Floating platform will feature at future NDPs: Ye Kung

Mr Ong Ye Kung taking a wefie with the participants of the Dynamic Defence Display at the F1 Village yesterday. The minister was visiting NDP participants and staff at the preview show, during which he said that The Float @ Marina Bay has been one of
Mr Ong Ye Kung taking a wefie with the participants of the Dynamic Defence Display at the F1 Village yesterday. The minister was visiting NDP participants and staff at the preview show, during which he said that The Float @ Marina Bay has been one of the best places to celebrate National Day.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Float @ Marina Bay will continue to feature at future National Day Parades (NDPs), and more details will be released later, said Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to the NDP preview yesterday, he said the floating platform, with its unobstructed bayside view, has been popular with audiences.

"It was something that we thought will be a temporary place, but it has turned out to be one of the best places for us to celebrate National Day," said Mr Ong, adding the venue, which will host the NDP after a two-year hiatus, has allowed Singapore to showcase its naval, army and air force equipment.

"Depending on the occasion and circumstances, we will decide how and which venue we should use, and definitely the floating platform will continue to feature in future NDPs," said Mr Ong.

Touted as the largest of its kind in the world, the platform can seat up to 27,000 and has hosted the NDP seven times since 2007.

It was deemed to have staged its last NDP in 2014 following completion of the new National Stadium, which hosted the parade last year.

But the event attracted some controversy due to cost issues. Also, safety restrictions had meant the Red Lions skydivers and a mobile column of military equipment could not be part of last year's NDP.

At yesterday's preview, all performances went smoothly except for a segment involving 300 drones performing seven main formations, which had wowed the crowd at a National Education show on July 15.

The NDP executive committee and American technology firm Intel, whose drones are being used, said they are investigating why the performance could not take place.

"We are working to understand what may have caused this and to find a solution quickly and have a great show for NDP," said an Intel spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 23, 2017, with the headline 'Floating platform will feature at future NDPs: Ye Kung'. Print Edition | Subscribe