Singapore - After two weeks of voting, the Chinese character "变"（change）was the readers' choice for this year's Lianhe Zaobao's "Character of the Year".
The word "变" (change) sums up the year of events in 2016. Taiwan welcomed its first female President this year; South Korea's parliament voted to impeach its first female President; Theresa May was named United Kingdom's Prime Minister following Brexit and businessman Donald Trump marched into the White House to become the next President of the United States. Many were surprised by the change of events around the world.
Mr Goh Sin Teck, Editor of Lianhe Zaobao, said: "Singapore won its first gold medal at the Olympics this year, bringing joy to many; while political leadership renewal and the lacklustre economic performance brought concerns. Yet the word "变" （change）was leading from the start of readers' poll, demonstrating readers' greater attention to world events.
"Singapore certainly has had its fair share of changes this year, bringing to mind constitution amendments to the Elected Presidency scheme and the appearance of two new public transport providers. As we usher in 2017, political and economic changes in Singapore and beyond are imminent. These bring both fear and expectation."
Lianhe Zaobao, the Chinese flagship newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has been organising Character of the Year voting since 2011. For the sixth year running, 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.
This year, the editorial team of Lianhe Zaobao, together with a panel of 10 members from the academia, business, sports and cultural sector among others, short-listed 10 Chinese characters for the poll. The 10 Chinese characters are: female (女)、talent (才)、warm (热)、smart (智)、change (变)、terror (恐)、Net (网)、worries (忧)、election (选) and topsy-turvy (颠).
During the voting period from December 1 to 14, Lianhe Zaobao featured each Chinese character in a full page report for 10 consecutive days. Each article centred on the major local and international events which embodied the particular character.
Readers voted through Zaobao.sg, SMS, email, mail or at Lianhe Zaobao's outreach events. Overseas voters indicated their choice of "Character of the Year" mainly through Zaobao.com.