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Fireworks in Marina Bay in Singapore from Shutterstock.com

Mistaken about actual length of fireworks, citizens decry waste of tax-money on hour-long show in year-end celebration at Marina Bay

The Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA) announced in a press release on Wednesday (5 December) that a series of breath-taking fireworks will light up Marina Bay for a full hour leading to midnight for the first time to celebrate New Year Eve.

The agency stated that this multi-sensory fireworks musical will take the fireworks display to the next level. The audience will be wowed with a combination of the dazzling fireworks and pyrotechnics, lights, 3D surround sound and performance acts by Taiko drummers, dancers, fire performers and more.

"At the stroke of midnight, the spectacular fireworks that can be viewed from around the bay will bloom against the backdrop of Singapore’s city skyline, lighting up the whole of Marina Bay and marking the grand finale to the celebrations," it added.

The agency stated that there will be light projection shows on key landmarks around the bay; Mediacorp’s Let’s Celebrate 2019 countdown concert at The Promontory, made free for the public for the first time; the Food Truck Fest at the Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza, offering modern local gastronomical delights; Esplanade Presents Come Together outdoor performances by local acts at the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre and the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival at the Bayfront Event Space.

There will also be the Car-Free New Year’s Eve (Car-Free NYE) at the Civic District, where the roads around the Padang will be closed to vehicular traffic for activities such as movie screenings, live performances, bazaars, salsa dancing and more. Enter the New Year with an awe-inspiring fireworks display set against the iconic Singapore’s city skyline with STAR ISLAND Singapore Countdown Edition.

Source: URA.

Mr Lim Eng Hwee, Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said that the government hopes that the event will inspire members of the public to play part in helping the less privileged through the Build a Dream initiative.

Various mainstream medias published the story regarding the matter, including Channel NewsAsia. As the report was unclear about the actual length of the fireworks which led to many assuming that the fireworks are an hour long, netizens took to the Facebook page commenting that they do not disagree with this kind of celebration, saying that they would rather to see the money spend for the unfortunate and that there will be excessive environmental pollution caused by this activity.

Max Ho wrote, "Lee Hsien Loong, dear Sir please help to convince your agency not to proceed with an hour long firework display (if the headline is true). It is really a waste of money and not to mention the environmental pollution to the Marina Barrage. Can we instead channel these monies to something more meaningful for our community? Thank you."

Julie Allen wrote, "What a terrible waste of money."

Levianna Teng wrote, "Hate fireworks. Things so pretty will not last a minute. Please, don’t waste our nations money in this area.  Build roads, help the elders, orphans, families trying to make ends meet.
Don’t just throw it into the sky and pollute the environment.
Come on brainy people up there. You can do better."

Melvin Yee Wai Khuen wrote, "Can we get more bonus cash payouts instead?"

Alvin Tan wrote, "Didnt someone say to tighten the belt, be frugal with expenses?
So now, got budget for hour long fireworks? Paid for, using whose money?"

David Ko wrote, "Can we not do that fireworks thing? Maybe the money can be used to bring cheers to charity instead?"

Keith Lim wrote, "A waste of money. As a fellow Singaporean, I want some of this money spent on the poor. This is incredibly shameful given our current plight. Our government has lost its moral bearing or so it seems. I also remember not long ago when our PM told us to live more frugally."

Bbreeze Eileen wrote, "Why do we need hour long fireworks? People generally don’t come to Singapore for fireworks. Give me an hour long buffet anytime."

Anchor Anderson wrote, "This is crap, environment pollution, excessive noise, many negative elements, waste of money instead keep it low key!!"

Vin Lam wrote, "No thank you. Please donate the funds to some charitable association please."

RS Danny wrote, "Is is this even necessary? Why waste the money? the money can be put to better use!"

Tan Chong Wei wrote, "After 5 minutes, the sky is already enveloped in smoke and the fireworks become boring. Imagine 1 hour."

Silvana Gianoli wrote, "People will be bored with a hour long display. And omg really, money could be better spent on something else."

Kelvin Lim wrote, "Without any theme, it will be boring. Look at Japan fireworks. That's what fireworks all about. If you keep firing it into the sky without any theme and coordination at all, might as well fire it into someone who needs it more. Use the money to bring down the cost of dish washing for whatever social simi enterprise."

Aloysius Chia wrote, "For the sake of spectacle. The money could be more productively and usefully spent on helping people who really need it. 1 hour of fireworks could effectively be used in those hours spent on helping the young who need tuition, the needy to buy books and food, the sick for help in alleviating medical bills. Is this really necessary?!"

Chin Heng wrote, "Another way is to spread out the fireworks to various heartland areas, just a 5 minute duration is more than enough. I believe the overall cost would be lower."

Hong Kim Kwee Jesse wrote, "Talk about carbon emissions, environmental friendly etc and now this? How irony!"

Esmond Lee wrote, "How much tax payer money will be spent??"

