Permanent balloting ban if you sell your NDP tickets

Move comes amid listings of tickets, which are free, for sale on online site Carousell

The price for getting caught selling National Day Parade (NDP) tickets is now a permanent ban from being able to ballot again. PHOTO: ST FILE

The price for getting caught selling National Day Parade (NDP) tickets is now a permanent ban from being able to ballot again. Previously, the penalty was a ban of three years.

Brigadier-General Melvyn Ong, chairman of the NDP executive committee, said in a statement on Tuesday: "Monetising the privilege to be part of the nation's birthday goes against (its) celebratory spirit... Those found to be involved in such activities will be barred from balloting for future NDPs."

He added that the committee is working with online sale sites, including Carousell and eBay.

Mindef declined to give more details, such as whether tickets already sold would be deemed void.

About 100,000 NDP tickets are available this year, for a preview on Aug 1 and the actual show on Aug 9 - set to be the biggest ever to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee. The free tickets were allocated via an electronic ballot system.

An online Straits Times report on Sunday said NDP tickets were selling on mobile marketplace Carousell for up to $400 each for the actual day, but such posts were removed following quick action from the site. Two listings this week to sell NDP rehearsal tickets were removed within 30 minutes of being uploaded.

Replying to queries from The Straits Times, a Carousell spokesman said it has received an e-mail from the the NDP committee and has "responded accordingly".

She added: "We have already removed all listings and our team is keeping a close watch on new listings... Should a seller continue to disregard our guidelines, we will suspend their account."

She declined to reveal the number of listings removed so far.

A Carousell user's listing selling a pair of tickets to the July 4 rehearsal was removed soon after it was uploaded yesterday, but he still managed to offload the tickets to his friend for more than $100.

The seller declined to be named, but revealed that his rehearsal tickets came from helping out in the NDP as part of the Army.

He said: "My family didn't want to go, and I have already seen two NDPs, so I decided to sell them. I did not know it was not allowed."

Ebay could not be reached for comment.

There are buyers willing to fork out for the tickets, despite some high prices being asked. A potential buyer, who wanted to be known as Justin, said he was willing to pay up to $150 for a pair of tickets, as a surprise gift for his wife.

"After two failed attempts at balloting, I've decided I would stand a better chance... buying from touts," said Justin. "Selling NDP tickets is not something I condone but I am left with no alternatives."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline Permanent balloting ban if you sell your NDP tickets. Subscribe