Singapore's 54th birthday: Stage is set for National Day Parade at Padang

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the National Day parade along Marina Bay in Singapore August 9, 2018
Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrives for the National Day parade along Marina Bay in Singapore August 9, 2018 REUTERS/Edgar Su

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in his message on Thursday, August 8 said the Republic will face economic and existential threats as the world enters a "troubled period," ahead of the National Day Parade (NDP) to be held at the Padang on Friday.

PM Lee mentioned in his message that the government will continue to invest Singaporeans to achieve their potential in future. He said that the government intends to make preschool and tertiary education "even more affordable, especially for lower- and middle-income families."

While addressing the country PM Lee also said the government also looking forward to raising the retirement and re-employment ages for those who wish to work longer. He wrote on his social media post that "This is a special year for us as we are commemorating our #SGBicentennial."

"As we look back on our history, before independence and even before the British arrived in 1819, we are reminded of all the ups and downs, triumphs and tribulations that have led us to where we are today.

"Our past gives us the confidence to face our challenges and thrive in an uncertain world. In my National Day Message, I speak about what we are doing to forge ahead – in the economy, in upgrading our workforce, investing in our people, and renewing our city."

However, now it is time for this year's NDP, which will feature 171 vehicles, for the first time in four years and air force's Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft will also make its first NDP appearance.

Singapore will also see the return of the mobile column, where key vehicles will be Leopard 2SG main battle tanks and Light Strike Vehicles. Since it is the 50th anniversary of the mobile column, there will be a segment paying tribute to Merdeka Generation servicemen.

In terms of entertainment, dance performances will take place at NDP which will start at 5.30 pm and this time rap and hip-hop artists will also appear on the stage.

NDP's highlight list also includes the largest-ever parade prop, which is six-meter tall metallic lion weighing about 1,000-kg and the silver lion will make its first appearance, titled 'Our Dreams'.

This year's NDP event will be under enhanced security under the Public Order Act. Along with walk-through metal detectors, the event zone will also have systems to X-ray personal belongings of the visitors.

The visitors were also informed earlier that they should not carry any prohibited item with them, as example unnamed aircraft, such as drones are strictly prohibited. However, the entry access will open at around 3.30 pm.

People will be able to see the amazing fireworks from Boat Quay, Merlion Park, The Promontory @ Marina Bay and the Helix Bridge.