'Pay tribute to Mr Lee and other pioneers'

'Pay tribute to Mr Lee and other pioneers'

Let the country pay tribute to its pioneers, including former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, at this year's National Day Parade, said Ms Irene Ng (Tampines GRC).

The plan to celebrate the nation's 50th birthday may be big, but Ms Ng hopes it does not simply result in an extravaganza.

She asked for the parade committee to allow Singaporeans to pay tribute to the country's founding leaders, including Mr Lee, 91, who was admitted to the Singapore General Hospital with severe pneumonia last month.

"It is only right that we, as a nation, pay him a special tribute in this year's NDP," said Ms Ng.

"Without his strong and visionary leadership, without his determination and gumption, Singapore would certainly not be where it is today."

She added: "Even if Mr Lee may not want it or expect it, I feel it is important that we, as a nation, honour him during this special occasion."

Ms Ng also called for the former People's Defence Force (PDF) volunteers, who took part in the march-past at Singapore's first National Day Parade in 1966, to be invited to this year's parade.

"The NDP, held at a low point when the people's morale was sliding dangerously low, boosted their faith in the country and its leaders," she said.

"We should invite them and give them their due spotlight in our jubilee parade, now back at the Padang where it all began."

Responding to Ms Ng's call for the nation to pay tribute to its pioneers, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that some of the PDF volunteers will be involved in this year's parade.

"We are inviting those that we can find. So, yes, some of them will be involved," said "But the larger picture is that we plan a good celebration, that all Singaporeans can come together."

calyang@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Mar 6, 2015.
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