The 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals an important shift in the direction of an essential part of social capital. In the past year, "my employer" has emerged as the most trusted institution, according to the survey. Globally, the employer is more trusted by respondents than non-governmental organisations, business, the government and the media. Not only has trust in traditional figures of authority and formal institutions declined over the past decade but, Edelman adds, people have also lost confidence in social platforms that build trust among peer groups. Employers have gained in this environment because employees view the relationship with them as personal and within their control. Yet, governance also matters because it is the institution that ultimately secures the interests of all citizens.
Singapore performs credibly on the global spectrum, with 68 per cent of the informed public trusting the Government - compared to 76 per cent in the 2018 report - and the mass population actually displaying a three percentage point rise from one year to the next. One reason for the difference between mass and elite opinion could be their differing perspectives on the difficulties faced in steering Singapore through uncertain times. The trade spat between the United States and China, the broader threat of deglobalisation and the looming presence of Brexit are among critical issues for a globalised yet small country like Singapore, which has to move ahead without depending on natural resources.