Public signs that don't carry all four official languages fuel concerns for cultural diversity

The Sook Ching monument at Changi Beach seen in a 2016 photo (left). It was erected in 1992 and carried information in all four official languages, with Japanese at the bottom. It has since been replaced by one that has information only in English (r
The Sook Ching monument at Changi Beach seen in a 2016 photo (above). It was erected in 1992 and carried information in all four official languages, with Japanese at the bottom. PHOTO: LITTLE DAY OUT, SAHIBA CHAWDHARY
The Sook Ching monument at Changi Beach seen in a 2016 photo (left). It was erected in 1992 and carried information in all four official languages, with Japanese at the bottom. It has since been replaced by one that has information only in English (r
It has since been replaced by one that has information only in English (above).PHOTO: LITTLE DAY OUT, SAHIBA CHAWDHARY
Changi Airport now has all four official languages and Japanese on its signs at Terminal 2 and Terminal 4, which opened in 2017. But most signs at Terminals 1 and 3 still do not come with Tamil.
Changi Airport now has all four official languages and Japanese on its signs at Terminal 2 and Terminal 4, which opened in 2017. But most signs at Terminals 1 and 3 still do not come with Tamil.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Disparities in the usage of Tamil across Chang Airport's various terminals seem to suggest an inconsistency. In Terminals 2 (left) and 4, directional signs are in all four official languages - English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil - as well as in Japanes
At Terminals 1 and 3 (above), most signs still do not come with information in Tamil. In some other public places, Tamil is also missing on some signboards, while others carry information only in English.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
Most public schools, such as Beatty Secondary School, have signs at their entrances which come in all four official languages.
Most public schools, such as Beatty Secondary School, have signs at their entrances which come in all four official languages.ST PHOTO: JOSEPH CHUA
The signs for the Burmese Buddhist Temple and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall along Ah Hood Road also now have Malay and Tamil translations.
The signs for the Burmese Buddhist Temple and Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall along Ah Hood Road also now have Malay and Tamil translations.ST PHOTO: JOSEPH CHUA

Public signs that do not carry all four official languages fuel concerns for cultural diversity

Nearly a decade ago, blogger Benjamin "Mr Miyagi" Lee heard about how Changi Airport, as well as other public agencies, had omitted Tamil on its directional signage, though the signs bore Singapore's three other official languages, and even Japanese.

Upset, Mr Lee called for the authorities to put the language back on public signboards.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2019, with the headline 'Rooting for signs of multilingual Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe