Over the years, the National Day Parade (NDP) has become more than a show or a celebration. It has become a national statement made by Singaporeans from all walks of life – about who we are and where we are headed.
Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen made this point at the NDP 2019 appreciation dinner on 16 Aug.
Held at Gardens by the Bay, the function was organised to appreciate participating organisations, sponsors and key appointment holders of the NDP 2019 organising committee for their contributions towards this year's celebrations.
During the dinner, Dr Ng presented certificates of appreciation to 16 Gold award recipients and 57 Principal Partners to thank them for their hard work and dedication.
Noting that the Singapore of today was built on the "sweat, toil and hard work of our forebears (who were)…common folk seeking a better life", Dr Ng said that NDP 2019 celebrated what Singapore is and has become – one nation, one people, one Singapore.
"The NDP show therefore showed different slices of a Singapore still in the making – it was rooted in the past but forward looking," he added.
This year, more than 80 per cent of the NDP participants were youths. The parade also saw the debut of a Volunteer Contingent made up of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team volunteers.
A roaring 6m-tall lion prop, operated by nine full-time national servicemen, stole the show in the final Act.
Dr Ng noted that, like the lion, Singapore's progress and future are dependent on the collective will and actions of Singaporeans. "Our Lion City can only reflect what Singaporeans shine onto it."
The celebrations did not stop on 9 Aug. The next day, more than 150,000 Singaporeans turned up in droves along the streets and at five celebration sites island-wide to witness the NDP mobile column heading into the heartlands.
Thanking the thousands of people from the SAF, Home Team, and public and private sector who came together to make NDP 2019 a success, Dr Ng concluded: "With quiet pride, resolute determination and a resilient spirit, each show marks yet another year of progress on this never-ending journey to make Singapore better."