Wednesday, 23 September 2015

SG50 Time Capsule: Singaporeans invited to pick items

By Linette Lai, The Straits Times, 22 Sep 2015

Singaporeans are invited to pick from a list of 60 items to be put into a special SG50 time capsule, which will be opened when the nation celebrates its centenary in 2065.

The items include memorabilia such as old National Library and public transport cards, Housing Board flat keys and even a model of the Singapore-made SAR-21 rifle.

Each item is supposed to match one of four themes celebrating Singapore's unity in diversity, sense of home, links to the wider world, and resilience as a nation. For example, N95 face masks were suggested as a nod to Singaporeans' resilience during the 2013 haze when the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index shot up to an unprecedented 401.

Members of the public are also encouraged to pen messages on why the items are significant to them. These messages will also be put into the time capsule.

Until Nov 1, those interested in contributing can pick their favourite items - or propose new ones - via the official website at

Alternatively, they can visit the digital selection booths set up at the Central Library @Bugis until Sunday. After that, the booths will move to other libraries and the Asian Civilisations Museum until Nov 1.

People can also select items at the interactive Hello Tomorrow | Love, Today display at the National Museum from next Saturday.

The items chosen to be placed in the time capsule will be revealed at the end of November during the Jubilee Big Walk.

"Beyond a collection of items, the SG50 time capsule celebrates our diversity, our values and our aspirations for the future," said Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is also chairman of the SG50 steering committee.

In a statement issued by the committee yesterday, he said: "When the time capsule is opened in the year 2065, it will give (future generations) a glimpse into our way of life, the memories and values we share, as well as our hopes for the future."

Send a message to the future! We are placing 50 items and your messages in the #SG50TimeCapsule that will be re-opened...
Posted by Our SG on Wednesday, September 23, 2015

* 50 items for SG50 time capsule
50 items chosen for SG50 Time Capsule include old maps, Singa the Courtesy Lion and Ten-year Series exam guides
By Bryna Singh, The Sunday Times, 13 Mar 2016

For more than 20 years, Mr Zaher Wahab, 34, has kept his 1994 ticket to the Malaysia Cup football final. The little stub is pressed neatly between two plastic sheets which, in turn, are sandwiched between the pages of a book.

Finally, to ensure the ticket is protected, the teacher keeps everything in an airtight plastic box.

His prized possession, however, will soon have a new home - the SG50 Time Capsule.

To be sealed this Friday by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at Gardens by the Bay, it will contain 50 items voted by the public as most representative of Singapore's identity and journey as a nation.

Items include old maps of Singapore, old character and citizenship education textbooks and a Singa the Courtesy Lion figurine.

This initiative is spearheaded by the SG50 Programme Office, which put out a list of 60 items for the public to vote on. The public could also propose new items.

Between Sept 21 and Nov 1 last year, about 45,000 votes were cast through the SG50 website, an interactive exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore and digital selection booths placed in selected locations. The programme office also received more than 300 item suggestions.

Last year, we asked you to tell us what you'd like to be included in the SG50 Time Capsule. Many of you shared with us...
Posted by Our SG on Friday, March 11, 2016

The top 50 items were chosen based on their popularity.

The top four items and item clusters proposed by Singaporeans were "Communications devices over the years", "Items related to our hawker centre food culture", "Singapore Passport" and "SG50 memorabilia".

Assistant administrative officer Ng Le Eng, 62, donated her rare blue Singapore Restricted Passport to the capsule. The blue passport was used for travel to Malaysia, but became invalid after Dec 31, 1999, and the red Singapore International Passport became the only valid document for travel out of Singapore.

Madam Ng was one of about 360,000 people then who held only the blue passport.

She had applied for it at a cost of $7.50 in 1973, thinking there would be a chance for her to travel to Malaysia, but did not get to do so before the passport became obsolete.

Parting with it was not a hard decision, says the grandmother of two. "It's more meaningful to give this away than to keep it in my drawer. This way, my grandchildren and younger generations get to see how things looked like in the past."

Communications specialist Lisa Marie Tan, 42, had no difficulty donating her Motorola Bravo Pager either. It is featured under "Communications devices over the years".

A gift from her then boyfriend in 1996, it was meant to help him get in touch with her and for her to be easily contactable in her job then as a crime reporter with The New Paper.

But now, it is "no longer of any use", which is why she donated it.

"I did take a picture of it before giving it away, though. In case I never see it again," she says.

Mr Zaher also took photographs of the items he donated to the capsule, which will be opened in 2065 - in time for SG100.

Besides the ticket, he also donated a commemorative T-shirt printed by The New Paper for the 1994 Malaysia Cup match.

He has fond memories of that match at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia, as it was his first time watching a soccer game overseas.

Singapore won the Cup that year, trouncing Pahang 4-0. That was also the year that Singapore last won the Cup.

"Because those memories are precious, the items are dear to me," he says.

"Hopefully, when the capsule is opened in 2065, we would be back playing in the Cup and we would have won again."

A big thank you to all who made our #SG50 celebrations so special! Last night we had an appreciation dinner to thank...
Posted by Lawrence Wong on Friday, March 18, 2016

A time capsule was buried under the old National Stadium's foundation stone in 1970 - but was never found. Read about the mystery and other time capsules buried in our past.
Posted by The Straits Times on Sunday, March 20, 2016

PM Lee officially seals SG50 Time Capsule at Gardens by the Bay

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