab Hero" and two for the person submitting the competition entry) for this year's NDP.

Why are the NDP organisers allowing private enterprises to give tickets as promotional prizes to contestants?

Why does Grab (a company found guilty of infringing competition laws) have tickets to give away when Singapore citizens and permanent residents have struggled for years to get tickets?

Paul Paffett

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2018, with the headline 'Why give NDP tickets to private companies?'. Print Edition | Subscribe