Five Cs of Singapore

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"Five Cs of Singapore" – namely, Cash, Car, Credit card, Condominium and Country club membership – is a phrase used in Singapore to refer to materialism.[1] It was coined as a popular observational joke about the aspirations of some Singaporeans to obtain material possessions in an effort to impress others.


Cash refers to spending power rather than physical currency. Financial security and affluence is a status symbol and for many years was the measure of personal worth and success.


Approximately 1 in 10 residents of Singapore own a car.[2] Given high taxation on the import and ownership of motor vehicles (191% on new vehicles, an annual road tax based on engine size, and high pump prices) and a quota system requiring owners to acquire a costly Certificate of Entitlement,[3] car ownership is a symbol of wealth and power.

Credit card[edit]

Credit cards are a visible symbol of success. Singapore's financial regulator, the Monetary Authority of Singapore[4] (MAS), has stipulated a maximum personal credit limit[5] of two months' income given personal income less than S$ 30,000, or four months' income for all others. Banks typically issue different types of cards depending on the available credit limit, associating greater cachet with cards that offer a higher limit.


Condominiums are usually considered by many as one of the fundamental "five Cs".

In Singapore, privately developed apartments reflect a higher wealth status as compared to public housing also known as HDBs which are public flats built, sold and sometimes subsidized by the government. Land in Singapore is at a premium, meaning that freestanding houses are rare and signify even greater affluence.

Country Club[edit]

Relatively few country clubs, golf clubs, etc., are available in Singapore, making membership another indication of affluence.[citation needed]