15 most popular Straits Times Facebook posts of 2015

Unprecedented outpouring of grief

The death of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in March saw an unprecedented outpouring of grief as thousands of Singaporeans lined the streets to bid him farewell.

So it was only fitting that videos and articles about the nation mourning, and those commemorating his life and celebrating his achievements, became many of our best-performing Facebook posts in 2015.

The post this year that the most people saw was a hyperlapse video, taken by photographer Ong Wee Jin, of the queue to pay respects to Mr Lee, as his body lay in state at Parliament House.

The 1:37 clip, which showed a seemingly endless line that stretched from near UOB Plaza, was watched more than 1.08 million times in a Facebook post that reached almost 3.3 million people.

Posts about heartfelt eulogies from two of Mr Lee's children, Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling, also resonated with readers. As did a post about a show of solidarity from India, which declared a day of national mourning as a mark of respect to the elder Mr Lee.

Cryptic brain-teaser

Can you solve a "primary school maths question"? It sounds simple enough, but the sorry task of figuring out Cheryl's birthday from a series of cryptic hints stumped many readers.

Our Facebook post posing the question was shared some 5,200 times, with many readers giving their own answers and some asking their friends to try and figure out the brain-teaser. The post reached more than 2.6 million people, making it one of our top five of the year.

The post's popularity also spawned some creative "answers" to the riddle that got us chuckling. "The correct answer is just to check her Facebook page," wrote Tyngfeng Chew in a comment.

"Unfriend Albert n Bernard. Block Cheryl," said Chan KH, while Chuckdaniel Quijano wrote: "Really, the problem should have gone like this: 'Albert and Bernard just become friends with Cheryl, and they immediately regret their decision'."

Kind-hearted heroes


Foreign workers may sometimes get a bad rap, but Singaporeans are quick to appreciate the heroic or kind-hearted acts of some.

One was that of foreign worker Panneerselvam Kulothungan, who accidentally scratched a car with the company van he was driving as he entered a carpark.

With no witnesses around, he could easily have left the scene. But the 29-year-old not only waited an hour for the owner to show up, but also left two notes with his contact details offering compensation.

His honest act was chronicled in a post that was liked almost 30,000 times and seen by some 2.24 million people.

In another incident, two Indian nationals swooped into action to rescue a two-year-old who was dangling precariously outside a second-floor flat. Mr Subramanian Shanmuganathan and Mr Ponnan Muthukumar clambered up a pipe to save the little girl.

One post was seen by just over 2.1 million people, while a video recapping the dramatic incident, complete with interviews with the men and the toddler's mother, was watched almost half a million times.

Other top posts

- A video of a young Japanese boy picking up litter at the National Stadium after a World Cup qualifier between Singapore and Japan was watched more than 586,000 times. It was our second-most popular post of 2015.

- In third place was a post about Mandopop superstar Jay Chou's extravagant wedding to model Hannah Quinlivan. Despite comments like "Is this news?", almost 19,000 people liked the post.

- Singaporeans really love Milo. How else to explain the popularity of a post sharing what to watch out for in your Milo product to tell if it is the real deal, after reports of fake Milo products being seized in Malaysia? It reached almost 1.9 million people, and was shared just over 9,000 times.

Full list of top 15 Facebook posts of the year

1. Hyperlapse video of queue to pay respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

2. Video of Japanese boy picking up trash in stands after match at National Stadium

3. Jay Chou marries in a fairy-tale wedding in England, complete with a song he wrote for the big day

4. News anchor who put out Putin's quote on terrorists says it was false and apologises

5. 'Primary 5' maths question goes viral, stumps adults

6. Van driver owns up to hitting car

7. Foreign worker's heroic act saves toddler stuck between railings of HDB block

8. India declares a day of national mourning on Sunday for Mr Lee Kuan Yew

9. Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body comes to rest at Istana for private family wake

10. Fake Milo found in Malaysia; Nestle teaches consumers how to spot the fake

11. Explosion near famous Erawan Shrine in Bangkok kills at least 16; some Singaporeans injured

12. Mr Lee Kuan Yew a good man, good husband, good father and grandfather: Son Hsien Yang

13. Mr Lee Kuan Yew's funeral: From public mourning to private family farewell at Mandai

14. Singapore mother of toddler thanks the two Indian nationals who saved her daughter's life

15. Video of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's body arriving at the Istana