Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singapore stays high in liveability



Singapore stays high in liveability

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Despite stagnating in the past few years on the ranking of liveable cities, Singapore remains near the top. the straits times

Singapore stays high in liveability

The Straits Times/ANN: Singapore’s score in a global ranking of liveable cities has stagnated since 2011, which may make a difference to highly mobile top talent.

But it remains one of the world’s more liveable cities, ranking 46 out of 140 cities assessed, while Hong Kong was 43.

Singapore did particularly well in providing a safe and stable habitat, but scored lower in culture, environment and healthcare in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) annual Liveability Ranking, which began in 2002. In response to queries, the EIU supplied the results since 2011.

Although Singapore’s overall ranking might look middling, it is not cause for alarm, said experts.

“Singapore has a high score and the EIU classifies it in the top tier of liveability,” said Simon Baptist, EIU chief economist and managing director for Asia.

Singapore scored 88.7 out of a possible 100, based on five areas: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education and infrastructure.

Its score has not changed since 2011, though its ranking improved from 51 to 46 because other cities fell behind in stability – factors such as crime rate, risk of terrorism and risk of social unrest.

Singapore performed worst in the area of culture and environment, with a score of 76.6.

Not much can be done about environmental factors: humidity and temperature, and “discomfort of climate to travellers”.

But its cultural score – which includes factors such as corruption, censorship, sports, the arts, and food and drink – can be improved, said Baptist.

“Singapore is dragged down due to its high level of censorship, which means the local media is less diverse and interesting, and residents do not have the same possibility to engage in public debate or get involved in campaigning or NGOs.”

Singapore’s healthcare score also lags behind some cities despite high quality healthcare, he added. This is mainly because of a lower number of doctors and hospital beds per capita, and lower public healthcare spending as a percentage of gross domestic product.

This may affect expatriates here on local packages, but will have less impact on those with private healthcare insurance, said expat expert Yvonne McNulty.

Liveability has been a focus of the Government, from efficient transport to vibrant public spaces.

This is both to improve citizens’ everyday lives and to boost competitiveness by ensuring Singapore is an attractive place to live for top talent.

OCBC economist Selena Ling said liveability may make a difference for top global talent, who can choose where to go.

But she and other economists said foreign investors’ top concerns are the domestic cost environment, overall availability of talent and competitive advantages such as good corporate governance and transport links.

“Liveability is more like icing on the cake after the basics have been taken care of.” Otherwise, places such as Australia and Canada, which rank high for liveability, would top competitiveness rankings – which is not the case.

DBS economist Irvin Seah agreed. “I think we’ve reached a certain stage of development where we can feel more confident about the standards of living in Singapore.

“If there is any ranking that we need to focus on, it’ll be those pertaining to innovation and overall economic competitiveness.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The