Media Centre
Media Centre
Media Centre

Lianhe Zaobao readers pick “ 盼 (hope)” as Word of the Year for 2021

Singapore, 15 December 2021 - Readers of Lianhe Zaobao, the flagship Chinese newspaper of SPH Media Trust, have picked the word “盼” to represent 2021 in its Word of the Year (字述一年) annual poll, which ran from 22 November till 12 December 2021.

Back for the 11th year, the poll invited readers to pick a Chinese word which best represents the past year of news events. 10 words were nominated by a panel of nine representatives from all walks of life, including Lim Jim Koon, former Editor-in-Chief, Lianhe Zaobao; Mdm Heng Boey Hong, Director, Mother Tongue Languages, Ministry of Education; Quek Ling Kiong, Resident Conductor, Singapore Chinese Orchestra; Andy Ang, Founder, TrendLit Publishing; Bernard Menon, Executive Director, Migrant Workers’ Centre; and Alan Lim, a hawker at Tanjong Pagar Food Centre.

Apart from 盼 (hope), the other 9 shortlisted words this year were 变 (change), 等 (wait), 共 (common), 家 (home), 聚 (gather), 困 (trapped), 食 (food), 限 (limit) and 毅 (perseverance).

The poll garnered more than 12,000 votes during the polling period, of which 3,393 votes went to the winning word “盼” (hope), while 2,109 votes went to “变” (change). “聚” (gather) came in third with 1,094 votes and “家” (home) missed the third spot by 34 votes with 1,060 votes.

To help readers understand the meaning of each word, Lianhe Zaobao ran video interviews with 10 media professionals who spoke about how each word related to 2021. Three members of the selection panel, namely Quek Ling Kiong, Andy Ang and Alan Lim also appeared in the videos to share what some of the shortlisted words meant for them.

The winning word was unveiled during a virtual event hosted by Ken Low, NewsHub Correspondent / Creative Lead of Chinese Media Group today. Renowned local graffiti artist ANTZ (Anthony Chong) was invited to create an artwork of the winning word.

Mr Goh Sin Teck, Editor of Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao, said: “I am not surprised that readers have chosen ‘盼(Hope)’ as word of the year. 2021 will be over soon and our biggest hope is for the epidemic to be over. The word ‘Hope’ is forward looking and it is filled with positivity. As we bid farewell to 2021 and get ready to welcome 2022, we should not give up hope. Judging from the various signs, dawn is indeed approaching after a long period of darkness.”

Participants who voted in the poll were eligible for a lucky draw, with the winners announced at the end of the virtual event. The prizes, worth around $12,000 in total, included Ascott Star Rewards points that can be used to redeem service apartment stays and upgrades; ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED (T3300) Laptop; and Epitex Hotel Collection 1200TC 100% Egyptian Cotton 4-piece bedding set for queen size beds and Ultracel pillow.

Ms Han Yong May, NewsHub Editor of Chinese Media Group, said: “The word ‘盼 (Hope)’ is a good reflection of people’s minds and thoughts for 2021, starting with our hope to receive vaccination in the beginning of the year, hoping for safe management measures to be eased, hoping to travel overseas, hoping that the economy will improve and for life to be back to normal. ‘Hope’ is a word filled with positivity. We hope that 2022 will be a better year.”

CapitaLand is the official partner for this event. Vouchers for the lucky draw were sponsored by Haidilao Hotpot Singapore, Popular Bookstores and Chien Chi Tow.   

Issued by SPH Media Trust (UEN: 202125108M)


For media queries, please contact:

Francis Mah
Assistant Vice-President
Corporate Communications & CSR
SPH Media Trust
DID: 6319 1028

About SPH Media Trust

SPH Media Trust is incorporated as a public company limited by guarantee. The mission of SPH Media Trust is to be the trusted source of news on Singapore and Asia, to represent the communities that make up Singapore, and to connect them to the world. It has several business segments in the media industry, including the publishing of newspapers, magazines, and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns and operates other businesses including radio stations and outdoor media. For more information on SPH Media Trust, please visit and our social media channels on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and YouTube.