Trust in Singapore Government up: Edelman poll

More people had trust in the Government of Singapore this year compared to 2019, even as fears of economic uncertainty prevailed, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 report for the Republic released last week.

Trust in the Government went up by 3 percentage points to 70 per cent, its survey shows.

The report says Singapore counts among countries attracting a relatively high level of trust in its four institutions - non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business, government and media - when compared globally.

While the trust index declined for places such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, that in Singapore remained constant and in the trusted category, compared to 2019, despite the economic uncertainty prevailing around the time of the survey.

Edelman conducted its survey around October and November last year.

The public relations firm intended to release the results of the Singapore survey in February, but did so only last Wednesday, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The trust inequality, or the difference in trust shared by the mass population and the informed public, was relatively lower at 11 points for Singapore.

Edelman Singapore CEO John Kerr said that, in comparison, there were massive gaps in countries such as Australia (23 points) and Germany (20 points).

But people in Singapore are worried about the future and, given the Covid-19 situation, these views would have hardened, he told those at the webinar.

The percentage of people who believe that they and their families will be better off in five years' time dropped 8 percentage points from 2019 to 42 per cent. The global average on this front was 47 per cent, 5 points lower than last year. And 88 per cent of the people polled here said they were worried about losing their job.

 
 

Also, most institutions in Singapore are seen as ethical and competent. An overwhelming 80 per cent of the respondents felt that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than waiting for the Government to impose it. And 72 per cent felt that the change in the pace of technology is too fast.

Trust in overall media in Singapore is in the neutral category but dropped one point over last year. Among media, traditional media remains the most trusted.

People also worry about fake news, with 77 per cent of the people saying that they worry about false information or fake news being used as a weapon.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2020, with the headline 'Trust in Singapore Government up: Edelman poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe