SG50 calendar of events unveiled

SINGAPORE - A calendar of events for Singapore's 50th birthday bash next year was announced on Tuesday, as the committee heading the celebrations gave an update on programmes planned for Singapore's golden jubilee.

Among the activities already underway are a big charity drive coinciding with the celebration, that has raised $90.72 million.

The Care & Share@SG50 movement raised the amount in four months, through 337 events held by 209 charities.

Donations to the initiative, which was officially launched last December, will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $250 million by the Government, until the end of this year.

Chairman of the SG50 Steering Committee and Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, cited this as an example of how the SG50 is not just about celebratory events, but also about how people can contribute to the community.

The events planned are also diverse and wide-ranging to cater to different segments of society, and are organised around the theme of celebrating as one people, he said.

To this end, the SG50 committee has planned large-scale events and also funded community-led initiatives.

One of the events planned for next year is Jubilee Walk, a walking trail that will cover historic locations in the civic district and the Marina Bay area. It will incorporate a new pedestrian bridge that will stretch from the Merlion Park to Marina Promenade.

The committee has also canvassed for ideas from Singaporeans for the celebration, to make it more inclusive. Some 11,000 suggestions have been submitted in the two months since the call went out for ideas.

The committee has identified about 1,400 of them to incorproate into the national celebrations.

In addition, $5 million has been set aside for the SG50 Celebration Fund, set up to fund Singaporeans who want to plan their own projects to celebrate Singapore's 50th birthday.

Since applications opened in January, 14 have been selected, including one to celebrate multi-cultural diversity through a Tamil Song that will be composed and performed by Singaporeans from different ethnic backgrounds. The committee has recieved 100 proposals so far and is still going through them.

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