SMRT recently ended trials of the Mandarin announcement of MRT stations, however, the announcement drew criticism by many Singaporeans that SMRT was only focusing on mother tongue.

Wrote Yahoo Singapore,

"In a statement obtained by Yahoo! Singapore on Sunday, an SMRT spokesperson said it had started the trial after receiving considerable public feedback that the train operator should announce station names in Mandarin to assist passengers, especially older commuters, who rely on announcements during their journey."

SMRT clarified that the decision to have Mandarin announcements came only after a letter to the Straits Times Forum asked if this was done to cater to Chinese tourists.

Wrote Jeremy Chen to The Straits Times,

"Though SMRT reportedly acted on feedback to introduce Mandarin messages, such announcements do not help Chinese tourists figure out where they are. It would make better sense to announce station numbers in Mandarin."

If the idea to have Mandarin announcement to cater to the elderly, how about the non-Mandarin speaking elderly in Singapore? Have SMRT forgotten about them?

In the Singapore Census of Population 2010, of the 344,069, between the age of 65 and beyond, surveyed,
13,645 spoke Malay only and 4861 spoke Tamil only. Though the non-Chinese speaking elderly only made up 5.37% of that age group, it would still be important to assist these non-English and non-Chinese speaking elderly to find their way across the various MRT stations in Singapore.

So SMRT, how about having the announcement in Malay and Tamil to assist the non-Chinese elderly too?


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