SingFirst apologises for Tamil slogan gaffe
Restore our nation.
As far as slogans go, the Singaporeans First (SingFirst) party certainly had a clear rallying call that was easy to understand.
But for Tamil readers who saw the party's banner at their first candidate announcement at Tras Street on Friday (Aug 28), it made no sense at all.
The Tamil version of the slogan had been lost in translation. Some characters were not even part of the Tamil alphabet.
Images of the banner highlighting the error made their way onto social media, prompting criticism from Tamil speakers.
Mr Tamilavel, deputy news editor of Tamil Murasu confirmed to The New Paper that the translated slogan was gibberish.
He offered an explanation for what could have transpired leading up to the error.
"It's completely unreadable," said Mr Tamilavel. "Anyone who speaks Tamil can spot it.
"However, I think it is a font problem that we encounter all the time whenever we type something in Tamil and give it to a third party.
"I believe that the correct words were typed out and given to the printer, except that whoever printed out the banner didn't have the correct Unicode (a universal character set) downloaded to display the correct words."
When contacted by The New Paper, SingFirst secretary-general Tan Jee Say said they were aware of the error and confirmed Mr Tamilavel's theory.
Mr Tan said: "We apologise for the mistake and we'll be more careful next time.
"I was told it was a font problem and we did not realise until it was put up.
"We are correcting it now and for the next press conference, it will be okay."