Saturday, May 09, 2009

Singapore National Day Parade 2009 Tickets

Recently, the news of the Singapore National Day Parade 2009 starts to be featured in the newspapers and the online media. Yes, it is a timely feature, considering that it is just (exactly) three months away to the Greatest Parade of the island!

I could still recall the last time I went to the National Day Parade… guess what, that was ten years ago, back in year 1999! Well, it may not be too bad for me, considering the fact that a number of Singaporeans may not have attended Parade before in their lives.

This time around, the procurement of the highly-coveted tickets to the parade should also be done through internet means… sigh. I still remember the times when the coveted tickets were obtained through the long overnight queues at the various stadiums here. Some years back, the National Day Organizing Committee has shifted away from this method towards phone-based and internet-based applications after which an electronic balloting is carried out.

Yes, the balloting can be fairer in one sense, but I have not gotten even one single ticket throughout the years of the implementation of this revised method. I believe some Singaporeans are just like me, not able to obtain even one ticket for the grand parade throughout these years where this new mean of ticket allocation was carried out. On the other hand, I knew of some ‘lucky’ Singaporeans who managed to obtain the coveted tickets more than once or twice during these recent years, thus the very notion of fairness in this context is really subjective. If the tickets could be obtained from the yester-year of queuing up, then those who really want the tickets ‘very very much’ would not mind the elements of the weather and the sun, just to spend one or two nights queuing up.

Which method is better and fairer: queuing or balloting? There is no clear answer to this. The recent Sim Lian Group’s sales of the Parc Lumiere, a luxurious condominium in Simei via the queuing method bears the different sentiments of Singaporeans.

Critics of the queuing method cited Sim Lian has detracted from the good practice of HDB’s which is balloting, a method they hold as fairer. However, Sim Lian spokesman have told media that the queuing method will reward those who really desire the condominium.

My proposal of the allocation of the National Day tickets: rotate the allocation of tickets equally among Singaporeans who want to attend. Singapore should grant equal opportunity to its people to attend this Parade of the country which costs some millions of Singapore dollars and which requires thousands of soldiers just to oversee the logistics.

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