Floating Platform To Be A Permanent Space To Commemorate NS And Celebrate The NDP
On Monday (Oct 30), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that the Marina Bay floating platform will now be used as the primary venue for the annual National Day Parade (NDP).
It will also be renamed the NS Square, and act as a permanent space to commemorate National Service (NS).
A gallery is also planned to be built below the grandstand where it will showcase Singapore’s NS journey and educate visitors about the contributions of generations of NSMen to Singapore.
All that and more, which was announced during the NS50 Celebration dinner.
PM Lee’s speech during NS50 Dinner Reception
Held at the platform itself, the NS50 Dinner Reception was held to commemorate 50 years of NS.
Guest-of-honour PM Lee was among the 1,500 in attendance where he gave a speech honouring those that had previously served NS.
Here it is in its entirety:
According to PM Lee, the floating platform will be extended to open up a larger – and more accessible – space with plans to increase seating capacity as well.
Primary location for the NDP
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway however, was the decision to transform the floating platform – which was initially built as a temporary stage – into the primary venue for subsequent NDPs.
Older readers might remember the NDP primarily being held between the Padang and old National Stadium before moving to its current location in 2007.
This was because the new National Stadium – part of the Singapore Sports Hub – was planned to be built in place of the former National Stadium which closed in 2007.
Plans then were for the floating platform to be held temporarily until the new stadium was built.
However, since its opening in 2014, the National Stadium has only hosted the NDP just once in 2016 before reverting back to the platform the following year.
Furthermore, fans of the racing scene may realise that part of the annual Singapore Grand Prix’s route sees racers travelling under the grandstand itself.
With the decision to convert the area into the NS Gallery, it’ll be interesting to see how they work around this development.
Alternatively, we might get to hear commentators acknowledge the NS Square on live TV.
Possible reason for change
One of the possible reasons why the decision was made could be due to the current National Stadium being privately owned by multiple companies.
If that were the case, it would mean that the Government would be required to pay a standard rate each time they’d like to use it for NDP purposes — as Mr Goh explains it.
With the amount of rehearsals and previews involved, it certainly wouldn’t be cheap to continue holding the NDP at the stadium.
Netizens split on decision
Unsurprisingly, not everyone seems to be on board with the change.
In particular, netizens aren’t too fond about the disregard for the Singapore Sports Hub.
Especially with how much money – from tax payers – was spent just to build it in the first place.
Not to mention the amount of past controversies surrounded by it.
Still, there are those that wholeheartedly welcomes this change.
What about you? How do you feel about this change?
Let us know in the comments below what you think!
Featured image from Facebook.