The latest Edelman Trust Barometer report reveals that trust in the Singapore Government has risen by two percentage points, reaching a record high of 76%.
According to the survey, the government remains the most trusted institution in the country, with trust in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and businesses declining, while trust in the media remains comparatively high.
Singapore’s government trust ranks fourth-highest among the 28 countries surveyed, trailing China, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.
Trust in NGOs and businesses in Singapore was higher than in several other countries, including Sweden, Germany, Japan, Spain, and South Korea. Trust in the media stood at 59%, with China, Indonesia, and Thailand reporting higher levels.
The Edelman Trust Barometer report, released on Wednesday, is based on a survey of over 32,000 respondents across 28 countries. Fieldwork for the 2023 edition was conducted between 1 November and 28 November 2022 through 30-minute online interviews.
The report reveals a global trend where high-income earners exhibit more trust in institutions, such as government, NGOs, businesses, and media, compared to low-income earners.
In Singapore, there was an 18-point trust gap between high and low-income earners, the seventh-largest gap among all countries surveyed. This gap highlights a potential area of concern and signals the importance of addressing income inequality to foster greater trust in institutions.
Another key finding from the survey is the decline in economic optimism in Singapore. Only 36% of respondents expressed optimism about their families being better off in five years, an all-time low for the country.
Despite this decline, Singaporeans were found to be less polarized than respondents from countries like the United States, Germany, and South Korea. Only 33% of Singapore respondents believed their country is more divided today than in the past, compared to the global average of 53%.
The report also sheds light on respondents’ attitudes towards polarization and civility.
In Singapore, 44% of respondents believed that the lack of civility and mutual respect today was “the worst they have ever seen.”
Additionally, fewer than one in three Singapore respondents said they would be willing to help someone they strongly disagreed with. These findings emphasize the need for fostering a culture of tolerance and respect for diverse opinions in order to strengthen social cohesion.