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Why are Singaporeans so unhappy?

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Nihility
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Why are Singaporeans so unhappy?

Postby Nihility » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 7:51 am

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/singa ... 51733.html

So I read this among numerous other articles in the past few months and it appears (from the Internet) Singaporeans are not happy at all!
I’ve been actively reading numerous blogs pre-arrival to Singapore and the overwhelming bitterness over their lives is rampant in the blogs written and comments made. It seems the anger is directed mostly at:

1) PAP
2) Foreigners/Foreign Talent/Foreign Trash/Foreign Trash(es)
3) (Insert derogatory/racist term) for (race here)
4) CPF
5) Cost of housing

I have many long-term Singaporean friends. In years past, I’d often raise the state of politics there and ask them their feelings of the PAP running the country for so long. I was always met with the usual textbook garble: PAP had a hard job and were the founding fathers and needed to do what they did to get us to where we are today etc etc. But now, these same people have done a 180-degree twist and have turned on the PAP. They also endlessly complain about: foreigners taking Singapore jobs!

So why the big change? Or has it always been simmering? I tend to think it is less to do with the above list and more to do with the anonymity that goes with the increasing use of the Internet. Singapore is run very tightly and freedom of expression has been quashed in ensuring social harmony, but now the Internet is giving the disenfranchised a voice, and many are jumping on the bandwagon. The viciousness we are seeing on forums and blogs is mostly a response to decades of government oppression and evidence that the importance of freedom of speech, assembly and all the rest, is a basic human right.

I was convinced most Singaporeans were apolitical and mostly interested in consuming and eating, but in recent years I’ve changed my tune.

I hope that as the political process matures, and PAP are faced with well organised and vocal opposition, Singaporeans will learn to live with and be better able to manage this new found freedom of speech and avoid malicious racial profiling and slander.

Beeroclock
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Postby Beeroclock » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:09 am

As you mentioned the rise of the internet definitely allows more of this angst to bubble to the surface, whereas in the past it more often stays private.

But also I would suggest this is a broader "first world problem" phenomenon, not specific to Singapore. A lot of countries as they become more prosperous, the people are no longer pre-occupied with survival and hand-to-mouth obligation, the income equality grows, materialism is everywhere, people take the basics (health, shelter, security etc) for granted and have more time to think/reflect/whinge. In a material world where income/financial wealth is a main focus, the studies show people's happiness is relative rather than absolute, e.g. you get a payrise of 15% and you are very happy, but the next moment you find your colleague got 17% and you are upset/annoyed....

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 10:58 am

Precisely.

http://www.amazon.com/Status-Anxiety-Al ... ref=sr_1_6

Status Anxiety - Alain de Botton

Nihility
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Postby Nihility » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 11:18 am

Beeroclock wrote:As you mentioned the rise of the internet definitely allows more of this angst to bubble to the surface, whereas in the past it more often stays private.

But also I would suggest this is a broader "first world problem" phenomenon, not specific to Singapore. A lot of countries as they become more prosperous, the people are no longer pre-occupied with survival and hand-to-mouth obligation, the income equality grows, materialism is everywhere, people take the basics (health, shelter, security etc) for granted and have more time to think/reflect/whinge. In a material world where income/financial wealth is a main focus, the studies show people's happiness is relative rather than absolute, e.g. you get a payrise of 15% and you are very happy, but the next moment you find your colleague got 17% and you are upset/annoyed....


Excellent points and I definitely agree.

Also, Status Anxiety is a book I need to reread again :)

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Wed, 18 Jun 2014 12:20 pm

Nihility wrote: Status Anxiety is a book I need to reread again :)


Yep, me too! I have a copy somewhere ...


In brief:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhpdWDyB0UY
'What Are You Worth? Getting Past Status Anxiety.
In full:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1MqJPHxy6g
'Alain de Botton: Status Anxiety


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