Expedia warned by MDA for using too much Singlish in their ad as some found it ‘offensive and crude’

Like that also can.

Nyi Nyi Thet | September 27, 2016 @ 04:45 pm

Media Development Authority (MDA) recently set up a committee to examine the quality of local content.

According to an article by marketing news site, Marketing Interactive, the committee’s report addressed a variety of concerns.

Some of the concerns include making brand advertorials more distinct from the program, and addressing racy content on the radio.

The report also concluded that local programming was becoming better as of late.

But while most of the report dealt with the content of the shows currently airing on local TV, a section was dedicated to one particular ad by Expedia.

The report apparently chided the excessive use of Singlish and the dialect phrase “wah lau”, with some viewers finding it “offensive and crude”.

This is the ad in question.

Now, if you think that ad sounded slightly exaggerated, here is the transcript of the 30 second spot.

Singlish lady (SL): Ask you call cab already, so hot leh.

Singlish man (SM): No need one, here got a lot of cab one. Ah, neh!

SM: Uncle, airport.

Stereotypical taxi uncle: Wah, your luggage so bright ah?

SM: Yeah lah, easy to spot on the luggage belt mah.

SM: Uncle, we book our flight and hotel together (does some Singapore hand gesture) got 30% discount eh, you know.

SM: But Uncle, shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Scene transition to luggage belt area.

SL: Chey!

SM: Wah lau eh.

*Kwa Kwa Kwa sound effect first popularised in the 70s*


Not a single line of dialogue was structured grammatically, and every sentence had at least 1 instance of Singlish, which might be a bit excessive.

A sentiment shared by most of its video’s viewers on YouTube.



No one likes censorship, but it turns out, people don’t really enjoy seeing their way of speaking perverted into an almost comical extreme, purely for the sake of making an organisation appear ‘relatable’.

Maybe next time, Expedia could use Singlish as an actual language, instead of as a handy substitute for a frightening lack of creativity.


Top image from YouTube

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About Nyi Nyi Thet

Thet has a chronic fear of teenage girls laughing at him. He sometimes puts on a cap in his room and yells “Gryffindor”.

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