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NDP postponed to Aug 21, ceremonial parade to be held on Aug 9 instead: Mindef

SINGAPORE — The National Day Parade (NDP) this year will be postponed to Aug 21 after the end of Phase 2 (heightened alert) measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

  • NDP 2021 will be postponed to Aug 21 this year
  • In its place, a ceremonial parade will take place at the Float@Marina Bay on Aug 9 instead
  • Heartland fireworks and Red Lions displays scheduled for Aug 7 and 8 will be cancelled
  • The changes will enable NDP 2021 to be held in safer conditions, Mindef said

 

SINGAPORE — The National Day Parade (NDP) this year will be postponed to Aug 21 after the end of Phase 2 (heightened alert) measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore.

Instead of the parade, which was originally scheduled to be held at The Float@Marina Bay on Aug 9, a ceremonial parade will be held there on that day instead. This will be similar to the one held last year at the Padang.

The fireworks displays at housing estates and Red Lions parachute event, which were scheduled to take place over the Aug 7 to 8 weekend, will also be cancelled, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement on Thursday (July 22) night.

The rehearsal and preview shows for NDP, which had been planned for this Saturday and July 31 respectively, have been postponed.

“To prepare for the NDP on Aug 21, rehearsals will be conducted later in smaller component groups,” Mindef said.

“Their dates will not be announced, so as to discourage crowds from gathering around Marina Bay.”

In a separate statement on Thursday night, the Prime Minister’s Office said that with the postponement of the NDP, the National Day Rally by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will now be held on Aug 29 instead of Aug 22.

Mindef noted in its statement that NDP has been held every year since 1966 to mark Singapore’s independence and brings Singaporeans from all walks of life to affirm their unity and nationhood.

“The changes this year will enable NDP 2021 to be held in safer conditions, while maintaining that cherished tradition,” it added.

The postponement of the event comes two days after Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who is the co-chair of the Government’s Covid-19 task force, said that the parade will proceed as planned, despite Singapore returning back to a period of Phase 2 (heightened alert) from Thursday to Aug 18.

Several petitions emerged online calling for the parade’s cancellation out of concern that proceeding with the parade could lead to a further spread of Covid-19.

One petition on Change.org calling for the cancellation of NDP had gathered more than 36,000 signatures since it was started on Sunday.

Singer and composer Dick Lee shared photos on his Instagram account showing large crowds gathering at the Esplanade Bridge last Saturday to view NDP rehearsals at The Float@Marina Bay.

In his post, Mr Lee expressed concern about the lack of safe distancing and called on people to behave responsibly when trying to get a glimpse of the parade rehearsal.

The following day, the Republic of Singapore Air Force announced that it would cancel its NDP 2021 photo contest “with immediate effect” given the recent spike in Covid-19 cases.

Mindef announced last month that the parade will return to The Float@Marina Bay on Aug 9 — albeit on a smaller scale compared with pre-pandemic years. There would be fewer spectators and participants than usual at Singapore’s 56th birthday bash.

The number of spectators would be finalised later, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on June 28.

All parade participants and spectators must also be fully vaccinated.

Before Covid-19 hit, parades at the floating platform typically involved 25,000 spectators and 14,000 participants, volunteers and crew.

Related topics

NDP Covid-19 coronavirus Mindef National Day

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