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Lianhe Zaobao readers pick “港 (abbr. for Hong Kong) ” as Word of the Year 2019

Singapore, 14 December 2019 --- Readers of Lianhe Zaobao, the flagship Chinese newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), have picked the word “港” to represent 2019 in its Word of the Year (字述一年) annual poll. 

Back for the ninth year, the Word of the Year annual poll invites readers to choose a Chinese word or character which best summarises the major local and international news events of the year. 

The editorial team of Lianhe Zaobao, together with a panel of renowned professionals, comprising experts and academics from different fields, selected 10 Chinese words for the poll. The 10 shortlisted words this year are 乱 (disorder), 贸 (trade), 假 (fake), 暖 (warm), 反 (opposite) , 怼 (dislike), 极 (extreme) , 港 (abbr. for Hong Kong) , 火 (fire) and 青 (youth).

Close to 14,000 votes were received during the voting period from 24 November to 9 December. It was a close fight between 港 (abbr. for Hong Kong) and 乱 (disorder), with the latter leading the poll until the second last day. 3011 votes went to the winning word “港”, while 2946 votes went to 乱 (disorder). “Mao (贸)” came in third with 995 votes. Only votes from local readers were considered for the final tally. 

Most Singaporean readers picked 港 as the winning word which best represents 2019 as anti-government protests continue to rock Hong Kong since early June this year. 

Goh Sin Teck, editor of Lianhe Zaobao and Lianhe Wanbao said: "For the past few months, Lianhe Zaobao followed the Hong Kong demonstrations closely and provided extensive coverage of the latest developments. Stories related to the Hong Kong protests trended on as well. This shows that Singaporeans are very concerned about the situation in Hong Kong, so it doesn't come as a surprise that 港  is chosen as the Word of the Year. I'm certain that the stories and analyses on Hong Kong also sparked reflection among our readers to cherish what we have in Singapore."

During the voting period, Lianhe Zaobao ran a series of news articles focusing on each of the 10 Chinese words over 10 consecutive days. Each article explains the various definitions of the word and how its meanings were related to the major local and international events of the year.

A publicity campaign was also launched to create greater awareness of the poll via SPH's omni-channel media network, including print, online, social media and radio. For the first time, readers were invited to share their choices on their Instagram accounts with the hashtag #ZBword2019 to help raise awareness and to engage younger audiences.

The winning word was unveiled during a live-streamed programme on 14 December at The Rock School climbing gym located at Our Tampines Hub. An experienced young rock climber Teo Rui Ern, 15, scaled the wall to eliminate the first eight words, before unveiling the winning character out of the last two words. 

During the live-streaming, prizes worth more than $9500 were presented to lucky participants. The prizes include a 3D2N stay at the 5-star Capitol Kempinski Hotel, a 2-year Chinese News Tablet package, household electrical appliances and more. Those who shared their choices on their Instagram accounts were also eligible to win a pair of tickets to Jay Chou’s Carnival World Tour concert here in Singapore next year (worth $328 each).

Chinese Media Group NewsHub editor Han Yong May said: "The ninth edition of the Word of the Year campaign saw greater participation and more robust discussions among our readers. As the ones on the frontline reporting news that matter, we take pride in our work. Readers get the latest updates through our news reports and form the basis of their perception of news topics. In return, their valuable comments have also benefited our subsequent news stories. Next year, it will be the 10th installment of the Word of the Year poll and we strive to reach for greater heights."


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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.  

SPH's core business is publishing of newspapers, magazines and books in both print and digital editions. It also owns other digital products, online classifieds, radio stations and outdoor media.

On the property front, SPH owns approximately 70% in a real estate investment trust called SPH REIT which comprises Paragon, a premier upscale retail mall and medical suite/office property in Orchard Road, The Clementi Mall, a mid-market suburban mall and The Rail Mall, a stretch of shopping and dining outlets along Upper Bukit Timah Road. In Australia, SPH REIT also holds an 85% equity stake in Figtree Grove Shopping Centre, a freehold sub-regional shopping centre in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia, and a 50% stake in Westfield Marion Shopping Centre, the largest and only super regional shopping centre in Adelaide, South Australia. SPH owns and operates The Seletar Mall and is developing a new commercial cum residential site, The Woodleigh Residences and The Woodleigh Mall. It also owns a portfolio of Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) in the United Kingdom. 

It is in the aged care sector and owns Orange Valley, one of Singapore's largest nursing homes.

SPH runs a regional events arm and a chain of Buzz retail outlets. It also invested in the education business.

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