An online petition has emerged on Change.org urging the Government to cancel the 2021 National Day Parade (NDP) celebration given the spike in COVID-19 cases in Singapore.
The petition, which was initiated by a person named Abby See, started on Monday (19 July).
In the post, it is mentioned that it “does not make any sense” for the Government to conduct a public event as the number of COVID-19 cases are rising, adding that the event is not deemed as “essential during a pandemic”.
The petition noted that even if NDP is not considered a social gathering, it is still a “mass-scale gathering”, adding that thousands of people will be present at the event when they shouldn’t – regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not.
“Event performers/marchers do not adhere to social distancing even when fully vaccinated,” the petition wrote.
The petition also questioned the need for NDP to be given the green light when the Government continuously urge the public stay at home.
“This public event contradicts everything the government has told their people to practice,” it said, calling for the event to be cancelled before it becomes “the next big cluster”.
At the time of writing, the petition has gained more than 8,000 signatures.
Most of the signatories wrote to suggest that the money used to run the event should be directed to helping those in need during this time of pandemic and that the event itself is a potential COVID spreader event.
Last month (28 June), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced that 2021 NDP celebration will be held at the Marina Bay floating platform with fewer spectators, and all are required to be fully vaccinated.
When asked on why NDP celebration is being held when the COVID-19 cases in the community continue to increase, Dr Ng said: “Part of it is learning to live with the disease, an endemic disease. And by August, we hope two-thirds of our population would have received the vaccination.”
He added, “The short answer is that we think it can be held safely and it’s an appropriate occasion to shift to living with the disease, but managing it so that you can get back to a new normal.”
However, it is worth mentioning that this petition started before the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) said that Singapore will return to Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) from 22 July.
In an MTF press conference on Tuesday (20 July), Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said that the National Day is an important event for the country and is “not just any other occasion”.
He also noted that the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) will furnish with more updates on 2021 NDP soon.
“As of now, we do intend to continue with the National Day Parade but MINDEF is reviewing the conduct and scale of the parade, and all the necessary SMM to ensure that any rehearsals or events leading up to the parade itself can be done safely. So that’s something that is being done and MINDEF will provide updates in due course,” he explained.