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Survey reveals Singaporeans may be ‘kiasu’ sometimes but community spirit still strong

According to findings by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) though Singaporeans are very competitive, many of them actually do engage in simple acts of kindness, conduct volunteer work and give to charity




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Who says kind acts are irrelevant and have become out-of-style?

Findings from a survey conducted by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) indicate that while Singaporeans are said to be kiasu and very competitive, many of them actually do engage in simple acts of kindness, do volunteer work and give to charity.

Melissa Kwee, NVPC’s chief executive says that “There is a perception that Singaporeans are kiasu and competitive, and yet our findings show that many engage in micro-giving acts. As we grow a culture of giving in Singapore, let’s celebrate these simple victories – they may be the building blocks of large-scale, generational change.”

The study covering 1,200 respondents revealed that 79% of Singaporeans engage in everyday acts of kindness, otherwise known as micro-giving behaviours.

These are voluntary and spontaneous acts of giving, such as picking up litter and helping someone carry heavy things.
Of the respondents who said that they do simple acts of kindness, 90% give way to others, 88% give up their seats on public transport, and 81% gave directions to people who are lost during travel.
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The study also found that those who rendered such acts of kindness were also more likely to engage in other kinds of giving. They were twice as likely to become volunteers and 29% more likely to make a cash donation.

Kampung spirit very much alive in Singapore

Despite the country’s modernisation and fast-changing lifestyles, the kampung spirit is not lost in Singaporeans. When trouble arises, Singaporeans show that they can stick together in the face of mishaps and are always willing to lend a hand to those who are facing tough luck.

Some notable examples of these simple acts of kindness include:

  1. Approximately 30 people, composed of drivers and onlookers, tried to remove a huge tree that crashed along Kaki Bukit Avenue 1 during heavy rain on March 6, 2017. The tree created a long line of cars as they couldn’t pass through.
  2. In January 2017, 15 people rescued an otter pup that had wandered off to the middle of the Kallang River and was in danger of falling victim to predators. Its rescuers reunited the otter pup with its family.

“It’s nice to see how the otters have brought the kampung spirit back,” said Mr N. Sivasothi, an otter watcher and biological sciences lecturer at the National University of Singapore.

3. The rescue of a 35-year old South Korean man, Kim Sung Mo, who was hit by a lorry and got trapped under it.

“Everyone spontaneously joined in and there was no need to tell them,” said Mr Foo Suan Wang, who filmed the incident and posted a video on Facebook. -/TISG

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