Singaporean Culture

Other Considerations

  • Singaporeans can be fiercely competitive. It is not unusual to see people endeavouring to get to the front of a crowd or determinedly queuing for great lengths to buy or see something. They attribute this to ‘kiasu’, the fear of losing. Kiasu motivates Singaporeans in other ways too, such as economically or academically. As a result, Singaporeans generally strive diligently to achieve what they want. Nevertheless, this does not see them be boisterous necessarily. They generally maintain poise and courtesy as to be aggressive in one’s approach would be inharmonious, deplorable behaviour.
  • Singapore has many unique civil laws enforced to regulate behaviour. While Australia with its many regulations of social behaviour is seen as 'the nanny state', Singapore is 'the fine country'. The culture can seem obsessive about cleanliness. Gum and spitting is banned and there are fines for forgetting to flush public toilets. Other laws are more restrictive of personal behaviour and choices. Pornography and illicit drugs are strictly banned and the death penalty is used to punish those who have drug or criminal offences.

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