SINGAPORE- President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong were virtually joined by more than 300 civil servants on Friday (Aug 6) for this year's National Day Observance Ceremony at the Istana.
President Halimah welcomed PM Lee at the Istana on Friday morning for the annual event.
Civil servants from various government agencies such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau attended via videoconference application Zoom.
The hybrid format was to ensure a safe celebration amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat were among the 300 virtual attendees.
Donned in Singapore's red and white, participants in the ceremony recited the pledge and sang the national anthem together.
This year's National Day song, The Road Ahead, was played for the flag-waving audience at the end of the ceremony.
Composed by singer-songwriter Linying and music producer Evan Low, the song has been favourably received by the public, as shown by more than 3,000 videos of users participating in the song's dance challenge on popular video sharing app TikTok.
The song is available on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music.
In a Facebook post on Friday afternoon, President Halimah called on Singaporeans to stand united as the nation continues its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. She added that she is confident Singapore will emerge stronger from this crisis.
In her post, she noted that this year’s National Day Observance Ceremony was conducted in a hybrid manner with most attendees joining virtually - same as last year.
She said: “Singaporeans come together every August to celebrate our nation’s independence through a series of events, ceremonies and celebrations. The Covid-19 pandemic may have altered the way we lead our daily lives, but we still try our best to adapt for longstanding traditions such as the National Day Observance Ceremony.”
The postponed National Day parade will be held on Aug 21 at Marina Bay, after the end of phase two (heightened alert) Covid-19 restrictions.