NDP mobile column to visit heartland on Aug 10

Key vehicles in the mobile column include the Leopard 2SG Main Battle Tanks. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
SAF tanks, forming the NDP 2019 mobile column, taking part in a media preview on June 29, 2019. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
The vehicles are expected to reach five destination points - Bishan, Wisma Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands - by about 6.45pm on Aug 10, 2019. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - On Aug 10, more than 60 vehicles from the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team will gather at the F1 Pit Building before fanning out on four different routes to five heartland areas across Singapore where residents will be able to get up close to them for the first time.

The last time the mobile column trundled its way around the heartland was in 2010, after the drive-past at the National Day Parade (NDP) on Aug 9. There were no designated stops then.

These details were disclosed at a media briefing on Friday (July 19).

Key vehicles in the mobile column include the Leopard 2SG main battle tanks and Light Strike Vehicles. The vehicles are expected to reach the five destination points - Bishan (near Junction 8), Wisma Geylang Serai, Jurong East (near Westgate), Punggol (near Waterway Point) and Woodlands (near Causeway Point)- by about 6.45pm on Aug 10, which is a Saturday.

There will also be carnivals ongoing at each heartland site, organised by the People's Association (PA) and grassroots organisations. PA group director of partnership Jeanie Tan said that at least 10,000 people are expected at each site.

At around 8pm, there will be a mass pledge-taking session and the singing of the national anthem, before the display of fireworks at all five locations.

PA and the NDP executive committee will also be giving out 50,000 NDP funpacks at the five carnival locations.

Residents should register for tickets to redeem the funpacks at their nearest community clubs on a first-come-first-served basis from Monday (July 22) onwards.

Colonel Lim Lit Lam, who chairs the NDP heartlands committee: "We've done the planning for months, looking at all the various aspects like safety and logistics."

Each site was chosen based on accessibility, to reach out to as many people as possible, he added. Parking issues for the column were also taken into consideration.

People who are not able to make their way to watch the mobile column can still catch it via a live stream available on the NDP website.

The movement of the mobile column can also be tracked in real-time, so people can plan where and when to head down.

Colonel Yeo Hwee Bin, who chairs the NDP celebrations and mobile column committee, said a big challenge has been not being able to rehearse before Aug 10, although map analyses and reconnaissance had been carried out.

He added that roads affected by the mobile column will be closed on a rolling basis and will reopen to traffic once the column passes.

Col Yeo said: "We hope that by bringing mobile column to the heartlands, Singaporeans will have a memorable experience in celebrating the nation's 54th birthday."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.