Half of all S'poreans tuned in to National Day Rally

Half of all Singaporeans watched the National Day Rally Speech last Sunday, according to a poll by UK-based market research firm YouGov.

And of the 1,000 respondents who were surveyed online over Monday and Tuesday, those aged over 55 generally liked it best.

People were asked to rate the speech on whether they found it relevant, convincing, insightful, interesting, and enjoyable. Between 68 per cent and 72 per cent of those aged 55 and above said they "agreed" or "strongly agreed" with each of these five traits.

Most of those who missed the live broadcast said they either watched or read about it later. However, 10 per cent said they were not interested in the rally because they either did not trust the Government, felt it was irrelevant, or simply had no time to spare.

During last Sunday's rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke on topics such as housing, childcare, and raising the re-employment age from 65 to 67.

He also hinted at the coming general election, and paid tribute to the hard work of Singapore's pioneer generation.

The National Day Rally is an annual address by the Prime Minister to the nation which is held soon after National Day. Many would have tuned in this year because of the impending elections and the fact that it is the country's jubilee year.

Of the topics discussed during the rally, poll respondents of all ages felt that the impending general election would have the greatest impact on Singaporeans.

Younger respondents picked the raised income ceiling for new buyers of Housing Board flats, while older ones were most interested in the raised re-employment age.

The survey also found that most Singaporeans continued to follow up on the rally speech after it had been delivered.

Those aged between 18 and 34 were most likely to read comments about it on social media, while older people tended to read newspaper coverage of the speech.

Four in 10 people also said they discussed the key issues raised during the rally with their family and friends.

Around the same number said that the rally made them feel proud to be Singaporean, while a quarter said it gave them confidence about Singapore's future.

Another two in 10 people said that they were happy with the speech.

One Singaporean who paid attention to the National Day Rally was 27-year-old civil servant Jonathan Lim, who missed the live telecast as he was overseas but followed up afterwards on social media and by reading the newspapers.

"Although I'm not a father yet, I think increasing paternity leave is important," said Mr Lim, who is single. "It really allows new fathers to shoulder some of the burden in taking care of the family."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2015, with the headline 'Half of all S'poreans tuned in to National Day Rally'. Print Edition | Subscribe