Stressed Singapore hunts for happiest person

20 Mar 08

A search has been launched for the happiest person in Singapore, where a recent survey found that 90 per cent of its population feel that life is stressful.

The aptly named Philip Merry, chief executive of consulting firm Global Leadership Academy, is tasked with locating the cheery resident.

“Being based in Singapore and having trained thousands of people across the globe, one distinct trend I have noticed is that despite material wealth and economic success, Singaporeans consider themselves less happy than many other people,” said Mr Merry, who was given two weeks from last Sunday to complete his quest.

“Singaporeans fret about financial security and retirement. Many Singaporeans are concerned they do not have enough money to grow old gracefully, and that seems to make them unhappy.”

Despite its affluence, a poll by advertising firm Grey Group found that nine in 10 people living in the city-state said they were stressed.

Under the contest, citizens aged 18 years and above can be nominated for the title of Singapore’s Happiest Person 2008.

Mr Merry has asked nominators to explain in between 300 and 1,000 words why their nominee is a “model of happiness”.

The winner will stay for free at a beach club in the Thai resort island of Phuket.

The search is being held in conjunction with a conference on ‘The New Science of Happiness and Well-Being’, to be held in Singapore next month.

Almost 60 nominations have been received so far, Mr Merry says.

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