? asked in Society & CultureCommunity Service · 1 decade ago

Are Singaporeans really all ungracious and rude?

Few days back when i came across the post by Angela Lim about Singaporeans slammed for being rude in Australian newspaper, i was still carrying a open heart as i still believe that there are a lot of Singaporeans out there who are are gracious and kind unlike the way how the Australian newspaper labeled us as.

But i was totally disappointed and dis-heartened today when this incident lead me and my husband to think back why we Singaporeans are slammed for being rude by foreigners and do we deserved it? We were at IMM today at 1.45pm, waiting for a couple to give up their car-pack lot at the level 2 IMM multi storied car park to us on the side of the road with our hazard light on when another vehicle from the back drove to the front of our car on the other side.

We sounded our car horn to let him know that we are and have been waiting for the lot before him. But his reaction to us was he simply can't be bothered. And just as the couple's vehicle who we have been waiting for their lot drove off, this particular vehicle quickly park his vehicle into the emptied lot.

When my husband winded the window and tried to reason with him that we have been waiting there for the lot before him and he should not have parked his vehicle in. Instead of showing us courtesy etc, the uncle simply replied my husband - "No the lot is mine, you are waiting for other lot....".

After replying to my husband, the uncle and two other aunties that he was with smile and walk off as if he had done nothing wrong and nothing had happen. This incident totally ruin both me and my husband mood for the day as we have just witness the unglamorous, ungracious, rude, ignorant attitude and uncultured behavior the side of ugly Singaporeans.

No wonder we are being slammed by foreigners and this is because Singaporeans cannot even show fellow Singaporeans simple kindness and graciousness. If we Singaporeans do not want to labeled or slammed for being ungracious, rude etc, do you think we Singaporeans should start showing kindness etc to other fellow Singaporeans?

Facing such harsh criticism and if you have witness such acts personally, do you agree that the level of courtesy and graciousness in Singapore society leaves really much to be desired? And should the government raise up the awareness and promote more effective campaigns in educating and inculcating kindness & consideration in local citizens?

13 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    I have spent a good deal of time in Singapore and consider it my second home. The first time I returned to America, I experienced startling culture shock. Once back in the LAX airport, I was appalled by the level of noise. I saw rudeness and egocentric behaviour wherever I turned. The funny thing is that I did not notice this at LAX before I ever went overseas. I had become too accustomed to seeing this in America and it had never really registered on my radar. That is, until I went overseas.

    It is a whole different world in Singapore. The first thing I noticed was the peaceful level of volume - no loud strident voices, no-one striving to make themselves heard over everyone else. I can honestly say that in all my time there, I have never experienced rudeness of any kind. I find it very easy to immerse myself in the culture of any country I visit; whether or not this affects the way I am treated by the natives, I cannot say.

    Singapore is one of the great melting pots of the world yet compared to other countries, this city state of 4.5 million is but a mere dot on the map. They have grown from 4 major ethnic groups to such a diverse mixture of ethnicities that polyglotism is the norm rather than the exception. Singapore is also high on the list for tourism. The fact of the matter is that oftentimes, Anglo tourists think anyone they meet in Singapore with Asian features is a native Singaporean, when the truth of the matter is that there is a good chance they are interacting with an Asian tourist.

    Are Singaporeans overly concerned about money? Singaporeans must work very hard to provide housing, give their children the best education possible, take care of their elderly parents, budget for medical expenses and allow for donations to their temples. They do not have “unemployment benefits” to rely on when times are difficult. They do not have the natural resources that we enjoy. As for the improvement campaigns, well let's just say that I can think of a number of countries who could benefit from measures such as these.

    What I find incredibly astonishing is the fact that Australians were pointing fingers in the newspaper article when many find Australians to be loud, boorish and stubborn. Should those epithets paint the portrait of all Australians as a nation? Of course not. One can research any number of polls of the most rude citizens globally and not arrive at a common answer for "the most rude". Some say Americans, others say French, Italians, Australians, Norwegians, British, Chinese and Germans. I have personally never seen Singaporeans on any such list.

    In summary, I cannot agree that the level of courtesy and graciousness in Singapore society leaves much to be desired. Similarly, I cannot agree that the government raise up the awareness and promote more effective campaigns in educating and inculcating kindness & consideration in local citizens.

