Dick Lee to direct NDP at Marina Bay next year

SINGAPORE - THE National Day Parade (NDP) will be held for one more year at the Marina Bay Floating Platform, putting an end to talk that next year's show could be held at the new sports stadium in Kallang.

Its organisers, the Singapore Armed Forces, also disclosed to The Straits Times on Monday that singer-songwriter Dick Lee will be the creative director for the NDP 2014. It will be his third show, having directed the 2002 and 2010 NDPs.

In explaining why next year's show will stay put at the bayside venue, its executive committee chairman, Colonel Wong Yu Han, said the venue for Singapore's biggest birthday bash has to be confirmed a year ahead.

The Singapore Sports Hub, however, will be ready progressively only from next April, so there is not enough time to meet all the needs and requirements of organising the NDP.

NDP organisers had looked at the $1.33 billion Sports Hub as a possible venue earlier this year, raising the hopes of many keen to experience the extravaganza at the 35ha, 50,000-seat stadium.

Said sales executive Theofilus De Roza, 36: "An NDP at Sports Hub would definitely be very grand and it can seat more people, creating a great ambience like that of the Olympics."

For online marketer Priscilla Chew, the spectators, not the venue, are all-important.

Said the 25-year-old, who has been to three NDPs by the bay: "If people stand and sing... that is what creates the atmosphere for National Day."

Still, a spectacular show is being planned for the 27,000 people at the bayside grandstand.

Mr Lee, a Cultural Medallion recipient, has promised a "visually arresting" show.

The show, the seventh at Marina Bay, is possibly the last to be staged in front of the city skyline, prompting IT executive Teh Han Lin to expect a performance that will outshine those of the past six years.

The 35-year-old said: "The skyscrapers and Marina Bay Sands have provided a beautiful backdrop... I am confident they will make good use of all the buildings and surrounding water as part of the stage."


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