Finally! An uncensored, unmanipulated survey that reflects Singaporean’s sentiments and feelings about the current state of affairs in Singapore. A Mindshare survey carried out early this year found that a staggering 56 per cent of the 2,000-odd Singaporeans polled agreed or strongly agreed that, “given a choice, I would like to migrate”.
The key findings give some idea of why so many people want to leave the country and emigrate:
– 62% of those polled believe that our political leaders are paid too much these days.
– 65% think they will not be able to retire comfortably in Singapore.
– 72% think they cannot afford to get sick these days due to high medical costs.
– 73% think that public housing prices are getting out of hand.
– 75% think they should not be spending their entire working life paying off housing loans.
– 69% believe there are too many foreign workers taking up job opportunities in our society today.
– And 73% believe that Singaporeans should be granted priority in employment.
Those of us who have been monitoring the ground closely would not be too surprised by the dismal findings of this survey.
What is refreshing is that it is the first such survey in many years to give the unvarnished truth unlike the usual surveys commissioned by the Government and the mainstream media which usually produce whitewashed findings or diluted interpretations that give a brighter than actual picture of Singaporeans’ sentiments.
It is interesting to note that this Mindshare survey has not been reported by the nation’s main newspaper with the biggest circulation – The Straits Times (for obvious reasons). But it was reported over this weekend by The Business Times and Omy.sg and The New Paper – all of which have limited readership.
The validity of this survey is of course open to questioning since the media reports did not shed light on the sampling and methodology. But then again, the same applies to many national surveys done by official bodies where they only release the findings. Nonetheless, we can still use this Mindshare survey as a flashpoint to ask pertinent questions.
One wonders what our Prime Minister and ministers think of these findings? Will they react in a dismissive mode and view those surveyed as being “ungrateful” and “daft” yet again? Or will they find it in their conscience to reflect and look seriously into these red-flagged concerns?
For many years, the PAP government has been basking in a bubble of self-praise and international accolades for having developed Singapore into a highly progressive modern country. But how have they fared in building a real nation if more than half of its citizens really want to leave this country?
I seriously think that all our government leaders should be measured not only by GDP-related achievements but also by Gross National Happiness (GHN) measurements. If a GHN index were included in their KPI, I reckon they would score a very low RED mark for having created mass unhappiness among its born and bred citizens (yes I emphasise the word born-and-bred citizens and not new citizens or PRs whom this govt loves to please). With GNH as part of their performance measurement, our country’s leaders will be reminded of their priorities i.e. the People are as important if not much more so than the economy.
Our government has done well indeed on the economic front and in building a country with an abundance of modern infrastructure and amenities. Now if only they can do as well in caring for the people, in nurturing the people and in building a nation of happy Singaporeans. It is this, ultimately, that should be the real measure of any government’s success.