Don't rain on my Parade

Don't rain on my Parade
Mr Hua Tin Lim, 64, with his grandson Merson, two, at the NDP this year.

SINGAPORE - When I read that this year's National Day Parade (NDP) would feature the first woman in the Red Lions parachuting display, I made a mental note to catch that moment on TV.

But I tuned in late on Aug 9 and thought I had missed seeing Third Warrant Officer Shirley Ng whip off her helmet after landing to reveal her neatly bunned hair, gather up her parachute, and wave to the crowd.

It was only later that I found out she was denied her chance to make history as the Red Lions' jump was called off due to poor weather.

A few days later, I remarked to a friend how disappointed she must have been, but he sniffed: "Does anyone still care about the NDP?"

Every year, when August is around the corner, pockets of cynicism sprout as surely as Singapore flags.

This year's National Day song is just plain awful, they cry. Burning up good money on fireworks, some say. Pure propaganda, others sneer.

Well, I'm not the most ardent fan of the NDP. I've never balloted for tickets and have attended just one preview show - about five years back - only because a friend had an extra ticket.

Neither do I make it a point to catch the NDP on TV every year, and stay glued from start to end.

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