    I appreciate that the car park incident caused you distress but this happens multiple times daily in my country. If you were able to visit a number of countries all over the world as I have, I guarantee that you would perceive your nation in a much better light and would be proud to be a Singaporean.

    Source(s): Author, lecturer
  • 1 decade ago

    No one can deny that there is no perfect society. In any country, there WOULD be ungracious and rude people. But you can't really consider a country as ungracious and rude just because of a few people. Of course the level of courtesy and graciousness in Singapore can be improved, but I feel that it's already quite good. SIngaporeans have always be selfish( sort of), when in a competitive society most people will think for themselves before others, therefore resulting in 'ungraciousness and rudeness', like in your situation. I feel that the government should raise up awareness and promote more effective campaigns, but in the end, i feel that the underlying problem is our culture. It cannot be denied that the campaigns have had a considerable impact on singaporeans. Since the government started encouraging the people to clear their plates etc. after their meals, more people have been doing so. However, as i have stated above, the culture is the underlying problem in the society. From young, with exams etc. in schools, most people now only think for themselves, and that everyone has their own job and role, there is no need to do anything out of the way for the convenience of others. Instead, if possible, it is always best to get the fastest and most efficient solution. This may be due to Singapore's rapid progress since independence, and the fast-paced lifestyles of the people. The government should target this culture in singapore instead of campaigning for kindness, as the latter would have limited effects on solving the problem of ungraciousness and rudeness in singapore.

  • 7 years ago

    Only young and not in your friend lists are rude. Theyre not rude if you knew each other.

  • 5 years ago

    I don't think all Singaporeans are rude, but it is true that a big portion of the citizens are what you can consider as rude and ungracious.

    Perhaps due to a poor education system reminiscent of a caste system, outcasting the ones that are academically poorer in favour of nurturing talents, the ones that do well in their studies obtain a sense of superiority (plenty of examples, like the infamous Roy Ngerng case), creating the arrogant bunch. I certainly don't remember school teaching me about etiquette either.

    Another reason is the culture here. People here have taken a 'kiasu' attitude (dialect for 'afraid of losing out'); you absolutely cannot afford to be the last. I can't count the number of occasions where I get pushed out of line and miss my train because the crowd pushes in before passengers alight. My friends often chide me and say when others do it, you should follow suit as well, but I think it is precisely this mindset that portrays Singaporeans poorly.

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  • 4 years ago


  • 4 years ago

    Yeah, sometimes we can be quite rude. Last time I went to Australia for a holiday trip and although some of the people in the major cities such as Perth were a little bit racist to Asians such as us, the people living in the rural countryside were friendlier. There are some white countries such as Canada and the Nordic countries whose citizens tend to be a little bit more bubbly and cheerful people. So when I went back to Singapore I was little bit shocked because it felt everyone was in a really xian mood, in the sense that no way took pride of their job, they looked forward to when it ended etc. And although we may seem really quiet on the outside, but at home, the Asian family stereotypes are sometimes true and on the Internet, we attack other races or more profane remarks. Sometimes I really wished that we could be more like the Japanese people who are really polite both in person and online, and they are also allowed to voice their opinion in a polite manner.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I've been to Singapore a few times, and in those few times i noticed Singaporeans' lack of courtesy & arrogance. We were at Starbucks when we saw a 25+ y/o guy who left his table without bringing his bag. My husband tried to call him, but it didn't seem that he noticed. My husband then chased this fellow outside to remind him that he had left his bag. Luckily this guy stopped and stood outside of Starbucks talking with another person. My husband started off with "excuse me", but he kept talking to this other person as though he didn't hear my husband. After a while he then very reluctantly glanced back at my husband. Husband explained about his bag. With annoyed expression he said 'I left it there on purpose' (we gathered he walked out of the premise to greet/bid a goobye? to his friend). He then just turned his face away and continued with his conversation, as though my husband had just pestered him. No smile, no nothing, let alone a thank you.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Kiera why you think she should turn to a heart physician? Do understand what she is trying to point out in the first place before you comment??

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Another unpleasant example actually happened during our Honeymoon. The local tour guide who picked us up from our hotel treated the anglo saxon and asian visitors differently. It was so blatant that i felt quite sorry for the older asian ladies & gents in the group who were constantly left behind/missing out on information and such.

  • There are definitely more ungracious and rude Singaporeans than I like:(.....to be fair, there are some really nice ones too. :)

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