National Day cheer goes on islandwide

Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
Fireworks lighting up the sky near Bishan Bus Interchange last night. Earlier in the day, the mobile column (above) was a hit among Bishan residents, who got a rare chance to get close to the vehicles. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG DESMOND FOO
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
Fireworks lighting up the sky near Bishan Bus Interchange (above) last night. Earlier in the day, the mobile column was a hit among Bishan residents, who got a rare chance to get close to the vehicles. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG DESMOND FOO
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. ST PHOTO: TEE ZHUO
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
Residents in Punggol tossing red-and-white paper balls into the air, in an attempt to get into the Singapore Book of Records for having the most number of paper balls in the air during a span of five minutes. ST PHOTO: SONG TAO
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
(From left) Singer Kit Chan, actress Eswari Gunasagar, Gardens by the Bay chief executive Felix Loh, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon, President Halimah Yacob and her husband, Mr Mohamed Abdullah Alhabshee, Mediacorp CEO Tham Loke Kheng, singer Dick Lee and radio deejay Kunhua on stage at an event at Gardens by the Bay. PHOTO: GARDENS BY THE BAY
Mr Chetan Samel, 46, his wife Aparna, 42, and their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the National Day celebrations in Bishan yesterday. Mr Samel said he enjoyed the carnival as it was well organised and lively. Fireworks lighting up the sky near
Marine Parade GRC MP Fatimah Lateef with practitioners of Boogie Bounce Xtreme - a type of high-intensity aerobic exercise on mini trampolines - who performed at Geylang Serai Community Club's National Day celebrations. The event also marked the club's reopening at Wisma Geylang Serai. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Over 100,000 people turn up for celebrations held across S'pore

Festivities for the nation's 54th birthday continued yesterday with more than 100,000 people turning up at events islandwide - almost four times as many attendees as at Friday's National Day Parade (NDP) at the Padang.

National Day celebrations were held at five heartland locations yesterday, including one in Bishan attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

"Not everyone could go to the Padang... Today, the Parade has visited all of you," said PM Lee to the 37,000 people gathered at an open field near Bishan MRT station.

He also thanked spectators from the Merdeka Generation. "Thank you all, for walking the journey from Third World to First and bringing Singapore here. Now we go further," he said.

Also at the Bishan celebrations were Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo and several other parliamentarians.

Mr Chetan Samel, 46, who works in the shipping industry, and his wife were excited to watch their daughter Saloni, 11, who performed at the event.

Mr Samel said: "The carnival is excellent, very well organised and very lively. We're, of course, very proud; she's been practising for weeks!"

Cheers and applause greeted the mobile column, comprising vehicles such as the Singapore Armed Forces' Leopard Armoured Recovery Vehicle and the Singapore Civil Defence Force's Light Fire Attack Vehicle, better known as the Red Rhino.

The mobile column last paraded through the heartland in 2010, but there were no designated stops then.

This year, residents got to get close to the vehicles - in particular, the Hunter Armoured Fighting Vehicle, which was commissioned in June and made its first public appearance at Friday's NDP.

Celestyn Yeo, 13, told The Sunday Times she felt the mobile column was a reassuring presence.

"It assures us that the nation has the ability to protect Singaporeans, should there be a crisis or need for it," said the Secondary 1 student from Raffles Girls' School, who was there with her family.

At night, young and old came together to sing a medley of crowd favourites such as Stand Up For Singapore and We Will Get There, as fireworks lit up the sky.

It was the first time in over a decade that the heartland was treated to National Day fireworks by the NDP fireworks committee.

Residents at four similar celebrations in Wisma Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands also got to enjoy the four-minute-long pyrotechnic displays.

Military Expert 5 Tommy Chaw, who was in charge of the Bishan display, had earlier told ST that some 60 people would work on them. "This is Singapore's bicentennial year, so we wanted to make it special," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 11, 2019, with the headline 'National Day cheer goes on islandwide'. Print Edition | Subscribe