Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Memedef typeface logo.

Memedef is a Singaporean social media page specialising in satirical content, mostly related to National Service (NS) in the form of memes (videos or images typically humorous in nature).[1][2] Its name is a play on MINDEF, the abbreviation for Singapore's Ministry of Defence.[3] Memedef also operates the meme page, Diaozui Hotline and BuyLocal.SG, an e-commerce website.[4][5] As of October 2020, Memedef has over 68,000 followers on its Instagram account and over 39,000 likes on Facebook.


One of Memedef's relatable army memes. Photo credit to Memedef.

Through its use of relatable and humourous memes, Memedef has established a following of over 1,500 members on their Telegram community chat as of October 2020. Speaking about the impact that Memedef has had on others, co-founder Raphael Yee was quoted to have said:

“We struggled through NS ourselves and we know how it feels to have to drag ourselves to camp. We received a lot of messages from NSFs and even regulars (full-time servicemen) about how we get them through their day.”[3]

Origins of Memedef

Memedef was conceptualised in February 2018 when co-founder Raphael Yee started creating Telegram stickers about his National Service (NS) company mates while undergoing Basic Military Training (BMT).[3] Together with his platoon mate, Jonathan Lee, they then set up ‘MDES Scheme For PES F Green Boi Memes’, a social media meme page focusing primarily on non-combat personnel (PES C or E) in the army.[3][6] This page was eventually renamed 'Memedef'. At the start, Jonathan and Raphael created up to ten memes a day and gained up to 2,000 followers per week on Memedef’s social media platforms.[7]


Jonathan and Raphael, the founders of Memedef. Photo from Instagram.

Jonathan Lee

While serving his mandatory National Service, co-founder Jonathan Lee was an Administrative Support Assistant (ASA) at Nee Soon Medical Center. From May 2019 to August 2019, he was also a social media consultant for the Ministry of Defence’s Communications Organisation.[8] Jonathan is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Analytics at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS).[9] As of January 2020, he is also a full-time content strategist with SGAG and a content lead for SGEEK, where he ideates organic content for the company and its clients.[8]

Raphael Yee

During his National Service, co-founder Raphael Yee was a finance clerk at Sungei Gedong camp.[10] Whilst serving in the army, he developed the Hand Over Take Over (HOTO) digital application for the Armour and logistics formation. Speaking more about his contributions, he said:

"When I was approached to help code the app, I wanted to make sure that the app I've helped to create is useful right down to the last man on the ground. Therefore, I talked to many operators and got feedback from them for the design of the app interface."[11]

For his work, Raphael was awarded a Letter of Appreciation from then-Chief of Supply, Colonel Chang Pin Chuan.[12] With his expertise in software engineering, Raphael oversees the monetisation and growth of the social media pages that he and Jonathan operate. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). As of January 2020, Raphael is also a part-time research assistant with the Ministry of Education (MOE), where he advises on backend infrastructural design and frontend/backend software development.[13]

Content overview

In an interview with Coconuts Singapore that was published in 2018, the founders of Memedef shared more about the type of content that they create:

"Quite frequently, we have to look at submissions by NSFs who really want to say something, but we also know that there are some lines that cannot be crossed — if it threatens operational security, that’s definitely a no-no... We strike a balance between making fun of NS and being too offensive like other meme pages can be."[14]

According to co-founder Jonathan Lee’s LinkedIn profile, Memedef and Diaozui Hotline have a weekly cumulative reach of over 600,000 people on both Instagram and Facebook.[8] On average, Memedef receives approximately 5,000 likes for each post on Instagram.

Timely memes

Memedef's timely meme during the COVID-19 outbreak in Singapore. Photo credit to Memedef.

Memedef stays updated with the latest news and media trends, creating original memes in response to newsworthy events in Singapore. In April 2020, the Ministry of Defence announced that the Basic Military Training (BMT) for new enlistees would be suspended from April 7 to May 4.[15] In response to the news, Memedef created a meme which has garnered over 3,800 likes on Instagram[16] and close to 400 shares on Facebook[17] to date (October 2020).

Other endeavours

Diaozui Hotline (August 2019 to present)

Diaozui Hotline is Memedef's affiliate meme page.

Since August 2019, Raphael and Jonathan have been managing Diaozui Hotline, a meme page targeting the general "Generation Z" demographic.[8] As of October 2020, it has over 30,000 followers on Instagram and over 15,000 likes on Facebook. Each post on Diaozui Hotline’s Instagram page receives an average of 3,000 likes.

