SINGAPORE - More than one million National Day Parade (NDP) 2020 packs have been collected by Singaporean and permanent resident (PR) households at community centres or clubs and residents' committee centres over the past two weeks.
Close to 80 per cent of households collected the 1.05 million packs, which showed a "very strong response," the NDP2020 executive committee said on Monday (Aug 3).
It added that the remaining packs will be distributed to residents in homes and facilities managed by both government agencies and welfare groups.
The NDP exco did not provide the total number of packs produced.
It was the first time that NDP packs were distributed to Singaporean and PR households in lieu of a centralised parade.
In previous years, packs were given out only to those attending the parade, the parade rehearsals and those supporting the organisation of the event. There had been calls, including an online petition, to allow people to opt out of receiving the pack, citing a better possible use of the resources.
Among those who did not to pick up the NDP pack was retired hawker Tang Hock Siang, 78, who made his decision after looking at the packs that his friends had collected.
"My wife and I have enough cloth and surgical masks for our own use and our children have given us a lot of reusable bags. It's a nice gesture from the organisers and the Government, it's just that we wouldn't use most of the items in it," he said.
"But some of my friends collected the packs because of the face masks and they said they were more comfortable than some of the other types of masks which were distributed previously," Mr Tang added.
The Singapore Together pack, which takes the form of a tote bag, included items such as face masks, a thermometer and hand sanitisers, in addition to snacks and drinks.
Ms Desiree Tan, 27, said that her family ballots for NDP tickets every year and one of the highlights for them is always the pack.
"It's not so much about what's in the pack, because there are things we don't use like the coupon booklets, packet drinks or temporary tattoos. But there have been some creative bag designs which my mother likes to collect and I thought this year's tote bag was nice and practical," she said.
This year, the bags feature 10 designs by aspiring artists with disabilities from seven organisations in collaboration with SG Enable, as well as 10 designs by Primary 5 pupils in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
"I'm glad that they have streamlined the items in this year's pack, but I wish there was an option for us to donate some of the items we know we won't use," said Ms Tan, a sales manager for a technology firm, adding she was glad that leftover packs would be distributed to residents in homes and facilities, in what is "a good way to spread community spirit."