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Do Singaporeans really have the highest IQ in the world?

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kosmopolitan
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Postby kosmopolitan » Thu, 14 May 2009 12:32 am

sms said, "You only see less spitting because of the fine. It isn't even a Pavlovian response. It only the fear of a fine. Same goes for littering. They don't throw garbage out of the window of their cars here but watch them driving in Malaysia. Soon as they get over the causeway it starts. Why? "

I m not sure if i agree with you on this one, cos while I can't speak for others, I was taught and knew I would be fined if I litter. Having gone thru that exercise, today, I still instinctively refuse to litter in Malaysia nor anywhere else. Even in Singapore where in recent times we do not really hear (or at least I didn't) about incidences of actual fines being given for littering, I still take the pain not to do it. It is in my BIG (as Quasimodo like to insist) brain permanently & sincerely that I wanna keep the place clean. So I still see the value of campaigns/fines/punishment as a learning tool. It's also why I questioned earlier on, the fuzziness of sincereity in greetings protocols. It's subjectively a very fine line for some people, i.e., it can be both mechanical and sincere concurrently.

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Postby taxico » Thu, 14 May 2009 6:51 am

kosmopolitan wrote:...I noticed an interesting fact there there is no equivalence of "excuse me" in Mandarin. I noticed this when I was trapped in a crowded elevator in Taiwan, trying to get off. I ended up pushing my way out b4 the doors closed instead.


"BU(4) HAO(3) YI(4) SI(4)" is what the rest of the mandarin speaking world uses.

in taiwan, mi(4) nan(2) (aka fujian dialect) is widely accepted so you can also use "pai(2) seh(4)"

both are acceptable in singapore, but rarely ever used.

among the many things i don't know, i also don't know why bi-lingual singaporeans don't use it.

so how would you feel when you see them pushing and shoving and keeping quiet?
Last edited by taxico on Thu, 14 May 2009 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby taxico » Thu, 14 May 2009 6:53 am

kosmopolitan wrote:There is a difference between correcting a person and being condescending to a person.


singaporeans are not well known for correcting people either. more so than expats (here, there, anywhere)? i leave that up to you to decide...

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Postby taxico » Thu, 14 May 2009 7:17 am

kosmopolitan wrote:... I still see the value of campaigns/fines/punishment as a learning tool.


why should such things have to be learned the hard way? that's not my philosophy, not when many of the problems are not found overseas.

most toilets elsewhere are usually stocked with toilet paper and rarely dirty despite not having an army of cleaners or auto-flush!

elsewhere, most people cross the road properly and appropriately (with/without signal lamps) and drivers watchout for jay walkers.

littering is a problem everywhere in the world, but most places with bins tend to see less of it.

in singapore, despite having many many well placed rubbish bins (do you see how many??) and cleaners, it is dirtier than what i expect it to be.

most singaporeans don't care - they'd rather toss a can or cigarette butt than walk 10 feet to bin it.

flushing and littering enforcement still goes on, and it's not an ebbing problem singapore. it's a sure sign of a MEMEME/kiasu culture...

i always wonder why not more parents are taking steps to properly educate their kids - it's not something to be left up to CME lessons in school. TOO LATE!!!

my dear singaporean, being considerate, polite and civic-minded are NOT displays of weaknesses! you shouldn't feel that way!

no one should ever be co-erced into doing things they don't want to, but this is not the case in singapore... the things that ought to be done are rarely done without the fear of penalties OR just pure indifference.

just so you know, passing "rubbish" legislations (both meanings) cannot be healthy for singapore's software.

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Postby kosmopolitan » Thu, 14 May 2009 10:57 am

taxico wrote:why should such things have to be learned the hard way? that's not my philosophy,
flushing and littering enforcement still goes on,
no one should ever be co-erced into doing things they don't want to, but this is not the case in singapore... the things that ought to be done are rarely done without the fear of penalties OR just pure indifference.

just so you know, passing "rubbish" legislations (both meanings) cannot be healthy for singapore's software.


