Singapore — Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng has defended the expenditure on this year’s National Day Parade (NDP) funpack, although many people are petitioning against receiving it.
Those against the funpack call it a “waste of money and resources”, with a petition on the change.org platform to opt-out of receiving the funpack now having 75,000 signatures.
The petitioner, Mr Kaushik Ilango, believes that “there could be a much better use of the resources used to make roughly 1.4 million funpacks; such as the perishable goods inside the funpack, the novel single-use items, the manpower to acquire, make and distribute the funpacks and not to mention the planning of it”.
“All these are resources that could be better spent addressing more urgent needs of the society at present,” he wrote.
Furthermore, Mr Ilango wrote that not every item in the funpack is of any long-term use and that it is not uncommon to see many of the funpacks being thrown away at the end of the NDP in past years.
In a Facebook post on Friday (May 22), Mr Cheng wrote that he was for both the NDP and the funpack. He said: “This is a logical fallacy: If both spending on the NDP and helping needy people are worthwhile, why can’t we do both?”
He added: “Singapore’s story of independence is also one of tears and sweat, and the overcoming of great odds. Independence day celebrations remind people what it means to be a nation. In prosperous times, it is a celebration. In dark times, it is a rallying call. A reminder of our strength, who we are, and what it took us to get here.”
Mr Cheng said: “The people who are calling for this year’s celebrations to be cancelled are churlish, small-minded, and entirely misguided.” And that “it is precisely because we are going through tough times that we need to soldier on, to rally round our flag and our country on August 9th”.
“It will be money well spent,” he added.