Majority of Singaporeans feel positively about PM Lee’s National Day Rally speech

Fiona Robinson
August 24, 2022, 2:00 AM GMT+0

Economic challenges, removal of the compulsory mask mandate, and repeal of Section 377A were also found to be top issues among voters

Following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech on 21 August 2022, latest data from YouGov RealTime Omnibus indicates that a majority of Singaporean voters feel positively about the address, which covered issues and policy changes like the easing of indoor mask-wearing restrictions and a repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.

When asked to rate the address on five characteristics – the extent to which they found it relevant, convincing, insightful, interesting, and enjoyable – majority of Singaporean voters responded positively. Close to seven in ten found it relevant (67%), while over three in five found it insightful (66%) and interesting (65%). More than half found it convincing (55%) while just over two in five said it was enjoyable (47%).

Gen Z were more likely than other generations to express the most positive responses across four of the five characteristics (the extent to which they found it relevant, convincing, interesting, and enjoyable). Baby Boomers and Gen Z were just as likely to say it was insightful (69%).

Notably, the gender divide is less apparent compared to an earlier iteration of this study run by YouGov in 2015, which found older residents above the age of 55 most likely to express the most positive responses.

Of the eight key issues mentioned by PM Lee during the rally, economic challenges due to inflation and rising costs of living was most likely to be ranked as the issue that would affect voters the most (54%).

The easing of mask-wearing regulations indoors (34%), as well as the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code (32%), were the issues of next greatest impact.

Fewer ranked external dangers (13%); the resumption of work on Terminal 5 at Changi Airport and Tuas Port (13%); redevelopment of Paya Lebar Air Base (11%); upcoming initiatives to attract and retain international talent (11%); and development of the Changi East Urban District (9%) as the issue of greatest impact to them.

The survey also polled respondents on how they engaged with the National Day Rally speech, if at all. More than four in ten had tuned in live, with TV being the most popular medium of engagement (35%), followed by online streaming (7%) and the radio (3%).

A third did not watch it live but read about it in the news (22%), watched it online (3%) or listened to a repeat broadcast (3%) at the time of answering the survey.

The remaining plan to watch or listen to the rally (11%) or read about it in the newspapers (8%).

A final one in ten did not tune into the rally and do not intend to find out more (8%), with not having time to do so cited as the top reason among this group (62%).


YouGov RealTime Omnibus provides quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online from 22 to 23 August 2022, with a nationally representative sample of 912 Singapore citizens (aged 21+ years), using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, gender, ethnicity and voting district to be representative of the voting population (21 years or older) and reflect the latest Singapore Department of Statistics (DOS) estimates. Find out more about YouGov RealTime Omnibus.