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Lianhe Zaobao readers picks “恐” (terror) to best represent 2017

Singapore, 9 December 2017 – After three weeks of voting which ended on 3 December, Lianhe Zaobao readers have selected “恐”, which means “terror”, as the Chinese character to sum up 2017.

Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has been organising 字述一年 (Character of the Year) since 2011. For the seventh consecutive year, readers were invited to participate in the annual poll by choosing a Chinese character that they feel would best summarise the major local and international news events of the year.

Close to 4000 votes were collected this year. Only votes from local readers were considered for the final tally, and both characters “恐” (terror) and “中” (centre/neutral/China) maintained a significant lead in the polls, with “恐” emerging the top Chinese character with almost twice as many votes as “中”. The character “智” (intelligence) came in third.

The Character of the Year was unveiled at a two-hour long event on 9 December at the Central Public Library, where DJs from Chinese radio UFM100.3 and reporters from Lianhe Zaobao took to the stage to talk about news events related to each of the ten characters. Towards the end of the event, Malay calligrapher Malik Mazlan was invited to unveil the Character of the Year by writing it in beautiful Chinese calligraphy.

Apart from the top three characters, the editorial team of Lianhe Zaobao, together with a panel of professionals comprising experts and academics from different fields, also short-listed ”峙” (confrontation), “核” (nuclear), “障”    (barrier/breakdown), “虚” (virtual/fake), “居” (home), “族” (race/ethnicity) and “青” (youth) this year.

Out of the ten characters, “恐”, which garnered the most votes, was one of the most popular characters right from the start of the voting. Interestingly, this is also the third time that “恐” has been nominated, after having been nominated in 2014 and 2016.

Mr Goh Sin Teck, Editor of Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao, said: “Recent terrorist attacks around the world seem to have left a deep impression on Singaporeans this year, as shown from the large number of votes cast for the character 恐. It is also a reminder for us to remain vigilant at all times, and never to take the peace, stability and religious harmony in Singapore for granted.”

Readers chose “变” (change) as the representative Chinese character last year, when global events, such as Mr Donald Trump’s US election win, Brexit, and Mrs Theresa May’s appointment as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom which took readers by surprise.

This year, the character “恐” caught the attention of readers, against the backdrop of major terror attacks around the world, such as the Istanbul nightclub shooting on New Year’s day, the Westminster attack in London, the Manchester Arena bombing, as well as the Las Vegas shooting. With the re-emergence of China as a global superpower, the character “中” was popular with readers as well.

Overseas voters, mainly users of, were also invited to vote. Their votes gave a good indication of how differently local and overseas readers reacted to the ten short-listed words. “智” and “恐” ranked second and third in the polls, whereas the character “中” was in the top position.

Outreach efforts
In conjunction with the annual voting, outreach efforts by Lianhe Zaobao were strengthened this year. The organiser held two exhibitions at Central Public Library and Jurong Regional Library over two Saturdays, attracting more members of the public to take part in the Character of the Year voting. These included foreign and non-Chinese members of the public who were able to cast their votes after listening to explanations about each character by the Lianhe Zaobao editorial team.

Other outreach efforts to promote Character of the Year included online and social media platforms.  A dedicated microsite ( was set up and a publicity video was shared on various online platforms. The organiser also collaborated with UFM100.3 for the two-week campaign. DJs from the morning show talked about one of the ten characters featured in Lianhe Zaobao each day, and a 30-second special trailer was aired throughout the day to encourage listeners to cast their votes.
Please see attached Chinese media release. 
Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E
For more information, please contact:

Ms Tang Hwa Kwee 
Lianhe Zaobao
Chinese Media Group
Tel: 6319 2438
Mr Francis Mah
Senior Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR
Tel: 6319 1028

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms, ranging from print, digital, radio and out-of-home media.

SPH owns award-winning newspapers, magazines and best-selling books in both print and digital editions, as well as online classifieds businesses in the region. In addition, SPH has three English radio stations and two Chinese radio station, an out-of-home digital advertising unit, a regional events and conferences arm, and runs a chain of modern retail convenience stores.

SPH REIT comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road and The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall. SPH's latest retail development is The Seletar Mall located in Sengkang. 

SPH is in the healthcare sector, operating private nursing homes under Orange Valley. 

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About Lianhe Zaobao

Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings, is the largest-circulating Chinese newspaper in Singapore. Widely recognised in Southeast Asia for its superior quality as a responsible, objective, fair and credible newspaper, it also enjoys a good reputation and considerable influence in the global Chinese communities. Its 200-strong editorial team, including correspondents based in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Tokyo, keeps Singaporeans informed of major developments in the region. Launched in 1995,, the digital edition of Lianhe Zaobao in mainland China, draws over 5 million daily page views and attracts a monthly readership of 5 million., the 3-in-1 Chinese digital portal comprising of content from Lianhe Zaobao and two evening dailies Lianhe Wanbao and Shin Min Daily News, is launched in 2016. It targets local readers and readers in other parts of the world, and enjoys half a million daily page views and a monthly readership of 1.4 million.

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