Friday, December 21, 2012

Singaporeans Unhappiest people in the world- Gallup

In a Gallup survey, Singaporeans are found to be the Unhappiest people in the world. I am not surprised by the survey. I believe Singaporeans are the unhappiest people in the world due to THREE reasons.

First, Singaporeans work too long hours. For this first reason, we can just take a look at the number of employees who clock in more than 50 or 60 work hours a week to attest to this fact. We can also take a look at the many employees still taking trains in their office suits at times like 10pm or 11pm instead of sleeping in their beds. Or we can just look around the train in the early morning rush hours to see many working people taking a nap or sleep. When Singaporeans work such long hours, they will find it challenging to slow down their pace of lives to pursue their passions, to smell the flowers and to enjoy and experience more valuable and intrinsic things in life such as love.

Just to sidetrack a little, as reported in the newspapers yesterday, this overwork and over-stress of the Singaporean workers was noted by a group of polytechnic students when they proposed, as part of the Our Singapore Conversation (OSC), a four-day work-week to Acting Minister Lawrence Wong. Lawrence Wong replied that Singaporeans must be careful of the choices as he said something to the effect that in this competitive world, Singapore cannot rest on its laurel

Okay, the second reason which I believe contribute to Singaporeans being unhappiest is the fact that the notion of Success in this society seems to be tied to how much monies one have. With the high cost of living, over-hectic work , the increasing gap of the rich and the poor (there are reportedly over 100,000 Singaporeans with a net liquidity of US$1 million!) and increasing cost of necessities and inflation, average Singaporeans, from low or middle income can be find it challenging to cope with the life in Singapore.

The third reason I believe which causes Singaporeans to be unhappiest in the world is due to the overcrowding on our tiny island. These days, everywhere, be it in shopping centres or MRT trains, is overcrowded.

I still recall the Singapore in the 1990s which I enjoy very much. Then, life is simpler, far less complicated with not so much technology making inroads into our lives. Then, public areas and infrastructure are comfortable to walk. Though we do not have the Gardens By the Bay, Esplanade, Universal Studios and the Casinos, then places of interest like National Library, Haw Par Villa are, to me, till now, the authentic places of interests which hold immense cultural and nostalgic value to Singaporeans rather than places of interests built more for the tourists’ monies. In the 1990s, we did not have a jungle of similar hyper shopping centres as we have now, we had a few great shopping centres like Tangs with far more enriching shopping experience! And most importantly, everyone seems to have more time to spend their time with families and friends.

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