I am of the view that when a country is young and still developing (in the social sense, & certainly also in the economic sense for poor countries still struggling to make ends meet), the easiest and most effective way to quickly improve social behaviour (even in the expense of human rights as hygiene is relativey more crucially important than human rights, tho it is not to mean that human rights aren't impt) is thru campaigns/fines, this is so until the country has a very sound educational and social structure to support the inculcation of good social behaviour (which I mentioned is a very difficult thing to change) through better means, like u implied, thru education.

In the case of Singapore which is still developing such social supporting structure for this purpose slowly but surely, like I mentioned it is now noticeable that enforcement has slowly taken a back seat as the education slowly takes over tho there's still a long way to go and it may take generations. I remember donkey years ago, police frequently stand at pedestrain red lights waiting for their preys. I do agree with you that ultimately, the best way to do things is NOT thru enforcement if possible. But this is not completely possible in the case of Singapore yet.

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Postby kosmopolitan » Thu, 14 May 2009 11:06 am

taxico wrote:"BU(4) HAO(3) YI(4) SI(4)" is what the rest of the mandarin speaking world uses.

in taiwan, mi(4) nan(2) (aka fujian dialect) is widely accepted so you can also use "pai(2) seh(4)"


Thks for the tip. It didn't occur to me that word which actually literally means "It's rather embarrassing" could be used.



taxico wrote:so how would you feel when you see them pushing and shoving and keeping quiet?


I would feel a little annoyed. Of course I do make mistakes once in a while too. I m after all a Singaporean. :D I was just taken by surprised that suddenly I don't know what to say in this country, and in the meantime the doors are shutting.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 May 2009 12:39 pm

kosmopolitan wrote:I am of the view that when a country is young and still developing (in the social sense, & certainly also in the economic sense for poor countries still struggling to make ends meet), the easiest and most effective way to quickly improve social behaviour (even in the expense of human rights as hygiene is relativey more crucially important than human rights, tho it is not to mean that human rights aren't impt) is thru campaigns/fines, this is so until the country has a very sound educational and social structure to support the inculcation of good social behaviour (which I mentioned is a very difficult thing to change) through better means, like u implied, thru education.

In the case of Singapore which is still developing such social supporting structure for this purpose slowly but surely, like I mentioned it is now noticeable that enforcement has slowly taken a back seat as the education slowly takes over tho there's still a long way to go and it may take generations. I remember donkey years ago, police frequently stand at pedestrain red lights waiting for their preys. I do agree with you that ultimately, the best way to do things is NOT thru enforcement if possible. But this is not completely possible in the case of Singapore yet.


kosmo, you make a good assumption above but unfortunately, I don't think it is a valid one. Let me explain.....

You are trying to pin the dire lack of social morals to the development of the "country" of Singapore. Here is where your age, or more likely, lack of age shows up. Go talk to the Kong Kong's in their 70's & 80's. You know the ones, they sit around in the kopitiams and in the void decks of HDB flats all day, day in and day out. Ask them their opinions of whether the population has progressed or regressed from a social/moral point of view. Most will tell you it's regressed. But why is that? Are we saying Singaporean can't multi-task? It is possible to develop and keep your social skills as well. You can still be cut-throat in business but still keep your manners.

A population does not get it's reputation as a people from it's economic development but from it's actions. Back in the days of the kampongs before the Bukit Ho Swee fires, back when a large portion of the population lived in kampongs, they had a sense of community, those communities were kept clean (even those who had dirt floors), the common areas where also kept clean with all members of the community doing their part to keep it that way. Unfortunately, for some reason, with the advent of more than 4 stories in a building, and the arrival of cheap foreign labour, somehow the population decided to become lazy and let others do it for them. The other excuse was that is was too hard to walk down the 4 flights of stairs to properly dispose of the garbage therefore they started throwing it out the windows or off the balcony. That signaled the beginning of the end of courtesy as we know it. Pragmatic? or just lazy? The morals and social courtesies were there long before this nation had a flag and national anthem, but I believe the HDB was the beginning of the end. So, blame it on HDB's development of Housing Board Flats. It's as good an excuse as any and it isn't gonna hold any water either.

