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6 uniquely-Singaporean items that belong in the SG50 time capsule

With the SG50 Time Capsule being prepared now, we’ve come up with our own suggestions of what Singaporeans of 2065 would be interested to see

Though we’re trailing off towards the tail end of the SG50 celebrations, plans are already being made for SG100.

One of them is the SG50 Time Capsule project, to be buried in Gardens By the Bay, and re-opened in 2065, in time for SG100.

From now to Nov 1, you can head down to www.singapore50.sg and propose new items or select your favourites from a list of 60 memorabilia, which includes things such as HDB keys, a Ten-Year Series assessment book, an N95 mask, and Changi Airport merchandise.

The final items to be placed into the SG50 Time Capsule will be unveiled in end-November at the Jubilee Big Walk.

Before then, we’ve got some suggestions for what we think our future selves would be interested in seeing when they open this capsule

1. PSLE results


Photo: psleresults.com

With one in four Singaporeans thinking that the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) should be done away, we can’t help but wonder if, 50 years from now, PSLE will be a thing of the past, despite then-education minister Heng Swee Keat’s emphasis that the exam is here to stay.  

Still, the PSLE is probably one of the first high-stakes exams that many of us took during our pre-teen days — and probably can’t erase the traumatic memory of — so we say it definitely belongs in the time capsule.

2. Kendama

I don’t know how or when Kaleb Kendama, a traditional Japanese toy, got so popular among the youth here. Now, instead of getting caught with iPads under their desks, kids get their Kendamas confiscated by teachers who are as confused as I am about this craze.

Some Kendamas are beautifully customised with markers and paint, which is probably the toy’s biggest draw. In any case, I think it’s great that a traditional toy is gaining popularity over techno-toys. Into the time capsule it should go!

3. Old and new Singapore maps

Suggested on the SG50 Time Capsule website, this item is a good addition to see how much we’ve developed, which areas we’ve changed and what the buildings we’ve built.

It will also be interesting to see how much the constituencies have shifted over 50 years. By 2065, some of us could even be transported from Eastern Singapore to the West without even having to move.

4. Special EZ-Link card designs

In recent years, we’ve seen a number of specially-commissioned EZ-Link card designs. Popular ones that sold out very quickly include the Justice League and Hello Kitty cards. Of course, there were also the SG50 cards sold throughout this year.

5. Lee Kuan Yew unofficial tributes

The passing of our Founding Father, Lee Kuan Yew, brought out one of the greatest displays of unity and nationhood in locals here. Besides braving storm and sun to pay respects to Mr Lee, Singaporeans also took to producing and distributing their own tribute memorabilia.

Some of these decals and stickers should go into the time capsule to remind us of this turning point in Singapore’s history.

6. SG50 fishcake

Along with its exciting celebrations and innovative products, we can’t deny that SG50 has also produced some rather, well, eccentric items that we can look back on 50 years later and laugh at.

What better opportunity than now to do so? Let’s include the infamous SG50 fishcake — or rather, just a photo of it — that got many locals riled up due to its strange design, and spawned social media hashtags like “#everythingalsosg50”.

It can also serve as a timely reminder not to overwork the SG100 brand when it comes around.

By Pamela Chow

Don’t see your favourite Singaporean item here? Head over to the SG50 website to suggest or vote for items you think should go into the SG50 Time Capsule.