Singapore rated in bottom 10 of world’s most courteous cities

Talking CockReaders’ Digest surveys are skewed. Our fair country rates lowly among the courteous cities of this world (bottom ten leh!) only because in our First World nation with First World amenities, doors open and close themselves and most public toilets have automatic flushes.

We don’t need to be courteous! We have machines to be courteous on our behalf! Serious! You’ve been spoken to by those very courteous talking lifts which very kindly not only tell you what floor your lift has stopped at, they also tell you if the door is opening or closing.

So misleading, these surveys.

The Most Courteous Cities
1 New York, USA 80 per cent
2 Zurich, Switzerland 77 per cent
3 Toronto, Canada 70 per cent
4 Berlin, Germany 68 per cent
San Paulo, Brazil 68 per cent
Zagreb, Croatia 68 per cent
7 Auckland, New Zealand 67 per cent
Warsaw, Poland 67 per cent
9 Mexico City, Mexico 65 per cent
10 Stockholm, Sweden 63 per cent
11 Budapest, Hungary 60 per cent
Madrid, Spain 60 per cent
Prague, Czech Republic 60 per cent
Vienna, Austria 60 per cent
15 Buenos Aires, Argentina 57 per cent
Johannesburg, SA 57 per cent
Lisbon, Portugal 57 per cent
London, UK 57 per cent
Paris, France 57 per cent

The Least Courteous Cities
20 Amsterdam, Netherlands 52 per cent
21 Helsinki, Finland 48 per cent
Manila, Philippines 48 per cent
23 Milan, Italy 47 per cent
Sydney, Australia 47 per cent
25 Bangkok, Thailand 45 per cent
Hong Kong 45 per cent
Ljubljana, Slovenia 45 per cent
28 Jakarta, Indonesia 43 per cent
29 Taipei, Taiwan 43 per cent
30 Moscow, Russia 42 per cent
Singapore 42 per cent
32 Seoul, South Korea 40 per cent
33 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 37 per cent
34 Bucharest, Romania 35 per cent
35 Mumbai, India 32 per cent

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Facebook Comments

113 thoughts on “Singapore rated in bottom 10 of world’s most courteous cities”

  1. Pingback: Metrosexual Me
  2. It’s just not in our nature to be smiley and friendly to strangers. When credit card companies and insurance companies do “touting” on the streets, we avoid them like a plague by walking around them with a big gap.

  3. It’s just not in our nature to be smiley and friendly to strangers. When credit card companies and insurance companies do “touting” on the streets, we avoid them like a plague by walking around them with a big gap.

    1. With their increasing wealth theyve only gotten worse. Their Chinese heritage shows thru and thru. Yes some are nice, but must are downright revolting. You need proof, next time you speak to one ask them if they have a maid. Then ask how man days off they give them. Ugly is only the start.

  4. i think its true though. because i’ve overheard like tourists saying how impolite the shop assisstants are in shopping malls in singapore and that they don’t go way out to serve you.

  5. i think its true though. because i’ve overheard like tourists saying how impolite the shop assisstants are in shopping malls in singapore and that they don’t go way out to serve you.

  6. Well, it makes me wonder…. that two thirds of the rudest countries are Asian countries, whereas all the top courteous countries are European countries! Nevertheless, at least we know that in S’pore, we are making efforts to up our customer service (eg: GEMS). It helps being in an educated society whereby we know that customer service/courtesy goes a lllloooonnnnngggg way. :)But I do hope S’poreans dun just are courteous when they are paid in their jobs to do so etc…

  7. Well, it makes me wonder…. that two thirds of the rudest countries are Asian countries, whereas all the top courteous countries are European countries! Nevertheless, at least we know that in S’pore, we are making efforts to up our customer service (eg: GEMS). It helps being in an educated society whereby we know that customer service/courtesy goes a lllloooonnnnngggg way. :)But I do hope S’poreans dun just are courteous when they are paid in their jobs to do so etc…

  8. If your tire blows in the ecp, do you notice, no one ever stops to help you? If someone gets accosted, do you notice, no one ever sees anything and all of them dont want to get involved -In the mrt do you also notice, whenever an elderly or pregnant woman makes an appearance, everyone seems to oblivious.

    No singapohreans are not rude, we are all simply uniquely singapohrean

  9. If your tire blows in the ecp, do you notice, no one ever stops to help you? If someone gets accosted, do you notice, no one ever sees anything and all of them dont want to get involved -In the mrt do you also notice, whenever an elderly or pregnant woman makes an appearance, everyone seems to oblivious.