And campaigns do not do anything except waste taxpayer dollars. Courtesy campaigns here, you have to admit, are a complete joke. Once a year up go the banners and for 30 days a few of the people actually try due to the constant exhortations of the gahmen. But, as soon as the banners come down, it's back to the old ways again overnight. Why? Because it all starts with YOU! Every individual has to be the first to start. But the only time any Singaporean wants to be first is if it means getting something for free or a whopping big discount. If there isn't any monetary gain in it the what's the point seems to be the mantra here. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to life than money. Hopefully, one day this nation's population might learn that.......

we hope.

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Postby kosmopolitan » Thu, 14 May 2009 2:07 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:You are trying to pin the dire lack of social morals to the development of the "country" of Singapore. Here is where your age, or more likely, lack of age shows up. Go talk to the Kong Kong's in their 70's & 80's. You know the ones, they sit around in the kopitiams and in the void decks of HDB flats all day, day in and day out. Ask them their opinions of whether the population has progressed or regressed from a social/moral point of view. Most will tell you it's regressed. ............ Back in the days of the kampongs before the Bukit Ho Swee fires, back when a large portion of the population lived in kampongs, they had a sense of community, those communities were kept clean (even those who had dirt floors), the common areas where also kept clean with all members of the community doing their part to keep it that way.


I m surprised that u have access to such historical info in a foreign country which i m certainly not even aware of. Suppose the above is really true, I can't disagree that that prob explains why even backward Malacca/Bali has better social manners (in certain aspects only though) than high tech Singapore. However, still, in my own experience, it is still a fact that I did witness SLIGHT improvement thru the years (i.e. AFTER the kampong era and with the beginning of onslaught of HDB) in many social habits like spitting, littering, giving way while driving (still WAY to go tho but certainly better than Johorians but not Malaccans), service standards etc. But maybe, the sense of community (for various reasons)(of which u tok abt), has really been lost by now. This actually reminds me of the thought that the demographically homogeneous nature of Japan may be an edge and thus may have played a part in maintaining a sense of community and consequently altruistic behaviour.

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Postby gillypadi » Thu, 14 May 2009 2:12 pm

taxico, I don't believe in most of the things you've highlighted. What other countries are you comparing Singapore too?

1) You said: in singapore, despite having many many well placed rubbish bins (do you see how many??) and cleaners, it is dirtier than what i expect it to be.

I can hardly find any bins now after the 9/11 scare. Have you tried getting rid of your starbucks coffee cup at City Hall Mrt? You can't... You have to take the escalator up back to Starbucks and dump it there. But I have to say, Singapore is a place where I can wear flip flops and after a full day of walking around, not go home with black sooty feet.

I can't say the same for many parts of Asia and not in Europe too. And I can safely also say, I will not find doggy poo in the middle of the pavement in the city here (won't mention which country)

2) flushing and littering enforcement still goes on, and it's not an ebbing problem singapore. it's a sure sign of a MEMEME/kiasu culture...

I don't think littering is the cause of kiasu-ism. It's just some lazy buggers and the small minority of people who litter altho I do not see many of them doing it on the streets. Where are you hanging out?

Maybe I am not doing the do in public toilets at the food court or wet markets but I have to say, Singapore toilets need better ventilation! That air freshener reeks and cannot mask the smell of the curry the woman next door had last night!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 May 2009 4:25 pm

gillypadi wrote:taxico, I don't believe in most of the things you've highlighted. What other countries are you comparing Singapore too?

1) You said: in singapore, despite having many many well placed rubbish bins (do you see how many??) and cleaners, it is dirtier than what i expect it to be.

I can hardly find any bins now after the 9/11 scare. Have you tried getting rid of your starbucks coffee cup at City Hall Mrt? You can't... You have to take the escalator up back to Starbucks and dump it there. But I have to say, Singapore is a place where I can wear flip flops and after a full day of walking around, not go home with black sooty feet.

A good example is my HDB Block (one one of umpteen in our estate like everywhere else). In the elevator landing area (where the mail boxes are) there is a big bin on each end of the Mailbox wall, and two additional ones nearby. Additionally, right around the corner is a huge recycling bin that holds at least 3 containers. Even with all of those they had to build a pig troth in front of the mail boxes. When I come home from work around 8:30 at night the life landing is full of garbage flyers where they cannot even hit the troth and are too lazy to bend down a pick up their garbage. I been scolded numerous times for commenting. Their reply? That's what we pay the cleaners for. And these are Singaporeans, I know. I've lived in my flat for 10 years and I'm a member of the grassroots resident's committee. Each Bus stop has at least one bin. There's about four at Clementi on each side of the road. But look at the litter all over the bus stops. It's the same of bus stops in & around HDB estates as well. Of course it's de rigueur to blame it on foreigners (even though they are the ones cleaning it up every morning?)

I can't say the same for many parts of Asia and not in Europe too. And I can safely also say, I will not find doggy poo in the middle of the pavement in the city here (won't mention which country)

Live in a HDB flat and you might. As SE says, people who live in landed estates tend to pick it up cause the population density is not a great so it's easy to get fingered.


2) flushing and littering enforcement still goes on, and it's not an ebbing problem singapore. it's a sure sign of a MEMEME/kiasu culture...

I don't think littering is the cause of kiasu-ism. It's just some lazy buggers and the small minority of people who litter altho I do not see many of them doing it on the streets. Where are you hanging out?

Agreed, it's not the cause of kiasu-ism. But it is still part and parcel of the whole social morals thing. It's usually the same people as they only think about themselves and not how their actions impact others - so I tend to agree with taxico on the whole general malaise.


Maybe I am not doing the do in public toilets at the food court or wet markets but I have to say, Singapore toilets need better ventilation! That air freshener reeks and cannot mask the smell of the curry the woman next door had last night!


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Postby taxico » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:19 pm

gillypadi wrote:taxico, I don't believe in most of the things you've highlighted. What other countries are you comparing Singapore too?


i'm comparing singapore's public toilets to parts of china, hong kong, korea, japan, new zealand and the US i've been to or lived in. the usual disclaimer applies (not "all").

gillypadi wrote:1) You said: in singapore, despite having many many well placed rubbish bins (do you see how many??) and cleaners, it is dirtier than what i expect it to be.


my last visit to singapore was early this year, and i saw many on street level: in malls, residential areas, parks and on sidewalks. etc. i didn't spend a lot of time taking trains.

have you seen litter not far from rubbish bins along the stretch between wisma and wheelock place? and then there're those who casually toss rubbish into a bin, see it fall out, and walk away, not caring.

gillypadi wrote:I can hardly find any bins now after the 9/11 scare. Have you tried getting rid of your starbucks coffee cup at City Hall Mrt? You can't... You have to take the escalator up back to Starbucks and dump it there. But I have to say, Singapore is a place where I can wear flip flops and after a full day of walking around, not go home with black sooty feet.


i have not tried getting rid of a cup inside a train station because i know i won't be able to, and if i have trash, i hang onto it until i leave the station.

i've not been to cityhall mrt station recently, but as i understand it, safety for train stations are paramount in this day and age. so perhaps you're right, there're no bins in most (all?) train stations. i think they moved the post boxes too.

if you feel it's difficult holding an empty cup until you exit at your next stop, or that taking an escalator up and down again is too much to ask, then... i don't even know how to complete this sentence... go litter?

black feet/socks... the result of dust and pollution... or littering/inconsideration/selfishness/kiasu? i don't know why this came up.

gillypadi wrote:I can't say the same for many parts of Asia and not in Europe too. And I can safely also say, I will not find doggy poo in the middle of the pavement in the city here (won't mention which country)


Image

to back you up, there's littering and dog shit along the streets of NYC and that's f#cking irritating (i used to live in midtown manhattan) in spite of strict scooper laws, but as i mentioned in an earlier post: inconsiderate, selfish acts are not limited to singapore alone. it happens everywhere.

the same old shit (pun intended) happens in france and italy... and more places i'm sure.

and dogs also pee everywhere in new york. highly irresponsible and lazy owners, and they get yelled at if seen.

you're right: we will not usually find dog poo in singapore city streets - but is not the result of the muslim vs canine concerns? if there were no such related concerns, what do you think the result will be?

and have you looked at private residential estates? there's dog shit everywhere, usually on the grass, not on the curb itself.

and if you mean to shift the blame from selfish inconsiderate litterbugs in singapore to the the removal of a number rubbish bins... then you're sorely mistaken. those littering habits pre-dating 9/11.

gillypad2 wrote: taxico said: flushing and littering enforcement still goes on, and it's not an ebbing problem singapore. it's a sure sign of a MEMEME/kiasu culture...

