The organising committee for next year's National Day Parade is exploring ways to let more Singaporeans watch the celebrations of the country's 50th year of independence.
These include increasing the seating capacity at the popular Padang venue, or creating satellite areas throughout the Marina Bay area for people to watch the preview and actual parade live.
The committee has been looking around Marina Bay, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in Parliament yesterday.
He, however, did not provide concrete details, noting instead that there were "possibilities", like the Marina Promenade.
But there may be logistical problems in providing more space for people to watch the show at the Padang which, he noted, "is right in the middle of town".
But there are potential sites in the area, he said, adding that the advent of large LED screens with good resolution makes it possible for more people to watch the show live.
Dr Ng disclosed the plan when replying to Mr Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC), who had asked if the Government would consider holding two previews, instead of the usual one.
Said Mr Liang: "We are seeing more Singaporeans taking part in the celebration with great pride. And NDP being the pinnacle of celebration, I think obviously most Singaporeans want to be part of it."
Dr Ng agreed it would be ideal if more Singaporeans had the chance to watch next year's parade.
But an extra preview may be too taxing for the participants, who would need some rest before the actual show.
There are four shows for the public before the actual parade: three National Education shows for school students, and the NDP preview held the week before National Day on Aug 9.
The committee prefers to keep the three shows for the students, Dr Ng said.
"Many of us would agree (they) are useful, and we don't want to rob from (students) to give to others."
He also said the organising committee will work with the People's Association on activities to celebrate National Day in the heartland, bringing the cheer closer to homes.
"They are quite cognisant that this is NDP 2015, our golden jubilee, and they want to put up a good show and include as many Singaporeans as possible, either at the Padang or the fringe areas," Dr Ng said.
This article was first published on September 10, 2014.
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