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ACS DTL2 banner draws online brickbats

CAUSE FOR JEER? A photo of the banner at Anglo-Chinese School (Barker Road) celebrating the new Downtown Line 2 went viral over the weekend. My Paper understands that the banner was made in collaboration between the school and LTA.


    Dec 30, 2015

    ACS DTL2 banner draws online brickbats

    ANGLO-CHINESE School (Barker Road) has been taking some flak online for its banner welcoming the new Downtown Line 2, with netizens slamming the tagline - "We can get to school on our own! Yay!" - as "poorly worded" and showing "elitism".

    But it is not the only school with such a banner. Four other schools along the line have sported similar banners since last month.

    The banners at CHIJ Our Lady Queen of Peace, Methodist Girls' School, Hwa Chong Institution and Singapore Chinese Girls' School respectively read: "Field trips galore with the new train!"; "Blackmore Drive just got closer. Let's take the train to school!"; "Taking the train to school is a walk in the park!" and "Oh the places we'll go on Downtown Line 2!".

    My Paper understands that the banners were made in collaboration between the schools and the Land Transport Authority (LTA). Similar banners can also be found at places such as community clubs, condominiums and commercial buildings along the line.

    It is unclear who came up with the taglines.

    However, the banner at ACS (Barker Road) is the only one which has become a talking point after a photo of it went viral over the weekend.

    Facebook user Lester Lam said it was an "unintended showing of elitism", while Tay Chin Peng said the students have "so much education" but "no idea how to take the bus to school".

    Muhammad Al Hakim added that the kids no longer need "to take their parents' Audi and limos to school".

    Disagreeing, Clifford Koh Wee Hee said that "a lot of students take public transport" at ACS and not every ACS kid has parents who can afford cars.

    ACS (Barker Road) is near Newton MRT Station on the North-South Line and Stevens MRT Station on the Downtown Line 2, which opened on Sunday.

    ACS alumnus Nathanael Boon, a 19-year-old student, laughed when he saw the banner on Monday when My Paper visited the school.

    "It's a real big misconception that ACS boys are rich. I see people walking to school every day and I was one of them," he said. "I think the banner is fine."

    When asked about the banner, ACS (Barker Road) principal Peter Tan would say only that it was put up as part of national efforts to encourage a more car-free society.

    An LTA spokesman said that the banners were an effort by the community to express their "gratitude and happiness" as rail connectivity was brought to the Bukit Timah corridor for the first time.

    She added that they were put up because "the schools, students and their parents welcome having the option of going to school by train".

    "We should all welcome the enthusiasm of these students who want to use public transport to go to school," she said.