The inaugural Singapore/Malaysia edition of reality singing show The Voice has drawn only one requirement – you must be able to sing in Mandarin.

Its official marketing material, including its website and Facebook page, state that while the contest is open to singers of all nationalities and races, participants have to be “fluent in Mandarin and are able to perform Mandarin songs”.

A spokesman for mm2 Entertainment, which is co-producing the show with StarHub (Singapore) and Astro (Malaysia), tells The Straits Times that it “decided to acquire the format licence in Mandarin based on the assessment that it is most commercially viable”.

Contestants will also have to converse with the judges, who have not been revealed, mainly in Mandarin.

“The ability of the contestants to communicate effectively in Mandarin becomes a necessity for the execution of the production as contestants are required to engage the judges extensively, including during the coaching sessions, which are integral to the show format.”

The Voice has been held in various languages in different versions around the world since its inception in 2010.

People who have been waiting eagerly for it to come to Singapore were bitterly disappointed by the language requisite.

The Voice Singapore-Malaysia may be mimicking the success of Sing! China, which captured millions of audiences around Southeast Asia and within China itself.

To the Malay community in Singapore. Don’t tension la bro / sis.

No one is doubting that the Malays can sing, the organisers just want a talent that can break the China Market.

Malay already won Singapore Idol 1 and 2, you also have the local singing competition Anugerah on Suria.

Stop complaining about discrimination because it has nothing to do with race. They just want you to speak Mandarin, in addition to the Malay, English or whatever dialect you can speak.

The last time we checked, there was a Malay who can sing Chinese song and she won top 3 in china. She wears the tudung some more.

Enuf said.