    No singapohreans are not rude, we are all simply uniquely singapohrean

  10. Pingback: Lalala
  11. new york city is the worst city i have been to.. people there are ten times worse then SG.. yet they are #1..

    spain is worse then sg.. people are stealing, NON stop

    singaporeans are rude, i don’t deny.. but we are better than these 2 cities i have been to..

    auckland should be #1

    this survey means nothing to me..

    smile on SG 😀

  12. new york city is the worst city i have been to.. people there are ten times worse then SG.. yet they are #1..

    spain is worse then sg.. people are stealing, NON stop

    singaporeans are rude, i don’t deny.. but we are better than these 2 cities i have been to..

    auckland should be #1

    this survey means nothing to me..

    smile on SG 😀

  13. NY is definitely not the friendliest city, so that survey is garbage. However, Singaporeans are very rude. They are also very racist. If you are of Indian origin the shopkeepers will sometime curse at you if you try to bargain. They also do this in Hong Kong. But in general, the people are not friendly. My parents and I used to go there several times when we were growing up. The country was then a mecca for electronics shopping. I have no intention of going there again unless it’s for business. – sunny

    1. I’ve been to both NY and Singapore and I can tell you, ppl may think NYers seem cold and unapproachable but in actuality when help is needed they’d offer it a heartbeat. But sadly I can’t say the same for Singapore, I’ve been living in Singapore for 2 years  I never really liked nor disliked the people up until a few months ago. I’d been sick and fainted at Bedok MRT station,… no one came to help me. I was appalled and disgusted in a way, how can people be so cold as to offer no help whatsoever to a girl in need? One school girl actually had the nerve to take out a phone and start taking pictures/video.  Tell me, what kind of disgusting behavior is this?

  14. NY is definitely not the friendliest city, so that survey is garbage. However, Singaporeans are very rude. They are also very racist. If you are of Indian origin the shopkeepers will sometime curse at you if you try to bargain. They also do this in Hong Kong. But in general, the people are not friendly. My parents and I used to go there several times when we were growing up. The country was then a mecca for electronics shopping. I have no intention of going there again unless it’s for business. – sunny

  15. I’m doing this recent project on making service a singaporean trademark for my school project work. when i went out to orchard to ask for some surveys for this, most of the tourists were so impolite. The asian tourists seemed more humble in that sense.The main question here,” Is the GEMS campaign in Singapore feasible since it didnt help that Singapore got 30th position?” Anyway,more importantly, how can we help improve the service standards here?

  16. I’m doing this recent project on making service a singaporean trademark for my school project work. when i went out to orchard to ask for some surveys for this, most of the tourists were so impolite. The asian tourists seemed more humble in that sense.The main question here,” Is the GEMS campaign in Singapore feasible since it didnt help that Singapore got 30th position?” Anyway,more importantly, how can we help improve the service standards here?

  17. i have just experienced singapore rudness taken to a new level,i am from sydney and i would have no objections helping someone with directions if i was approached. my asian travelling partner approached 2 people in singapore this week for directions and both of them turned there back ,held there hands up and walked off. shop keepers are short with any request you have and the hotel reception staff of a major hotel your airline lists as one to use for stop overs have a poor understanding of the english language,singapore may have advanced over the years in many areas but it is stuck in the 60’s when it comes to being civil to anyone other than a singaporean

  18. i have just experienced singapore rudness taken to a new level,i am from sydney and i would have no objections helping someone with directions if i was approached. my asian travelling partner approached 2 people in singapore this week for directions and both of them turned there back ,held there hands up and walked off. shop keepers are short with any request you have and the hotel reception staff of a major hotel your airline lists as one to use for stop overs have a poor understanding of the english language,singapore may have advanced over the years in many areas but it is stuck in the 60’s when it comes to being civil to anyone other than a singaporean

  19. That’s no news for the locals. We get a taste of our own medicine from our very own people, everywhere.

    Shopping malls, carparks, the HDB and Condo lifts, the MRT stations. You name it, we kena it.

  20. That’s no news for the locals. We get a taste of our own medicine from our very own people, everywhere.

    Shopping malls, carparks, the HDB and Condo lifts, the MRT stations. You name it, we kena it.

  21. Yea, Singaporeans are rude and unfriendly. When they speak, you feel no warmth at all. Very boring people. The country may be orderly and clean but it’s boring nonetheless.

    1. I just don’t comprehend what Singaporeans speak. Their English is totally not English. I wonder how they go by travelling. 

        1. Singaporean never see the first world country, that’s a reason why. Singaporean really proud of Singapore city and his / her government

  22. Yea, Singaporeans are rude and unfriendly. When they speak, you feel no warmth at all. Very boring people. The country may be orderly and clean but it’s boring nonetheless.

