Is Singapore a gracious society?

That Singapore is far from being a gracious society is amply demonstrated by commuters on trains and buses. Playing music loudly, cutting their toe nails, sleeping stretched out on several seats, occupying more than one seat, eating and drinking and most amazingly of all, hanging wet clothes on MRT railings to dry them are some of the common things seen.

Not giving up seats to the elderly and pregnant we all are all very familiar with.

Sri Lanka may be a poor country and the people poor in the material sense but they still retain their culture of graciousness. I saw at first-hand how many people gave up their seats very readily to the elderly and pregnant ladies in buses which are always packed and are not air-conditioned.

Singapore Table Tennis Association’s outright refusal to nominate a deserving coach for the Coach of the Year award exemplifies our abysmal lack of graciousness.

SM Goh, there’s no doubt in my mind we still have a long way to go towards a gracious society. For starters the PAP government should walk the talk if it really wants to build a more gracious and kind society.

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5 Responses to “Is Singapore a gracious society?”

  1. Far from it. Even the service providers aren’t gracious.

    (1) I have to pay a transport deposit before the serviceman comes to check my air-conditioner. And it’s the same company I bought the air-conditioner from.

    (2) My Philips flat screen TV broke down 4 times in two years. They refused to replace it with a new one when I requested and I have hardly 6 months left with the guarantee.

    We are years away from being a gracious society. Everybody’s more concerned with profit and survival. Get the connection?

  2. That is why talk by ministers on the subject of graciousness and compassion is viewed often with skepticism.

  3. The complaint about the air-conditioner was made about two weeks ago. It hasn’t been resolved yet because the owner of the private company has not returned my call.

    Not giving up seats on a train for the elderly is nothing compared with the kind of bad attitude and rudeness amongst some of the Chinese business fraternity in Singapore.

    It has happened again and again because they don’t care for business ethics until they are dragged to court or CASE.

  4. Those Ah Beng businesses are the worst of the lot. Their business model, if you can call it that, is to grab your money and run. To them after sales service or customer satisfaction is stupid. No money no talk is their motto.

    I prefer to deal with reputable big firms.

  5. […] to complete this post that’s been sitting in draft form for almost a month after reading Roger Poh’s lament that Singapore isn’t a gracious society. just for […]


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