Apr 26, 2007

Lee Kuan Yew on Emigration

ST April 23, 2007
MM: My job to look after those who built nation
He pays tribute to S'poreans who did the 'hard and dirty work' for country By Sue-Ann Chia

MINISTER Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had this message for Singaporeans who did the hard and dirty work to build the nation: I am here to look after you.

'I do not believe 50 per cent of Singaporeans can emigrate,' he said at the Young People's Action Party dialogue at the St James Power Station nightspot.

'So as a government, and personally for me and my colleagues, my responsibility is to look after those who cannot migrate.' ..........

He said that while most Singaporeans could not leave, he is aware that the better-educated and talented ones could do so.

He noted that the top 20 to 30 per cent of educated Singaporeans have the skills and abilities to emigrate to anywhere in the world.

And many do, with about 150,000 Singaporeans working in companies, setting up businesses or living abroad.

'We are now into a globalised world where people who are well-educated, well-trained and especially English-educated have enormous options,' he said.

But his point to them was this: 'Can you leave with a clear conscience? I cannot.'

He urged them to think hard about what they owe the country. 'If we lose our top talent, then we will decline as a nation,' he said.

The key, he believed, was to inculcate a particular message in the young - especially those doing well in schools, colleges, polytechnics and universities.

'You are here, you are getting this education, you are getting these opportunities that make you mobile, that make you desirable because this mass of people had discipline, (were) hardworking, provided the stability, the base on which you mounted your career.

'Can you in good conscience say, 'Goodbye! Thank you very much'?'

Lee Kuan Yew is fond of telling stories. Most of them, however, are left incomplete.

In Lee's version of the tale of emigration, it is the well-educated, the well-trained and the talented who get to leave. They leave because they have better career opportunities and can earn more money elsewhere. They leave because they are ungrateful and irresponsible and do not care about their less-advantaged fellow citizens.

The tale has other versions. To know the full story, you must not rely on Lee Kuan Yew's version alone. You should listen to individual Singaporeans tell their own stories in their own words, and then you may begin to piece together the complete picture.

Here are some Singaporeans' stories then. I reproduce only excerpts. Here is the
story of one Singaporean, SS, who did eventually emigrate to Australia:

I love Singapore.

Singapore is where I grew up. Singapore is where my family and friends are. Singapore is where I have called home for over three decades.

I am not emigrating to avoid my citizenship responsibilities. I have served and completed my full time National Service. I pay both my income and consumption taxes to the full extent required by the law. I have obeyed the laws of Singapore. I am not under persecution and enjoy many freedoms.

I am considering emigration for economic reasons. I am emigrating because I wish economic security. Because I believe that the welfare of citizens should not be sacrificed on the altar of rapid economic growth. Because I believe age discrimination is wrong. Because I fear economic non-viability above the age of forty. Because I fear dying old, sick and destitute when I am unable to afford medical care in a society with no social safety net. Because I actually want to be a property owner and not a technical leaseholder. I am considering emigration because I ignore the mass media propaganda and try to actually understand the economic viability of immobile citizens in a topdown-managed tiny nation state in a rapidly changing world.

I am considering emigration for political reasons. I am emigrating because I wish to participate in civil society without having to register a political party. Because I reject the idea of political OB markers. Because I believe citizens (not PRs or foreigners) should have the primary influence in the running of the country. Because I believe a government should serve the citizen, and not rule the citizen. Because I want to live in a democracy, not a oligarchy. Because I believe a free press having their hidden agendas but that agenda should never blindly echo that of the ruling party in government. I am considering emigration because I want to be able to express my love and affection for my country without immediately being scrutinised for a political agenda.

I am considering emigration for personal reasons. I am emigrating because I love long roadtrips, even though I have no interest in cars. Because mountains and cliffs and wide open beaches stir my soul. Because I want to see sparkly stars at night and fluffy clouds in the day right on the horizon. Because every place I hold close to my heart in Singapore is rapidly being torn down, redeveloped and upgraded into glitzy souless tourist attractions. I am considering emigration because I want to be where being a little offbeat, weird, odd or downright quirky is acceptable.

I am considering emigration because I am not wanted in Singapore. Because when a government acts like a utilitarian corporation, the citizens will act like pragmatic consumers. Because I believe in the power economic choice of "taking your dollar elsewhere if you don't like the service".
Here is another story, by ex-blogger Kitana:

The government asks us why we leave. They calls us quitters and deserters, for leaving our country, our homeland, for some other place that we perceive to be greener pastures. Why leave Singapore, where we rank tops for good governance (save for voice and accountability, where we scored a low of 38.2% this year), where we are so clean and safe and secure, and where we are so efficient?

The fact of the matter is, that there are people who will give up all of the above, for more freedom.

I was happy in Canada. Sure, it was expensive, and taxes were a killer. With a 14% combination of GST and PST on all consumer items, and income taxes hitting a high of 40%; it was definitely difficult to make ends meet for someone who did not work there. And of course, on days where the buses went on strike, I’d be stuck in campus and not be able to go to town. Also, we did have a bit of a furor when Parliament was dissolved late last year, only to have the Conservatives voted in after 13 years under the Liberals. Oh and before I forget, yes it was definitely more inefficient. Expect to wait when you queue up to pay for something; the cashier will inevitably engage everyone before you as to how their day was (and their kids, and their parents, and what they think of the weather; etc). Expect to wait for the buses because the bus driver might have stopped somewhere to grab a cup of Starbucks while doing his rounds (yes, with passengers in the bus). Oh, and how can I forget the drug problem: you can get drugs anywhere off the street if you know where to look; marijuana is about as commonplace as cigarettes and alcohol.

But for all the possible gripes that I might have about that place, the benefits far outweighed all the detriments (if you even saw them as that) combined. Firstly, we were really free. I’m not just talking about freedom with regard to political freedom to vote, to protest, to strike, to demonstrate, or to have a point of view; but also real freedom of the mind and the body. You can think differently, dress differently, live differently. Society is inclusive.

