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Be sure to participate in this collective national anthem moment which will be broadcast live on the morning of 9 Aug 2020. Photo: NDP2020 EXCO

NDP2020 Anthem Moment: The Meaning Behind The 8 Flag-Raising Locations

In case you haven’t already heard, all our NDP favourites will be coming to our doorstep. And of these is the Anthem Moment, when all of us will sing the National Anthem in one voice (but from our own homes, of course).

When the stirring melody of "Majulah Singapura" fills the morning air on 9 Aug 2020, special flag-raising ceremonies will be taking place concurrently at eight locations across Singapore, each symbolising different key national sectors in Singapore.

Each flag-raising ceremony will be presided over by a Cabinet Minister, and, sorry ah, only specially invited guests (including frontline and healthcare workers) will be attending these ceremonies and will not be open to the public due to safe distancing measures.

Nevertheless, we can still take part in the Anthem Moment, which will be broadcast live on TV and radio, and the NDPeeps YouTube channel. At 10:30am on National Day, the Public Warning System will be sounded. When you hear it, let's all stand up for Singapore, join our voices as one, and sing our National Anthem together!

Meanwhile, here are the eight locations of the special flag-raising ceremonies, and why they were chosen:

1. Padang

Key national sector represented: Defence and Security, Culture and Heritage

Did you know: Singapore’s most famous field was the OG Esplanade, back in the 1800s when the shore line ran along what is now Connaught Drive. An esplanade is an open and level strolling path by the sea, and hence it was named as such. Land reclamation works shifted the shore line further away, and the name was adopted by the new waterfront park, Esplanade Park. Esplanade Park then lent its name to the iconic durian-shaped performing arts centre, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay.

Reason chosen: No other place in Singapore is more firmly tied to the NDP than the Padang (the first NDP was held there in 1966!) and it has hosted more NDPs (over 20!) than any other venue. The Padang also witnessed the first Mobile Column in 1969, an impressive display of military strength for a fledgling country. Coupled with the fact that the Parade and Ceremony segment for this year’s NDP is held at the Padang, it is befittingly the prime location to host a flag-raising ceremony.

2. Changi Airport

Key national sector represented: Transport

Did you know: Passenger flights may be suspended due to the global lockdown, but Changi Airport is still a hive of activity. Weekly cargo flights, including passenger flights repurposed to carry cargo, more than doubled from 315 in January to 780 in April this year. The cargo flown into Singapore includes perishables, medical supplies, COVID-19 test kits, and, of course, our online impulse buys.

Reason chosen: You might be wondering: we don't take the plane every day (and especially not during these few months!), so why choose the airport instead of a bus or train station? Well, Singapore is a small country and we need to look outwards. In order to grow and prosper, we have to be connected to the rest of the world. As our new Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung very eloquently puts it: "Being an air hub breathes oxygen into every other economic sector, and helps them thrive and create more jobs."

3. Enabling Village

Key national sector represented: Social Services

Did you know: The Enabling Village was designed to be accessible to everybody, regardless of age, disability or other factors. Apart from widened walkways and ramps, the Enabling Village is also fitted with audio induction loop systems. These systems can pick up sounds (but cancel out distracting ambient noises) and transmit them to people wearing hearing aids, allowing them to better hear conversations or enjoy musical performances.

Reason chosen: Nestled in the heart of Redhill is an inclusive community space that serves and is supported by both people with disabilities and able-bodied people. Within the Enabling Village, various agencies and social enterprises work together to provide training and employment opportunities to people with disabilities, empowering them and helping them contribute back to society. We hope to see more of such partnerships so that we can build a more inclusive and caring Singapore.

4. Kampung Admiralty

Key national sector represented: Housing and Community

Did you know: Changi Airport isn't the only world-renowned, award-winning location on this list. Kampung Admiralty was crowned World Best Building of the Year at the World Architecture Festival in 2018, making it the third building in Singapore to win this prestigious award, after the Cooled Conservatories at Gardens by the Bay in 2012, and The Interlace in 2015.

Reason chosen: Designed to meet the needs of our ageing population and foster closer bonds among the community, Kampung Admiralty brings together residential units for the elderly and various facilities such as a medical centre, an Active Ageing Hub, a childcare centre, and retail and F&B outlets. This first-of-its-kind mixed-use development also features a rooftop garden and lots of green spaces for all to enjoy. Could this modern vertical kampung be the future of housing estates in Singapore? We certainly think so, and that makes Kampung Admiralty an excellent symbol of Housing and Community.

5. Lifelong Learning Institute @ Paya Lebar

Key national sector represented: Employment and Skills

Did you know: When we talk about lifelong learning, we often think about adults returning to the classroom. However, the Lifelong Learning Institute (LLI) also has programmes tailored for students, such as work-study programmes and internships, to help them jumpstart their careers.

Reason chosen: One word: SkillsFuture. The LLI is one of two Continuing Education and Training campuses where we can pick up in-demand skills to upgrade ourselves and improve our employability, or even branch out into a different career path. From coding in Java to making a perfect cup of java, you'll be sure to find a useful and interesting course to spend your SkillsFuture credits on.

6. National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)

Key national sector represented: Healthcare

Did you know: NCID's predecessor, the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC), was also known as "Or Sai", or "black lion" in Hokkien. The name came from the black lion emblem that guarded the entrance of the former Middleton Hospital since 1913. The hospital was renamed CDC after it merged with Tan Tock Seng Hospital in 1985, and the black lion continued to watch over the building until CDC transferred all its operations to NCID in 2018.

Reason chosen: NCID is at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic, one of the largest global public health crises. Need we say more?

7. North Vista Secondary School

Key national sector represented: Education

Did you know: Earlier this year, students and staff from North Vista Secondary School worked together to produce hand sanitisers for the school. Through this project, students were able to put the values they learnt into action, and it highlighted how everyone can do their part to keep each other safe and healthy.

Reason chosen: At the height of the pandemic in Singapore, schools – including North Vista Secondary School – implemented Home-Based Learning (HBL) to keep our students safe. It was a huge step into uncharted territory and a challenge for educators, students and parents alike; the last school closure occurred 17 years ago due to SARS, and HBL was not possible back then. Despite some teething problems, lessons were able to continue.

8. NTUC Fairprice Hub @ Joo Koon

Key national sector represented: Trade and Industry

Did you know: In 1991, NTUC Fairprice was the first retailer in Singapore to introduce bar-coding at their checkout counters, to the immense relief of their cashiers who no longer had to manually key in the product code and price for each individual item.

Reason chosen: During the Circuit Breaker Period, essential services stayed open to ensure that daily necessities like food and toilet paper remained available and affordable. Keeping supply chains intact and the prices of essential items affordable during a pandemic was no mean feat, and we really owe it to essential services, including supermarkets like NTUC Fairprice, that we can go about our business without any disruptions.

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