Singapore: Values                                            

The five “Shared Values” are beliefs by which Singapore is bound together as a nation. The concept of a national ideology (later re-phrased as Shared Values) was first created by then First Deputy Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong in October 1988.

Singapore’s Five Shared Values

  1. Nation before community and society above self
  2. Family as the basic unit of society
  3. Community support and respect for the individual
  4. Consensus, not conflict
  5. Racial and religious harmony


What do the Singaporean shared values reveal about the nation and its people?

Consider the following:

  • Unity and harmony
  • Togetherness (collectivism)
  • Giving priority to others before the self (collectivism)
  • Importance of family (collectivism)

If you had to choose five shared values that represent your country what would they be?


Goals of the Five Shared Values

The objective of stating the five shared values is to preserve Singapore's Asian identity in an era of globalization where Singaporeans are exposed to many external influences. The idea was taken up by Parliament with Lee Hsien Loong heading a committee to explore the issues in developing a national ideology. Lee outlined the goals of the project:

1. To find common values which all can share.

2. To preserve the heritage of the different communities.

3. To ensure that each community appreciates and is sensitive to the traditions of others.