SINGAPORE: The NDP Singapore Together Pack will contain hand sanitisers, a thermometer and a face mask, as well as items that express “collective love and wishes for Singapore”, said Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament on Friday (Jun 5).
Each pack will cost about S$2.40, he added.
Dr Ng was responding to questions from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leon Perera about the total cost of "producing, packing and distributing the NDP fun packs to each citizen and PR household", and from Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC Cheng Li Hui about including essential and care items in the "NDP fun packs".
The minister said the executive committee will produce the packs for about 80 per cent of households, taking into account those who said that they do not need a pack. This number of packs will be “adequate”, based on prior experience, he added.
The NDP 2020 executive committee said on May 20 that each household would receive a pack containing items that will allow them to interact with the parade and within their family.
Shortly after, an online petition was started on Change.org to appeal to the committee for an option to opt out of receiving the pack, citing concerns about environmental wastage. As of Friday morning, about 112,000 people have signed the online petition.
READ: Singapore should still celebrate NDP amid COVID-19, not allow ‘despair’ to prevail: Ng Eng Hen
The bag used for this year's pack will be a reusable grocery bag that is foldable into a small pouch.
Each bag will feature one of 20 artworks done by artists with disabilities - in partnership with SG Enable - and Primary 5 students who were among the close to 1,200 who had participated in a competition held during the "circuit breaker".
There will be 12 items in each pack, compared to 20 to 25 items in a typical NDP pack, the NDP 2020 executive committee said in a fact sheet on Friday.
“As families will be at home, there is no need for single-use water bottles, neither plastic clappers nor packaging, and these have been done away with to reduce waste,” said Dr Ng.
The packs will contain a full-sized national flag and a handheld one, as well as iron-on patches, a pledge card and a face tattoo, the fact sheet said.
Hand sanitisers, a thermometer and a face mask will be included in this year's pack, alongside an e-discount booklet of vouchers.
There will also be a snack, a canned drink, a red filter for phone torches and a commemorative magnet.
READ: NDP 2020 to have morning and evening shows; shows to be scaled down in line with COVID-19 precautions
The Singapore Together Pack will be available for collection from Jul 20 at community clubs and residents’ committee centres, said the executive committee. Each Singaporean and permanent resident household will be able to collect a pack. Collection is expected to be completed by Aug 2, the committee said.
Collection points will also be set up where the public can return selected items for redistribution or re-use, said the executive committee, and the packs will be distributed to vulnerable groups to “help them join in the NDP experience”.
“For every NDP, the (executive committee) aims to be inclusive and they take in views and accommodate different interests where possible. I think this is good and forward-leaning. But let me just say this as a gentle caution,” said Dr Ng.
"If every interest group pushes for its own agenda, especially during the NDP, then our common ground to celebrate this national event shrinks. Because the (executive committee) will simply never be able to satisfy every request adequately.”
Editor’s Note: The Ministry of Defence has clarified that it is giving out a Singapore Together Pack, and not a fun pack. References to this have been edited in the story.