The Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) was launched by then Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew in 1979. The objective was to encourage Singaporean Chinese to use Mandarin instead of dialects.
Over the years, the SMC continues to encourage Singaporeans to embrace the use of Mandarin, and enjoy an appreciation for Chinese culture. The SMC aims to promote the capability and confidence of Singaporeans to use, practise and live the language in the relevant contexts.
- The tenth edition of the Speak Mandarin Campaign Family Talent Competition received 1,068 registrations, with Grand Finals taking place in-person for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Conducted an online programme – “What’s That Song?” with guests Joanna Dong, Alfred Sim, Tay Kexin, Ric Liu, PMC members Yang Jiwei and Xiaohan, hosted by Jeff Goh.
- Co-organised the sixth Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking Competition with NoonTalk Media
- The ninth Speak Mandarin Campaign Family Talent Competition received a record breaking 1,010 registrations.
- Conducted three online programmes – “A Delectable Discussion on Food Culture,” “Health is Wealth: A Conversation” and “Let’s Discover Mandarin!”, reaching out to youths through various lifestyle topics. Guests include Moses Lim, Daniel Ang of DanielFoodDiary, Dr Ho Nai Kiong, Vincent Ng, Giam Meng Tuck, Qiu Sheng Yang and the Chinese Hackers.
- Co-organised the fifth Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking Competition with NoonTalk Media
- The eighth Speak Mandarin Campaign Family Talent Competition was held in the virtual format for Preliminary Round and Grand Finals.
- Conducted the campaign’s first-ever online programme – “Speak Mandarin, Spark Creativity!” with guests Woo Yen Yen, Neo Hai Bin, Wang Shijia, Ben Hum and Liu Guan Yin, hosted by PMC member, Lee Ee Wurn.
- Co-organised the fourth Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking Competition with NoonTalk Media
Speak Mandarin Campaign 40th Anniversary Celebration was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. PM Lee unveiled a new slogan, “讲华语，我也可以。 Speak Mandarin? Yes, I can.”
- Organised the SMC 40 Carnival which featured a weekend of free Mandarin programmes for the public to enjoy.
- Renamed the Speak Mandarin Campaign Parent-Child Talent Competition to the Speak Mandarin Campaign Family Talent Competition, and included participation from grandparents.
- Co-organised the third Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking Competition with NoonTalk Media.
The sixth Speak Mandarin Campaign Parent-Child Talent Competition was successfully held.
Co-organised the second Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking Competition with NoonTalk Media.
Conducted a Public Lecture "Mandarin and Chinese Culture: The Joys of Learning" with keynote speaker Man Shu Sum and panelists Diana Ser and Xiaohan.
Inaugurated the Speak Mandarin Campaign “My Story” Public Speaking
Competition, which provides a platform for students between 13 to
18 year old to share their own stories.
Inaugurated pre-school category at the fourth Speak Mandarin
Campaign Parent-Child Talent Competition.
Introduced a new series of immersion programmes, including Story
Challenge Roadshows, Music Showcases.
Conducted a Public Lecture with Professor Yu Dan to inspire
educators and parents in creating a positive learning experience
for students and the younger generation.
Collaborated with Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall to present the
Wan Qing CultureFest 2016.
The third Speak Mandarin Campaign Parent-Child Talent Competition
was successfully held.
Organised a series of popular storytelling sessions with the
National Book Development Council of Singapore and National
Jointly organised the Speak Mandarin Campaign Parent-Child Talent
Competition with St Nicholas Girls' School and Thumbs Up.
iHuayu 讲华语(商用), a bilingual mobile application with
business-specific and Singapore terms was launched.
Introduced Speak Mandarin Campaign's new theme song, Shuo
"Mandarin. It Gets Better with Use." Short Video Clip
Speak Mandarin Campaign Theme Song Contest was launched.
The Chinese Challenge, with a focus on students in 2011. 6
students were selected to participate in the televised grand
Replay of television commercials featuring non-Chinese children
speaking in Mandarin, challenging Singaporeans to be heard in
Chinese. The commercials won MediaCorp's Viewer's Choice Awards
2009 and have been nominated for the 2010 Awards.
2nd run of Yang Sheng series of talks about Eastern philosophies
of health in both English and Mandarin.
The Chinese Challenge 2010, with an added Student's Category. A
team of 2 students won 1st Runner Up in the televised Grand
- Speak Mandarin Campaign’s 30th Anniversary.
Series of "Be Heard" in Chinese television commercials featuring
non-Chinese children speaking in Mandarin.
Yang Sheng series of talks about Eastern philosophies of health in
both English and Mandarin.
