The year of 'change': Lianhe Zaobao poll

The Chinese character “change” was unveiled at a calligraphy competition at the National Library yesterday.
The Chinese character “change” was unveiled at a calligraphy competition at the National Library yesterday. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

The Chinese character that best encapsulates the year is "change", according to Lianhe Zaobao readers.

Readers were given 10 words and voted for the one that best represents news events of the year.

They voted over two weeks in December in the sixth edition of the Chinese daily's Character of the Year poll.

Organisers said the popular choice reflects how global events, such as Mr Donald Trump's US election win, Brexit, and later, Mrs Theresa May's appointment as prime minister of the United Kingdom, had taken readers by surprise.

The winning character was unveiled at a calligraphy competition organised by the paper at the National Library yesterday.

The word "change" received about 25 per cent of the vote. On average, the annual poll attracts more than 10,000 votes. Coming in second was "topsy-turvy", while "worry", "terror" and "elections" were third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Lianhe Zaobao editor Goh Sin Teck said: "Singapore won its first gold medal at the Olympics this year, bringing joy to many, while political leadership renewal and the lacklustre economic performance brought concerns.

"Yet the word 'change' was leading from the start of the readers' poll, demonstrating readers' greater attention to world events."

He added that Singapore also had its fair share of changes this year, such as the constitutional amendments to the elected presidency.

"As we usher in 2017, political and economic changes in Singapore and beyond are imminent. These bring both fear and expectation," he said.

The characters were shortlisted by the paper's editorial team and a panel of 10 people from business, sports, culture and others. Readers voted through Zaobao.sg, SMS, e-mail, mail or at outreach events.

Melody Zaccheus

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2016, with the headline 'The year of 'change': Lianhe Zaobao poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe