The pioneering spirit

by | May 22, 2015

An MCCY campaign aims to unite generations through their similarities rather than their differences.


You have probably seen pictures of different seniors at the bus shelters, on the MRT and recently in the local newspapers, like Leong Yuet Meng, 85, who sold wanton mee at the hawker centre, ex-fighter Syed Abdul Kadir, 66 or ex-football player Majid Ariff, 77.

This is all part of a SG50 campaign called “The Pioneering Spirit. Since 1965” by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in partnership with Ogilvy & Mather Singapore, which aims to unite the generations through their similarities rather than their differences.

The campaign kicked off in early December last year with the release of the SG50 film “You’re The Boy” based on the true story of the 1960s Singaporean band The Silver Strings, who among many other homegrown talents, sought to pursue careers in music despite it being an unusual path for young people to follow at the time. Nevertheless, The Silver Strings soldiered on, fuelled by their passion for their craft and the pursuit of their dream. Fifty years on, the three-minute film hoped to inspire a new generation of Singaporeans to persevere through challenges, rise above hurdles and live their dreams.

The campaign also encouraged the public to submit their own stories through the website (, the official SG50 website. Though the site is no longer accepting stories, the public is asked to submit them through the SG50 Facebook page.

Shirley Tay, managing director of Ogilvy & Mather Advertising Singapore, explained the campaign: “To strengthen Singaporeans’ connection to the country’s history and Jubilee year celebration, we need to build emotional ties between the generations. Younger Singaporeans are accustomed to being seen as the ones to break new ground and pursue change and innovation. By showing how the pioneers were forging new paths decades ago just as they themselves are doing today, we hope that more Singaporeans will realise that they too share the Pioneering Spirit that has defined Singapore since 1965.”



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