Desmond Buckland wrote, "Too excessive la. Money shouldn't be spend in this way. If provide more necessities for poor better."

Mak Zhen Yu wrote, "Too many funds to spare is it? How about prepare for next year Hong bao for citizens?"

Zoel Lee wrote, "Just another new year, what’s the occasion need to be so extravagant? Why don’t spend on something more meaningful instead? Waste of resources."

Tan Hok Jun wrote, "Singapore is rich. But not the citizens."

Mark Oh wrote, "Air pollution. Like that how to complain to Indonesia when next haze come."

Yusri Lias wrote, "I've seen fireworks 10 times better and flying lanterns float up in the air at the same time simple but way more beautiful. Our country using all those fancy fireworks but only a small area. Waste of our money."

Samy Rajoo wrote, "An hour long is just redundant lah. Also no mention of the cost."

Melodie Tan wrote, "Stop scaring the birds. They can die from being scared by the fire works."

Darryl Kang wrote, "After 5 minutes, you will see nothing but smoke."

Alvinkk Lim wrote, "I heard before that the government will listen to the ground. An hour of fireworks? Really? Come on. It can be put to better use."

Andy Wee wrote, "They should have it in two to three places instead. Watching fireworks in a big crowd for so long after a while is not so nice."

Hady Azman wrote, "Ahhh. So that's where our money went to. All those hike.'"

Woon Hong Kiat wrote, "Why use money like that instead of helping those in need. It's like burning money. See nice only but after finish, spent millions of taxpayers money. If it is sponsored by the ministers money, I salute them."

Esther wrote, "Why not an hour of giving free meal, free electricity, free water usage, free parking that benefits most people? How much it costs for an hour fireworks? What will happen if the fireworks not handle properly?"

Daniel Ong wrote, "Waste of money. The government raise GST to burn money on this."

Jaxon Lee wrote, "Broadcast live to the world. Be more creative on camera angles, editing to better capture the fireworks display. Our fireworks display ALWAYS looks amateurish compared to other fireworks displays in other countries."

Haziq Rosli wrote, "$1000 burning every second. Millions of dollars. Eh pay me that much and I'll create firework graphics that can run for a full 24 hours on Mediacorp."

Maya Todd wrote, "Please please please, don't want hour long fire works. 10 mins beautiful fireworks is all the eyes can take. Please scrap this plan."

Edmund Goh wrote, "Please, tell me is one hour of fairy sticks not firework. That smoke will pollute our air like smog we had years ago. And how much does that gonna cost us?"

Antony Lee wrote, "You have time to watch an hour worth of fireworks? Maybe the lucky few. These fireworks display is meant for visitors and tourists.
Using whose money??"

Yew Chong Nelson Lee wrote, "What a waste of money! And now cannot cancel contract because already signed!"

Fred John Sam wrote, "I watched it once 2014.. I was watching near Merlion. And there it was, SMOKE SCREEN! Did not watch it again the years after."

Earl Perera wrote, "Who ever came up with this idea is beyond dumb and too elitist to notice what a waste of money. I really hope the government that I voted for does not go ahead with it."

Leng Leng Clara wrote, "Pure waste of money when we see people struggle in the neighborhoods or paying cleaners only $700 a month. This instant gratification is meaningless. Use the money to distribute food vouchers for those living in rented housing."

Jerichó Augustus Tan wrote, "Seeing fireworks: I cry not because i am patriotic and feeling nationalistic. There goes my income tax."

David Mah Chuin Wai wrote, "Some fireworks is nice but 1 hr???? What is the committee thinking??? One hand smoke free, while the other hand create smoke . One hand ask Singaporeans to help the poor. The other hand spend like no body's business!"

Ishete Chellaiah wrote, "Of course! What a fabulous way to celebrate climate change!!"

Nidhi Bansal wrote, "Wastage of money, time, and resources to create tonnes of polluted air! Singapore should set an example with technology to the outer world and use the drones that can put a remarkable show for celebrations."

Greg Lim wrote, "Wow. Isn't it "wonderful" to let the citizens watch their tax money burned for an hour? All the talks about being environmentally friendly crap came to this."

Steve Lee wrote, "Would it not be better to use the money to help the elderly."

Jane Tan wrote, "An hour long? What a waste of money! And BAD for the environment!!!"

Lee Tze Hoo wrote, "Please, do not do the firework displays, instead donate the money to charity."

Bernard Chua Kong Liat wrote, "Goodness what a waste money.. Help those who needs the money more... Please!!!!"

Sallu Hyesung wrote, "Complete waste of money. Please, put the money for better use."

Grace Li wrote, "Ugh! Spend the $$$ on the less fortunate and other more worthy causes!"

Some even said that this celebration is a political move towards 2019 General Election (GE).

Chia Wee Loon wrote, "Stanford Raffles 200th year, hour long fireworks - General Election in 2019."

Jackie Wau Wai Lan wrote, "Pre 2019 GE countdown! Cut the firework; sheer waste of taxpayers’ money and air pollution."