‘Passion made Possible’ reflecting the Singapore spirit

From ‘Move over YourSingapore, it’s now ‘Passion Made Possible’, 24 Aug 2017, article by Rumi Hardasmalani, Today

The Republic will now be marketed overseas to potential investors and visitors as “Passion Made Possible”, under the “first unified brand” for the country launched by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and Economic Development Board (EDB) on Thursday (Aug 24).

The brand was the result of “qualitative and quantitative research with close to 4,500 respondents on what Singapore stands for”, involving residents, industry stakeholders, and international audiences in Singapore and across 10 countries, the agencies said in a press release.

According to STB and EDB, the respondents felt the themes of “passion” and “possibilities” best reflected the Singapore spirit. “While ‘possibilities’ was strongly associated with Singapore as a destination, the ‘passion’ to strive was what drove these possibilities,” they said.

Passion Made Possible sounds like the title of a self-help book for couples to have more sex. And the cover would look something like this:

So in that context, yes, given our dismal birth rate, this new slogan is the impetus for us not to soar to greater heights, or make the world our oyster, but to make more babies.

We have passionate people doing the nation proud, the Schoolings and the Nathan Hartonos, but we also have individuals who, despite their dogged pursuit for excellence or for a worthy cause, get snubbed because of political sensitivities. Think Sonny Liew’s award-winning The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, or the Pink Dot conglomerate, who to nobody’s surprise, didn’t make the cut for the ‘gritty’ hipster promo video. Even our latest National Day Song rouses as much passion as one responds to a soggy teabag in a dirty cup.

The previous incarnation, Your Singapore, was criticised for ‘courting disaster’. 7 years on, ‘PMP’, seems to contradict a previous report that Singapore is the least emotional society in the world. So what do you call an automaton with passion? A fucking Ultron that’s what.



SingFirst slogan’s Tamil translation is gibberish

From ‘SingFirst makes translation gaffe on campaign slogan banner’, 29 Aug 2015, article in Today

Its newly-launched campaign slogan was emblazoned in the four official languages across a large banner, which was used as a backdrop at a press conference to introduce its election candidates — but the Singaporeans First (SingFirst) Party had botched the Tamil translation.

What was supposed to say its Restore Our Nation slogan ended up being gibberish, made up of non-existent Tamil characters. The party was notified about the gaffe after the press conference held at the party office on Tras Street.

When contacted, SingFirst secretary-general Tan Jee Say acknowledged the error, but pointed to the printer the party had commissioned to do up the banner. “It was done by the printer, and I don’t speak Tamil so we just went with it. We took the printer’s word for it,” Mr Tan said, without naming the printer.

Asked whether SingFirst has members who know Tamil and could have spotted the error in the first place, Mr Tan said “it was not convenient (to do so), so we just went ahead”. He added: “We will rectify (the error) for (tomorrow’s) press conference.”

Lest we forget, Tan Jee Say used to be a presidential candidate, and here he’s blaming a printer for a shitty translation. Back then, his campaign slogan was ‘Heart of the Nation’. Well clearly his heart was in the wrong place when it comes to proofreading an official language. Time to Restore your Banner before you do anything to our country, boss.

Tamil is a notoriously difficult language to translate. For instance, even the STB messed up the translation of Lau Pa Sat on a street sign for tourists. Thankfully, SingFirst’s error turned out to be mere gibberish. The STB’s version of Lau Pa Sat was interpreted as a swear word. If it had been the latter, Jee Say’s party can, well, Sing their way Home.

Party slogans are trite soundbites embodying the ‘mission and vision’ of its members, and ring hollow most of time because they’re either too vague, or too idealistic. I believe Singaporeans are mature enough voters to judge candidates not by their seductive catchphrases but by their ideas and attitudes. It remains to be seen if we get swayed by pretty faces (Nicole, Kevyrn *wink wink*)or the design of their party shirts.

