Why Advisories will not work in Singapore


Do you know what is the latest advisory on COVID-19

You have seen it, from travel advisories to the workplace to advisories at malls, the results are still the same, people still choose to do the opposite.

Granted that this phenomenon is not isolated to Singapore, it still proofs that advisories do not necessarily have its intended impact.



Does Advisories Work?
Some of the adversaries that needed finetuning


Individuals
Travel Advisory 
March 16
Singaporeans to deter non-essential travel overseas
However, the number of import cases continues to rise. The number of outgoing Singapore Residents averages 1000 daily even after the advisory.

March 20
LOA / SNH support programme for employers and self-employed persons withdraw
Employees to use own annual leave to cover for LOA

March 24
Singapore Residents or LTP holders who disregard travel advisories are required to pay for their own medical expense if they have COVID-19


Advisory on Safe Distancing Measures for retail and F& B Entertainment
March 20
Advisory was given for safe distancing. However, despite the advisories, traffics for malls and restaurants continue to be high

March 24 
Regulations imposed on mall traffic, safe spacing in restaurants

March 28 
Defer non-essential trips to malls and to Stay at Home. 
On the same day, there was a radio DJ encouraging people NOT to stay at home and head to the beach instead. See the advisories are not working right?

Foreign Workers
FDW Advisory
March 17
Advisory was given for FDW to stay at home as much as possible and avoid large crowds

March 25
Workers and FDW are strongly advised to remain in residence on rest days. Workers will be asked to disperse if they are in a large group. Failure to cooperate will lead to having work passes revoke.

Companies

Safe Distancing at Workplaces
March13
Employers encouraged employees to work from home. For those who cannot work from home, to reduce duration and proximity of physical interactions. Other measures advised included stagger working hours, scale down non -essential events.

March 26
Advisory was updated to ensure that employees could work from home where they can. Ensure clear physical spacing of 1 m, compulsory staggered work hour, cancellation of all events. This comes after MOM issues stop-work orders to 34 companies for not following safe distancing measures.



Why is this a Phenomenon in Singapore?

The 'Fine' City
Since the 80s, Singapore has been used to a barrage of campaigns that uses sticks o educate
If you litter - Fine
If you chew gum - Fine
If you smoke - Fine
If you eat on MRT - Fine

If you look around, the streets are mostly clean, gums are not found on the pavement, smoking is confined to a yellow box and there is no one eating on the MRT.

Being bought up through decades of FINES, we only understood the severity of the situation if there is a Fine. Else, everything else is ok.

What is an Advisory?
Literally, it means I tell you something to make you aware that you should not do it BUT I will not take action or enforce them.

Bad mistake 
Advisories do not work in Singapore. Without fines, advisories are like parents telling you not to spend too much time on the computer to play Roblox. You heard it, nod your head, close the room door and continue playing. 

Despite the masses clamouring the Nation to move away from Nanny State, there are still plenty that had shown it is not the time to let go of the training wheels.


Too Many Advisories
Hands up if you know all the advisories for COVID19  or at least know where to find them?

The daily changes and the increase in advisories may lead to advisories fatigue. As a result, this may lead to people taking advisories less seriously. For the record, you can find all the adversaries for COVID19  here. The advisories are divided into sector-specific for better referencing. At the last count, there are over 80 advisories listed on the site!


What Next?
From a parent perspective, sometimes you need tough love to get the child to listen. Many times I have raised my voice, taking away computer privileges, sitting beside the child with a stick just to get them to do homework.

Unfortunately, unless this can be proven wrong, the stick has to be bought out.

It is not about offending the population but to speak their language. Advising will not work but as seen from past campaigns, regulations will. Maybe a simple change of the term from advisory to regulation will do the trick. 


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