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Committee seeking ideas on how best to mark Singapore's 50th birthday

The Singapore50 Steering Committee is seeking ideas on how Singapore should celebrate its 50th birthday.

SINGAPORE: The Singapore50 Steering Committee is seeking ideas on how Singapore should celebrate its 50th birthday.

Chairman of the committee Heng Swee Keat, who is also the Education Minister, made a call for Singaporeans to join in to shape Singapore's "Golden Jubilee" celebrations.

“If you have ideas that will help us all celebrate in a truly Singaporean spirit, please come forward and share them and make this really our celebration,” said Mr Heng as he launched SG50 celebrations on Friday afternoon.

“We are looking forward to ideas that will inspire a sense of community or belonging to Singapore, and that will encourage Singaporeans to celebrate as one people. We invite everyone, whether you are young or old, to let us know how you want to celebrate our 50th birthday." 

Those who want to organise their own projects or events can tap into a seed fund which can provide up to S$50,000.

“I would really like that this celebration be a celebration that is owned by all Singaporeans, that all Singaporeans feel part of the celebration and take ownership of it,” said Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong.

“That's why we have this open call for celebration, we want to have Singaporeans contribute their ideas and even better, tap on the celebration fund to translate their ideas into actual projects. So that when we celebrate Singapore 50 next year, it will not just be about the National Day Parade, which is an important event, but the whole year will be full of events that will be initiated and carried out by Singaporeans.” 

Singaporean playwright Jonathan Lim, 39, hopes to apply for the fund to develop a scavenger-hunt game that will help Singaporeans discover fascinating aspects of Singapore history and heritage.

He said: "I'm quite inspired by films like National Treasure and things like Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, because what they do is they take existing artefacts, existing monuments and spin a mystery around them.

"And that's what I want to do… so suddenly old buildings have secrets, old places are hidden… I want to give Singaporeans a new way of looking at the island around them."

Mr Heng also launched the official SG50 logo which the committee hopes Singaporeans will adopt and customise for their own events over the next two years. 

Jackson Tan, the creator of the SG50 logo, was inspired by how Singapore really is a little red dot on the world map.

He said: "I was looking at a symbol that was iconic and memorable, and that was very simple that could help us to capture the… collective journey of Singapore for the last 50 years. I was looking at the world map and one thing that strikes me -- that's widely known for Singaporeans -- is our other nickname, which is 'Little Red Dot'.

“I think that 'red dot' captures the spirit of Singaporeans. It's about how we're not limited by our physical size. Our dreams and aspirations are much bigger than that. And that is the one that pushes Singapore forward."

The public can submit ideas through the SG50 official website or through collection boxes at community centres, public libraries and museums until 23 March 2014.

Mr Heng said good ideas will be taken up by the committee.

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