The Ministry of Defence has announced on Thursday (22 Jul) that the National Day Parade (NDP) will be postponed to 21 Aug 21 after the scheduled end of the Phase 2 (Heightened Alert).
A ceremonial parade will be held instead on the original date of 9 Aug.
MINDEF said in its press release, “It will be similar to the one held last year at the Padang, but will take place at the [email protected] Bay,”
“The heartland fireworks and Red Lions displays previously announced to be held over the Aug 7 to 8 weekend will be cancelled.”
The NDP rehearsal and preview, previously planned for 24 Jul and 31 Jul respectively, have also been postponed.
MINDEF added that rehearsals will be conducted later in smaller component groups and will not have the dates of the rehearsals announced to discourage crowds from gathering around Marina Bay.
Photos of crowd gathering to spectate the rehearsals were shared on social media last week. Members of public were seen gathering at Marina Bay Sand and near the Merlion without any safety distancing.
“Since 1966, the NDP has been held every year to mark Singapore’s independence,” the ministry said.
“This national event brings together Singaporeans from all walks of life, as one united people to affirm our unity and nationhood. The changes this year will enable NDP 2021 to be held in safer conditions, while maintaining that cherished tradition.”
NDP 2021 was scheduled to be held at The Float @ Marina Bay on 9 Aug 9, with spectators required to undergo pre-event testing and be vaccinated against COVID-19.
This comes after the statement by co-chair of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (20 Jul) that MINDEF is reviewing the scale of the event and other measures, .
“National Day is an important national event, especially that it is not just any other occasion. So as of now, we do intend to continue with a National Day Parade,” said Mr Wong at a press conference.
“But MINDEF is reviewing the conduct of the parade, the scale of the parade and all the necessary safe management measures to ensure that any rehearsal or events leading up to the parade itself can be done safety.”
National Day Rally speech postponed to 29 Aug
It has also been just announced that the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will have his delivery of his National Day Rally speech to 29 Aug.
The location will remain at Mediacorp at 1 Stars Avenue, said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Thursday (22 Jul).
Petition calling for the cancellation of NDP
An online petition on Change.org titled “Cancel Singapore National Day Parade (NDP) 2021” was earlier initiated on Monday (19 July) by a person named Abby See, to urge the Government to cancel 2021 NDP celebration due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
The petition mentioned that it “does not make any sense” for the Government to conduct a public event given that the number of COVID-19 cases are rising, adding that the event is not considered as “essential during a pandemic”.
It added that even if NDP is not considered a social gathering, it is still a “mass-scale gathering”, noting that thousands of people will be present at the event when they shouldn’t – regardless of whether they’re vaccinated or not.
The petition also questioned the need for NDP to be given the green light when the Government continuously has urged the public stay at home.
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.
As of the time of writing, the petition has garnered over 37,000 signatures.