Monday, May 21, 2012
What does 'being one of us' truly mean to Singaporeans?
What does “being one of us” truly mean to Singaporeans? Researchers at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) asked that question in a study involving 1,001 Singapore-born citizens and a further 1,000 foreign-born naturalised citizens. In the course of their survey, each respondent was read a list of 30 “Singaporean” values, characteristics and attitudes, and asked to decide whether or not each factor was important to them in defining a Singaporean. Views of the two groups diverged the widest when it came to whether or not the sons of new citizens have gone through National Service. The study showed that 69 per cent of local-born citizens interviewed said it was a key factor that determines “Singaporean-ness”, while only 43 per cent of foreign-born citizens surveyed agreed. Looking at naturalised citizens who have held pink identity cards for less than 10 years, the percentage drops further to 41 per cent, the largest diversion in agreement between local and foreign-born citizens. Other factors where local and foreign-born citizens disagreed include getting on well with one’s colleagues, being gainfully employed and being able to speak conversational English.