Wednesday, 22 May 2019

NDP 2019 theme song: Our Singapore

Stars come out to sing NDP 2019 song
Line-up of 27 across generations among 300 people featured in music video
By Lim Min Zhang, The Straits Times, 23 May 2019

It is a treat to the ears when some of Singapore's biggest pop stars and acts lend their voices to this year's National Day Parade (NDP) theme song.

Rahimah Rahim, who has been part of Singapore's entertainment scene since the 1960s, and Stefanie Sun, one of the most recognisable home-grown songbirds, are among a star-studded line-up of 27 artists who have recorded Our Singapore, a mash-up of National Day tunes such as We Will Get There (2002) and Our Singapore (2015).

The song composed by creative director and singer-songwriter Dick Lee is aimed at recognising the contributions of earlier generations and signalling the passing of the nation-building baton from one generation to the next.

The music video, released yesterday, features nearly 300 Singaporeans aged between five and 93 from all walks of life.

Other big names include Kit Chan, Taufik Batisah and JJ Lin, rappers Sheikh Haikel and Shigga Shay, veteran radio DJ Brian Richmond, jazz drummer Louis Soliano, and rock icon Ramli Sarip.

The song is one of the ways that Singapore's 54th birthday bash will focus on the Singapore Bicentennial commemoration and the theme of collective ownership of the Singapore Story.

Brigadier-General Yew Chee Leung, chairman of the NDP 2019 executive committee, said the theme - Our Singapore - is simple to understand and complements the Bicentennial celebrations.

"We want to emphasise the collective ownership of Singapore, just as early generations believed in Singapore, took ownership and put in their blood, sweat and tears to build Singapore to what it is today," said the Chief Armour Officer.

This year's parade returns to the Padang for the first time since 2015 to mark a significant milestone - the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Sir Stamford Raffles in Singapore.

The Padang was also the site of post-independent Singapore's first NDP in 1966.

This year's show will include a Bicentennial segment featuring eight floats of organisations that have contributed to building various aspects of Singapore society since the 19th century.

They include the Singapore Fire Brigade, the Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, the Singapore General Hospital and The Straits Times.

The celebrations will continue the day after the parade, with carnivals by the People's Association at five heartland locations. They will feature segments of the mobile column of vehicles and culminate in fireworks displays at night.

The carnivals on Aug 10 will be held in Bishan, Geylang Serai, Jurong East, Punggol and Woodlands.

Details of this year's celebrations, were unveiled yesterday at a media briefing at the Asian Civilisations Museum.

Dr Sydney Tan, who is NDP 2019's music director, said it was tough to decide who got to be featured in the music video.

He said: "Once we explained to them (those featured) what this is about - that it's not about who is a star and that we're laying down our egos at the door as fellow Singaporeans - there was no problem."

He added: "It was lovely to see the 18-year-olds meet and hobnob with the 90-year-olds and see relationships form. It was brilliant."

For him, the biggest message from the theme song was gratitude.

"It's the realisation that everything I can do today is because of the choices of people who came before me, such as my parents, teachers and mentors," he said.

"Our response to that is gratitude, and that's the main thing about the theme song, when you see this inter-generational picture. "

Besides the artists, the video also features five children who had taken part in ChildAid, an annual charity concert co-organised by The Straits Times and The Business Times.

Last year's NDP theme song, We Are Singapore, was an updated version by singer-songwriter Charlie Lim of the 1987 classic.

From bamboo straws to water-resistant bag, this year's NDP funpack is green at heart
This year's versatile bags come with reusable items, in line with push for zero-waste Singapore
By Cara Wong, The Straits Times, 21 Jun 2019

This year's National Day Parade (NDP) fun packs may come in Singapore's red and white, but they are green at heart.

Designed with sustainability in mind, they include reusable items such as bamboo straws that double as clappers and a 750ml water bottle.

The bag features a water-resistant lining and adjustable straps, allowing it to be carried as a backpack, sling bag or tote bag.

Organisers hope Singaporeans will keep and use it as an "emergency-ready" bag to hold essential items for use in the event they are needed.

Designed in partnership with Temasek Foundation, the bag comes with a list of recommended essentials pasted on its inner flap.

These include QR codes that lead bag owners to the Singapore Civil Defence Force website as well as a Singapore Red Cross Society webpage for details about a free course on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and on how to use automated external defibrillators.

Military Expert (ME) 6 Ignatius Tham, chairman of the NDP 2019 logistics and finance committee, said the inclusion of reusable items and the versatile design of the bag are in line with the campaign towards a zero-waste Singapore.

"We want to make sure we bring (the items) to the national platform to encourage reusability, and we hope that by giving a quality product to NDP attendees, they can reuse the fun packs," he said.

Other items in this year's fun pack include snacks and mineral water, a souvenir magazine, a discount booklet, tissues, a sun visor or fan, mosquito patches and a luggage tag.

Parade-goers looking for NDP staples such as face tattoos and a miniature flag will not be disappointed either.

As part of the parade's sustainability efforts, unused ponchos will be collected at the end of each rehearsal or preview to be given out at the next one.

"This year's NDP theme is Our Singapore, and we want to do something for the future. We want to be the pioneers for our future generation," said ME6 Tham. "We hope these initiatives, these little steps that we take... can help us to be the pioneers of the next generation."

The fun packs will be distributed to parade-goers at distribution points around the Padang, the location of this year's NDP on Aug 9.

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