SINGAPORE - This year’s National Day Parade (NDP) will once again be held at the Marina Bay floating platform – likely for the last time before it is redeveloped into the NS Square, a project delayed for a year because of Covid-19.
The birthday bash was also held at the popular waterfront location last year.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday (March 22), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the redevelopment of the floating platform had to start later due to Covid-19.
“(This) allows us to hold NDP 2022 there this year.”
“Look forward to combined air, land and sea components for NDP 2022 and larger crowds for both participants and spectators,” he added.
Works to turn the Marina Bay floating platform into the new NS Square were initially slated to be completed by 2025.
But delays caused by the pandemic mean works can start only later, the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of National Development said in an earlier statement on Tuesday.
“Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation and its impact on the construction sector, works have been rescheduled to start in March 2023 and are expected to be completed by end-2026,” the ministries added.
“More details on the project will be shared when ready.”
The project to redevelop The Float @ Marina Bay into NS Square was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2017.
The permanent space will feature community sports facilities and a new public waterfront promenade. It is also earmarked to host future NDPs as well as a gallery dedicated to national servicemen.
The design consultancy tender for the NS Square project was awarded in 2020, with the ministries saying then that renovation will start in March 2022 and be completed by end-2025.
This year’s NDP is organised by the Singapore Army’s Third Division. It will be the 11th time that the event has been hosted at the floating platform.
The parade has also been held at the Padang and the Sports Hub over the last decade.
At last year’s scaled-down NDP, only about 1,000 live spectators were allowed at the floating platform. It had 600 live performers - a fraction of what previous NDPs involved.
Large infection clusters at Jurong Fishery Port and KTVs had forced tighter Covid-19 restrictions, which also resulted in a postponement of the bash, for the first time, to Aug 21 instead of Aug 9.
At the event, organisers played a video tribute to the floating platform, which opened in May 2007 as a temporary structure.
It hosted the NDP for the first time that year while the National Stadium was being torn down.
Preparations for this year’s event has begun, with the organisers in the last few months calling for multiple tenders for related works. These include infrastructure works, creative services including decoration at and around the venue, publicity campaign, and for a “pack bag” as well as costume rental.
One tender published on government procurement portal GeBiz on Feb 28 by the Ministry of Education called for bus services on July 9, 16 and 23 for National Education shows in a location in “Downtown Singapore”.
National Education shows were not included at the last two NDPs.
The tender document called for about 1,050 buses in total as well as a management team to coordinate the buses and ferry spectators, who are mostly primary school pupils, to and from the venue on all show dates.