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Yahoo! presents the Singapore 9

EDITOR'S FOREWORD

Welcome to the Singapore 9, a Yahoo! project to recognise nine Singaporeans who really made a difference in the past year.

When we at Yahoo! first sat down to discuss how to celebrate this year's National Day in a unique way, we wanted a project that was going to a) be uniquely Singaporean and b) involve the internet community — yes, that means you.

Once we nailed down the Singapore 9 concept, however, we found out this was just the start of things to come. Coming up with the list of initial nominees was hard, real hard. From the outset, the only criteria to be considered as a nominee was that he or she had to be Singaporean and that they had to have made a major contribution to Singapore in the last year.

But anyone who's done these kinds of lists will tell you it's never an exact science. Disagreements and deep discussions on who should or should not be considered led to conversations deep into the night.

After several rounds of deliberation, the list of hundreds was finally whittled down to just 45: five nominees for each of the 9 categories -- Politics, Economy, Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Media, Charities, Thinkers and Young Faces. While some declined to be nominated, suffice it to say we think we've put forth a strong, talented field of nominees in each.

Some categories were obvious. For example, politics was always sure to figure large in light of our May elections. So too the media and the youth. But we also deliberately cast our net wide and far in order to reflect and recognise the tremendous diversity in modern Singapore society.

Over the next few weeks, we will unveil the chosen five nominees in the various categories, and we hope you will participate by voting and making your voice heard. The nominee who gets the most votes will be declared the winner for that category and the final list of winners will be announced before National Day.

Join us as we honour and celebrate the nine Singaporeans who have indelibly left their mark, one way or another, on the island we call home.

Presenting… the Singapore 9.

Jeffrey Oon

Country Editor, Singapore