The multilingual stars of GE2015, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

The multilingual stars of GE2015

This article is more than 12 months old

On day 3 of the hustings, it wasn't the usual barbs that stood out during the rallies.

In fact, it was the language abilities of several candidates from various parties that impressed.

On Thursday evening (Sept 3), Workers' Party candidate in Aljunied GRC, Mr Pritam Singh, impressed when he spoke in Mandarin.

And Dr Chee Soon Juan, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate running in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC received rousing cheers for speaking in multiple languages.

Below are candidates who have impressed with their language skills over the past week.

1. WP Aljunied GRC candidate Pritam Singh



The Aljunied GRC candidate first spoke convincingly in Malay.

He then jokingly apologised in advance for the bad pronunciation of his Mandarin.

Mr Singh then proceeded to speak in Mandarin, which clearly made WP supporters at the rally happy as they cheered loudly and hung to his every word at the rally for Jalan Besar GRC at Boon Keng Road.

2. SDP Holland-Bukit Timah GRC candidate, Dr Chee Soon Juan

In the SDP rally, Dr Chee had the crowd in the palm of his hand, with his 20-minute long speech.

In the speech, he spoke in Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Malay and even a little bit of Tamil.

He said: "Saya bahasa Melayu tak bagus" (my Malay is not good). He continued to crack jokes in Malay.

Every time he spoke in a different language, the crowd roared loudly.

Dr Chee even joked about how his Mandarin wasn't so good because he was from Anglo Chinese School.

3. PAP Tanjong Pagar GRC candidate Indranee Rajah



As Ms Indranee Rajah focused on education, she also delighted supporters with her ability to speak Cantonese at the Radin Mas SMC rally on Wednesday (Sept 2) at the Delta Hockey Pitch.

Proving that she wasn't simply reading from a script, she ad-libbed a reply to one of the more vocal reporters in Cantonese.

4. PAP Tanjong Pagar GRC candidate Chan Chun Sing



Labour Chief and minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing, who is running in Tanjong Pagar GRC, spoke in Mandarin, Malay and English very fluently.

He said: "We want to keep this country special; we are not content to be normal. Other people with big land mass, with huge resources can be normal, but we are determined that even with our finite resources, we will continue to be special."

5. WP Aljunied GRC candidate Low Thia Khiang



On the first day of the rallies (Sept 2), Mr Low spoke in Teochew first but did not have enough time to speak Mandarin. Well, it didn't matter. Mr Low's oratory skills blew everyone away - and the crowd was completely engrossed by his speech as they constantly cheered, and laughed loudly at all his punchlines.

Commenters also praised his Teochew-speaking abilities. One said on Youtube: "Mr Low's Teochew is seriously scholarly standard. I suspect there aren't many - even in the Teochew part of Mainland China who can speak like this."

The video of his rally speech in Teochew has more than 46,000 hits - more than any other candidate who has spoken in the rallies so far. Impressive. 



Singapore ElectionsPAPSingapore Democratic PartyWorkers' PartyMalayMandarinUncategorisedCantonese