Party at Bishan-AMK linked to Marina

Party at Bishan-AMK linked to Marina
Huge images of Singapore were projected onto the facade of The Fullerton Hotel during the countdown party in Marina Bay, where more than 300,000 people gathered to usher in Singapore’s golden jubilee.

Over 12,000 constituents from Ang Mo Kio GRC and neighbouring Sengkang West had Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for company as they ushered in the year of Singapore's 50th anniversary.

The PM and his fellow MPs were at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park, one of three satellite locations that were linked up to the main countdown party at Marina Bay.

Festivities at the park began at 8pm, with a mini-amusement park, booths for activities like belly dancing and gardening, and live performances.

Mr Lee arrived at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park shortly after 10pm. He then penned his wishes for SG50, Singapore's 50th year of independence - "happiness, prosperity, and progress" - on a small clay tablet that was later displayed on stage alongside other tablets bearing residents' wishes.

The tablets will become part of an art installation, Mr Lee later said in a Facebook post.

Close to midnight, Mr Lee said on stage that he hoped 2015 would be a better year. It would be time to rejoice, and "commit ourselves to continue to build Singapore to make it better to tackle challenges". He said: "We have come a long way in the last 50 years. We have a lot of roads to go still."

Mr Lee added that even as the nation celebrates, "we also remember sad things which have happened in the year, particularly the recent AirAsia accident and the victims and their families".

"But we look forward and we aim to make Singapore better. Let's work together. Let's overcome the challenges and make sure in 50 years' time, we have a really special SG100," he said.

He then joined revellers around the island in a rendition of Kit Chan's song, Home.

Over at Marina Bay, more than 300,000 revellers, one of the biggest crowds to date, gathered to usher in Singapore's golden jubilee. Groups of friends and families settled in as early as 5pm to secure the best spots to catch the fireworks, bringing with them mats, food and entertainment to last them through the night.

Mathematics tutor Richard Oh, 42, was among those who welcomed the new year with his family.

"We're just here to enjoy the countdown, the fireworks, and because of SG50," he said. "Hopefully, 2015 will be a better and bountiful year for Singapore."

Indonesian tourist Erwin Subroto, 38, was also with his family at the countdown.

"The crowd, the festivities, the energy is so exciting," he said. "We can't find a seat and the kids are tired, but it's okay. Only once a year."

This article was first published on Jan 02, 2015.
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