Singapore’s National Day Parade (NDP) will go on amid the coronavirus pandemic, but this year’s ceremony will be different as Singaporeans are encouraged to sing the National Anthem from their homes at 10.30am on 9 August.
The NDP organizing committee said on Tuesday (28 July) that a focal point of this year’s NDP will be the “Anthem Moment”, in which the flag will be raised in ceremonies at various spots across the city-state and Singaporeans will be rallied through the National Anthem.
Meanwhile, the Public Warning System will be sounded to rally Singaporeans to take part in the Anthem Moment from their homes.
Flag-raising ceremonies will take place at around 10.30am in eight locations. Each location represents Singapore’s key national sectors and will be attended by the sector’s respective Ministers during the National Day.
The eight locations are the Padang, the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) representing healthcare; North Vista Secondary School representing education; Kampung Admiralty for housing and community; Changi Airport for transport; Lifelong Learning [email protected] Paya Lebar for employment and skills; the Enabling Village in Bukit Merah for social services; and NTUC FairPrice [email protected] Joo Koon for trade and industry.
Singaporeans are also encouraged to tune in to the live broadcast from their homes and record themselves participating in the Anthem Moment. The videos can be submitted to the NDP organizing committee for a chance to be featured in the NDP evening broadcast.
The live broadcast will start at 10.20am on 9 August on MediaCorp free-to-air TV channels and the NDPeeps Youtube channel, including the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Message.
Many Singaporeans have not put out national flags despite the flags distributed to households via NDP packs
The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has amended the rules for displaying the national flag on 25 April, allowing every household in Singapore to display the national flag at their houses from April until 20 September 2020.
The decision was made in response to public requests to display the flag amid the coronavirus pandemic as a rallying symbol, said the MCCY.
In fact, the People’s Association noted on 21 July that there were about 296,000 of NDP packs have been collected by households on the first day of distribution.
The NDP packs comprise of two national flags, iron-on flags, red-filter mini stickers, a pledge card, snacks and canned drinks as well as a Singapore Together commemorative magnet. The packs also include two bottles of hand sanitiser, a thermometer and face masks.
However, TOC understands that there are hardly any flags hung out by residents at their homes despite the changes to the rules and the free-given flags.
Elderly woman says she refused to hang the national flag as it “never helps her”
Just recently, one netizen – who goes by the moniker Meng Shuen Koh – shared on Facebook the story of an 82-year-old lady who only earns S$20 per day as a cleaner and dishwasher.
The FB user wrote that while he was heading to the city via MRT, an old lady who was carrying a “bulky bag” beside him tapped him on the shoulder and asked him how to go to Sentosa from Bedok. After telling her that she needs to disembark at Outram Park to change trains to Harbourfront, he proceeded to accompany her as she seems hesitated.
The old lady shared to the FB user that her husband has passed away many years ago, while her only son died during a “heli-rappeling” exercise with the Commandos a “long time ago”.
She claimed that the Government has promised to give compensation for her late son’s death – with S$300 per month – but up until now, she has never even received “one cent” from the Government.
The old lady also sold her house just to pay the exorbitant fees of four surgeries.
“Now national day coming, they ask us hang the flag. I don’t want to hang. Hang for what? My son died for this flag. This flag also never help me. How to don’t work? I will starve to death,” she said.