Let’s Make The Fun Pack Truly Fun

What we REALLY want to see in the National Day goodie bag.

By Alywin Chew        2 August 2021

I think National Day Parade “fun packs” are amazing.

I mean, anything free has to be amazing, right?

But as much as I love them, I’m willing to look at the bigger picture – sustainability.

I’m not saying let’s do without the fun packs. I’m saying that a change in approach might be worth considering.

So here’s a suggestion on how we can make our fun packs truly sustainable – go virtual.

That’s right. Virtual fun packs mean zero physical waste.

What’s that you say? Virtual fun packs are not suitable for elderly people who aren’t tech savvy? Don’t be ridiculous. Have you noticed how many of them are wandering around playing Pokemon Go?

Besides, who do you think creates those cheesy good-morning-here-is-an-inspirational-message-for-you kind of greeting cards that your parents love spamming your WhatsApp with?

So, what should these virtual fun packs contain?

To answer this question, we must first understand what the typical Singaporean loves.

Here’s an exhaustive list: money.

That’s right. Let’s give everyone a virtual ticket to an online raffle. Let’s show the world we truly are Crazy Rich Asians. Seeing how this year is SG56, we could have 56 lucky winners each win $56,000. 

Too extravagant?

There are other means to create excitement without using money. Here are some ideas that I think NSmen and NSFs would appreciate: a 56-point head start for their IPPT, or a 56-day reduction in operational obligation.

I know, I know, the 2019 NDP fun pack was a praiseworthy attempt at sustainability. The reusable bamboo straw that could be used as clappers was a nice touch.

But I was utterly baffled to realise that not everyone knows what sustainability is about.

Case in point: my boomer uncle.

He thinks the word “sustainability” refers to, ahem, one’s physical state after drinking Tongkat Ali.

I can still remember him holding up the straw and furrowing his brows.

“What is this? A Pocky stick? A chocolate love letter?” he said.

“Erm, it’s a bamboo straw,” I replied.

That was the last I saw of the straw. I wonder where it is now. 

You know what’s another thing I find baffling?

People who attempted to sell their McDonald’s BTS meal packaging on Carousell. For over a hundred bucks.

I suppose in Kpop-obsessed circles, these inane items are considered collectibles.

In the real world, the one which I obviously live in, the packaging is really nothing more than recyclable trash.

But hey, at least these Kpop fans and opportunistic garbage collectors are doing their part to make the world a greener place!

LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!

Share your NS memories with us at magnsman@sph.com.sg!