First chairman of Speak Mandarin Campaign optimistic about future of mother tongues

Dr Ow has just released his Chinese memoirs, Memoirs Of Dr Ow Chin Hock, this month. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
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SINGAPORE - As the first chairman of the Speak Mandarin Campaign in 1979, former politician Ow Chin Hock was given a daunting task by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to replace all Chinese dialects with Mandarin as the unifying language of Chinese Singaporeans.

Despite considerable resistance on the ground, the campaign has met with much success over the years, with the support of Chinese trade and clan associations as well as the media.

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