666: Number of the Beast… Or Number of LTA?

I’ve recently come across this article,


in which the launch of a bus service number, 666 in Punggol invited much flack from netizens in Singapore. This is due to the symbolic inclinations of the number 666, typically seen as a Satanic symbol, the “number of the beast”. LTA had wanted the new bus services, which they broadcast on their official Facebook page, to generate positive feedback as new busses lead to better transportation options and a reduced traveling time. However, this generated social media interest, albeit not in LTA’s intended manner.

With this situations, I have two questions:

  1. Why did LTA choose such a number, one that has potentially religious sensitive connotations? In recent months, it can be seen that the Christian community in Singapore are very active on Social Media, especially with the recent Madonna concert as well. By choosing such a bus service number, won’t LTA know that they are inviting negative feedback?
  2. In this light, what can LTA do, especially on Social Media platforms, to change the negative activity on social media into something more positive?

Also Singapore is a secular nation, it prides itself in keeping all religions in harmony, as reflected in our national pledge:

“We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,”

De Zhong


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