Just How Passionate Are We?


“PASSION” and “Singapore” are not often mentioned in the same breath or sentence.

Singapore is known for many things — being efficient, a fine city, hub for all sorts of industries, orderly, food lovers — but seldom ever about being passionate.

Maybe when Joseph Schooling won an Olympic gold, or when we had a decent team in the Malaysia Cup, or your favourite hawker stall calls it a day. Or when the elections roll around.

But those are just sporadic bursts of energetic fervour before we lapse back into the routine of being productive and making money. Though that’s not something that seems to be going to plan these days.

We may be champion complainers, but even that lacks passion as invariably it loses steam and we accept that that’s the way it’s going to be and we cave in and carry on with the new status quo.

So, for us to lay claim to the slogan Passion Made Possible, it raises more than a few eyebrows.

Hopefully Passionate?

Is it hopeful speak or have we missed something that the Singapore Tourism Board and the Economic Development Board — the two agencies behind the campaign — have seen?

Since the Stop At 2 family planning campaign through much of the 1970s and 1980s, much of the early passion seems to have flagged, so much so that since that campaign was stopped the passion for procreation has remained limp.

Perhaps this is an aspirational slogan for Singapore to rally around.

SG50 gathered the population into a frenzy of positive fervour, but it’s gone quiet since.

The general view is not one of optimism. Disruptions and job losses are further challenged by the lack of job creation. There’s too much uncertainty in the air.

So, this intangible slogan about passion is something that could perhaps fire the imagination in people. Stir a sense of purpose and light up that spark.

Fandi Ahmad 1-1-2
Fandi Ahmad is the passion torch bearer for Singapore.

Slick Images

The videos accompanying the slogan are slick, like many aspects of Singapore’s functionality. They show scenes that would be in keeping with the ideal image any country would present to the world. Happy people, tall buildings, lights, food, and healthy lifestyles.

While Fandi Ahmad coaching a football team with the narrator going on about “1-1-2” in football will continue to intrigue, not so, the expected scenes of food that seem to be conditional to our very existence and a possible contributory factor to this great diabetes debate that is ongoing.


The absence of scenes from F1 Singapore Grand Prix might be telling about its future here. Maybe it’s time we created something more homegrown to push out to the world.

As it is, the quick images form a superficial impression of Singapore with a catch phrase that isn’t very catchy and hard to relate to. It just leaves the viewer wondering about what Singapore’s state of mind is.

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