NDP committee seeks feedback on funpacks, considering ‘opt-out’ option

This article is more than 12 months old

The National Day Parade (NDP) executive committee is exploring the possibility of letting people opt out of receiving NDP funpacks, said MP Louis Ng.

The Nee Soon GRC MP, who has been working with the committee since last November, disclosed this in a Facebook post on Sunday.

He told the Straits Times yesterday that other suggestions are also being considered, declining to share further details.

ST has contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment.

The committee met with more than 20 groups over the weekend to continue a "sustained conversation" on how best to make funpacks greener, Mr Ng added.

His post came after a petition was launched last Thursday to allow people to opt out of receiving the NDP funpack, following the committee's announcement that 1.2 million funpacks will be distributed to all Singaporean and permanent resident households this year.

The petition has garnered more than 80,000 signatures as of yesterday, with supporters citing reasons from the poor economic conditions this year to making better use of resources as well as the environment.

Government feedback unit Reach also posted a survey on NDP 2020 funpack distribution, which Mr Ng shared via Facebook yesterday morning.

Questions included whether Singaporeans supported the distribution of funpacks and if they felt these were essential to celebrating National Day.

Mr Ng added: "Can we just have no funpacks? We should explore this but I know some people want the funpacks and some don't... We should give everyone a choice."

Mr Kaushik Ilango, 23, the undergraduate who started the petition, said he was surprised to receive such an overwhelming response.

His friends and family members thought the funpacks would be a waste if the items are not useful in their daily lives.

Resources could be diverted to more important issues like helping low-wage workers and the unemployed, he added.

Green group Zero Waste SG said while the ultimate goal is to do away with funpacks altogether, it is supportive of an "opt-out" option. Its manager Pek Hai Lin said another possibility would be to have people choose the items they want.