MORE than 200 parents and children had a sneak peek yesterday of a specially designed suitcase filled with items to be given to babies born next year, as part of the SG50Baby Jubilee Gift.
The eight items, which were announced in June, are a medallion, a shawl, a baby sling, a set of baby clothes, a diaper bag, a scrapbook, a photo frame and a set of baby books. The gift set is to commemorate the country's Golden Jubilee next year.
The designs of two of the items were revealed last week: a white, five-picture photo frame and a scrapbook with colourful stickers.
Yesterday, the suitcase and the designs of the rest of the items - except the medallion, which will be shown on Jan 1 - were unveiled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Grace Fu at a community event at Suntec City mall.
Ms Fu said staff of the National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) under the Prime Minister's Office worked with various partners over nine months to decide on the gifts.
Singaporeans also contributed their views in focus group sessions and public voting sessions held over two months.
More than 6,500 suggestions were collected by the NPTD, which is leading the SG50Baby Jubilee Gift project.
An advisory panel of five parenthood advocates shortlisted 15 ideas from the suggestions.
The 15 items were put up later for another round of voting by the public and eight were picked.
Ms Fu thanked Singaporeans who contributed their ideas.
"Each contribution by the community is meaningful, making it truly a gift for Singaporeans, by Singaporeans," she added. To imbue the gifts with a local flavour, some of the gifts will be printed with a "Gem Baby" character, whose design is inspired by Gem biscuits, a biscuit with colourful icing popular with Singapore children.
Images of "Gem Baby", the brainchild of local graphic designer Wang Shijia, will be on the suitcase, baby clothes, scrapbook and photo frame.
Said Ms Wang: "Gem biscuits are enjoyed by children of all races and religions. I felt that all Singaporeans will be able to connect with a character inspired by Gem biscuits."
Ms Wang also designed a birth certificate and a certificate folder for babies born next year. Unveiled last month, the gold-coloured folder is decorated with abstract Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid prints and a bright red baby rattle.
Parents found the gifts thoughtful and well designed.
Foreign exchange trader Terence Tan, 35, whose wife Qihui is due to deliver in February, said: "I thought the gifts would be 'obiang' (Hokkien for old-fashioned). But they are done really nicely."
His 31-year-old wife, who owns an online clothes shop, said: "The SG50 Jubilee Gift makes having a baby next year extra special."
Parents can log on to www.nptd.gov.sg/sg50baby to register for the gift with their identity card numbers and their baby's birth certificate number.
They can choose to arrange for a free delivery to their homes or collect the gift from birth registration counters at maternity hospitals or at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.
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