SINGAPORE - The rising cost of living and health-related issues were top-of-mind concerns for Singaporeans following this year's National Day Rally, a survey released on Monday (Aug 22) found.
The study by Milieu Insight, which asked 600 people here for their views after Sunday's rally, also found that sentiments towards the repealing of Singapore's anti-gay sex law were generally neutral, with more people being supportive of the move than not.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touched on these topics in his annual rally speech, which was televised live and is considered the most important political speech of the year.
Participants of the poll, who were aged 16 and above, were asked to indicate what their key concerns were, from a predetermined set of 12 items, which included the Russia-Ukraine tension, emergence of a new Covid-19 strain and climate change.
Nine in 10 of those polled felt that a top key concern was the increase in cost of living, and this was followed by a looming economic recession, which almost half the respondents said they were worried about.
Sustainability and health-related issues were also topics the participants were concerned about.
About four in 10 people were worried about climate change, while more than three in 10 said a top key concern for them was the emergence of a new Covid-19 strain and the ongoing monkeypox outbreak.
The repealing of Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men, was something that just over two in 10 of the respondents said they were most concerned about.
When announcing the move, PM Lee also said that the Government will amend the Constitution to protect the definition of marriage as one between a man and a woman to stave off future legal challenges.
Milieu asked survey participants how important the decision to repeal the law was. Slightly less than half of them said they had no opinion on it, while 34 per cent said they were supportive of the move, and 20 per cent said they were not.
Calling the move to repeal Section 377A a historic one, Mr Gerald Ang, the chief executive of Mileu Insight, said poll opinions skewed towards supporting the decision.
“We are positive that this move will nudge Singapore society towards greater acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community,” he said.
On Sunday, PM Lee also announced that Singaporeans will soon be able to take their masks off in most indoor settings, given that the country's Covid-19 situation is stabilising.
Milieu found there was high support for this move, with more than six in 10 of the survey respondents saying they supported it.
Regarding the timeliness of this decision, around half of the respondents felt the timing was “just right”, while more than a quarter of them felt it was “too early”.
When asked if the Covid-19 situation in Singapore will worsen due to the change in mask wearing measures, roughly half of the respondents said it would.
At the same time, the survey found that there was a high level of confidence in the Government's ability to continue efforts to help Singapore recover from the pandemic, with more than 90 per cent of the respondents indicating that they had some level of confidence.