SingFirst believes that the nation is in deep shit, and needs to a reboot. Well it probably is if we can’t even ensure that one of our four languages is legible. It’ll take more than Wall’s Ice Cream to lift us out of our current predicament though.

Here’s a rundown of the most audacious slogans in Singapore’s election history.


This was the brainchild of veteran Opposition MP Chiam See Tong. More a defiant rally cry than a slogan, it does describe in essence what all Opposition parties attempt to do, and a very ‘oppositional’ slogan indeed. You can imagine shouting this with one fist raised, and the other holding a sickle or some other agricultural tool.

2. I HAMMER – DO YOU? WP, 2004

Well technically this was a slogan contest entry and not an official slogan. But the fact that the WP actually held one, with amazing prizes in store like a $20 NTUC voucher and a 45th anniversary party MUG, just goes to show how important slogans mean to them. How about a Thor figurine, Sylvia?

3. THE NEW POOR – WP, 2001

This is clearly misleading. Surely there are no poor people in Singapore! Are there? Also, it’s merely describing a select group of people, not advocating action. Maybe it should have been ‘SHOW ME THE MONEY’ instead.


Child-like optimism Goh Chok Tong Style. Though on hindsight it pretty much described himself because today he’s still running the show in Marine Parade GRC.


Another Chiam See Tong creation, this ranks among the longest election slogans ever. Also, it has an exclamation mark smack in the middle of it. You can’t even say it without feeling a tad pissed off.

6. STOP THE PAP – WP, SDP, 1984

Straight to the point, but ultimately useless for the next 30 odd years.

I’m Yours

From ‘Uniquely’ tag was confusing enough… 19 March 2010 ST Forum online

‘Your Singapore’ makes ‘Uniquely Singapore’ sound like sheer brilliance. Everything is ‘your’ whatever. The clothes you wear, the car you drive, the food you eat… they are all ‘yours’.

Everything also Yours

The whole idea really is to give tourists something to take away with them after a visit, that they can claim as their own, like a memory of how bloody hot it is for instance. Perhaps the whole thing is designed with the assumption that our foreigners are smart enough not to take things too literally. Otherwise, Your Singapore just sounds like a cheap whorehouse “Take me I’m all yours baby” invitation. More here

Whose Singapore?

From Don’t bark up the wrong tree 15 March 2010 ST Forum

‘Uniquely Singapore’ was not appropriate, but adopting ‘Your Singapore’ would be courting disaster.

It appears the STB is preoccupied with distilling what Singapore stands for into just one word – ‘surprising’, ‘uniquely’, ‘your’. This is unnecessary.

Every call in the mass media to visit ‘Your Singapore’, creates confusion, misses the opportunity to reinforce our core values and dilutes the Singapore brand.

Here’s a list of tourism slogans from our neighbours. Note the difference in perspective between the Singaporean and Indonesian ones. Note that none claim in any way to be unique, and with the integrated resorts in full swing at Sentosa, all the more we have to banish that claim. Your Singapore is bland to the core and sounds like a nation running plain out of ideas.

Malaysia.Truly Asia

Thailand: Amazing Thailand. Amazing Value

Philippines. More than the usual.

Vietnam: A Destination for the New Millenium

Indonesia: My Indonesa – Just a Smile Away

Source  http://www.textart.ru/database/slogan/tourist-board-advertising-slogans.html

How about ‘Singapore, Endless Fun Awaits or Singapore’, ‘Not so little red dot’, or ‘Singapore: The Best time of your Life Awaits and It’s not at the Casino!’

Women pee too

From Inappropriate poster 5 May 1989 ST  Forum

The poster (No urinating in lift) seems to suggest that only men have been caught and fined for urinating in lifts.

But from a cutting from a Chinese newspaper…a woman has also been caught and fined for the offence. Thus I feel that the poster in inappropriate.

Notice how strategically the red cross-line is placed over the peeing male.