Istana National Day Ceremony Was Quiet But Poignant

Large gatherings of more than 5 are still considered too risky in today’s climate. But that didn’t stop National Day celebrations at the Istana from proceeding.

For Singapore’s birthday this year, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared a Facebook post on how the intimate observance ceremony at the Istana occurred.

Here’s his reflection on Friday’s (7 Aug) event in full, we summarise why this marks a significant turning point for our nation’s 55th celebrations below.

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Istana pledge-taking & anthem were done silently

To mark Singapore’s 55th year of founding, PM Lee joined President Halimah Yacob and a handful of staff from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at the Istana.

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Safely distanced, they then sang Majulah Singapura and recited our Pledge in their hearts — instead of saying them aloud.

This was presumably a measure taken to minimise risks of possible Covid-19 transmission via air droplets through speech.

Senior Ministers zoom call in

But what of the other PMO staff & ministers who would traditionally join the ceremony?

Senior Ministers Tharman Shanmugaratnam & Teo Chee Hean were seen dialing into the celebrations remotely.

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Here’s Mr Teo captured clad in a patriotic red-starred mask & shirt while waving his Singapore flag enthusiastically.

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Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam was also pictured in a deep maroon shirt waving his flag with gusto.

Quiet but poignant affair

Now that National Day celebrations have officially begun, we can look forward to sharing more memories with Singapore come Sunday (9 Aug).

Although we can’t have any grand celebrations to mark our nation’s 55th birthday, we can expect a reflective, quiet but poignant affair this National Day.

Let us also remember to enjoy the long weekend with our loved ones, and extend a warm ‘thank you’ to each and every citizen who help to keep Singapore going during these difficult times.

Happy birthday Singapore.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.