SINGAPORE - The People's Association (PA) said 4,800 tickets were issued to residents on "a first come first served" basis for a mass barbecue event held simultaneously at 20 locations around Singapore on Sunday. (June 28)
The tickets were issued to manage the crowd, and to assure ticket holders that they would be able to enjoy the food, it said on Tuesday (June 30) in response to queries from The Straits Times.
Some people who were turned away from the event complained that they were told that they needed a ticket only when they turned up. Some also accused the PA of giving preference to grassroots volunteers when issuing the tickets.
The mass barbecue event was organised by the Australian High Commission to celebrate 50 years of bilateral ties. The High Commission approached the PA to help with the event.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Australian counterpart Tony Abbott were at one of the barbecues at Bishan Park, which saw a turnout of as many as 2,000 people.
Other locations included community centres, James Cook University, Jem Shopping Mall, Haji Lane and other public spaces.
The Australian High Commission, which sponsored the food, provided enough for 1,000 people at Bishan Park and 200 people at each of the heartland locations, said the PA statement.
"We issued tickets to manage the crowd, and to assure ticket holders that they would be able to enjoy the food<" said the PA statement, adding that the Australian side also requested some tickets for their volunteers.
The PA said "publicity for the events was done locally, through posters on noticeboards and through online channels".
"As the evening progressed, our volunteers welcomed people until the food ran out," said the PA statement.