No U-turn syndrome

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In Singapore drivers are not allowed to U-turn unless instructed otherwise by this traffic sign

No U-Turn Syndrome (NUTS) is a term first coined by Singaporean entrepreneur Sim Wong Hoo, to prominently describe the social behaviour of Singaporeans having a mindset of compliance to higher authorities before proceeding with any action.

In his book Chaotic Thoughts from the Old Millennium, he uses a comparison of traffic rules in Singapore to those found overseas, to describe the phenomenon. In Singapore, drivers are not allowed to make a U-turn unless a sign specifically allows them to do so, while in some other countries drivers may make U-turns freely so long as a "No U-turn" sign is not present. Following that, this analogy is used to explain the red tape he has encountered with hard-nosed bureaucrats, which in turn stifles the very creativity that the Singaporean government has been trying to promote in the recent years.[1]

NUTS is also considered as one of the major criticisms of the rigid Singapore education system, where students are taught from a young age to obey instructions in an unquestioning manner, in a society where grades and paper certification are emphasised at the expense of some life skills.[2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sim, Wong Hoo (1999). Chaotic Thoughts from the Old Millennium. Singapore: Creative O Pte Ltd. ISBN 981-04-2383-7. 
  2. ^ Seah, Chiang Nee (9 July 2006). "Falling back on autopilot". The Star (Malaysia). Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  3. ^ Heng, Cho Choon (19 April 2007). "Parents should allow their kids to follow their hearts and not their brains". The Straits Times Forum (Online Archive).