CNY 2014 Quiz Results

For the Year of the Horse Chinese New Year Celebrations, SingaporeConnect and the Singaporeans @ Stanford (S@S) ran a web-based quiz amongst the attendees. An email was sent with a link to a web page and respondents had about 2 hours over the course of the dinner to fill in their answers. Subsequent to that, SingaporeConnect opened the quiz to anyone, though generally members, to participate.

A total of 68 candidates attempted the quiz. How did they fare? Which questions are the hardest to score correctly? Take a look:


The bold percentages show the most popular answer while the bold answers show the correct answer.

Here is a graph showing the questions by the percentage who answered them correctly, i.e. sorting the questions from easiest to hardest.

   Some commentary on the questions and answers. The percentages show those who got the answer "right".

Which of the following may qualify a male living in Singapore for exemption from National Service?


This is a tricky and possibly ambigious question. Most went for the health condition. A serious disability or medical condition could disqualify. Merely being unfit might not. The religious stance against war does not. Very few of you chose the need to support family, however this is also a condition - specifically, if one can prove serving would cause hardship to the family. Finally, note NS has to be served by permanent residents as well! Surprising that 29% would pick that.

Who is the first Singapore politician on Facebook?


Vivian Balakrishnan joined Facebook on Aug 11, 2007. George Yeo is close, June 6, 2008 (a busy day, he got married 0 says Facebook - on that day as well). Nicole Seah: Apr 19, 2011 (apparently just in time to get started in politics). Lee Hsien Loong, apparently, the latest, at Apr 19, 2012.

Which of these activities has former foreign minister George Yeo done since leaving politics?


This might seem a pretty obscure question, but it was reported in the Straits Times on Feb 3. ( ship-brings-home-discussion-singapore-201402). Straight Talk, the book, came out from former Minister Raymond Lim in 2013. 

Which of the following universities have campuses in Singapore?


Yale and Duke are joint programmes with NUS, so they don't have a separate campus. Cambridge doesn't have. New York Tisch School of Art actually has a 3-acre campus in Singapore. (

Which event is happening in Singapore on Feb 9, 2014?


The Singapore Air Show, the most popular choice, is actually the next weekend: Feb 15, 16. The 150th Anniversary of the Botanic Gardens was in April, 2009. Only 1% of you chose Michael Learns to Rock, but the concert would actually have been at the Singapore Expo on Feb 22. The Pioneer Generation Honour is indeed on Feb 9, as anyone who heard PM Lee's Chinese New Year message would have found out.

How did the Merlion become Singapore's National Symbol?


Most of you figured it was an act of the Tourism Board (it was their logo too), and specifically the Merlion statue was commissioned by the Tourist Board in 1972. Now, it is true that there is a story about Sang Nila Utama seeing a Merlion, but the facts around this are a little hazier. 7% chose spin-off of the Chinese Dragon? Really?

What is the top item seized by Singapore Customs?


Singapore Customs seizes over 2.9 million contraband cigarettes a year, an assumption most of you figured. But 32% thought it was chewing gum? By the way, did you know the sale of chewing gum for therapeutic use was allowed since 2004 due to the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement?

This year's SAF Open House is done by:


Interestingly for those who didn't pick "All", only 3% picked "Navy".

Which is the newest university in Singapore?


SIT established 28 Dec 2009, YNC 2011, UniSIM, 2005. SUTD started around 2009, but the first students came in 2013. 

How would you order iced espresso with more sugar and no milk?


Impressive! The next choice was "siew-nai", so it was just a choice of that or "gah-dai".

Why are so many people born at the start of 1989, as compared to the number of births for the later months of that year?


How in the world did 10% pick the air-conditioner answer?

Why do some people write the word fu upside down?


Good response.

Why are cats and rats enemies, with reference to the Chinese Zodiac?


The frivolous answers for the other 3 choices helped, possibly.

Why do most Chinese not clean the house on the first day of CNY?


Just about everyone knew this.

We hope those of you who tried the quiz found it entertaining or learned something new about Singapore. It will come back next year, so keep up with your Singapore current affairs!


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