I was watching Channel 5 coverage on the SEA Games. Tao Li won 4 gold and going for the 5th. And a games sticker came out at the end of the event. Li Tao first. Is her name Tao Li or Li Tao? Is our shooter Zhang Jin or Jin Zhang? The other shooter was Ong Jun Hong though the TV sticker came out as Jun Hong Ong. Then there were several swimmers, Jia Hao Ng must be Ng Jia Hao. This non standard format of writing of Chinese names also affected the Vietnamese with Nguyen sometimes in front and sometimes behind the names. Actually Singaporean Chinese names were also reported either ways.
If I can be confused, so would other nationalities. As they said, let’s just follow the majority as the majority seems to be always right, or at least it is more practical to do so. In this case we have the western format as the dominant and familiar way, and easier to understand. So with immediate effect the editorial policy of this blog will adopt the western format when names are concerned. The family name or surname will henceforth be written behind the individual’s name. This should standardise everything and no one will be confused anymore. It will make us to be more westernised or international. No more guessing game.
For a start we will have to get use to Kuan Yew Lee, Chok Tong Goh, Boon Wan Khaw, Eng Hen Ng. Luckily still can address our President as Tony Tan unless he prefers people to call him Keng Yam Tan.
That’s it. This is the way forward. Follow the prevailing trend, and the western style. We will set the standard for countries with Chinese to follow suit. I hope the Govt will make it official for Mediacorp and SPH to do the same. In the interim, while the world gets use to this standardisation, just bear with Mr Kuan instead of Mr Lee, Mr Chok instead of Mr Goh....
PS. Let's not confused the world. Or shall I say let's confuse the world more?