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The Straits Times launches first SG50 book

50 Things To Love About Singapore welcomes the nation's Golden Jubilee with a fresh and quirky take

SINGAPORE, 5 November 2014 - The Straits Times will release the first SG50 book, 50 Things To Love About Singapore, on Friday, 7 November, ahead of a busy programme of events being planned by many organisations and groups to celebrate the nation's Golden Jubilee next year. 

Published by Straits Times Press, a wholly owned book-publishing subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), the book gives a fresh and quirky take on Singapore 50 years after its independence.  

The book will be launched at the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) on 7 November at 8.30 pm at the SWF Festival Pavillion, Singapore Management University (SMU) campus green. Some of the book writers will be at the launch to sign the book, which will also be on sale there. 
The 248-page, 50-chapter book is edited by The Straits Times senior correspondent Susan Long and written by the paper's most authoritative beat reporters, including political correspondent Rachel Chang, senior Sport correspondent Rohit Brijnath, senior Health correspondent Salma Khalik and Senior Education correspondent Sandra Davie. 

It is a keenly-observed study of Singapore's most unique institutions, inventions, trademarks, norms, aspirations, policy innovations and contributions to the world. It studies the little quirks, incongruities and rhythms of life in Singapore, embraces them, chortles at them, ruminates over and worries about them, with familial affection, exasperation and humour.

It delves into the ironies of thrifty government policies, pricey real estate, Singapore's prowess at the most oddball sports, her own brand of legislated multi-racialism, her citizens' preference to complain rather than protest, the new cult status of Singapore maths, and Singaporeans' skillful culinary code-switching and knack of eating across many cultures and price points in a single meal. 

The easy-to-read, yet highly informative book, is the first publication off the block to celebrate the country's Golden Jubilee, or SG50 as it is pragmatically dubbed. 

Topics range from the unheralded, such as Singapore's quiet renown on the diplomatic stage, to the offbeat, such as the national obsession with football, to the oddball - the world's highest rates of obsessive compulsive disorder, and the prettiest landfill. While much has been said over the years about the Singapore economic miracle, readers will learn new aspects to this success, such as policies delivering welfare that works, multi-racialism that is legislated, and trade unionism minus the strikes in the book.

Ms Susan Long, editor of 50 Things To Love About Singapore, said: "This is a book about love. But it is a love not of an easy nature, but of the complicated, conscientious, constantly classifying variety we know so well here. It is an intimate study of Singapore's most unique institutions, inventions, innovations and contributions to the world, written by our best beat reporters. It is a dossier of modern Singapore half way through her first century, a time some characterise as Singapore losing her bloom, others as hitting her straps. It is a composite portrait of the little quirks, incongruities and rhythms of life in Singapore, which we chortle and worry over, with familial affection and exasperation." 

Ms Long, a senior writer at The Straits Times, which itself turns 170 on 15 July 2015, added that readers will be surprised by new insights into a country many think they already know well. 

Food-lovers will find much to get their teeth into, as foodie Chris Tan delves into the mystery of a now-iconic treat, the pineapple tart. Popular film reviewer John Lui thinks outside the box (office) in delivering his affectionate verdict on Singapore's movie-making. 

Thought-provoking writer Rachel Chang looks at why passions run high about ministerial salaries. And rejoice with Fiona Chan in Singapore being both the destination de jour for billionaires, and yet a place where the Prime Minister is proud to fly commercial. 

Mr Warren Fernandez, Editor of The Straits Times, sees 50 Things To Love About Singapore as a must-read for Singaporeans and foreigners in providing a new perspective on where Singapore is at, aged 50. 

He said: "Susan and the ST team have produced a highly readable and engaging book which celebrates Singapore in a loving way. It highlights our successes, ponders our complexity and even laughs at idiosyncracies. This is a book to savour for. Singaporeans and foreigners friends alike."

The book is available at all leading bookstores at $25 each (inclusive of GST) and online at from 7 November. For orders, email or call 63198347 from Monday to Friday (9am - 6pm).

Media Invitation

You and your photographer/camera crew are invited to the launch of 50 Things To Love About Singapore

Date: 7 November 2014Friday
Time: 8.30-9.30 pm 
Venue: SMU Festival Pavilion, SMU Campus Green

8.30pm Introduction of author and book
Sharing by author
Q&A session
9.00pm Book signing session
One-on-one interviews (upon request)
Please confirm your attendance with Vanni Cheong of Corporate Communications & CSR by 6 Nov.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Vanni Cheong
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications & CSR 
Singapore Press Holdings
DID: 6319 1553

About Straits Times Press

Straits Times Press is a publishing house with more than 100 years of combined international publishing experience as a team. The team has won international and regional prizes for excellence in editorial, design and publishing. 

Straits Times Press publishes History, Biographies/Memoirs, Politics, Culture, Food and Lifestyle books. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Ltd.

For more information, please visit

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times is the English-language flagship daily of Singapore Press Holdings and the most-read newspaper in Singapore. It was launched on July 15, 1845, and provides comprehensive coverage of local, regional and international news. It has 20 bureaus in major cities worldwide, with its correspondents providing a Singapore perspective on what is happening around the world. Complementing the main title are weekly lifestyle supplements Digital Life, Urban and Mind Your Body, as well as IN and Little Red Dot for students. 

The Straits Times is also on digital platforms with its website at It also has ioS and Android apps, and a menu of e-books housed in a separate Straits Times Star app.

The Straits Times has won multiple international awards, including from the Society of Publishers in Asia, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa) and Society of News Design. It was named Singapore Newspaper of the Year 2014 and 2013 by Marketing magazine and voted Singapore’s favourite newspaper 2013 by Superbrands

Its website won gold in “Best In Online Media” at the 2012 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards. Its Communities microsites platform was named 2014 Digital Innovation of the Year award by Panpa, and got Gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards. 

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.

Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing

SPH has 19 titles licensed under the Newspaper Printing and Presses Act, of which nine are daily newspapers across four languages. On an average day, 2.8 million individuals or 69 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.

Internet and Mobile

Beyond print, SPH's suite of digital products includes online editions of newspapers and magazines, as well as mobile applications. Our online products enjoy 360 million page views with 23 million unique browsers every month. Apart from AsiaOne, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include ST701, the leading online marketplace for jobs (STJobs), property (STProperty), cars (STCars) and general classifieds (STClassifieds); Stomp, and SPH Razor. Besides print, SPH newspapers are also available on online, smartphone and tablet platforms.


In the radio business, SPH Radio Pte Ltd operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English. SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today.

Events and Out-of-Home Advertising

SPH’s events arm Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions as well as large scale conferences in Singapore and the region. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its digital out-of-home platform SPHMBO.


SPH REIT is a Singapore-based REIT established principally to invest, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate which is used primarily for retail purposes in Asia-Pacific, as well as real estate-related assets. SPH REIT is managed by SPH REIT Management Pte Ltd, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings Limited.

The initial portfolio of SPH REIT comprises the following two high quality and well located commercial properties in Singapore:

· Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property, well known for its upscale mall housing many luxury brands, located in the heart of Orchard Road; and 
· The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall located in the centre of Clementi town, an established residential estate in the west of Singapore.
The Seletar Mall is SPH's latest retail development and is expected to open at the end of 2014. This property is a potential asset to be injected into SPH REIT. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.

For more information, please visit