The Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (SINGSOC) under Minister Lawrence Wong, said that as there were 30% absentees from ticket holders at the Opening Ceremony, SINGSOC started “accounting” by giving complimentary tickets to voluntary welfare organisations and Team Nila volunteers:
“After accounting for these complimentary tickets, we would like to confirm that there were still sufficient seats in the stadium for all those who came for the event (closing ceremony).”
On the closing ceremony of the SEA Games, hundreds of paid ticket holders were stopped from entering the National Stadium because of safety concerns over overcrowding. Ticket holders were moved from gates to gates and told to wait for hours but eventually all were still refused entry, resulting in widespread criticism over the manner SINGSOC handled the event. According to government-controlled media Today, the SINGSOC published its apology over Facebook but the post was nowhere to be found.
Minister Lawrence Wong serves as the chairman of SINGSOC but there has only been a blanket of silence from him over the fiasco.