What Sin­ga­pore­ans iden­tify with

The Straits Times - - OPINION -

Re­searchers from the In­sti­tute of Pol­icy Stud­ies’ (IPS) So­cial Lab are work­ing on sev­eral projects to pin down the var­i­ous as­pects that con­sti­tute and con­trib­ute to Sin­ga­pore­ans’ sense of iden­tity and her­itage. They are:


Started in 2015 and pub­lished this year, the study “Nar­ra­tives of our past: Tak­ing a jour­ney through his­tory for col­lec­tive well-be­ing” sur­veyed 1,516 Sin­ga­pore cit­i­zens on how they per­ceived the his­tory of Sin­ga­pore af­ter hav­ing eval­u­ated 35 his­tor­i­cal events.

Events in­clude the first batch of na­tional ser­vice­men in 1967 and Mas Se­la­mat’s es­cape in 2008.


Last year, the IPS So­cial Lab stud­ied the views of or­di­nary cit­i­zens to­wards Sin­ga­pore’s built her­itage.

Re­searchers started out by con­duct­ing fo­cus group ses­sions with 51 Sin­ga­pore­ans who were asked to eval­u­ate 90 sites.

Clif­ford Pier, Sin­ga­pore Botanic Gar­dens, Changi Air­port con­trol tower, Fuller­ton Ho­tel and Raf­fles Ho­tel emerged as the re­spon­dents’ top five most im­por­tant her­itage sites in Sin­ga­pore.

Re­searchers are now work­ing on sur­vey­ing 1,500 Sin­ga­pore­ans for a na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive poll. The team is in the midst of study­ing 52 years worth of NDR speeches from 1965 to 2016. The project aims to un­cover the de­vel­op­men­tal milestones of the na­tion and the evolv­ing as­pi­ra­tions and chal­lenges of Sin­ga­pore­ans, among other things. Re­searchers are aim­ing for the study to be com­pleted by the end of the year.


The IPS So­cial Lab also plans to con­duct a study by the sec­ond half of next year on the pop­u­lace’s per­cep­tion of lo­cal his­tor­i­cal fig­ures from a range of sec­tors such as pol­i­tics, the arts and sports.

Melody Zac­cheus


The Fuller­ton Ho­tel (left) and the Changi Air­port con­trol tower (be­low) were among the top five most im­por­tant her­itage sites out of 90 that were as­sessed by 51 Sin­ga­pore­ans who took part in a se­ries of fo­cus group dis­cus­sions or­gan­ised by the IPS So­cial Lab last year.

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