By Massita Ahmad
SINGAPORE, May 20 -- Singapore will still hold its National Day Parade (NDP) on Aug 9, 2020 but not in the traditional format due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the republic’s Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen.
Dr Ng said it would not be possible to hold the NDP in that format, where thousands of participants practise for months and many more thousands of spectators congregating at the Floating Platform at Marina Bay or Padang (rpt Padang).
The minister noted that the NDP would be brought right to the homes of all Singaporeans across the island.
“... that is the concept of NDP 2020,” he said in his latest Facebook posting.
Earlier today, The Straits Times reported that unlike previous parades, Singapore's 55th birthday celebrations would see many parade segments moved to the heartland and streamed live over TV as well as Internet platforms.
The report said for the first time, traditional elements like the state flag fly-past, F-15SG fighter jet aerial display, the Red Lions free-fall jump, and mobile column would take place in different locations around the island.
These displays would also pay special tribute to frontline workers against COVID-19, it reported, adding that this year’s theme would be “Together, A Stronger Singapore.”
Quoting the chairman of this year's NDP executive committee Brigadier-General Frederick Choo, the health and welfare of participants were of the utmost importance with a reduction of about 90 per cent in the number of participants for the Padang parade.
There were about 1,800 people on parade last year, and the committee plans to have only about 200 this year, BG Choo, who is also the commander of Third Singapore Division from the Singapore Army, was quoted as saying.
No rehearsals have been held so far, and they would start only after the circuit breaker period lifts on June 1, said the report.
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