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Funds for NDP funpacks, fireworks can be put to better use to fight Covid-19 outbreak

I am thankful that the Government has chosen to go ahead with the National Day Parade (NDP) this year (“NDP 2020 to be live-streamed; show segment indoors for the first time, with no audience”; May 20).

Funds for NDP funpacks, fireworks can be put to better use to fight Covid-19 outbreak

The writer says fireworks displays at more than 10 locations islandwide and the distribution of funpacks to every resident household will come at a substantial cost.

Crimson Toh Luan Chun

I am thankful that the Government has chosen to go ahead with the National Day Parade (NDP) this year (“NDP 2020 to be live-streamed; show segment indoors for the first time, with no audience”; May 20).

As a proud Singaporean, I look forward to every NDP and have tried to get tickets to the parade every year. I will be watching it from home this year.

And yet, as we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, I cannot help but wonder if the costs of this year’s parade were reviewed wisely and prudently.

There will be fireworks at more than 10 locations islandwide. In addition, 1.2 to 1.3 million funpacks will be distributed to every Singaporean and permanent resident household. 

There is no question that these will come at a substantial cost. Are these moves necessary, given that the pandemic has dealt a blow to Singapore’s economy?

The money can be put to better use to fight the health crisis. Fireworks displays and funpacks are not essential.

As Singapore’s economy is headed for a recession this year, I am sure many Singapore residents will be willing to forgo funpacks and fireworks for at least a year.

It is not too late to do these next year or whenever the economy rebounds.

The fireworks displays should also be called off to prevent crowds from forming. It will be hard to ensure safe distancing even with more staff members deployed to enforce the rules.

As for the funpacks, they should comprise only a handheld Singapore flag and low-cost essentials, such as vitamin C or hand sanitiser.

The NDP executive committee should also provide an option for households to accept or reject the funpacks before producing them for all resident households. This will prevent wastage, should some households find no use for them. This will also demonstrate financial prudence on the committee’s part.

Ultimately, unless the costs can be made public and justified despite the bleak economic outlook, I suggest that the committee review these moves or do away with them altogether if necessary.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number. 

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NDP2020 funpacks fireworks Covid-19 coronavirus

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