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Lianhe Zaobao readers pick “马” (representing Malaysia) to best represent 2018

Singapore, 8 December 2018 – After almost three weeks of voting which ended on 2 December, Lianhe Zaobao readers have selected “” as the Chinese character to sum up 2018 in the annual Character of the Year (字述一年) poll.

 

The character “read as "Ma"is the first character for the Chinese translation of "Malaysia" (马来西亚). It is also the first character of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s name in Chinese(马哈迪).

 

Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has been organising Character of the Year since 2011. For the eighth consecutive year, readers were invited to participate in the annual poll by choosing a Chinese character that they feel would best summarise the major local and international news events of the year.

 

More than 17000 votes were collected this year. Only votes from local readers were considered for the final tally, and both characters “” (representing Malaysia) and “” (trade) maintained significant leads in the polls, with “” emerging the top Chinese character, garnering more than twice the number of votes for “”. The character “” (read as "Jin", representing the name of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the pen name of martial arts novelist Louis Cha "Jin Yong") came in third.

 

The Character of the Year was unveiled through a live broadcast on zaobao.sg, 96.3 Hao FM, UFM100.3 and zbCOMMA’s Facebook page on 8 December, hosted by a DJ from each of the SPH Radio’s Chinese stations 96.3 Hao FM and UFM100.3, as well as a reporter from Lianhe Zaobao. They presented the ten shortlisted characters in sequence of vote counts, and talked about news events related to each character. At the end of the event, local sand artist Lawrence Koh was invited to unveil the Character of the Year by drawing the character “” and related images through sand art.

 

Apart from the top three characters, the editorial team of Lianhe Zaobao, together with a panel of professionals comprising experts and academics from different fields, also short-listed “” (fake), “” (internet/network), “”(meeting), “” (price/value), “” (gender/sexuality), “” (righteous) and “” (reduce) this year.

 

Out of the ten characters, “” accounted for almost 30% of the total votes. The character “” caught the attention of readers, with news from Malaysia making the headlines, including Malaysia's 14th General Election which marked the first ever regime change of the Malaysian government. Subsequently, numerous issues between Singapore and Malaysia also garnered attention, such as Dr Mahathir’s suggestion to raise water prices, delay of the high speed rail project, and several others.

 

Mr Goh Sin Teck, Editor of Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao, said: “There have been a few events in the past year that are considered historic, including the Trump-Kim Summit in Singapore, the US and China trade war, as well as the discussion on how to tackle fake news around the globe. With our readers voting ‘’ as the Character of the Year, it is clear that our neighbour Malaysia has garnered more attention from Singaporeans.”

 

He added: "In particular, after the Malaysian general election in May, we witnessed a historic change inthe new government led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir, which took a different direction, thus affecting the relationship between Singapore and Malaysia. Even in December, issues over airspace and sea boundaries have surfaced, putting further stresses on the bilateral relations. Entering 2019, “” may continue to be a buzzword in the news.”

 

During the voting period, Lianhe Zaobao featured each of the 10 Chinese characters in a full page report for 10 consecutive days. Each article expounded on the various definitions of the character and how its various meanings were linked to the major local and international events of the year.

 

Outreach efforts to promote Character of the Year included online and social media platforms, exhibitions held at public libraries, as well as broadcast through Chinese radio stations 96.3 Hao FM and UFM100.3.



Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E


For more information, please contact:

Toh Teck Meng
Correspondent
Chinese Media Group NewsHub
Singapore Press Holdings Limited

DID: 6319 1449
Email: tohtm@sph.com.sg


Elaine Chrysta Tan
Executive
Corporate Communications & CSR
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1613
Email: elainect@sph.com.sg


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

 

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.  

 

SPH core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.

 

On the property front, SPH owns 70% in a real estate investment trust called SPH REIT which comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road, The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall and The Rail Mall, a stretch of shopping and dining outlets along Upper Bukit Timah Road. SPH also owns and operates The Seletar Mall. It is developing a new commercial cum residential site at Woodleigh. It also has a stake in Chinatown Point and acquired a portfolio of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom.

 

It is in the aged care sector and owns Orange Valley, Singapore's largest private nursing home operator.

 

SPH runs a regional events arm and a chain of Buzz retail outlets. It also invested in the education business.

 

For more information, please visitwww.sph.com.sg.

   

Facebook:  facebook.com/officialsph/

Twitter: @official_sph

LinkedIn:linkedin.com/company/singapore-press-holdings/



“字述一年”新闻稿:


《联合早报》“字述一年2018”年度汉字投选活动——“马”字当选


经过近三周的投选后,《联合早报》“字述一年”活动,由读者票选的2018年度代表汉字终于出炉。今年当选的是“马”。


《联合早报》自2011年起主办“字述一年”年度汉字投选活动,邀请读者一起选出他们心目中,最能描述过去一年的汉字。


有关“马”的新闻主要围绕邻国马来西亚今年所发生的大事件,其中许多也对新加坡带来影响。


最受瞩目的是2018年马来西亚大选的结果,从独立至今连续执政61年的执政联盟国民阵线被推翻,首次出现政党轮替。

高龄93岁的前首相马哈迪领导希望联盟推翻纳吉带领的国阵政府后,再度出任首相。


之后,多个马新合作项目都有变数,新马关系也因此出现波折。引起关注的事件包括马国要终止新隆高铁项目,后来改口说希望延期,以及马哈迪批评新马水供协定“太贵”,马国政府有意与新加坡重新谈判水供协议等。


《联合早报》兼《联合晚报》总编辑吴新迪说:“过去一年发生了许多值得写入历史的大事,包括特金会在我国举行、中美爆发贸易战影响全球,以及世界各国在积极探讨如何应对假新闻等,但读者最后却投选了‘马‘’,可见与我们只有一水之隔的马来西亚,更受到大家的关注,特别是马来西亚5月经历了历史性的政府更替后,马哈迪首相领导的新政府采取了不同的路线,新马关系起了变化,甚至到了12月,我们还看到了因为航空交通管理全和海域主权问题,双边关系再起波澜。可以预见,进入2019年,‘马’还可能会一马当先,继续成为新闻热字。”


今年,早报编辑室连同10位本地知名专家学者组成的专家评委团,遴选出10个较有代表性的汉字:性、马、网、正、会、减、金、贸、价、假,并从11月14日开始刊登这些字的介绍,包括每一个字的说明,以及这些字所概括的国内外新闻事件。


主办团队也通过社交媒体、公共图书馆展览活动,以及96.3好FM和UFM100.3两个华文电台做宣传,呼吁读者投选年度汉字,最终的选票有超过1万7000张。约三成的读者都选了“马”,票数比分别排在第二和第三的“贸”和“金”多出许多。


和往年一样,早报邀请海外读者也能参与投选,他们主要是通过早报网(Zaobao.com)进行投选,但年度汉字仅计算来自本地的选票。


年度汉字于12月8日通过网络直播节目揭晓,由96.3好FM和UFM100.3的DJ以及新闻中心早报记者联合主持。本地沙画家许凌福(Lawrence Koh)也在节目上现场表演沙画艺术,揭晓了今年的年度汉字。