Singlish MV under fire for glam factor

OUT OF TOUCH? The video features actors rapping about Singlish, flanked by a private jet, supercars and sexy girls in lingerie. Some netizens say the MV does not reflect Singaporeans' way of life.


    Aug 20, 2015

    Singlish MV under fire for glam factor

    A MUSIC video (MV) has received flak online for being out of touch with regular Singaporeans, by portraying Singlish in the context of supercars and a private jet. It has now been made private.

    The MV, Lingo Lingo, which stars popular Ah Boys To Men actor Tosh Zhang and singer-actor Bunz, was made by J Team Productions to promote a local one-hour SG50 featurette Lingo Lingo Where You Go, a short film celebrating Singlish.

    J Team received funding from the Singapore Memory Project's irememberSG Fund to make the featurette.

    The MV was uploaded onto YouTube on Aug 4 and has racked up over 79,000 views.

    Speaking to The New Paper, Lingo Lingo Where You Go director Shawn Tan, who also shot the MV, said: "I got a call from the irememberSG people asking me to take the video down as it has received some negative comments and they were scared that it will affect the irememberSG branding.

    "I told them it is not possible as the music video is owned by J Team Productions and not by them. The person-in-charge wanted the video to be off the viewers' eyes, so I told them I will make it private for now."

    Tan, 27, changed the setting for the YouTube video to private on Tuesday.

    He explained that J Team, helmed by local director Jack Neo, received $50,000 from the irememberSG Fund to produce the featurette.

    The film, which cost close to $100,000 to make, tells the story of a man who wakes up from a 10-year coma to a world of unfamiliar Singlish terms and phrases.

    To promote the film, Tan and his team came up with the idea of producing an MV under the J Team budget.

    He said: "We created the music video out of our own pocket, so I find it very weird that the irememberSG people want us to take it down."

    The music video features Zhang and Bunz as well as their entourage, flanked by a fleet of supercars and sexy girls in lingerie, rapping about Singlish.

    In the past few days, as the MV gained traction, it has received its share of criticism for its portrayal of Singapore.

    Some netizens commented that the MV did not reflect Singaporeans' way of life as it promoted a super luxurious lifestyle with scenes of well-dressed young adults hanging out by a private jet and in front of supercars like Lamborghinis and Ferraris.

    Amid comments that the MV had a strong K-pop vibe, there were also positive takes on the clip, with some saying it was cool.

    Tan said: "Actually, there are a lot of positive comments and only a small percentage of negative comments. I am not affected by the negative comments at all, because when people post bad comments, it is still publicity."

    He added: "I was more affected when the (irememberSG people) asked me to take the video down."

    A spokesman for the Singapore Memory Project said that the "entertaining and creative one-hour featurette" Lingo Lingo Where You Go is supported and funded by the project's irememberSG Fund.

    But the SG50 Lingo Lingo MV: Tosh x Bunz MV was funded and produced by J Team Productions, she said.

    "We noticed that the Singapore Memory Project and irememberSG Fund logos were credited in the music video. The irememberSG Fund was also associated in the music video's description. Since the music video is not funded by the irememberSG Fund, we had requested J Team Productions to remove the logos," said the spokesman.