Educated Singaporeans don’t know anything about politics?

“How come Singaporeans don’t know anything about politics?” asked my missus, Yvonne, with more than a hint of exasperation. It was shortly after we got married and the first time she lived and worked in another country, so a long while ago.

The bank she was working for told her to brief the FX sales team the implications of the election result in Germany at the time, she being German. She started to explain that the election winner, the SPD, was a centre left political party and so how the economics can be expected to be different from the previous government, a CDU-led centre right coalition.

Someone asked what is left and right. She was surprised by the question and explained the differences until someone complained “why so complicated ah? Left and right. Change government every now and then. Singapore so easy, got only one party what.”

“Some Singaporeans don’t know much about the world around them” I said to her.

“But they went to university right? Doshite (why, switching into Japanese)? And they don’t know simple things like this and still are speaking to clients?”

Well….. what can I say……….



Chris Kuan is an astute commentator of Singapore and international affairs.

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