Thursday, January 10, 2008

ABC's 20/20 : Singapore's Secret to Satisfaction...

ABC has found out that Singapore holds the secret to satisfaction - we are the happiest country in Asia according to 20/20. The secret is our advanced system of govt something that these Westerners will take several generations to catch up with. Watch this video:

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=4110675
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Frankly speaking I thought that the N. Koreans are happier than us but I guess these American reporters were not allowed there to interview its citizens.

Happiness is all in the mind. Singaporeans are so lucky to have newspapers like the Straits Times explain to them why the GST hike is good for them, why the electricity tariff hikes are reasonable and that higher bus fares will result in better service and high pay for ministers will secure our future and make them work for our interests. We are a systematic country anything our govt does is systematically explained to us so that we realise it is all done for our own good.

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http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=4097264&page=1

Has Singapore Found the Secret to Satisfaction?
Citizens Willing to Trade Civil Liberties for a Cleaner, Safer, Efficient Society
By BILL WEIR and SARA HOLMBERG
SINGAPORE, Jan. 9, 2008 —
If you set out across the globe and talk to a few of the 6.5 billion people who live here, you will be amazed by the pockets of joy you'll find in the most unlikely places. You'll find happy mothers in the dusty villages of Africa, happy Tibetans toiling under Chinese oppression and happy families in the slums of Bombay. To understand this sort of hum
an contentment, Dan Buettner founded a global project called Blue Zones. He found that a liberal, tolerant, democratic society helps make Denmark the happiest country in the world.
But is there a similar level of contentment in a place with one political party, a censored press and nonjury trials? A place where drug users are executed? Welcome to Singapore, the happiest country in Asia.

"Ninety-five percent of the people around us say they're either somewhat happy or very happy," Buettner said of Singapore. "That's a very high proportion for Asia."
Watch the story Friday on "20/20" at 10 p.m. ET
Safety and Success
This high proportion of satisfied citizens wasn't the case 40 years ago, when a man named Lee Kwan Yew took power in Singapore, and laid down the law. He made the Chinese and Malaysian locals learn English, banned spitting, chewing gum and long hair, and even paid educated people to have children.
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With his draconian laws he transformed Singapore from a smelly, chaotic seaport into one of the richest, cleanest, safest and most efficient big cities in the world. But woe unto those who break the rules and litter or forget to flush. "[Singapore] is based on the rules," one local said. "[With] rules and very systematic country."
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There are fines for the smallest infractions, and more serious criminals are strapped to a rack and beaten with a bamboo cane.
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We met one man in Singapore who has seen and felt Singaporean justice firsthand. After serving 15 years for gang-related crimes, Neville Tan is now a pastor with a prison ministry. He says he was caned many times and describes it as a "horrible, painful experience." But he doesn't mind it one bit. "We feel safe. If we don't break the law, we don't have to worry about the law."
Mark Zee is an actor who moved to Singapore from Apple Valley, Minn., and he says he had no problem giving up civil liberty in exchange for a clean, safe city. Singapore, he says, has some of the "highest paid civil servants in the world, and so you get some very smart people running the country, and that's something that, you can't say in all Western countries," said Zee. "Hint, hint."
So on a scale of one to 10 as the happiest, how do citizens rank themselves? "Probably an eight," one man said. Another responded to the question "What would make you happier?" with "more money."
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Many people agree; some of the other pillars of Singapore society are built around wealth. They're known as the five C's: cash, credit cards, condominium, cars and country club.
Celina Lin, a self-made millionaire and one of the nation's best-known bachelorette socialites, can tell you all about the five C's. Despite her apartment full of art, her snazzy Porsche and 300 pairs of shoes, she was the least happy person we met.
"Sometimes I get unhappy if I compare," she said. "Of course someone & wealthier, having a more luxurious life, driving a bigger car, having a bigger house, having a wonderful husband who provides for her. And when I think of that, I feel, I mean honestly, I feel a tinge of jealousy."
Keeping up with the Joneses is an obsession in this culture.
In Singapore, kids spend their vacations participating in time management seminars. While this kind of competition is often the source of unhappiness, the drive to succeed is tempered by Confucian values the family ALWAYS comes first.
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Striking a Balance
Jenny Chua, the former CEO of the famous Raffles Hotel, says she is often happiest when having breakfast with her grandchildren, and her contentment comes knowing that they will have a secure future. Douglas Foo, one of the most successful restaurateurs in Asia, says that his goal is to create a chain as big as Starbucks or McDonalds & as soon as he's done playing with his kids.
"All of us have one thing that's limited in supply, that's time," he said. "So we should do some planning, right? How much time do you want to spend with the family, your career, or some hobby? I think there's a balance."
But can you have both? "Well, I'm not going to do that single-handedly," said Foo. "There are a lot of things I want to do in my life; I want to make sure by the time I leave, when he calls up and says 'Now is the time to go,' I will leave smiling, and saying that I lived a very fulfilling, meaningful life."
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But all this talk about happiness raises a question: Where is the happiest place in America? In his new book, "The Geography of Bliss," Eric Weiner also explored the happiest spots on the globe and using the lessons learned, set out to find the happiest place in America.
He settled on Asheville, N.C. "You've got mountains, beautiful mountains all around," he explained. "You have a tremendous, thriving, artistic community. You have cafes everywhere, every other shop is a coffee shop or a bookstore."
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But more importantly, he said, "You have a really strong sense of community here. And if I've learned anything from researching this book, it's that other people matter. There's no such thing as personal happiness, your happiness is part and parcel of those around you."
Community that's the key. Community is why happiness can be found along with the high taxes in Denmark, the harsh rules in Singapore and the crushing poverty in India. One study found that the people living on the streets of Calcutta are happier that those in California. The homeless in Fresno may have more access to food and shelter, but what have the "houseless" in Bombay got? They have each other.

