There has been much talk over how best to proceed with the 2020 National Day Parade (NDP) amid the Covid-19 pandemic, with a perhaps inordinate amount of attention being paid to the funpack (NDP organisers exploring opt-out option for funpacks, says MP; Govt seeks feedback on issue, ST Online, May 25).
As a member of the Pioneer Generation, I have never found the funpacks to be particularly meaningful, beyond their immediate utility of providing snacks and hydration for parade attendees.
What the NDP organisers should consider instead is a memorable and lasting souvenir, a more impactful alternative to the usual funpack trappings.
The year 2020 has been a peculiar year in Singapore’s history, shaped by a global pandemic and over $90 billion of emergency spending over four special budgets.
A global watershed of this nature should be remembered with a sombre, tangible artefact.
I suggest that the funpacks be replaced with some form of commemorative object, perhaps a medallion or small clock, highlighting the four special budgets and the circuit breaker period, so as to celebrate the strength, fortitude, and unity of Singaporeans throughout the crisis.
I fondly remember receiving a similar corporate gift, a solar digital clock embellished with memorable quotes, at the turn of the century. The nice souvenir still works well today.
Forgoing the funpack is justifiable if it makes way for something that will help preserve the memory of 2020.
Paul Chan Poh Hoi