Several readers had dismissed Madam Goh’s unfortunate ordeal as an isolated case and loathed to accept that Singaporeans are gullible and not good at managing money. Without even following my blog, they claimed that I generalize issues and linked different issues with no basis. What they failed to realize is that they have really short term memories and are unable to raise their IQ to analyze important issues.
Several years ago, I commented many “intelligent Singaporeans” who lost their hard-earned money investing in MiniBonds and then subsequently, in gold-buyback schemes. In addition, there are many, many reported cases of senior citizens who lost their life savings to con artists. As a result, many Singaporeans turned to government for help. Sure, in Madam Goh’s case, 70 good souls had came forward to offer her financial support, but can these same people do so for another 70 or even 700 similar cases? That is why I started this blog, to raise awareness among Singaporeans and drive home the importance of being financially educated.
Most Singaporeans tend to overrate their abilities in money management and are not financially savvy compared to many of our South East Asia counterparts. Inevitably, many critics will dish out statistics showing that over the decades, Singapore has consistently achieved top ‘O’ and ‘A’ level results and argue that our kids are among the brightest in the world. However, there is a need to know the difference between academic successes and intelligence quotient (IQ). Many Singaporeans like to complain against government policies but offer no constructive solutions to back up their arguments. We like to be defensive when criticized by others and seldom reflect on our shortcomings.
IQ, EQ and AQ
You might be exam smart and scored high marks for examinations when you were a student. But having achieving academic successes doesn’t automatically guarantee you a good life and is generally not a good indicator of future success. To succeed in life, you need Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Adversity Quotient (AQ). You can see that academic achievements doesn’t feature in any of the three categories. This is because these are not something which you can learn from the text books or in schools. Generally, they are usually innate or hereditary. I suppose many foreigners think Singaporeans are stupid because we lack critical masses in all of these three areas. Many of you would disagree with me but just go around and ask your foreign friends what are their frank opinions of us. Take away our international accolades of having the Number 1 airport, airline or the safest country in South East Asia, you would realize that most foreigners don’t have much good comments of us, in terms of IQ, EQ and AQ. In fact, many local readers also wrote in and agreed that many of us can be stupid and stubborn.
What is wrong with being stupid?
Of course nobody likes to be insulted, including me. So to be branded as stupid can be infuriating. But think again, there is nothing inherently sinful being born with lower intelliegence. In fact, we can still be happy even if we don’t have high IQ, EQ or AQ. Just that being stupid means that you can easily be duped and suffer from rip-offs. This explains why many Singaporeans are being deemed as gullible and are often being cheated of money. While we are unable to improve our IQ, EQ and AQ, we can certainly improve our wisdom through life experiences. This would require us to firstly acknowledge that we are not intellectually endowed and having the will to learn from mistakes.