  23. I don’t think Singaporeans are that rude overall … but, what annoys the hell out of me is

    – Everyone scrambling to get into the MRT station lift (or the MRT train) first, even if they are able-bodied adults and the others are children, pregnant or disabled. Practically only the ang mos will willingly wait for their turn.

    – As mentioned above, very few people give up their seats in the MRT for anyone.

  24. I don’t think Singaporeans are that rude overall … but, what annoys the hell out of me is

    – Everyone scrambling to get into the MRT station lift (or the MRT train) first, even if they are able-bodied adults and the others are children, pregnant or disabled. Practically only the ang mos will willingly wait for their turn.

    – As mentioned above, very few people give up their seats in the MRT for anyone.

  25. The survey was not about how friendly people were, it was about courtesy!
    Also, I wouldn’t brand all Singaporeans the same, but in my experience from living here for the last year and a half, there seems to be no common courtesy here!!
    People aim for you when you are walking in a straight line, then tend to get in your way. Then when they do get in your way they stop right in front of you…! I have, on a numerous amount of times, almost been hit by swinging arms…some don’t seem to be aware of their surroundings.

    Also, I always travel on the MRT and every single time, I see uncle & aunties snotting everywhere, sneezing, snorting, they don’t cover their mouths – it’s sick. No wonder Sing has a bug all year round! Let’s start covering our mouths, that would be a good start lah!

    I agree that most Singaporeans are not friendly at all. The good thing though, is they don’t have bad attitudes and there is no fear here, compared to the UK, or the US!

    I’d be happy to settle for that anyday!

  26. The survey was not about how friendly people were, it was about courtesy!
    Also, I wouldn’t brand all Singaporeans the same, but in my experience from living here for the last year and a half, there seems to be no common courtesy here!!
    People aim for you when you are walking in a straight line, then tend to get in your way. Then when they do get in your way they stop right in front of you…! I have, on a numerous amount of times, almost been hit by swinging arms…some don’t seem to be aware of their surroundings.

    Also, I always travel on the MRT and every single time, I see uncle & aunties snotting everywhere, sneezing, snorting, they don’t cover their mouths – it’s sick. No wonder Sing has a bug all year round! Let’s start covering our mouths, that would be a good start lah!

    I agree that most Singaporeans are not friendly at all. The good thing though, is they don’t have bad attitudes and there is no fear here, compared to the UK, or the US!

    I’d be happy to settle for that anyday!

  27. I stayed near Ghim Moh bus interchange & takes a bus from there to work daily. However, very inconsiderate residents that are staying 2-3 bus stops away tend to walk all the way here & rush up the bus to hog all the bus seats thus making less seats available for residents staying near to the bus interchange.

  28. Pingback: DISQUS | loop
  29. I am visiting Singapore for 6 months from the Caribbean and I have to agree that Singaporeans are quite rude. Even in my temporary and professionalwork environment it took people between 2 and 8 weeks to start returning my greetings. The customers have specifically requested Chinese employees or accused me of speaking to them in slang and requested Singapore English speakers to serve them, even though I have access to translators. All this and my first language is actually English. I'm not sure whether it is racism or Nationalism or chauvinism that accounts for the attitude to people of non-Asian or foreign descent. I've been to Europe, the US and latin America for vacation and work and I have never encountered this level of open prejudice before.

  30. Huh, could be you arent even aware of what you are talking about. US is a country where people are kind..Of course, if you are doing something that doesnt deserve courtesy, you wont get it..

  31. French is a sophisticated culture with a long civilization, and generally we are very kind and courteous, and we pride ourselves with our great culture and one of the best fine language in this world. So, it should even be higher..Singapore or malaysia cant compare to that..

    1. Rubbish.. The people in France are generally snobbish and refuse to answer your questions if you do not speak their language. They view themseves as superior to others and look down on other cultures. Kind my ass

      1. I find the snobbish French stereotype very untrue. A stranger helped me with my luggage in the Parisian metro. People on the streets approached us to ask if we needed directions, before we even asked! Every single European country I’ve been to is much more polite than Singapore. I actually am ashamed of my own people. Think about it, why would Reader’s Digest lie?

    2. Pah I laugh at that! I went to France and the people wouldn’t even help you if you couldn’t speak French! Je n’aime pas France! >:(

  32. Asians are among the worst people, they dont cherish foreign friendship much and hate to talk to foreigners..i think thailand is one of the outstanding country in Asia..Other than that would be indonesia..All the rest arent there yet, they need more humanity..

    1. Not all Asians are like this. I am a British born Sri Lankan, and I can say Sri Lankans are very, friendly, hospitable and courteous to any person, regardless of which country they are form.

