By Chris Kuan
Here’s another way of thinking about Singapore’s abysmally high ranking in the Ignorance Index.
The easy way is to go with the flow of the survey and conclude that Singaporeans are indeed incapable of thinking and perceiving factual reality and therefore ignorant.
But this went against the high level of education, a superb education system, training and exposure that Singaporeans are provided with.
So how to explain the contradiction. We can do that by turning the discourse in the opposite direction.
What if the factual reality in Singapore is NOT the factual reality as it would have been for each country in the survey, having been distorted or altered by official secrecy and extremely biased reporting by the state-controlled media?
So Singaporeans may have the correct perception which deviates from the altered / distorted “factual” reality, therefore landing Singapore right up in the Ignorance Index.
So it is not that Singaporeans are ignorant but that they are closer to the truth than the altered / distorted “factual” reality fed to them by the government and the state-controlled media.
I rather like this optimistic reading as there may be hope yet. But somehow the truth is probably somewhere in between, i.e. Singaporeans are somewhat ignorant and that the “factual” reality in Singapore is altered / distorted.
A prime example is the issue of welfare spending – the negative picture fed by the government and the state controlled media of the European welfare state is extremely biased – an altered, distorted reality but yet an uncomfortably large number of Singaporeans believed in it without question.
So there you go.