NDP

Current situation justifies not holding event

In view of Singapore reverting to phase two (heightened alert) in its fight against Covid-19, perhaps the authorities should consider not holding the National Day Parade (NDP) or at least reorganising the structure and content of the event.

Singaporeans all understand that the NDP is one of the most important events in our national calendar, but the surge in infections does not justify holding the event in its planned format.

The mood on the ground is one of frustration and fatigue from the start-stop reopening of Singapore's economy.

Food and beverage operators and self-employed people such as taxi and private-hire car drivers have had a very challenging past 15 months.

The advice given by the multi-ministry task force tackling the pandemic and the Ministry of Health is that people should refrain from leaving their homes as much as possible during this time.

With the NDP, performers will have to be out of their homes practising during rehearsals and performing during the actual event.

There will also be organisers, helpers and spectators travelling to the event site.

Singapore could look into holding a scaled-down virtual event.

Households would continue to proudly display the Singapore flag and all Singaporeans could mark National Day meaningfully in their own way.

Let us all work towards first bringing down the number of infections and then keeping the number low.

Lim Hock Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2021, with the headline 'Current situation justifies not holding event'. Subscribe