Your grandma is likely to be more chill than you about LGBT issues but not on racial issues… and other findings from the IPS fault lines survey

Survey… what?

A recent study of about 4,000 Singapore citizens and PRs last year was conducted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) to link trust in the Government to how various issues are being tackled.

Yup, such surveys we reckon are very important lest we become like Hong Kong. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more interesting results!

  1. Your grandma is more likely to be chill than you about LGBT issues

50% aged 18 to 25 indicated that an angry and polarised society would be the most probable outcome if LGBT issues were mismanaged – compared to only 30%  of older respondents aged above 65.

Say you see a Facebook post attacking LGBTs, you are more likely to gasp and be alarmed about the seriousness of the issue. When you show the same to your older folks, they are less likely to react the same way you do.

Generation gap perhaps?  

2. That said, your grandma is less chill about racial issues.

Just over 20% of young people aged between 18 and 25 surveyed wanted more state involvement in race issues, compared to 30% of those aged above 65.

While 70% aged above 65 agreed that the Government is responsible for racial and religious harmony in Singapore, only 50% aged 18 to 25 felt this way.

For the grandparents, it’s likely that them having lived through the racial riots in the 1950s or 1960s that left such an impression on how racial and religious issues can have disastrous effects.

3. Having a degree co-relates to wanting more state intervention

Over 60% of degree-holding participants indicated that anger against particular communities would likely result if race was mismanaged, compared to just 40% of participants with ITE or lower qualifications.

In addition, highly educated minorities with a university degree and above desired more state intervention than their less educated counterparts, showing that increased education results in greater awareness of, and desire to, resolve racial and religious issues.

(Source: The Straits Times)

4. Ah gong is way less likely to do a “fake news check” and probe alleged discrimination than ah boy

Say ah gong and ah boy get a Whatsapp message saying that a business has practiced decimation, ah boy, being the digital native he is, will more likely text his friend back to actively trace the source and also report it to authorities.

About 30 per cent of Malays and Indians were also more likely to take the allegation seriously by reporting it to the authorities, compared to 13 per cent of Chinese.

5. Times have changed

A large majority of Singaporeans are aware of the seriousness of race and religious issues, and feel the Government has done enough to manage these divisions.

But fault lines have emerged on class, immigration and LGBT rights, where more Singaporeans, especially younger ones, want to see greater state intervention and public discourse.

The age old issues of race and religion have always been an area of concern and Singapore has done well integrating us (HDB ethnic integration policy anyone?)  as well as advocating the embracing of various religions. However, these new fault lines are a whole different ball game that needs to be dealt with sensitively.  

New areas of sensitivity

It is certainly interesting to see shifting areas of concerns between the old and the young and between the various races. One thing is for sure, as long as Singaporeans are aware that such issues can cause a divisive society, we will be a step ahead in making sure these issues do not tear Singapore’s social fabric.  

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