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

15 comments:

Jerry said...

Oh my. For a moment I thought that article was written by you or Colin Goh to create some satire. But in fact it wasn't.

ABCnews. A Bunch of Crap news.

Anonymous said...

That was extreme shallow reporting. The good thing was that it could download fast.

Anonymous said...

How much did the pap government secretly paid the producer to do this little advertisement of untruth ?

Merlot said...

let's all pretend to be ostriches and bury our heads in this clean, safe society.

Who are we trying to kid?

If one enjoys being ruled by such smart people, a country that punishes people for small crimes but often lets hit-and-run murderers enjoy two-years' worth of jail term etc, sure.

If we as first class citizens enjoy the country's second class privileges, then for sure, I am happy to be Singaporean.

ABC News have surely made a fool of themselves for this piece of report filled with fallacies and fantasies. Wish they would interview me - I'd let them have the truths in a nanosecond.

Jon said...

Every society will have its less desirable side.

For them, they look at what we have and what they don't have.

For us, we look at what they have and what we don't have.

Much angst is due to horribly publicised policies that were imho, quite brilliant.

What SG needs is a rethink of the media status quo where - the staid old "in your face" stuff that keeps coming out from the States Times does far more institutional damage than it is supposed to alleviate.

The face/voice of the government (aka the States Times) needs to be one that people can identify with.

Anonymous said...

That article was the 'mother of all bullshit'. The American mainsteam media is well known for its pro-bush propaganda, just like our No. 1 newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Even the name of the newspaper indicates it should not be taken seriously. ABC news sound like some kind of SPAM news. No wonder their article contains spamful of bullshit.

The ass of editors of the rubbish article should get cane by Singapore rottan because they really make themselve a asshole.

How can these AngMoh one moment tell us lack of democracy is bad then next moment tell the world we are the happiest in the world without democracy ?

Really, if indeed we are happiest, then these AngMoh should have one-party rule too with nepotism, GLC, GRC, ERP, GST, PayAndPay, million-dollars ministers, useless president etc, and oh yeah run by the same Leepotism ! They don't have these liability and yet they can say we are happy. In fact, we are much happier if we could kick these editors' balls.

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans very happy people?

Ahhhh, I know why. People have been watching the music video "Face Green Green" posted by Lucky earlier.

I am sure we will even be happier if we get to watch the sequels "Men White White', "Pay High High" and "CPF Gone Gone".

Anonymous said...

People, just see who they interviewed. Seems no basis for their survey were stated. This is a narrowly focussed piece that is purely sensational. Why don't they station themselves in the heartlands and ask people if they are happy?

Anonymous said...

The video totally misses the main point of the article. Typical of media sensationalism to focus on the wrong things.

"Community that's the key. Community is why happiness can be found along with the high taxes in Denmark, the harsh rules in Singapore and the crushing poverty in India."

Anonymous said...

be fair. 118 is right.depends on who you interview. in any part of the world, you can find happiness as long as you are granted certain liberty and safety. no big deal really.

on community, the article got it right too. people are happiest when they are accepted and contributing to the community. however, a good community cannot be easily duplicated in a wealth obsessive, consumption obsessive, competitively destructive, economically parasitic, morally legalistic, stressful, demanding, crowding, income widening, class divisive etc society.

it is simply impossible.

lastly, keep people in the dark( of injustices) and relatively stupid, you may achieve a sample of happiness.

Anonymous said...

If you interview bully and asshole, they will also tell you that they are happy people because they get to terrorise people without been brought to justice.

onlooker said...

Well They are wrong About a lot of things too.Like WMD in Iraq,recent Iran boats thing,Ron Paul Being racist,Obama "Husein" Barrack study in Madrash and Mitt Romney Mormon belief.Yup You can trust Their news :) Seriously, :) Propaganda at it's best.But It wouldn't be because We want to impress them that Singapore is a good place to "sink" in their money with so much money leaving the American Shore.There will soon be a new class of rich there, the Proxy Rich.

Anonymous said...

who cares?

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