“The Voice” Singapore and Malaysia edition is open for auditions, but there is only one catch — you need to be able to speak fluent Mandarin.
There are no other restrictions when it comes to the nationality of anyone who wants to join the famous singing competition apart from being able to perform in Mandarin, which is one of the four official languages of Singapore which includes Tamil, Malay, and English. According to AsiaOne, the organization listed on their website that singers must be “fluent in Mandarin, and are able to perform Mandarin songs.”
Though the rule seemed acceptable to some, there were others who were outraged since contestants were told they were allowed to sing in “any language (except for Dialects such as Cantonese or Hokkien).”
“Isn’t Singapore main language, English? I shouldnt feel this way, but, is it now MY fault not knowing mandarin?????? Since its a big deal???” said one online user.
Meanwhile, Singapore Idol’s Top 5 finalist, Joakim Gomez, also has an opinion about the competition’s strict rule:
“Singapore and Malaysia are both a melting pot of backgrounds, cultures, and languages. This show has almost alienated the few things our respective countries boast. Yet again, we find ourselves having to tell our western counterparts the all familiar phrase of, ‘Singapore (and/or Malaysia) is not a part of China. We don’t just speak one language. We actually do speak English and many others,’” she said.
Many were angered and expressed their sentiments of the rule which will further insinuate the misconception that Singapore is part of China.