      1. Very true… I am also a Sri Lankan and whenever I meet other Sri Lankan’s they are always very polite. They also feel happy to meet another person who comes from where they have…

  33. Huh, could be you arent even aware of what you are talking about. US is a country where people are kind..Of course, if you are doing something that doesnt deserve courtesy, you wont get it..

  34. French is a sophisticated culture with a long civilization, and generally we are very kind and courteous, and we pride ourselves with our great culture and one of the best fine language in this world. So, it should even be higher..Singapore or malaysia cant compare to that..

  35. Asians are among the worst people, they dont cherish foreign friendship much and hate to talk to foreigners..i think thailand is one of the outstanding country in Asia..Other than that would be indonesia..All the rest arent there yet, they need more humanity..

  36. u was in my place, if u need help, u should ask in the way we understand. why u want me to speak in ur language? iam not born to speak ur language.

  37. Then if you cant speak English at least use your body language in a way that it is not “ignoring” the person who ask you the question. Show to him/her POLITELY that you really dont understand him/her. AND DO SMILE. I wasnt born to speak English either. It isnt my mother tongue, but GRACIOUSNESS is in my blood. Unlike ugly Singaporeans. I'm Asian too, by the way.

  38. Despite almost living here for a decade due to irreversible contracts and such, I still find it hard to appreciate the way Singaporeans interact with people. How appaling.

  39. Can you give us reasons why do you think so? You cant point out a conclusion without proper rationalizations and justifications.

    I think it is biased because the one who did the survey must be of a Caucasian descent, which explains why all the most courteous cities are Europeans or American cities. Perhaps they are more welcomed there due to their skin colour. But saying that Singaporeans are rude isn't rubbish either as we all know a lot of foreigners (Asians included), don't find Singaporeans friendly. It is, in fact, the truth.

  40. Proof that Singaporeans are rude? You don't have to go to Sinagapore just to prove that. Just go online, maybe an online game. Singaporeans will surely bash your nationality and boast their boring country. Now go to Singapore to experience more of their ugliness.

    1. Aren’t u being rude by calling them ugly without properly getting to know them. Just because they are rude, it does not mean u have to be too…

  41. singaporeans do not know they are rude and ungracious until they visit 1st world countries and even 3rd world countries eg Indonesia.. Example of rudeness not holding lifts forr others, rushing into trains before others get out, not greeting people, placing tissues to deprive those queving up earlier of place, not giving way to others turning left or right or when drivers reversing half way they barge ahead. however it is noticeable singaporean tried to appear polite infront of white visitors and being helpful to them whilst ignoring others.

  42. I have lived and work in both Japan and Singapore. And I say…Singaporeans are nice people but they are not polite. Japanese are polite but they're not nice.

    1. @TANAHPEK That is really mean. Judging from your username, you should be a chinese. So if you call them losers, you are also being a loser

  43. i really agree that singaporeans are rude.
    i am studying as a foreigner at one of government secondary school in here for about 2 years .
    they are really racist. they like to boast about their own country however , if we try to say negative things about their country , they’ll angry and will say ” go back to your country then ” i don’t think this is a good manner

    1. Nationalism is just a milder form of fascism, and yes I agree Singaporeans are the rudest people I’ve met, WORSE than China, and that’s saying something. Taiwanese are mostly friendly, but get offended very easily. I’m Malaysian living in Brunei, and I’m ashamed to say that  in terms of manners, Malaysia is far behind Brunei – on the roads of Brunei, you’ll probably hear a honk once every 3 days or so, Malaysia…probably 30 honks everyday.

      1. China people are also quite rude. When i visited china, people talk on the phone loudly like no one is around them

  44. I know Singapore is like that and is one of the reasons why I dislike living here.
    I was born in Singapore (not by choice).
    The rudeness or at least perceived impoliteness is due to
     the fact of the stiff competition you face here. 
    Don’t get me wrong, all SUCCESSFUL Asian nations exhibit this “impoliteness”, from my observation.
    With competition, how can there be time for courtesy?
    Sorry, but that is simply how SUCCESSFUL Asian countries roll. 
    (e.g. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea & China)
    Unlike western countries, we were not so fortunate to have the first-mover’s advantage.
    Our success was an unlikely one but it happened due to our hard work.
    Why? Because we went to EXTREMES to accomplish what we did.
    Not to insult western countries, but if your children came here, they will DIE as most children here have no time to “have a life”. 
    THEY DON’T PLAY GAMES OFTEN! Can you believe it?
    (I am a special case, my family’s financial situation allows me greater freedom of time and etc.)
    In the name of prosperity, believe you me that these countries sacrificed a lot and only the people living there know what hardships that they face. 
    You will never understand till you face it yourself.

