SINGAPORE: One last parade was held at The Float @ Marina Bay on Saturday (Nov 26) before work begins next year to redevelop the area into a permanent space to commemorate national service (NS).
At an NS55 integrated parade to mark 55 years of national service, about 4,000 recruits graduated from basic military training and 350 operationally-ready national servicemen (NSmen) stood down after completing their 10-year cycle.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had previously announced in 2017 that The Float @ Marina Bay would be redeveloped and renamed as NS Square, and also serve as the primary venue for the National Day Parade.
This year’s NDP was also the final time the parade was held at the location with construction slated to begin in March 2023 and be completed by the end of 2026.
The Float @ Marina Bay was built in 2007 as a temporary venue for events such as the annual NDP while the National Stadium was being reconstructed.
When completed, NS Square will feature an NS-themed gallery, community sports facilities and a new public waterfront promenade.
"Today’s parade is exceptionally meaningful because it will be the last one to be held at The Float before renovations begin," said Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, who reviewed the parade on Saturday.
"This place does not only signify Singapore’s appreciation of the contributions of our national servicemen. If you look across The Float at Singapore’s skyline, you can see how much Singapore has developed, and how far we have come as a nation, and what is really at stake.
"NS Square’s presence and prominence in Marina Bay will be a reflection of the central role that NS has played in bringing peace and prosperity that has made all of this possible."