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'I haven't attended major events for years now': Shanmugam reveals why he was missing from this year's NDP and NDR

'I haven't attended major events for years now': Shanmugam reveals why he was missing from this year's NDP and NDR
K Shanmugam went for a National Day walkabout in Nee Soon on Aug 11, 2023.
PHOTO: Facebook/K Shanmugam

It's almost expected that we'll see most ministers at our national events — but when one doesn't show up, it's all the more noticeable.

Some eagle-eyed netizens noted that Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam wasn't present at our National Day Parade (NDP) and National Day Rally (NDR) this year, sharing their observations in a recent post to Reddit.

"Shanmugam not present at Padang, why?" The post simply wrote.

In response, many members of the public speculated that Shanmugam, 64, had other priorities to take care of amid the annual celebrations in Singapore.

"He is vital for the continuity of government in case something happens at the venue," a comment theorised. "He's been missing in NDP ever since I can remember."

"In other words, he's the designated survivor."

by u/FamiliarSource98 from discussion Shanmugam not present at Padang, why?
in SingaporeRaw

Another user explained the concept of a "designated survivor": "He's someone designated to lead the country should the current group of leaders be wiped out."

It seems that these netizens weren't too far off the mark as Shanmugam addressed these concerns in a Facebook post on Tuesday (Aug 22).

"I get asked this every year, and I give the same answer [every year]," he prefaced with a smile.

"We have major events, like NDP or NDR, attended by the full Cabinet.

"I am often the Minister designated to stay outside of these events. If any incident takes place, I will have to deal with the situation."

Due to this responsibility, he hasn't attended any major events where the Cabinet is present for "some years" now, Shanmugam explained.

On National Day this year, a Malaysia-registered helicopter entered airspace over the Singapore Strait east of Changi airport.

The Ministry of Defence and Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore shared that two F-16 fighter jets from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) were scrambled in response to the helicopter.

"After ensuring that our security was not compromised, the F-16s were subsequently stood down," a Facebook post by the RSAF stated.

ALSO READ: Man apologises to Shanmugam for 'fake, scandalous statements' on alleged affair


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