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Dialects no longer undermine Mandarin

I read with amusement media correspondent Boon Chan's answer to a reader's question, "Why does the Singapore Government restrict the broadcasting of Chinese dialects in the mass media?" (ST Online, Sept 6).

This policy was apparently implemented in 1979 "with the objective of replacing dialects with Mandarin among Chinese Singaporeans".

Times have changed. Does the Info-communications Media Development Authority still believe that the ban on dialects in mass media has any impact on the proficiency of the use of Mandarin among the younger generation?

I was born in the 1970s and had the experience of watching Hong Kong dramas on free-to-air channels. I wonder if I will have that chance to watch those shows again, or to listen to my favourite Alan Tam or Beyond songs on our radio stations.

Hor Chong Hann

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 16, 2017, with the headline 'Dialects no longer undermine Mandarin '. Print Edition | Subscribe