    Then again, this survey is skewed as they don’t even mention how the hell they collect this “survey”.
    We cannot naively believe that this report is 100% accurate/reliable.

  45. Recently came back to singapore and it gave me a shock because I forgot how rude some people are, especially the old ladies doing blue collar jobs. But then again doctors and GPs are also very rude and patronising. The old hokkien or Cantonese people who cant communicate in English properly will get frustrated at you if you don’t understand them! And they’ll treat you like you’re dumb. I find more educated people less rude, although it may vary.

  46. Just make this simple. Asian countries that are highly developed and successful, are usually rude to foreigners, even to themselves when they have disputes. Why? ‘Cause they are being arrogant for thinking they are economically strong. However, Asian countries that have mediocre lifestyles are being courteous to others. I think hearts that could think and feel are more important, ’cause money can’t buy you happiness. I’m a Vietnamese by the way.

  47. I have been in Singapore for 5 years and working as professional. Based on my experience I have to admit that typical Singaporeans are quite rude. I am not saying all of them, but most of them. They speak to the people based on the level of that people. If you are white skin or from Western and Europe they will be very nice. But if you look Asian and from the neighbor countries , they way that they treat and speak are very unprofessional and rude.

    I am sorry to say that, but that’s true based on my experience.

  48. I’m Singaporean and living in Philadelphia. True, there are rude people in Singapore but so are there over here in Philly. I take the train to work, and guess what, people here also rush in without forming lines, they hog seats by placing their bags and even stretch their feet on them, including nicely dressed women. I have also encountered on an almost daily basis people talking so loudly on the train, you learn their whole life story in 15 minutes. Some even talk on speaker phone. Drivers here are terrible, they are impatient as hell and I don’t even want to start on the cyclists.

    Point is, rude people exist everywhere. Surveys like these are garbage, and really, I won’t turn to The Reader’s Digest for such information either. NY is number 1? Ha ha, that certainly is funny.

  49. U guys really believe this? They didn’t even state HOW they did it? And it stated that Singaporeans are not courteous , not that they are unfriendly!

  50. Hey guys don’t generalize too much about Singapore, there are some nice people here. I’m a Singaporean, and you need to understand why we are so rude. Such a small country like ours is extremely competitive. The “friends” in my school steal notes from you when you’re nt looking! I have a friend who is allowed 1 hour of compute usage every 2 weeks. If his school work requires the computer, that will also use up the 1 hour. Western societies have the luxuries of leading a slow and joyful life because your countries are so big. There is hardly any competition. If your kids come to Singapo

  51. I am a Singaporean myself and I ashamed to admit that Singaporeans are indeed rude. They are also self-centred and arrogant. They think the world revolves around them and everyone must give them everything they want. This comes from parents over-spoiling them when they are growing up where everything they want is given to them. They walk into restaurants demanding unreasonable attention and then refuse to pay according the menu prices. I have seen Singaporeans walk into buffet restaurants demanding that they only pay for 2 persons for 3 persons dining!!! Or despite stated terms and conditions, they will refuse to pay the price and want discount! Singapore society is degenerating…..sad, but it is true. I think we deserve to suffer some severe hardship as a major wake-up call!!!

  52. Been to Singapore once. Did not experience rudeness myself but rather indifference and soullessness from people. But I witnessed our Singaporean tour guide shout at Indian tourists when they were just asking questions about landmarks. Staff from restaurants and airlines are no better. Usually the courteous and smiling people are not from Singapore.

  53. IMHO, it doesn’t matter if the country is small or big, competitive or laid back; it’s all about attitude. It’s about how you and me perceive and react, that makes a society. I travel quite a bit – it doesn’t make me a know-it-all jack but I think i know enough to pass on some thoughts. Let us leave aside driving and MRT’s for a moment, and think about when you walk in the malls, on sidewalks, crossing the traffic lights, trying to enter a lift, etc. – how many Singaporeans actually give way. Reminds me how annoyed I get when I walk along just about any path that’s say just a meter wide and there comes couple in front of you walking side-by-side taking up 80% of the path and just being bloody ignorant refusing to give-way. This is something I don’t quite come across in the all-bustling NY or even in Oxford street. This is a typical Kiasu attitude, an obvious rudeness. A few say sorry after nudging into you but to me that’s an act of formality, not courteousness. People have to learn to be less self-centered and be more thoughtful – being physically competitive when you can actually be mindful is a pathetic act of the intelligent race; animals not gifted with minds to think and react do that sort, not us. With all due respect, hope I made some sense here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *