Over 10k? Wow ... Most Singaporeans would be very "glad" to know this. So lets put it clearly , you have never been with average Singaporeans. Am I right to say that? Oh and your group of people , how much is the average salary? Can I guess they are above national average?
So you been living in Singapore and mixing with a bunch of people who are paid more and think differently? It would be like me go over to India and stay at 1 billion dollar house from Reliance Tech Boss. 99% of people there are below poverty.
I would like to ask , request , that you really mix with the local crowd , not foreigners from China. You may not like them. But at least you know what "is" Singapore and who are the people known as Singaporeans. You are not with them now.
Oh and when you speak about "they" you mean the govt , not the people. Trust me , nobody around my age , 25-30 , here is happy about public housing going over half a million but salaries still in 1980s, except for old people who bought them at 20/30k. We all can't get married in peace.
Oh and also are your friends educated in Singapore? I can almost safely guess they are oversea educated.
My friends are Singapore educated, as far as I know, Chinese Malaysians. I do not know their salaries, as it is not considered a polite question to ask amongst us ang mohs.
I do know they live in an average (three bedroom) HDB flat and have a single average (Honda minivan) car. They have two kids with special needs and one foreign helper. The man once referred to being on the brink of bankruptcy about four years ago. That is as much as I know about their finances and status.
On an average day, I eat alone at a hawker centre when my husband is at work. I spend a fair amount of time observing locals, although not mingling with them per se. I do enjoy talking to the folks that work at the local Starbucks, as with my own persistent friendliness mixed with what I know about the "corporate culture" they're hammering home behind the scenes there I have managed to get them to open up to me. These guys certainly aren't high rollers, and they don't really have a wide perspective of life. They often ask me how I like Singapore and what life and Starbucks are like in Canada, but I know when they get that glazed look in their eyes that they don't always "get" it. I think they see me as some sort of curious anomaly in life. Perhaps I am
Anyway I think I have some experience with understanding Singaporeans, although I would not claim myself to be an expert.
What I meant about "they" was not the government. Obviously the government wants to change (or appear to be doing something about the problem of rudeness) or else they wouldn't bother investing money and time into a "courtesy campaign". Or those goofy pubic service reminders on the MRT. What I meant is, if the all the average joes wanted the rudeness to go away, they wouldn't mutter and complain under their breath when they noticed it, they'd stand up and say something. Case in point: in Canada, littering is not a big problem. The reason, IMO, is not because there are fines for it (although there are fines threatened, I've never heard of anyone being cited), it's because more often than not, if someone is witnessed littering, another citizen will pick up their litter and hand it back to them, and scold them. I've seen it been done several times. Also it is seen as a civic minded and virtuous thing to keep our country clean. And there are garbage cans every 10 feet so there's really no excuse (a bit of an exaggeration). Here you have foreign workers to pick up after you, so you don't need to bother. Littering is literally someone else's problem.
People here are not willing to confront the issue of rudeness, and the rudeness is always seen as someone else's problem. I've seen mothers forcing their children to do "kiasu" type rude things, but I'm sure the same mother would complain if someone did it to her--she wouldn't see that the problem begins at home. This is why it will persist.
We are still talking about rudeness, right? Not HDB being expensive? I don't see what that has to do with anything.