The Importance Of Singlish In Singapore

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Singlish is the local vernacular English in Singapore is a much debated and controversial issue in Singapore. On 14 August 1999, the then Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew highlighted the importance of speaking good English, saying that Singaporeans ought to speak good English "so that we can understand the world and the world can understand us". He also noted that Singlish was a "handicap" he did not wish on Singaporeans. Then, in April 2000 the then, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong launched the first annual Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) campaign in Singapore. This campaign aimed to expand the use of Standard English and discouraged the use of Singlish among Singaporean. However on the 27th of April 2002, two years after the start of SGEM, TalkingCock (a Singaporean satirical and humour website that voices out the opinions of Singaporeans) launched the Save Our Singlish Campaign. They found it important to save Singlish for they believed it is a crucial part of the Singaporean culture and heritage. Today the debate “Should Singlish be banned in Singapore?” still continues. Singlish has evolved into a mix of dialects and colloquialism of the various races that makes up Singapore. It is an informal form of communication used between the different races in Singapore. But how did come about in the first place? English was a minority language in Singapore however, after Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965; English was seen as key to the nation’s economic survival and

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