I don't think littering is the cause of kiasu-ism. It's just some lazy buggers and the small minority of people who litter altho I do not see many of them doing it on the streets. Where are you hanging out?


"MEMEME/kiasu culture" by way of which i meant being inconsiderate when it comes to flushing and littering in public facilities. people just NOT caring.

i never said littering is the cause of kiasu'ism, but that kiasu'ism desensitizes people and turns makes them not care.

what's worse, they get really annoying and they can't see themselves

i see spitters and littering people right along orchard road, chinatown, and even inside train stations, and half of them by young people (either teenaged punks or people in their 30s).

i'm sure it still happens.

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Postby gillypadi » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:25 pm

SMS

Aiyoh... you go on and on about your HDB :-({|= . I said pavement in the CITY. You say grass patch at your HDB. Different right?:-)

But now we digress no? I thought we were suppose to talk about I Q, E Q, We all Que....

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Postby gillypadi » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:33 pm

if you feel it's difficult holding an empty cup until you exit at your next stop, or that taking an escalator up and down again is too much to ask, then... i don't even know how to complete this sentence... go litter?

Why and how did you assume that holding on to a cup is *gasp* the most difficult thing I can ever do? All I am trying to say is that you saying bins are all over the place is not true, that's all... no need to get your panties in a bunch.

[i]besides, how am I suppose to hold that empty soy vanilla latte (large no less) and carry all my shopping bags at the same time?[/i]
Last edited by gillypadi on Thu, 14 May 2009 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby vbelle » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:36 pm

kosmopolitan wrote: why even backward Malacca/Bali has better social manners (in certain aspects only though) than high tech Singapore.



What makes you think that a high tech society equals to better manner??
Small city tends to be "warmer" than big city (big as in not just in size...you know what i mean)...

Dear Kosmopolitan,

Why do you make a post in a forum, where people are from all around the world..and telling them basically "Hey..guess what...MY PEOPLE is smarter than the rest of the world"

And you ask why you got such unpleasant response??

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Postby taxico » Thu, 14 May 2009 5:41 pm

gillypadi wrote:Why and how did you assume that holding on to a cup is *gasp* the most difficult thing I can ever do? All I am trying to say is that you saying bins are all over the place is not true, that's all... no need to get your panties in a bunch.

besides, how am I suppose to hold that empty soy vanilla latte (large no less) and carry all my shopping bags at the same time?


no panties, no bunch. your own previous comment gave me that impression. i hope the escalator wasn't moving too slowly for you.

"Have you tried getting rid of your starbucks coffee cup at City Hall Mrt? You can't... You have to take the escalator up back to Starbucks and dump it there. "

if you are unable to hold an empty cup with shopping bags on the train, perhaps you can put the cup inside one of your shopping bags. or hail a cab, maybe?

___________________________________________________________

this thread has gone from singaporean's IQ being a reason for why foreigners should be less condescending, to expat behaviors, to singaporean behavior, leading inevitably to kiasu'ism, then to flushing, littering, and now we have dog poo and black socks/feet, the tiresome chore that is escalator standing, as well as muslims and dogs.

i strongly believe that most kiasu people (not just singaporeans) behave badly and they ought to change for the better. i don't think this will be anytime soon for singapore because such characteristics are very entrenched and future generations will always pick up some of it.

what's worse, singaporeans cannot stand criticisms and would go to extreme steps to defend their thoughts and actions, especially kiasu actions. they need to lighten up a little.

everyone entitled to their opinion. nobody has to have the same opinion as i do, and i'm not pulling horses' teeth just to make my thoughts heard or even understood.

i don't wish to offend anyone nor have stomp/hardwarezone members signing up for a piece of this (in singapore, you'd never know).

neither do i like to explain myself to all future comments: i'm a mild-mannered physician, not a criminal attorney so this doesn't tickle my balls.

this will be my last post for this thread as it's going no where - there's no "right/wrong."

peace, not war. :cool: (unfortunately, i'm sure someone will rekindle a similar discussion in the very near future)


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