In the tradition of TIME Person of the Year magazine cover, I decided to do a Singapore edition for everyone to vote for your favourite Singaporean in 2011 as the year draws to an end (the voting box is at the end of this post).
Note that this poll is not officially endorsed by TIME Inc. I will announce the winner on New Year’s Eve, just before midnight 2012.
Without further ado, here’s my round-up of 12 individuals who created an impact to Singapore society this year (be it positive or negative):
Aljunied GRC Workers’ Party Team: Together with the residents of Aljunied GRC, the five members team (Low Thia Khiang, Sylvia Lim, Chen Show Mao, Pritam Singh and Muhamad Faisal Manap) from Workers’ Party created history by being the first opposition MPs to gun down a GRC en bloc.
George Yeo: The first PAP Minister to be knocked out in a GRC. As an individual candidate, he probably would not have lost, but his political party’s GRC system was what did him in.
The guy who smashed the MRT train window: When SMRT failed to respond during the SMRT train breakdown fiasco, one man took it upon himself to act. Many Singaporeans hailed this mysterious man as a hero.
Adelyn Hosehbo: This 14-year-old Ah Lian epitomises the worst of the Singapore Gen Z, claiming to have slapped and stole from her own mother on her Facebook account.
Aaron Tan Wantyouonly: This 18-year-old gangster contributed many new lexicons to Singlish such as “Priest lor”, “Limbeh Wong You” and “Bolok Town Secondrary”.
Saw Phaik Hwa: The Queen Bee of SMRT finds herself in the hot seat when the company under her charge saw three breakdowns in consecutive days. Will she be able to steer SMRT out of this current crisis?
Tin Pei Ling: At the age of 27, she is the youngest woman candidate to be unveiled by the PAP in recent history; and also one of the most controversial with her now famous Kate Spade pose, “I don’t know what to say”and other catchphrases.
Nicole Seah: Widely referred to as Tin Pei Ling’s nemesis. Although she did not win a seat in Parliament this year, watch out for this young lady in the next Singapore General Election.
Isabella Loh: The new CEO of Wildlife Reserve Singapore who ruined Halloween this year by canceling the annual Night Safari Halloween Horrors event last minute.
Teresa Hsu Chih: Social worker, known affectionately as “Singapore’s Mother Teresa”, in recognition for her active life-long devotion in helping the aged sick and destitutes locally. Hsu, aged 113, died on 7 December 2011, peacefully at home and was cremated on the same day without any rites, as instructed by her.
Lee Kuan Yew: Singapore’s oldest and longest serving Parliamentarian. This guy is a vote getter in any polls related to Singapore. Always tough and about “Hard Truths”, who can forget his iconic “Live and Repent” remark at this year’s General Election.
Dr Tony Tan Yam Keng: In a landmark Presidential Election this year that saw a close battle between four extremely qualified Tans, Dr Tony Tan emerged champion garnering 35.19 percent of the votes cast compared with 34.85 percent for the second-place candidate.