Countering discrimination, MCCY puts local spin to classic 'I’ll stand by you' song for frontline workers

The Singapore Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) has released a music video dedicated to frontline workers as part of the government’s “Singapore Together” (SGUnited) initiative. 

The campaign video was done in collaboration with Tribal Worldwide Singapore. The music video titled “Singapore Stands By You” features a rendition of the 1994 song “I’ll Stand By You” by The Pretenders, sung by local artistes Aisyah Aziz, Benjamin Kheng, Weish (Chew Wei Shan) and Shabir Tabare Alam (pictured from top left clockwise respectively).  According to the agency, the music video highlights the “challenges and struggles faced by frontline workers during the pandemic and pays tribute to them for keeping Singapore safe”. The video also acknowledges the frontline workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 Heightened Alert phase.

“Our frontline workers have been fighting hard against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic last year. We hope that this video and song will remind and inspire Singaporeans to show their support for our frontline workers whenever possible. Even little acts of kindness can go a long way,” said an MCCY spokesperson. 

Benson Toh, executive creative director at Tribal Worldwide Singapore, also said: “Despite the isolated cases of discrimination, most Singaporeans support our frontline workers. We hope the frontline workers can take heart from the music video and know that they are not alone in the fight against the virus.

Earlier this year, several healthcare workers faced discrimination and shunned in public due to suspicions of close proximity with coronavirus cases in Singapore. Some shared on social media the unkind words they faced which led to senior parliamentary secretary for home affairs Amrin Amin calling out such behavior of the public “disgraceful” and “unfortunate”.

The MCCY has also shared the video on its social media platforms. Its Instagram IGTV post has more than 14,000 views at the time of writing since its upload on 11 July, with most of the comments showing praise and support. Its Facebook post posted on 9 July has also garnered more than 350 likes and 280 shares at the time of writing, with generally positive responses.  The ministry also calls for the public to leave messages for frontline and essential service workers on the SG Digital Appreciation Board website.

MCCY’s initiative follows closely with the government’s “Together, towards a new normal” video that premiered on 2 July. Also done by Tribal, the agency said that it was inspired to create a "safety briefing" style video to make "Test, Trace and Vaccinate" resonate with Singaporeans. The video features a catchy tune with relatable lyrics and a fun, colourful music video but also sends a clear message on the need for testing, contact tracing and vaccinating in the new normal, said the agency. Tribal was also responsible for the "Get Your Shot, Steady Pom Pi Pi" video featuring iconic TV character Phua Chu Kang (played by Gurmit Singh) that launched 2 May 2021. The quirky and catchy tune also reached the ears of the international audience, with most praising the uniqueness of the campaign video.

Meanwhile, the government has been focusing its campaigning efforts on targeting the silver generation aged 60 and above. The ministry of communications and information (MCI)’s VacciNationSG campaign has been creating multi-platform and multilingual content since January 2021 to raise awareness and public understanding of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

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