Singaporeans know right time, place for Singlish

It is alarmist to think that Singlish would displace Standard English ("Singlish must not be allowed to displace Standard English" by Mrs Marietta Koh; yesterday).

Most Singaporeans know that the use of Singlish is to facilitate communication, especially in places such as markets and hawker centres, where Standard English may prove to be more of an obstacle.

In addition, Singlish evokes a sense of familiarity and identity, which can be traced to our cultural roots.

We should be proud of the fact that this unique language has evolved over many generations, instead of being ashamed of its usage.

We should note that this is a natural development that can be seen in many countries, not only Singapore.

The fact that Singlish words have been included in the Oxford English Dictionary is testimony to the recognition of its development.

We have come to a stage of development where Singaporeans are mature enough to switch between Singlish and Standard English, depending on the situation.

We should not debase Singlish just because of the unfounded fear that it would displace Standard English. We should give more credit to people of a First World nation.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2016, with the headline 'Singaporeans know right time, place for Singlish'. Print Edition | Subscribe