GE2015: Candidates show off their linguistic chops

(From left) WP's Mr Pritam Singh, PAP's Mr Teo Ser Luck and SDP's Dr Chee Soon Juan all spoke multiple languages at their respective party rallies.
(From left) WP's Mr Pritam Singh, PAP's Mr Teo Ser Luck and SDP's Dr Chee Soon Juan all spoke multiple languages at their respective party rallies.PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN/ YEO KAI WEN/ AFP

SINGAPORE - Election rallies have seen candidates appeal to voters of all races in Singapore's four official languages - English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.

And there are those who pepper their speeches with the unofficial official dialects, Hokkien and Teochew, in a bid to reach out to older citizens.

There are also a few candidates who have stepped out of their comfort zone to speak in languages they are not exactly fluent in. How have they fared?

Here are some multilingual highlights from the rallies so far:

On Thursday (Sept 3) night, Workers' Party MP Pritam Singh spoke in Mandarin, for the first time, on the importance of racial harmony. While his pronunciation was not perfect, you can hear members of the crowd at Boon Keng Road commenting "very good" in this video clip.

Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Teo Ser Luck spoke in Malay first, then in Mandarin peppered with Teochew, and ended in English at the People's Action Party (PAP) rally at Compassvale Bow. He joked that his Malay tutor was fellow MP Zainal Sapari, and he was responsible if Mr Teo's Malay was inaccurate.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BQYlEGYm71I

At Bedok Stadium, PAP's Maliki Osman, an MP at East Coast GRC, greeted supporters in Mandarin and Hokkien before his Malay and English speech.

WP's Leon Perera, speaking at Boon Keng Road on Thursday, also spoke briefly in Malay and Mandarin before launching into English. He is a candidate for East Coast GRC.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/j24zNs09ppA

On Wednesday, PAP's Tanjong Pagar GRC candidate Joan Pereira made a decent attempt at a Mandarin speech at the Delta Hockey Pitch. She spoke about helping out with the elderly in the area.

Finally, Singapore Democratic Party secretary-general Chee Soon Juan spoke in seven languages and dialects, including Mandarin, English, Malay, Tamil, Hokkien, and even Cantonese in his first rally speech after 15 years. He is contesting in Holland-Bukit Timah.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/y7QR3RdlWuU