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NDP 2021: No public balloting, tickets to be given to COVID-19 frontliners and essential workers

SINGAPORE: Tickets for this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) will not be open for public balloting because of pandemic safety concerns.

Instead, the tickets will be given to those who have contributed to the fight against COVID-19 to recognise their efforts. These are Singaporean COVID-19 frontliners, essential workers and community volunteers. All parade attendees must be fully vaccinated.

At a media briefing on Friday (Jul 2), Brigadier-General Tan Cheng Kwee, chairman of the NDP 2021 Executive Committee (EXCO), said the EXCO will decide on spectator limits closer to the date. National Day falls on Aug 9.

"We are working very closely with our colleagues from MOH, trying to assess the situation, because we want to make NDP safe for everyone," said BG Tan.

"We are hoping that we can go beyond the limits that we have experienced in the past year, hovering around … the hundreds, the maximum limit has been 1,000 for some of the specially selected pilot events. We do hope that we can go beyond that," he said.

"With the safety measures in place, we probably can only go at a fraction of the full capacity of the float, we still need the space for safety measures."

On how the guests will be invited, BG Tan said the EXCO is currently working on the processes and will work with agencies to nominate Singaporeans. After this, they will extend the invitation to them separately.

This year’s NDP will combine live and virtual elements for the performance. The EXCO said it will "harness technology and connect performances for the first-ever live-virtual performance at NDP".

The same technology will be used in the parade and ceremony segment, during which "civilian entities" will participate and join the parade virtually, it said in a news release.

The parade will also be streamed live so that people can watch it at home.

Over the weekend leading up to National Day, the Red Lions - Singapore Army's parachute display team - will conduct freefall jumps over various heartland sites.

PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES

On Monday, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said this year’s NDP will go ahead with a centralised physical event and spectators at The Float @ Marina Bay, but with the number of participants and spectators "scaled down appropriately".

Several COVID-19 safety measures will also be put in place. This includes splitting the parade’s 1,200 participants into smaller groups during rehearsals and performances.

All participants have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and will undergo weekly rostered routine testing before entering rehearsal venues.

"With the proper precautions in place, we want to make NDP a milestone event, paving the way for the resumption of large-scale events amid an endemic COVID-19 situation," said BG Tan.

Responding to a reporter's question on contingency measures to prevent the NDP from turning into a superspreader event, BG Tan said the EXCO was confident of the measures put in place.

“The way we have organised the groups on the ground - seating, ticketing, and getting the particulars of our participants as well as spectators - has been designed such that in … a very rare situation, if we have an infection, we can quickly ring-fence, contact trace and quickly react.

"This is supported by our use of TraceTogether, this is supported by how we have organised our activities."

READ: National Day Parade 2021 to go ahead with physical event and spectators at The Float @ Marina Bay

The NDP EXCO unveiled this year's theme and logo during the media briefing.

The theme "Together, Our Singapore Spirit", which builds on last year's theme "Together, A Stronger Singapore", celebrates the spirit of the country’s people which has kept Singapore strong, said the EXCO.

"In NDP 2021, we will see our Singapore spirit, characterised by our 'can-do' attitude, our unity and our resilience," said BG Tan.

"We hope that NDP will provide a rallying call for Singaporeans to come together, draw strength from our Singapore spirit, and have the confidence to build a better Singapore," he added.

This year’s logo depicts a lion’s head embedded with the number "56", representing the nation’s strength of will and unity and marking the country’s 56th year of independence, said the EXCO.

National Day Parade 2021 logo. (Source: NDP 2021 Executive Committee)

The five parts of the lion’s mane symbolise democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. The NDP theme song and accompanying music video were also conceptualised and centred on the theme of staying united and overcoming challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Titled The Road Ahead, the NDP 2021 theme song was written and composed by Singaporean singer Linying and music producer Evan Low. 

It is performed by Linying, Sezairi Sezali, Shye-Anne Brown and Shabir.

The accompanying music video, directed by Huang Junxiang and Jerrold Chong, features a blend of live-action and animation.

It carries a sense of hope and looks to inspire Singaporeans with a shared sense of determination and optimism, in spite of the challenges at present, said the committee.

Source: CNA/kg

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