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Singaporeans worse at cleaning up after themselves: survey

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Despite various public campaigns, Singaporeans scored lower for their behaviour in keeping eating places and toilets clean.

In the latest Graciousness Survey by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), people were asked to rate the country on several behaviours on a scale of zero to 10, with zero representing “very poor” and 10 representing “excellent”.

Findings released yesterday showed that people rated Singapore 5.52 for “cleaning up after meals in public spaces” and 5.88 for “keeping public toilets clean and dry after use”, down from 5.83 and 6.17, respectively, last year.

SKM general secretary William Wan found the results surprising, given the groundwork by the National Environment Agency and the Public Hygiene Council.

“I’m quite surprised that despite all the effort, we’re still not making much progress,” he said. “We get so used to people cleaning up after us that we don’t take it upon ourselves to do so.”

In May last year, the Public Hygiene Council had also given low ratings for similar behaviour.

Council chairman Edward D’Silva said he was not surprised by the SKM survey findings.

“Singaporeans have a sense of self-entitlement and it is getting worse. There are parents who tell their kids to let the maids or cleaners do the cleaning,” he said.

“But there have been recent efforts to get children to clean their schools. Hopefully, the results of that would be seen in the next 10 years and beyond.”

Office manager Tina Mahadi, 40, a mother of two, said: “I think if kids have the habit of cleaning places, they will learn to be more humble too.”