NDP tickets this year available online - illegally

Parade organisers warn of penalties for unauthorised distribution

Some ticket-holders of this year's National Day Parade (NDP) are selling their tickets online - despite warnings that this could land them in trouble.

This year, the parade's organisers are hoping to put a stop to such sales.

Besides getting printed reminders when they collect their tickets, people are told not to put their tickets on sale.

If found to be involved in 'unauthorised distribution', sellers will be barred from participating in the ticket ballot for three years.

Free NDP tickets are allocated through an electronic ballot process introduced in 2003.

Last month, several letters to The Straits Times Forum Page urged the NDP 2012 organising committee to impose penalties on those who sell their tickets.

Recent online searches showed that some of the sale attempts began on auction website eBay even before the end of the ticket collection period, which was from June 8 to 17.

Four such online advertisements were found. Two of the sellers offered 'packages' where buyers could get the tickets free upon the purchase of another item.

In one ad, the starting bid for a necklace with a diamond pendant and two free NDP tickets was $300. The seller stated that the meet-up location would be Paya Lebar MRT station, and that bidders had to have at least three positive ratings on eBay.

In the other ad, two free NDP preview tickets were offered with the purchase of a 'brand-new, solar-powered and scratch-resistant' watch at $400.

Interested bidders had another option: A brand-new massage chair for $300.

Checks by The Straits Times on Wednesday showed that both of these listings had ended.

Another ad which was initially active yesterday afternoon was no longer available hours later.

In it, four NDP tickets were going for $600, and the seller's message was that his family could no longer attend the parade as his father was cancer-stricken.

When ST contacted two of these online sellers, they said their tickets were still available. But they stopped responding after they were asked if they knew that such sales were not allowed.

Colonel Desmond Tan, chairman of the NDP 2012 executive committee, said that the number of applications for tickets this year, like that of previous years, 'overwhelmingly exceeded' the number of seats available.

He added that the committee keeps records of its tickets and applicants, and that the information would be used if necessary.

The committee also monitors the unauthorised distribution of NDP preview and NDP tickets.

When alerted to such misdemeanours, the committee contacts the sellers responsible and warns them about their actions.

They are told that if they cannot attend the parade, they can mail the tickets back to: NDP 2012 EXCO, 325 Sembawang Road, Singapore 757758.

Similarly, ticket holders who cannot attend the parade can return their tickets to the above address.