Photo of National Stadium from Sport Singapore

Singapore’s Education Minister Ong Ye Kung yesterday (July 22) confirmed that Singapore will not be using the newly-built Sports Hub for this year’s National Day Parades (NDP):

“The Float @ Marina Bay will continue to feature at future NDPs, and more details will be released later. It was something that we thought will be a temporary place… Depending on the occasion and circumstances, we will decide how and which venue we should use, and definitely the floating platform will continue to feature in future NDPs.”

The S$1.3 billion National Stadium was paid for the government and private company Singapore Sports Hub but only the latter have exclusive rights to the stadium. It is likely that the Singapore government found the costs of Sports Hub too expensive compared to the usage of the government-owned temporary floating platform at Marina Bay. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed in 2016 that the costs is 4 times more:

“Venue costs for the parade this year make up about 15 per cent of the total cost, higher than that for the public spaces at the Marina Bay Floating Platform and Padang, which accounted for about 4 per cent. ”

In 2015, the Singapore Sports Hub was reported to have charged the Singapore government S$26 million for just 35 days of booking in addition to 45 days of usage of the national staidum.

This year’s NDP will be held at the temporary floating platform in Marina Bay, which was built in 2007 when the National Stadium was under construction until 2015. Singaporeans were told to look forward to the new National Stadium for future NDPs but so far only one NDP was held in 2016. The U-turn decision to not use the new National Stadium means the government have wasted another billion dollar of taxes.