Controversial content

On 28 September 2020, the meme page posted a photo of four people sitting in the MRT train, insinuating that they were promiscuous couples. However, the subjects of the photo promptly clarified that they were family members.[18] The meme page subsequently deleted the post and posted a public apology to the individuals involved.[19]

BuyLocal.SG (May 2020 to present)

During the circuit breaker period in May 2020, Memedef's co-founders, Jonathan and Raphael initiated BuyLocal.SG as a way to support local businesses.[20] They teamed up with the e-commerce website, Ruugi to consolidate local vendors and listings from Qoo10, Shopee and Carousell. On BuyLocal.SG, users can search for their desired item, after which related listings from all three websites will appear on the results page.[21] Memedef's co-founder, Raphael and his friend, Josiah Khoo worked on the front and backend software development of the website respectively to ensure that the site runs smoothly.[22] Memedef also bore the server costs for BuyLocal.SG as it was meant to be a community project.[21]

Media features

The following is a list of media publications that Memedef and its sister pages have been featured on over the years.

Year Publication Page Refs.
2020 Mothership Diaozui Hotline [18]
Mustshare News BuyLocal.SG [21]
Vulcan Post [23]
2019 The Straits Times Memedef [7][24]
Great Deals Singapore [25]
Mustshare News [10]
Channel News Asia [3]
2018 Coconuts Singapore [14]

References/ Citations

  1. Memedef. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  2. memedefsg. Instagram. n.d. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ho, Jovi. “NS, 'uncles' and chicken rice: A peek into Singapore millennial meme humour”. CNA Lifestyle. March 24, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  4. Raphael Yee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  5. Ng, Lucia. “New Online Marketplace Shows Prices Across Shopee, Qoo10 & Carousell For Easier Thrift Shopping”. Mustshare News. May 14, 2020. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  6. memedefsg. "How did you guys start?". Instagram. 2019. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Abdullah, Zhaki. “Striking a chord through humour: What's in a meme?”. The Straits Times. April 20, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Jonathan Lee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  9. Jonathan Lee. "Work and Education". Facebook. Accessed on 7 October 2020.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Tze, Chun Choi. “Memedef Co-Founder Is A SAF Clerk; Shows Going To Command School Isn’t Everything”. Mustshare News. July 2, 2019. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  11. LCP Gordon Goh. "Two Years of Our Lives, Memories for a Lifetime". Ministry of Defence. July 16, 2019. Accessed on 7 October 2020.
  12. "Chief Supply Officer - Letter of Appreciation". August 14, 2019. Accessed on 7 October 2020. Retrieved from LinkedIn.
  13. Raphael Yee. LinkedIn. n.d. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  14. 14.0 14.1 Sholihyn, Ilyas. “Masters of Dank: A Roundtable Session With The People Behind Singapore's Top Meme Pages”. Coconuts Singapore. August 30, 2018. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  15. Cheng, Kenneth. “Covid-19: SAF suspends Basic Military Training, recruits to stay home”. TODAYonline. April 6, 2020. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  16. memedefsg. Instagram. April 28, 2020. Accessed on 1 October 2020. Retrieved from
  17. memedefsg. Facebook. April 28, 2020. Accessed on 7 October 2020. Retrieved from:
  18. 18.0 18.1 Zhang, Jane. “S'pore YP meme page says sorry for trending wholesome family on MRT as promiscuous couples”. Mothership. September 28, 2020. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  19. Yang, George. “Diaozui Hotline Memes FB Page Apologises After It Made Fun of Family in MRT; Said They Thought It Was 'Harmless'”. Goody Feed. 29 September, 2020. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  20. Sholihyn, Ilyas. “New site allows online shoppers to buy exclusively from Singaporean businesses and sellers”. AsiaOne. May 14, 2020. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Ng, Lucia. “New Online Marketplace Shows Prices Across Shopee, Qoo10 & Carousell For Easier Thrift Shopping”. Mustshare News. May 14, 2020. Accessed on 1 October 2020.
  22. NUS Office of Student Affairs. “OSA AMA:”. YouTube. May 28, 2020. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  23. Chiang, Sheila. “This Site Compares Prices Across Carousell, Shopee, Qoo10 So You Can Easily Find Cheap Goods”. Vulcan Post. May 20, 2020. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  24. Abdullah, Zhaki. “When you say what you meme”. The Straits Times. April 21, 2019. Accessed on 2 October 2020.
  25. S’pore Facebook page turns MINDEF animated series into a Japanese anime by editing it with Naruto’s opening song”. Great Deals Singapore. December 14, 2019. Accessed on 2 October 2020.