The city that I lived in had a whole mix of races and nationalities. I’ve met everyone from locals to the Koreans, Japs and Chinese, Iranians, Iraqis, Philippinos, Latin Americans, French, Africans, Indians etc etc etc. It’s as much a cultural mix, if not more so, than Singapore. And the best part is: everyone more or less gets along. There is no need for the implementation of “Racial Harmony Day” or racial quotas for HDB flats. Everyone just does – because prejudice just does not exist there.
The next story is excerpted from one of my old posts on my previous blog, concerning a Singaporean who had left for New York:

DL's story represents the Conventional Singapore Success Story. In fact it's so conventionally successful that it's stereotypical. DL went to a top junior college, bagged his straight A's, obtained a PSC scholarship, went to NS, became an SAF officer in a "prestigious" combat unit, disrupted his NS, went to a brand-name UK university, bagged his 1st Class honours, came back to Singapore, completed his NS, joined the civil service as a teacher, rose meteorically through the ranks (as government scholars do), and at an early age, became a vice-principal.

In other words, DL typified the kind of Singaporean that the Singapore government would love all Singaporeans to be, or at least aspire to be.

I didn't hear anything from or about DL for a couple of years. Then I heard from a mutual acquaintance that he'd left Singapore for good. Emigrated to somewhere in the United States.

To me, this seemed to be a slightly odd case at that time because DL's profile didn't fit any of the typical profiles of Singaporeans who emigrate (another time, I may elaborate on the typical profiles). But I didn't give it much thought.

As chance would have it, a series of recent coincidences led me to discover his blog in the US. Where he writes freely about his new life in his new country.

Turns out that DL is gay.

And didn't think that it was feasible in Singapore to be gay. So he left.

And won't be coming back.

Well, I know that there are plenty of Singaporeans in our society who would say, "Good riddance." We're pretty backward that way. Still, what a pity, what a waste - thinking of DL from the government perspective.
Another side to the story is related by Seah Chiang Nee, a former Straits Times editor now better known for his writings on the Internet:

Why was he going to China, when tens of thousands of Chinese were coming here to earn a living, I asked. He merely replied: "Tang Jiak kang kor" which means "It is hard to earn a living in Singapore".

Besides, he added. "Everything is expensive. In China things are cheaper."

This was my introduction to a new phenomenon. Singapore is worried about a rising exodus of educated youths abroad, seduced by opportunities in a new global economy, but few are talking about older, lower-skilled people who are slowly facing the squeeze.

Despite HDB and relatively cheap HDB hawker centre food, Singapore - relatively speaking - is one of Asia's most expensive places to retired in.

Cashing in on their HDB flats, cars or other assets, a new type of Singaporean emigrants, many of them older, less-educated, are sprouting "a second pair of wings" to settle down in neighbouring countries - but with a difference.

Unlike the younger, better-educated, they are finding it hard to cope with the rapid move towards higher technology or to fit into this high-cost modern world despite a host of free training opportunities and other help dish out by the government.

They are leaving - not for Australia, Canada, the US - but for poorer neighbouring countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand and India, where their relatively stronger Singapore dollars can stretch a long way.
These emigrants are mostly small-time businessmen, hawkers, taxi-drivers and lower-scale replaced low-income workers unable to find new jobs.

They are leaving because they are reluctant to go for retraining. "We're too old to learn," one said. Some in their 40s. Others have reached 55 years old, so their relocation abroad is financed by their CPF savings.

Because of their advancing age, they are unlikely to return.
I'm sure that there are other versions as well. And I'm sure that more than a few emigrated Singaporeans read my blog. Perhaps they would like to share their personal versions, in the comment section.

There is one thing which by now you will notice about Lee Kuan Yew's version. Singaporeans always emigrate because the Singapore government has been too successful in doing good things. In Lee's version, the world-class, top-talented, best-of-the-best PAP government has provided excellent education opportunities, political stability and a booming economy - Singaporeans have exploited all of those good things to develop their talent, and now they are leaving.

In the emigrating Singaporeans' own versions, you often hear different angles. They leave because they feared for their economic survival in this country. Because they suffered from its lack of freedoms. Because they were tired of living in a company, Singapore Inc.. These are aspects which Lee Kuan Yew won't tell you. Because these aspects do not reflect very well on the PAP government.

Far better for Lee Kuan Yew, if you simply believed his version - that the Singaporeans who emigrated, did so because they were ungrateful, irresponsible, lacking in conscience and uncaring about their less advantaged fellow citizens.


Anonymous said...

i want to leave Sg bcos i cannot stand NS, this organisation call the SAF, the way it retards mind and spirit, the way rank prevails over reason and common sense in the name of mindless discipline. I want to leave Sg bcos i don't want to wear number 4 uniform, i don't want anything to do with reservist, IPPT, RT, recall manning, open mobilisation. All these infringes on my freedom, my time, my space, and my future employer.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I left a comment at your post when you asked for suggestions on what we would like to see on the blog. I asked how we can get out of this place.

I hope emigrated Singaporeans who leave a message on why they left, may also give us a general idea on HOW they left.

I've a degree, in my early 30s, single, I'm doing IT in a local company. My job is easily replaceable by FTs, but I don't think my skills are very sellable overseas.

I lose sleep over worry that I'm never going to make it out of this country.

Anonymous said...

Do a master's degree abroad ... check out ways of funding it especially if you're on a tight budget ... easier to get a job abroad and emigrate subsequently...

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, give it to the man. Let him talk what he wants, albeit most of it being nonsense. After all, he's got not much time left to do so. I mean not that anybody actually believes the crap he says, so just let him be and let the rest of us continue with our search for the greener pasture. I predict he will eventually make a big fool out of himself with all his crazy tirades . He's concern about the citizens? Nah, more like he's own legacy he's obsessed with.

Anonymous said...

Ah ha, 4 seasons in one day. That gotta be Melbourne!

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Anonymous said...

