Are Singaporeans really intelligent?

Her gullibility is not representative of intelligent Singaporeans – anonymous reader.The criticisms in response to my previous article reflected how shallow and ignorant most Singaporeans are when it comes to  issues on money management. Make no mistake, it is perfectly okay to have different views on money but I expect more substance from my readers when they comment in my blog. After all, I have been promoting best practices on money management for several years already. So I am disappointed and at the same time, surprised that many Singaporeans choose to indulge in self-glorification and refuse to accept the hard truth that we are not genetically engineered to be financially smart. Singaporeans forgotten the fact that the majority of our Chinese forefathers hailed from one of the provinces of China, Fujian. Our ancestors were mostly uneducated farmers and hence, most of us are endowed with intelligence lower than Hong Kongers and Taiwanese. This is a historical fact which cannot be changed, no matter whether you like it or not.

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.

Magically yours

Updated: January 10, 2015 — 2:42 pm


Add a Comment
  1. Fortunately FQ can be improved!

  2. Haha. I am not so sure most Singaporeans’ FQ can be improved.

    SG Wealth Builder

  3. 1. Aren’t the ancestors of almost everyone (including Hongkongers and Taiwanese) farmers?
    2. Is there really a direct link between being rich ($$$) and being intelligent (high IQ)?

  4. Like that arh.

    Why are we still blogging?


  5. “Singaporeans forgotten the fact that the majority of our Chinese forefathers hailed from one of the provinces of China, Fujian. Our ancestors were mostly uneducated farmers and hence, most of us are endowed with intelligence lower than Hong Kongers and Taiwanese. This is a historical fact which cannot be changed, no matter whether you like it or not.”

    I stop after the above paragraph. I’m not even Singaporean and I’m offended.

    You are walking a dangerous line, spouting Nazi / caveman rhetoric. The Nazi had generalization like: all jews are evil, disable kids should be put down to end the spread of their genes, etc…

    There is a saying: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals”

    You sir, should stick to financial blogging…


  6. JW,

    You misconstrued my article and is making malicious statements on my reputation.
    I like to inform you that I reserve my right to sue you.

  7. I think it is also partly the fact that in Singapore (including a lot of Western countries), people have been brought up and encouraged to consume in order to circulate the money more. This way, we have somehow forgot the virtue of deferred gratification for the long-term goals. In America, it was that whole American picket fence life that everyone wants that most did not think twice when they signed for the house and mortgage even without thinking of their own financial capabilities to sustain that “dream”.
    For Singaporeans, I am afraid it is much more dangerous. We have been brought up with the whole idea of the 5Cs and do not forget how we, Asians, have a fear for losing face amongst our friends and relatives that we would just not mind shelling out for those luxuries without thinking for the future.

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