SINGAPORE - Readers of Lianhe Zaobao picked "gang", an abbreviation of Hong Kong in Chinese, as the Word of the Year in its annual poll.
In its ninth year, the vote allows readers of the flagship Singapore Press Holdings Chinese newspaper to pick a Chinese character that best represented local and international news this year.
Other top candidates included "luan" (disorder), "ji" (extreme) and "qing" (youth).
"Gang" emerged as the winner after close to 14,000 votes were cast between Nov 24 and Dec 29. It received the support of about a fifth of voters.
Lianhe Zaobao said "luan" was leading the polls until it was pipped by "gang" on the penultimate day, while "mao" (trade) came in third with 995 votes.
The editor of Lianhe Zaobao and Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao, Goh Sin Teck, said he was not surprised that "gang" was chosen, given that Singaporeans were closely following the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.
Beginning as early as March, the protests morphed into a large-scale youth-led movement seeking more democracy for Hong Kong and an independent probe into police brutality.
Mr Goh said: "Stories related to the Hong Kong protests trended on zaobao.sg... I'm certain that the stories and analyses on Hong Kong also sparked reflection among our readers to cherish what we have in Singapore."
The results of the poll were announced during a live-streamed programme on Saturday (Dec 14) at the Rock School climbing gym at Our Tampines Hub.