PM Lee and PM Abbot at Bishan Park BBQ

SG50 BBQ controversy: Tickets issued to manage crowd, says PA

PM Lee and PM Abbot at Bishan Park BBQ
PM Lee and PM Abbot at Bishan Park BBQ

The People’s Association (PA) says it had issued “a total of 4,800 tickets to residents” for the SG50 barbeque event organised by the Australian High Commission (AHC) last Sunday.

The Straits Times reports that the AHC had approached the PA “to help with the event" where a reported 10,000 steaks would be provided to participants.

The PA was responding to allegations that it had reserved the tickets for its own members, after the Australian High Commission (AHC) informed the public on the day of the event itself that tickets were required, but some members of the public could not get any tickets.

Earlier public notifications did not mention that the event, which would take place in 22 different locations around Singapore, would be a ticketed one.

“We issued tickets to manage the crowd, and to assure ticket holders that they would be able to enjoy the food,” the PA said on Tuesday. “In total, 4,800 tickets were available and given to residents on a first come first served basis.”

The PA also said the AHC had requested some tickets for its volunteers.

As for the criticism that there were no public announcements about the tickets, the PA said “publicity for the events was done locally, through posters on noticeboards and through online channels”.

The PA, however, did not specify what these "online channels" were.

“As the evening progressed, our volunteers welcomed people until the food ran out,” it said.

The confusion seems to have also been partly been caused by a PA’s reply to a question posed to it on its Facebook page.

In a post on the PA’s Facebook page on 28 June, a member of the public asked the PA, “Where to get ticket from PA for the SG50 OZ BBQ?”

Screencap from PA Facebook
Screencap from PA Facebook

The “PAFrenzAdmin”, apparently the administrator of the page, replied and said that the enquirer should “contact your preferred CCs [community clubs]... to check on the availability before heading down to purchase it.”

This drew a reaction from another person, who expressed surprise that the tickets needed ot be “purchased”.

“The event was meant to be a free event, open to the public!” the commenter said.