[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

[Happy 46th Birthday Singapore!]
So there you have it - a birthday celebration for the nation.

To mark the nation's 46th birthday, NDP 2011 - a musical in five acts - ended on a colourful note with a pyro-musical.

Earlier the integrated NDP musical reflected the Singapore spirit in the lives of its characters. It also challenges us to embody the Singapore spirit in our daily lives.

Tonight's parade will be one to remember - for President S R Nathan had officiated the last NDP in his term. And it is truly a fitting end to his tenure as Singapore's second elected President.

Even though the parade has come to an end, the memories will remain captured in these photos.

1538 hours - Show hosts Suhaimi Yusof (partly hidden), Belinda Lee, Gurmit Singh and Denise Keller do their sound check.

1544 hours - Fun Packs for guests are checked and placed nicely on each seat.

1547 hours - A Military Policeman stands tall with pride at the President's chair.

1724 hours - Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports MG (NS) Chan Chun Sing arrives. He was the first in the Cabinet to arrive - rightfully so, from a protocol perspective.

1737 hours - Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean arrives and takes some time to mingle with people around him.

1740 hours - Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen makes his way to the holding area after his arrival.

1749 hours - Aljunied GRC Member of Parliament Chen Show Mao arrives and walks to the holding area.

1753 hours - Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew alighting from his car.

1842 hours - Two very young spectators cosy up to a National Serviceman.

1905 hours - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's motorcade driving off after his arrival at the parade.

1856 hours - Men from the Singapore Civil Defence Force march onto the stage for the Parade & Ceremony segment.

1908 hours - Representatives from various Uniformed Groups preparing for the Majulah! Moment as they await the arrival of President Nathan.

1918 hours - The Guard-of-Honour contingents lift their rifles and fire in the air for the feu de joie.

1919 hours - The Presidential Flag is raised beside the state flag.

1951 hours - Floor projections made possible by the Multimedia team.

2024 hours - The city skyline at Marina Bay after the pyro-musical.

2049 hours - NDP ushers revel in the party atmosphere after the parade.

At the end of every parade marks the beginning of another - with more rehearsals for months and weeks and then the cycle repeats and leads up to another parade.

But for now, it is time to wish Singapore a Happy 46th Birthday!

Majulah! The Singapore Spirit!

Friday, August 05, 2011

[That's the Singapore spirit]
This year will be 18-year-old Natalie Lim's second involvement in the NDP. The second year Diploma in Nursing student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic signed up for her stint through Heartware Network - a youth volunteer organisation.

Natalie Lim

As an NDP usher, Natalie's role is to ensure that guests and spectators at the parade are seated at the corrct sector. She will also pay special attention to elderly spectators by guiding and assisting them to the lift among her other duties.

Stationed along the road outside The Float@Marina Bay is CPL Lee Wei from 30th Battalion Singapore Combat Engineers. His duty is to ensure that only pass holders enter restricted zones of the parade grounds. CPL Lee also assists with the barricade arrangements along the road.

CPL Lee Wei

Just a stone's throw away an officer from 1st Battalion Singapore Guards holds his ground. 2LT Anwar - the quick reaction force commander - has to deal with unplanned scenarios if they happen and will keep pedestrians in check while the vehicles in the Dynamic Defence Display drive towards The Float. The safety of pedestrians is his utmost importance - especially if they attempt to get close to those machines.

2LT Anwar

Come 9 August do recognise these individuals and their peers for their efforts when you see them. They have sacrificed time and energy, week after week, to prepare for the nation's 46th birthday and are a testament to the Singapore spirit.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

[People behind the scenes]
You won't get to see them on stage come 9 August but behind every performer there are many groups of individuals that make the National Day Parade appear like clockwork. And they are part of the show support team.

One of them is 2LT Esmond Chan. The officer from 35th Battalion Singapore Combat Engineers plays a supporting role for the show. He makes The Cube function like it should - getting the Mobile Cubes to open and close on cue in addition to the movements of the Mobile Standees.

2LT Esmond Chan

While the M3Gs prepare for the 21-gun salute at the waters near Merlion Park 2SG Mark Pun from 23rd Battalion Singapore Artillery is onboard waiting for orders. Once his battery commander gives the order to fire one of the five 25-pounder guns positioned on the M3Gs 2SG Pun will relay the order to the gunners.

2SG Mark Pun

Far from where the action is 3SG Chia Wen Jie and PTE Chan Loong Wei, both from 1st Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment, are kept busy as they ensure that the performers are ready for the show.

3SG Chia is the Liaison Officer for the performers from Young NTUC. He ensures that the performers arrive on time and prepares them for their segment.

3SG Chia Wen Jie

Meanwhile PTE Chan is on hand to make sure that the food rations are sufficient for the performers. He also manages the water points so that the performers don't get thirsty.

PTE Chan Loong Wei