The Chinese Challenge, a nationwide contest, with a series of quiz
questions ranging from the language to Chinese history and popular
Theme of Sports, Culture, The Arts, Design & Lifestyle. 20 new
activists, including Team Singapore sportsmen and other prominent
- Theme of Music, Movies, Metaphors.
- Cool Speak in ST becomes Cheng Yu Cool.
Ambassadors included JJ Lin, Hossan Leong, Fanny Lai.
- Launch of Cool Speak Guide.
- Speak Mandarin Campaign’s 25th Year.
"华语 Cool" slogan was launched with Tan Swie Hian’s
Ambassadors included Joi Chua (with song by Liang Wern Fu),
Launch of "Cool Speak" in Straits Times, a series featuring
personalities and their stories of using Mandarin.
Mandarin Movie Appreciation Series and Mandarin Moviethon held at
Golden Village cinemas
Campaign ambassadors included Tanya Chua, Kenny Yap.
- Launch at annual World Book Fair.
- Launch of Mandarin Festival.
Speak Mandarin Campaign Celebrities included Fann Wong, Tay Ping
Hui, Sharon Au, Dasmond Koh.
The Campaign was launched at the premiere of a Chinese movie “A
Tale of the Sacred Mountain”.
The Mandarin Film Festival was the first film festival organised
by the Promote Mandarin Council. It was held on 17-22 September at
Golden Village Grand, Great World City. The Festival screened 12
critically-acclaimed films produced by some of China’s best
producers and directors.
Singapore’s first Mandarin a cappella CD album entitled “A
cappella Fanatix - Mandarin a cappella” was jointly produced by
Young Musicians’ Society and Promote Mandarin Council.Singapore’s
first Mandarin a cappella CD album entitled “A cappella Fanatix -
Mandarin a cappella” was jointly produced by Young Musicians’
Society and Promote Mandarin Council.
The forum entitled “Mandarin for the Family” was held on 18
November. The speakers comprised educators who discussed teaching
methods for the learning of Chinese, as well as well-known
personalities who shared their experiences in learning Mandarin
and using it both at home and in the office.
The Chinese Heritage Series, which comprises arts and cultural
performances ranging from xinyao, hand puppet to Chinese orchestra
was held at shopping malls.
SMC celebrities’ webchats – a series of webchats with well-known
personalities was held.
A Speak Mandarin Campaign commemorative book entitled “Mandarin:
The Chinese Connection”( 华人，华语，华文） was produced.
The first CD-ROM on learning Mandarin was produced. Entitled
“Speak Mandarin? No problem!” (讲华语？没问题!), it is an
interactive learning CD-ROM catering to adults who know basic
Mandarin and have a desire to improve it.
Four television commercials featuring well-known entertainment
personalities were aired on TV to illustrate the slogan "Speak
Mandarin. It's An Asset."
The Committee to Promote Use of Mandarin was changed to Promote
Mandarin Council to reflect its wider role in promoting Mandarin.
Speak Mandarin Campaign webpage was officially launched.
- Production of radio jingle.
The campaign launch featured a Chinese crosstalk performance and a
skit by the cast of TCS sitcom, Under One Roof.
The Ministry of Education and Television 12 jointly organised the
pre-university Mandarin debate series.
Official launch of the campaign was held at the Shangri-la Hotel.
The proceeds from the launch charity dinner was donated to
National Arts Council to promote Chinese culture and arts.
Production of Transitlink farecards for sale to public.
Campaign focused on Chinese Singaporeans, with increasing emphasis
on those who received bilingual education.
- The Campaign targeted senior executives.
Ministry of Education, Singapore Telecoms and the then Ministry of
Communications and Information jointly produced telephone Mandarin
lessons on Chinese proverbs, which were published in Chinese
Promotion of Mandarin was once again targeted at the Chinese
community in general.
The Campaign focused on white collar workers. Ministry of Health
developed a series of telephone Mandarin lessons on health
- The Campaign moved to the shopping centres.
To encourage the use of Mandarin at the Zhongyuan Jie auctions,
lessons were developed and transmitted by telephone throughout the
festive month. A total of 640,000 calls were made. These lessons
were repackaged on cassette tapes and distributed to the Zhongyuan
The Campaign moved to food and drink establishments.
Speak Mandarin Campaign focused on transport workers.
The target audience for the year was Chinese parents.
- Production of Speak Mandarin Helps Brochure.
Mandarin was promoted at markets and hawker centres.
- Production of "Dial for Mandarin" Booklet.
Speak Mandarin Campaign focused on promoting Mandarin at the
The Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched by then-Prime Minister
Lee Kuan Yew