Floating platform hosts NS55 Parade before redevelopment
In a swansong parade before the Marina Bay Floating Platform is retired, about 4,000 basic military training recruits and 350 operationally ready servicemen (NSmen) stood down on Saturday after completing their training cycle.
The NS55 parade commemorating 55 years of national service saw Third Sergeant Suhairi Samsudin handing over the state flag to his former student in secondary school – graduating recruit Lim Wee Hong – as a symbol of passing of national service duties from one generation of NSmen to the next.
Saturday’s event marks the last parade held at the floating platform before the area is redeveloped into NS Square next year.
NS Square will be a permanent space to commemorate NS, and will feature a gallery to showcase the nation’s NS journey and the contributions of national servicemen to Singapore, said Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How at the parade on Saturday.
The floating platform has hosted 11 National Day parades since 2007 and has become a popular venue because of its waterfront views and unique ability to showcase air, land and sea elements.
The area is also linked to many historical events, including the installation of Mr Yusof Ishak as Singapore’s first head of state in 1959, and founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew’s announcement of Singapore’s merger with Malaysia in 1963.
Said Mr Heng: “NS Square’s presence and prominence in Marina Bay will be a reflection of the central role that NS has played in bringing the peace and prosperity that has made all of this possible.”