S’poreans have ‘unhealthy level of self-centredness’: SKM survey

Survey shows that Singaporeans are harsher on fellow Singaporeans. (Yahoo file photo)
Survey shows that Singaporeans are harsher on fellow Singaporeans. (Yahoo file photo)

Singaporeans display an "unhealthy level" of self-centeredness and self-absorption in their perception of their graciousness, a survey by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) revealed.

In the third "State of Graciousness in Singapore" survey conducted in January this year, 43 percent of Singapore citizens and PRs rated themselves well in terms of how gracious they are, but when asked to rate the graciousness of other Singaporeans and PRs, only 15 percent gave good ratings.

When respondents were asked if they have done a random act of kindness in the last six months, 88 percent or 876 Singaporeans said they had, but only 55 percent or 553 Singaporeans said they had been on the receiving end of any such act.

The survey covered 1,404 people in Singapore, including 1,001 citizens and permanent residents (PR), 201 work permit and employment pass holders and 201 tourists.

"Singaporeans consistently give harsher assessments of fellow Singaporeans and are more forgiving towards themselves," Dr William Wan, general manager of SKM, said.

"The findings showed an unhealthy level of self-centeredness and self-absorption, and not being aware of and not appreciating the efforts of others. This is the attitude that we want to change," he added.

Most Singaporeans agreed with the statement that they did more kind and gracious acts than unkind and ungracious acts. They also prided themselves on being gracious person and would encourage others to do so.

However, 62 percent or 621 respondents agreed that it was not possible for Singapore to become a more gracious place due to the hectic and stressed lifestyle in Singapore.

What sort of behaviours would tick Singaporeans off?

445 Singaporeans felt that fellow Singaporeans did not display considerate dining etiquette. Singaporeans also listed inconsideration towards others on public transport and failing to display safe lane etiquette while driving as the least gracious behaviour.

Singaporeans also pointed to public transport, public spaces and public eating places as the top three areas that needed the most improvement in the survey.

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