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A woman on her phone | © Chevanon Photography/Pexels
A woman on her phone | © Chevanon Photography/Pexels
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8 Stereotypes All Singaporeans Hate

Picture of Sadali Mawi
Updated: 29 August 2017
Singaporeans are too uptight and can’t speak proper English – these are just two misconceptions that Singaporeans face, and that’s just scratching the surface. To end it once and for all, we’ve uncovered eight different stereotypes the locals truly hate.

Singapore is in China

Misconception: Singapore is a city in China

Possibly the strangest stereotype yet, foreigners seem to think that Singapore is part of mainland China, and while this could be triggered by the dominant Chinese population that reside here, a simple fact check on the global map can easily fix this confusion.

Singaporeans Don’t Have Enough Sex

Misconception: Singaporean couples are career-driven and do not prioritise family

True to a certain extent, Singapore has a low birth rate and studies have shown that the locals aren’t getting much sleep either. However, employers are beginning to recognise the work-life balance and the government has also implemented grants for younger couples to have more children, giving them more incentives to re-kindle their romance.

Singaporeans Can’t Speak Perfect English

Misconception: All Singaporeans are Chinese and therefore can’t speak English well

Correction – English is the primary language in Singapore (Singapore adopts British English) and the locals can speak it quite fluently. Besides, the heavy influence of western media into local pop culture is also an indication that English is the preferred language of communication.

All Singaporeans Are Rich

Misconception: All Singaporeans have a high disposable income and live in luxury

The truth, sadly, is far from it. While Singaporeans enjoy a relatively high standard of living, it has also prompted the country to be listed as one of the most expensive cities to live in the world. This is bad news for the majority of Singaporeans who fall within the middle-income range. Entry level vehicles like a Toyota costing at least SGD100,000 to drive here, and property prices have skyrocketed in recent years, with basic four-room flats costing SGD 400,000 and up.

A woman on her phone
A woman on her phone | Chevanon Photography/Pexels

Singapore Is Run By A Dictatorship

Misconception: Singapore’s government is too strict for its own good

Seth Rogen once gave an interview on a talkshow, discussing his visit to Singapore where he learnt that “locals don’t get to vote” and cited the famous incident where two Germans were caned for graffiti vandalism. Yes, there are many things banned here, but one thing is for sure: Singaporeans do get to vote for their government every few years, even though some might find the fact the People’s Action Party still rules the country since its independence a tad bit suspicious.

Singaporeans Are Not Street Smart

Misconception: Singaporeans abide too much ‘by the book’

Sure, Singaporeans have one of the top universities in the world, but that doesn’t mean everyone here is a drone with their noses buried in books. In recent years, many Singaporeans have delved into artistic pursuits, from changing the game in fashion to re-defining the new standards of local food.

Young girl holding a book
Young girl holding a book | © Nguyen Nguyen/Pexels

Singaporeans Are Not Proud Of Their Country

Misconception: Singaporeans have very little love and pride of their prospering nation

Scroll through the throngs of comments on Facebook from Singaporeans on sensitive socio-political topics and it will be clear why this is a stereotype. Despite the flurry of complaints regarding the constant breakdowns of the train system and even slow internet speeds (yes, this happens), Singaporeans do rally together in times of need. For example, Singapore’s 50th year of celebrations in 2015 saw the country come together to participate in numerous community activities leading up to its National Day. See, Singaporeans do love their country!

Children in Singapore have no fun

Misconception: Playschools in Singapore focus too much on academics

Perhaps it’s due to Singapore’s reputation for producing the smartest children in the world, or its dominant and strict Asian culture, but there is a misconception that pre-schools in Singapore focus too much on academics. While the curriculum is ever-changing to adapt, pre-schools have always prioritised learning through play whether it is outdoor activities or even using technology to enhance learning.

Kids playing with a smartphone
Kids playing with a smartphone | © Tim Gouw/Pexels