By Invitation

Five tests that Singaporeans must pass to be a truly First World people

Singaporeans live in a First World city but have some very bad habits. To be a First World people, let's stop littering, be considerate and remember our basic manners.

At the Institute of Policy Studies' Singapore Bicentennial Conference on Oct 1, I made the comment that Singapore is a First World country with a Third World people.

What I meant was that Singapore has many first-rate aspects such as a dynamic economy and excellent quality of life, but that some of our habits as a people did not match those standards.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 21, 2019, with the headline 'Five tests of a truly First World people'. Print Edition | Subscribe