I wanna leave Singapore because I hate Singaporeans. They are mainly ugly people. They are always complaining and bitching about every single damn thing. They can't drive for shit. If there's anything to be done- you can be sure everyone will siam. Then everyone will complain its the gahmun's fault. Most esp. everyone here is super ngo- and always trying to protect their backside or trying to screw someone else's.

Chris said...

My partner, whom I call HWMBO (He Who Must Be Obeyed) left Singapore to study in London, met me (I'm white male American/British) and has stayed. We are civil partners and have been together for nearly 9 years now. When his parents get too ill to be on their own, he may go back for a while to get them settled or leave it to his brother. But the freedom to be himself here and be with me openly and legally trumps Singapore.

Another friend left Singapore after NS to study here. He met his life partner here but decided that he really disliked Singapore, both because of its reactionary attitudes towards its gay and lesbian citizens and because of the political situation there. I attended his UK citizenship ceremony a few months ago and he has gleefully turned in his Singapore passport. The Sg govt makes you pay GBP 20 (I think) to renounce your Singapore citizenship. Even in leaving they may you pay.

I love visiting Sg, but also love coming home to London.

Anonymous said...

Mr wang and chris, I read both your entries with interest (DL's situation). Are you aware or do you belong to a community site or social network somewhere out there for gay SG-eans who are currently living or who have moved abroad in the US or UK? Would like to get in touch with people who have gone through that experience, perhaps bounce some of my thoughts off of them as I am currently going through similar anxieties... and yes, I'm currently living outside of SG ...

Anonymous said...

Looking after us? Such as S$290 a month or working in Macdonald at age 80? No wonder he called it a 'hard and dirty work' that bo-bian stayers peasants like us are supposed to do for the nation.

I have a lot of friends and relatives who had migrated over the last decades, and I agreed that it is not because they are being ungrateful and are greedy\selfish and only want to go for the better opportunity. In fact, most of them whom I know of in person actually left for a lower pay job to start a whole new life in a foreign land with uncertainty. They are taking a very big risk and it is not necessary a big straight road lying ahead for them to walk on when they choose to emigrate. Although most of them make it with their new life, but a few actually kicked some rock along the way and fell, end up coming back a broken and bitter man. So it is not as if people make the decision without the need of taking any risk or making sacrifice.

As how Kitana had put it, some people are willing to give up the ‘cleanliness and everything nice’ of this little red dot to go after something more meaningful in life for them, such as freedom and liberty. Some of them also do not want their children to go through the same rat race like they did in their childhood and wanted their kids to be brought up in a less stressful environment.

So if I were to ask them would they leave this little red dot with a clear conscience? I am very sure most if not all of them to give me a very loud yes.

The Human Battery said...

By coincidence, I have just written a piece on why some singaporeans who had done their postgraduate studies overseas might not want to come back to teach at our universities and would prefer to emigrate instead.

Anonymous said...

it depends on what you really persue.
If you want a stable life, because every parts of your living factors are controlled one way or another by national obligations, national regulations, national restriction.
Then my friend, Singapore is truely for you

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang, for those examples you have written in your blog. I put it to you that you have never spoken to any of them personally.
For what you know, these may be frictionous stories These are lies.

If you have a job with a stable bread and butter. Would you give up all these for an inferior citizenship?

Anonymous said...

Sinkee is not clean. Obviously you people have not walked around in the early hours of the morning, before our FT sanitary executives have had the time to sweep things up.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 12.47am 27/4, and all others who wish to migrate but think they can't:

How much do you desire to migrate? If you really really really really want to migrate, you will find a way. It will very likely require you to go for re-training, require you to slog a year or two at the lowest rung of your new profession, before you can move.

If you are a typical Sinkee and care very much about your 'face', then most likely you won't be able to make it. Which is good for believers of Darwin's theory that only the most adaptable survive.

In short, have a plan and execute it to the end.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Mr Wang, for those examples you have written in your blog. I put it to you that you have never spoken to any of them personally.
For what you know, these may be frictionous stories These are lies."

Heheh. I put it to you that you have never spoken to Lee Kuan Yew personally either. For all you know, his stories may be fictional stories.

Maybe I don't exist either. For you have never spoken to me personally. For all you know, I am a computer program that automatically generates blog posts based on random variables.

Some readers are now sharing their comments & personal experiences on my blog, concerning emigration. Wait - you've probably never spoken to them personally either. For all you know, they too are telling lies, or simply don't exist.

Wait - I've never spoken to you personally either. For all I know, you don't exist, or are just telling lies.

Anonymous said...

"If you have a job with a stable bread and butter. Would you give up all these for an inferior citizenship?"

No, I wouldn't. I don't want to do NS.

Anonymous said...

anonymous April 27, 2007 8:43 AM

I would if I feel that the overall sacrifice is worth it. To hell with what others view in the initial years. If you're motivated enough, you know your upside in moving will be so much higher not just in a monetary sense but from an overall well-being.

Ned Stark said...

Anon at 8:43 am

How can you say that other countries are "inferior", by what benchmark do you judge a country by? By what the MM says?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's my second year in Oz and slogging it out.

I'm 40 plus and holds a diploma and degree from Singapore. I am working as a nurse here.

I am leaving for my son's future. I believe Singapore is at its last leg of glory. Give it another 10 years and it will go downhill all the way ....

It's not true only the educated can leave Singapore. Many PRC and Indians are here. They have less education than I and understood even lesser English.

All you need is a will to leave.

yh said...
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Anonymous said...

People must have thought very carefully before emigrating, I mean there must be a good enough reason for them to uproot themselves.

For older citizens, the main reason I think is for the sake of their children's future.

Certain people here seems fond of belittling our neighbours, so much so that they disliked us immensely. What will this lead to in the long term? They always say relations with our neighbours are good, but talk is deceiving. You really never know what others think of you.

Lately we have even belittled countries beyond our immediate vicinity. In time to come we may end up like Israel, surrounded by enemies.Is this the kind of place we want our children to be in? Unlike big countries, we have nowhere to manoeuvre.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

"You know, sometimes I do get the niggling feeling that most of the letter writers to the ST Forum over many a crisis time, are ghost-writers."

Well, according to my friend, the pro-PAP/pro-government letters that usually ends with Majullah Singapore type, are written by people who are PAP supporters or even members (be it the youth wng or the actual party).

While what they write feted the powers that are, the writers usually are hatching plans to up and go themselves. They just want the 'good' times to last long enough that they can extract the maximum price for their divestment.

Ned Stark said...

"You know, sometimes I do get the niggling feeling that most of the letter writers to the ST Forum over many a crisis time, are ghost-writers."

Well i feel that if they want to be ghost writers and sing praises, let them be, as long as no one is hurt or anything.
Unfortunately in Singapore the balance is skewed against those whose views are deemed not to be favourable to the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is so not going downhill as long as we continue to attract millionaires to abandon their own countries in favour of Singapore. We can attract them by simply importing tons of cheap labour into Singapore to work for them and building nice n expensive infrastructure, houses, hospitals n playgrounds.

Singaporeans who do not want to compete with cheap labour AND at the same time suffer the high cost of living brought about by the influx of millionaires should just shut up and get the hell out of here.

Anonymous said...

OK LOOK !! i read all ur comments and almost all r from an educated bunch who type smart and shld be smart.. but the thing here is im stupid im poor & i dun give a sh*te wat u educated pple wana emigrate for and im not even in the range where mrwank states some old folks could emigrate as retirement plans. im juz saying there r lots of old fogeys who are as poor as me and strugglin to make ends meet and all u guys can come up with is to justify why u wana leave. Juz be thankful u got a job got a life got a partner and not trivial sh*te like no freedom no style no weather goddamit look at the bigger picture u guys are our future so that u guys wun turn out to be like me in the future.
P.S. Sorry if i sounded rude juz needed a rant thanks mrwank great blog..

Anonymous said...

i thot the old man recently snorted that quitters quit becos they can't find top jobs in sinkapore? now it's becos they are top talent who don't have any conscience?... hehehe... his words carry zero credibility nowadays.

oh yes, and proudly i'm one of those who intend to emigrate soon. i don't want my kids to suffer 66.6% fools.

Anonymous said...

To anony April 27, 2007 2:14 PM, my uncle is not a high income earner in his mid-40s and earning only S$1500 a month. Nor is he highly educated as he only finished his primary school education and have a Malaysian wife with 4 kids.

He had recently just gotten his Malaysian PR, and would be planning to move to his wife home town in Kuantan for good after his youngest son completed his Poly education in 2 years time. He is now learning how to make kopi and toasting bread as he is thinking of using his life saving to open a small kopitiam there, not to make a living but to pass time.

His reason for giving up a stable life and job to leave this 1st world world class extra originally nation, you asked? Life too stress, cost too high, and he want to retire to a small quiet town in a kopitiam he owned to pass time in his golden years rather than making a living to work until he drop at Macdonald just for survival.

So you don’t need to be highly educated to think or even plan of emigration.

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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Racial harmony- that's what I've been looking for. Yes, I love Singapore and I'm glad that it has provided me with a safe and clean environment. However, I'd like to live in a place where people of different races really mingle and live together. Singapore only has racial tolerance. Not many of us have best friends of other races nor do we "live" together with the other races. I want my kids to treat other races with respect and not discriminate against them. I've heard little kids saying things like "yee.. ah bu nei nei", refering to the Indians of course. Sad.

Anonymous said...

A Wise Man's thoughts on Emigration: "Can you leave with a clear conscience? I cannot."

A Wise Man's thoughts on Ministerial Pay: "Admirable sentiments. But we live in the real world."

Quirkz said...
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Quirkz said...

Yup, emigration is something my brother n I have considered.. we feel frustrated that the govt can do what they want, whenever they want and don't give two hoots about what we think (raise GST when they like, up their salaries by $1m when they like, but only give an additional $1 per day for public assistance).

the high cost of living here is also very daunting--you gotta be in debt for 15-30years once u buy your own HDB flat, and it's cheaper to take a cab every day for every trip than to own a car (boo to that).

as for the old buildings being leveled to make way for new, i've mused about it here.

Anonymous said...

If we don't want to end up "having no job, no life and no weather", time to plan for our exit.

The future Singapore needs only slaves and low-life scums to provide the wealthy with cheap service and sexual gratification. Sin city.

Is this the life you want your children to have?

Anonymous said...

MM Lee risked his life against the Japanese< struggled against the British for Independence and squabbled and spated with neighbours just to build you all IRs< world class night entertainments and allowed young foreign talents of various nationalities and races for you to associate only to get grouses from you people> Do you people have any sense of appreciation< gratefulness and conscience? At over eighty years of age< he had traveled far and wide with his wife to look for investors to provide jobs for you> He put his whole familees to manage Singalore to ensure your survivals and wellbeings and yet see what you ingrates are saying> Instead of building something concrete to remember him when he is gone< you keep ranting and cursing> How can you expect him to love you and have conscience for you?

Anonymous said...

I can emigrate within 6 months but I am not doing it because I am old already. Most important is I love the hawker foods and the HDB flat I live in. Note that I have done NS too. So I am sure I am a loyal Singaporean. Not rich but can survive. But for sure I don't like this gahmen and their corporatizing of a nation. Hate being treated as just a captive consumer.

Anonymous said...

On the comment that we are being ungrateful for what LKY has done for Singapore, I just want to say that LKY has done a lot for Singapore and he will always have my respect for bringing Singapore to where it is today. However, moving forward, his presence is doing more harm than good. This is a classic case similar to many companies where the founder refused to let go.And we know what happens to these companies eventually.

On sharing my personal experience of getting out of Singapore. I am now working in China, earning 3 times what I used to make. The industry I was involved in is practically dead in Singapore which I always believe is due to bad policy decision on the part of the Government. That is a another story which I don't what to talk about here. Thanks to my MBA, I got a job in HK which eventually landed me here in China full time. I will probably stay here for good as life is great here and will visit Singapore only for holidays. I left not because I was ungrateful but basically I need to make a living. Since my skills are more in demand elsewhere, I might as well go abroad. It is as simple as that.

For those who are interested in how to work or find jobs in China, drop me a note, I am happy to offer my personal view on this matter. clarkkent168@sina.com.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify on the post by anon 4:24pm, LKY and his buddy Nathan both worked for the Japanese Kempitei during WW2 while many chose to have nothing to do with the oppressors. Real risky I'm sure.

Entire generations of Singaporeans play their part in making Singapore the way it is today, not LKY alone. At over 80 he refuses to let go, not because he doesn't want to but he can't. There are far too many skeletons in the closet.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous at April 27, 2007 12:47 AM:

I was from IT line too. Never thought of leaving SG permanently until after 2000's when boom-bust cycles seems shorter and shorter, and govt policies expect citizens to take the shit themselves (makes me wonder what we pay those MPs for).

Although my previous area of IT is somewhat in demand overseas, I am tired of the boom-bust that IT industry suffer. I am currently switching into a new field (starting from lowly position), stability, migration opportunities and more fulfilling work are strong motivation for the switch. There are others who are also doing the switch.

I'm into late 30's, I don't want to be an aged left to fend for myself in my twilight years by a govt run by money-faced MPs.

Anonymous said...

I loved Singapore too when I first graduated in early 90's... and yes, I was an active volunteer because I wanted to give back to the society.

But over the years, I see its citizens growing less gracious due to the dog-eat-dog survival-of-the-fittest, high-stress and long work hours environment... the ugly Singaporean born out of the need to survive, not really the person true-self. IMHO such situations appear due to our current political framework where only the elite's voices (and thus needs/wishes) are heard, workers (and their needs/wishes) are seen but not heard.

Esp if I have children, I will not want them to grow up in an environment that brings out the worst in their social-behaviour just to survive and an education system that does not support development of their individual talents (whatever it may be).

Anonymous said...

Singapore is unique.
Nowhere in the world can you find a similarity.
It'll probably go down in history as a tribute to what human ingenuity can accomplish.

Most decisions made are for the survival of Singapore.
As with all change, there are some who benefit and some who don't, in the tripartite of State, Business, Labor.
Where most decisions shift towards that of the State and Business, something has to give and that's usually you know who.

One would do well do recognize this and accept it as being an inevitability of living in a resource poor city state.

Focus on ways of making yourself an asset rather than a liability and the need for/relevance of the state will grow strangely distant.

ZhuKoLiang said...

so we r always have been conned by Lee C*nned U, until Mr Wang alert us.

To be frank without Mr Wang alerting we, as an average simple singaporean, i am still conned by the media.

Anonymous said...

April 27, 2007 4:24 PM Anonymous said...
((((MM Lee risked his life against the Japanese< struggled against the British for Independence and squabbled and spated with neighbours just to build you all IRs< world class night entertainments...bla bla))))

In what way did he risk his life? Unlike most other S'porean men then who lived from day to day not knowing if they'd be next to lose their heads to merciless Japs, your MM Lee worked for the Japanese!

Anonymous said...

lee kwan yew works for japanese secret military police? can some one provide more details on this? any books or web base information?

This is new to me and I am interested to read the facts for myself.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Wang,

"In Lee's version, the world-class, top-talented, best-of-the-best PAP government has provided excellent education opportunities, political stability and a booming economy - Singaporeans have exploited all of those good things to develop their talent, and now they are leaving."

It is ironical that I read this now, on this very evening... again, my perspective based on my own personal experience...

I have just been asked to consider moving to the United States... I was fortunate to have received recognition and it was felt that I would be better placed to conduct my role over there.

I am obviously conflicted as I am reluctant to do so. I have spent a considerable time overseas and till date, despite the exotic attractions of many other countries, I consider Singapore to be one of the better places to live and raise a family. I have no doubt that my views is slightly tinted by the natural resistance to change but upon deep reflection, I truly believe this to be true.

But I digress...

I sincerely believe that I am a fortunate beneficiary of the Singapore system, which has provided me with the opportunities that led me to this day.

If I look around the countries that I had been to and the foreign friends that I have acquainted over the years, I am indeed fortunate...

For how did I, a person like me, a person who did not grow up in a privileged background but in a relatively low income family, find his way through the education system (even although my family had not been able to pay for my tertiary education), gained exposure and rise through a performance-oriented and meritocratic environment in the MNCs that had set up in Singapore... and tonight ended up being offered with the perplexing but real option of whether to relocate to a potentially greener pasture and exciting life in the US?

Mr Wang, I do not know and cannot speak for others why and how they came around to leaving Singapore but at the very least, I can say that I am one of those LKY cases you have just lampooned...

You had not responded to my previous postings but Mr Wang, I would like to pose to you this question...

Do you not feel that the current quality of life that you enjoy and opportunities available to you now is a product of the LKY system that you so frequently put down?

Jack Ryan

Anonymous said...


another reason to migrate

Anonymous said...

Do you not feel that the current quality of life that you enjoy and opportunities available to you now is a product of the LKY system that you so frequently put down?

That rather begs the question - is Singapore the product of LKY? Or is he just the only guy who lived long enough to exploit the fruits of everyone else's labour. And there is no cherry picking allowed - he can't just claim credit for all the good things about Singapore, and blithely ignore all the bad things.

As another poster put it - LKY may have been the man of the hour for what Singapore is today. But is his vision the right one for where Singapore needs to go in the next 50 years? His utterances in the past months speak for themselves to be frank. He risks dragging Singapore right down the drain ....

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Anonymous said...

Mr. Wang,

I think what you have written is a real slap on LKY's face for him to wake up from his arrogance & highhandedness especially regarding the Minister's million dollar salaries. Look at his ruthless persecution of his fellow political opponents. He has completely forgotten that he was once in the opposition.

People say "let's live and let live" if not, there will be retribution whether on you or your close family members, or whether in your life now or next.

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Anonymous said...

To Loving Gertrude, Crusing Along.

First of all, 'Loving Gertrude', you are rambling... Let's get to the point and talk straight. No need to articulate phrases or quotations for it just blurs your argument.

I ask myself sometimes...

Why do I feel compelled to write here time and time again... against the tide of the more popular opinion in cyberspace.

Despite working long hours, I check in once in a while try to offer my perspective because I fear that the popular sentiment such as those that I have seen expressed by Mr Wang and others, lack sufficient thought.

I fear that left undebated, these sentiment will eventually become the gospel truth in the impressionable young minds of many readers and frankly... will eventually lead our future generations into ruin.

I do not agree with every single policy decision of our leaders and neither do I view them as infallible gods - but I do believe that the views expressed here warp the reality of Singapore's situation, our available options and sometimes smack of unsubstantiated and unrealistic expectations of the world in which we live in.

Obviously, no one HAS to agree with my views (especially since I am really a squatter on Mr. Wang's site)... I hope only to trigger deeper thought in the views expressed here.

It is so all too easy to be a desktop critic. I once read in a previous posting that Mr Wang alluded to that he viewed himself to be of sufficient calibre to be a Minister.

I forget the sentences used and maybe I am misrepresenting him on this but if so, may I ask what is his proposed solution for our society and what is the way forward? If he feels that he is of such a calibre, then he should respond in kind with his proposals.

Come on... State your points, argue the facts, substantial your arguments, propose your solutions and explain how / why they would work and critically evaluate if there are side implications. Let's not keep linking emotional themes and trying to weave hypothetical popularist but unsubstantiated arguments.

Jack Ryan

Anonymous said...

Mr Wang< there are very serious allegations in the posts here that MM LEE KUAN YEW WORKED FOR THE JAPANESE DURING THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION! These allegations if proofs exist are tentamount to betrayal of all Japanese victims during that time! In another word it connotates that he was TRAITOR at that point in history> This certainly deserves to be looked into and those with proofs should justified their claims! Otherwise MM Lee would suffers injustice!

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Anonymous said...

To digress here, I am puzzled over what kind of a foriegn talent policy do we really have. This questions begets yet another question: definition of foreign talent and the result that is to be achieved.

To disect this issue in a 'reverse-engineered' manner, I thought a possible result that policy makers are trying to achieve here is to increase opportunities for Singaporeans and enhance the economic vibrancy of Singapore(at a macro level). I suppose there should be little dispute over this hypothesized result?

I supposed to achieve this result, the kind of foreign talent one would have in mind would be 1)one that complements our strenght, 2)one which fills incompetencies and gaps(say, expert in global warming issues?) which is present in Singapore, 3)one which creates greater economic opportunities for the larger population.

However, personally,I feel that the 'foriegn talents' that we are attracting may not necessary fall in either of these categories. There is a 4th kind: the one who has exactly the same skill set(mb even more inferior) of that of Singaporeans. What these set of talents does is to replace whatever limited opportunities that Singaporeans have. What they do is perhaps to compete on lower 'pricing of labour' Now, we have a two pronged effect of globalisation on a global and local scale. I do not really understand the logic behind this. Secondly, I also ponder over the logic of attracting 'foriegn talent' who are merely 10yrs old. Apart from producing excellent academic results, i fail to see how they can contribute to the above 3 pts which foreign talent can contribute to the society. One may argue that we are attracting these talent now in order to groom them into future 'talents'if that is so, why shouldnt we be focusing whatever limited resources we have on our local talents instead. we should be attracting these ''talents'' only after they have become talents and not groom them to be one. In addition, is there any form of guarantee that this '├Żoung talents'are here to stay? The increased influx of 'passerbys' create a bigger local market or even multipier effects in the economy, but remember, these talents are not here to stay. These very talents over crowd locals(esp those who may not be highly educated or equipped with the essential skills) which defeat the purpose of helping the locals(if that is the idea of this whole foriegn talent thingy). Shouldn't 'foreign talent' be judged on a more discrimitory basis? Or any tom dick or harry whom is able to undercut the local's pay and have the bare essentials to cope with the opportunity to be attracted?

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Anonymous said...

Looking for the solutions.

Government scholars offers ideas and solutions to today's and tomorrow's problems to the ministers. Still, sometimes ministers do not accept them. Ministers have their salaries. They have their agendas.

How can we, the common people, be offering proposals and solutions to these problems when they claimed to have helicopter's visions? Helicopter gunships can easily shoot people down on the ground.

Surely, million dollar ministers cannot be seen to be accepting ideas from people with a fist full of dollars per month. Their paymaster would not be happy, after all, these ministers have been drinking some much tea at the parties.

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Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

"Mr Wang< there are very serious allegations in the posts here that MM LEE KUAN YEW WORKED FOR THE JAPANESE DURING THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION!"

This is nothing new. It is in the history books. You can read it in Lee Kuan Yew's own autobiography. IIRC, he worked as a lowly translator for the Japanese during the Japanese occupation.

I don't think anything should be held against him for that. It was a different time, a different era - people would do whatever they need to do, to survive in very difficult times.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Mr Wang, I do not know and cannot speak for others why and how they came around to leaving Singapore but at the very least, I can say that I am one of those LKY cases you have just lampooned...

You'll note that I did not say that Lee Kuan Yew's version is false. I said that his version is incomplete. I said that if we want to know the full picture, we must examine other versions of the story of emigrating Singaporeans.

Who does not know that people like you exist? The PAP tells us so all the time. What the PAP does not want to talk about the other reasons why Singaporeans emigrate.

That is what my post highlights. I did not even have to express in any real detail my own personal observations. All I needed to do is cut & paste a couple of real people's stories, and instantly we get a picture quite different from what the PAP is always telling us. Why? You tell me.

Do you not feel that the current quality of life that you enjoy and opportunities available to you now is a product of the LKY system that you so frequently put down?

Yes, to a large extent. And to a very large extent, all the defects in the quality of life in Singapore is also a product of the LKY system.

We have to face reality. We cannot pretend that all is well and good and perfect in Singapore, even though a particular ruling party in Singapore may like us to believe so.

Just as importantly, we must not allow us to be deceived into believing the government's favourite stance:

"All good things in Singapore are thanks to the PAP"

"All bad things in Singapore are due to the opposition / the US recession / our uncooperative ASEAN neighbours / our lack of natural resources / [insert other excuse or "external circumstance" beyond PAP's control"

but I do believe that the views expressed here warp the reality of Singapore's situation, our available options and sometimes smack of unsubstantiated and unrealistic expectations of the world in which we live in.

You are always free to comment on why you think my posts "warp the reality of Singapore's situation". I write what I write, and if I did not present intelligent reasons and facts to back my views up, I do not think that I would have thousands of readers visiting my blog per day.

Personally, I think that it is the mainstream media and the PAP that constantly "warp the reality of Singapore's situation", and I think you can see why they have an agenda to do so.

It is so all too easy to be a desktop critic. I once read in a previous posting that Mr Wang alluded to that he viewed himself to be of sufficient calibre to be a Minister.

I forget the sentences used and maybe I am misrepresenting him on this

Yes, you ARE misrepresenting me. A reader was arguing that ministers deserve higher pay. He asked me to put myself in their shoes. The question posed to me was - would I be willing to be minister, if I could only receive my current pay, with no increase?

So that is the proper context. I was asked to imagine that I was in that situation; and the question of for the specific purpose of exploring the issue of ministerial salaries.

but if so, may I ask what is his proposed solution for our society and what is the way forward? If he feels that he is of such a calibre, then he should respond in kind with his proposals.

Come on... State your points, argue the facts, substantial your arguments, propose your solutions and explain how / why they would work and critically evaluate if there are side implications.

What are you suggesting?

That I have NOT been stating my points ...? I have NOT been substantiating my arguments ...? I have NOT proposed my solutions ... etc etc?

Please, go and read my blog.

Let's not keep linking emotional themes and trying to weave hypothetical popularist but unsubstantiated arguments.

Personally, I do not think that I am "popularist".

I can't be "popularist", because I often raise points which the average Singaporean didn't even think of and which the mainstream media doesn't even tell the public about.

In the current post, for example, I destroy the PAP myth that all the emigrating Singaporeans are well-educated and talented and greedy and irresponsible and leaving for better career opportunities.

And since you like to bandy your adjectives at me, and you claim that I make

"hypothetical popularist but unsubstantiated arguments."

... then tell me, what do you think is the

"argument" in my latest post;

why is it "hypothetical"

why is it "popularist"

and why is it "unsubstantiated"?

Go on. YOU tell me.

Anonymous said...

I am so, so tired of people who tell us to be grateful for what PAP had given us.

I'll tell them, GET REAL. It's all a fine and dandy business transaction. PAP members have been paid a more than handsome fee for their endeavours. Yes, even the early guards. They had been given the opportunity to achieve what they wanted, be it fame or serving their country. Singaporeans had given them the opportunity, why can't they be grateful to us then??

And the latest pay hike proves it all. Isn't it all about money!

So, don't try to ride on any moral high horse about conscience and gratitude... they don't deserve it.

I know a particular group of people who preach this "gratitude" sentiment like gospel truth - those who are benefitting from the PAP MLM system - the PA members, YPAP, grassroots leaders, elite civil servants or scholars.

Go fly your kite somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

To Jack Ryan.
U r one of the few priviledged ones in Singapore. U may not be amongst the 3,000 but from what u have written, u should be in the top 15% by income.
I have no quarrel with the pap treatment of those in the top 20%. Low income tax and policy that favours those with deep pockets.
Have u ever sit down and think for a moment how these $ oriented policies of the pap are destroying the lives of so many Singaporeans ?
As leader of a country, LKY should stop looking from this narrow perspective.
U need to learn to appreciate that it takes more than 20% of the population to make a nation.

Anonymous said...

Lee Kuan Yew wrote in his memoir as well as spoke in public more than once that he worked as an interpretor during the Japanese occupation. He also related how he and his then girlfriend's brother Yong Yuk Lin manufactured glue to take advantage of the shortage then.

Anonymous said...

LKY has always looked at the poor....

... with scorn, disdain and contempt. Remember, he is a fanboy of social engineering and Darwinian 'survivial of the fittest' doctrines. ALL poor people are losers and scums to him by definition.

Regarding migration, I paraphrase this quote from 'Romance of the three Kingdoms':

"The prudent bird chooses its perch, and the wise person his master."

The Singapura perch is unstable and the Singapura master is unreliable. Be prudent and wise.

Anonymous said...

This is an example of a young lady who was trying hard to keep up with life in Singapore and lost in the battle.


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Anonymous said...

still loving gertrude,

All the research will do one no good if they can't execute their plans to the end.

Eg: They find out that a cook can easily migrate, they take up a SHATEC cooking course, but one month into their new job as a chef assistant helping to de-scale fish, they realise that it's a tough and dirty job and the majority of Sinkees have no respect for their line, how many will then last the two-three years to get the requisite experience to qualify them for the required migration points?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon:

That'd apply just as well to me: I don't seem like it online, but I'm at heart a very timid person, by nature.

In any case, that's one reason why I love reading Dumbo Feather, pass it on (a magazine that's sold in Oz).

Here's the interview of its founder, if you want to know why such a magazine was created.

—Whatever life you wish for yourself or those around you, do, at least try hard enough.


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Anonymous said...

still loving gertrude: well you could give a shot at Ozzie PR application once you're done with your studies.

Anonymous said...

my own forecast is that e red dot may eventually succumb to illness and may be re-merged with others.

and as a true-bred sg who has completed full-time NS and finishing reservist, there are many times when i have thought of swimming across the pacific ocean to be a refugee on the coast of california, if not mexico.

i think there are some countries who accept refugees and convert them into citizens with time.

there is always a way out with planning, and this may be the very last possible resort.

so pls dun try to jump off the mrt track as last resort okie

Anonymous said...

Speaking of merger or re-merger, I can't help but think that being kicked out of the Federation back in 1965, which LKY wanted so badly to be part of, was the single biggest failure suffered in his life. I think the spurn spurred him on to one-up all our neighbouring states. There must be some emotional scarring and it became a personal obsession for him. This can be evidenced by the antagonistic remarks he makes disparaging them throughout the years. A personal vendetta, spat or one-upmanship takes on a national level and I don't see it abating until he has truly passed on from this world.

Anonymous said...

It is the Mans" INNATE EGO that will ultimately create unfavourable history(records) for his clans! He is definitely capable of being benevolent and revered< but alas pragmatism and materialism overwhelmed him!

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Anonymous said...

ekaozeDear Mr. Wang,

"argument" - You may not have said this in a single sentence and instead used other blogs to drive this.

...That Singapore's negative impact of government policies / political restrictions / societal norms had compelled a significant / material proportion of the countrymen to leave this country, as opposed to them leaving because of pull factors / opportunities that have been created as a result of the positive educational and work environment that had been fostered / nurtured over the decades due to the policies of the government.

"hypothetical" - You cited MM Lee as 'telling stories'... suggesting that he lied but you failed to back up a case whereby it is substantiated to be the case. Of the number of countrymen who leave Singapore, do u have the statistics to back it up? How many were compelled to leave because of political restrictions, societal norms , quality of living issues?... As opposed to people who leave because they wish to pursue opportunities?

"popularist" - popularist not in the sense of the mainstream media but in the Internet citizens where there is so much angst and everything and anything is blamed on the government and its policies - as opposed to clear, logical and substantial debate of policy alternatives which is unfortunately increasingly crowded out by such popularist remarks.

"unsubstantiated" - refer to above on "hypothetical".

Jack Ryan

Ned Stark said...

Still loving Gertrude,

I guess with regards to your question on the breach of contract, the onus would be on the ISP provider to start the civil proceedings against the customer.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jack Ryan.

Like you, I agree that PAP is the greatest thing that happened to Singapore. But I also feel that with the latest minister's pay fiasco, MM Lee will also lead to the downfall of PAP like we know it to be. Minister pay increase - ok, SIA pilot pay increase, no go, public assistance increase - $1 a day, CPF - no withdrawal at 55, nor 80 - need to keep minimum sum. All these are causing a lot of problems for her citizens. And I am sad how MM Lee is writing out his final chapters of his autobiography, and no one else is able to advise him otherwise. Even PM Lee insisted the pay rise issue was caused by his father and SM Goh- Can you imagine that? I felt sad how the arrows shot upwards!

Anonymous said...

What Lee needs is a bad dose of General Elections. Kick them out and wake up their dream.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Jack Ryan:

I think that LKY's version is incomplete. I cited four other versions - each adding a new perspective on why Singaporeans emigrate and what their profile is like. I said that there are probably other versions.

What have I not substantiated? You want to hear more different reasons why Singaporeans want to emigrate? Well, I could refer you to filmmaker Colin Goh's essay "Paved With Good Intentions" to see why he emigrated. You can also read about the life story of the ex-Singaporean pianist Melyvn Tan and why he left Singapore as a teenager. I have a cousin who emigrated many years ago because his children could not cope with 2nd Language here.

SPH's STOMP survey cites "stress" as the top reason why Singaporeans want to emigrate. "Better job opportunities elsewhere" was the lowest-ranking reason.

Look where Singaporeans are going, Jack Ryan. Some go to Hong Kong, London, Dubai, New York. These are the Singaporeans with the opportunities; the ones that fit LKY's story.

But many Singaporeans end up in Australia, New Zealand, Canada. Come now. Singaporeans dont go to these places for the money-making career opportunities. the tax rate alone makes that a stupid decision. Still, many Singaporeans go. Why? Go read Singapore Serf;'s blog. He was willing to go there to be a pizza delivery man, rather than live in Singapore. Why? Do you think LKY's explanation applies to him?

You expect me to do my own survey of 1,000 Singaporeans before I write my post? Funny - I don't hear you saying that you expect LKY to do his own survey of 1,000 Singaporeans before he makes his speech. At least I quote real people.

Don't be naive. If you don't want to believe Mr Wang's post, then go read the letters below. These have already been "filtered" by an ST editor, so no doubt you will find them more "credible". Still you'll see that these people have plenty of reason to emigrate, other than what LKY tells you.

ST Forum Page, Aug 2, 2006
How to keep youth rooted to Singapore

I REFER to the article, 'Youth seeking to uproot an 'urgent' concern' (ST, July 27). So, why is the younger generation considering the greener pasture on the other side, if it is even greener at all?

After spending a good part of my life in Singapore and subsequently pursuing a university degree in Australia for four years, I have come to realise some significant differences between Singapore and what the other pastures have to offer.

Apart from stress and job opportunities cited in the article, there are other issues that need to be addressed.

Cecilia, 25, currently an honours student at the University of Melbourne, said that universities in Singapore lack degree programmes that cater to students' diverse interests in the Arts and Social Sciences.

For instance, majors in Linguistics and Cinema Studies are practically unheard of in the local universities. Students who are interested in areas like these would have to venture abroad.

Job opportunities in these areas are limited as well, forcing graduates to continue staying abroad to pursue their interests.

While the Arts and Social Sciences Faculty at the National University of Singapore (NUS) offers 20 undergraduate subjects, the University of Melbourne offers up to 100 subjects and majors in the same faculty.

Although Singaporeans' preoccupation with finance, science and technology is understandable for a small, growing nation, it is time for us to diversify into the arts and actually make it work.

The establishment of the music conservatory at NUS and the Esplanade marks the dawn of our endeavour into the arts, but for many young adults they still need to travel beyond our shores to carve out a career in music, dance or arts.

This is especially so when our culture is still not artistically precocious, as reported in the article, 'Do more to cultivate love for classical music' (ST, July 28) where it was mentioned that the Singapore Symphony Orchestra saw dwindling audiences at its concerts.

To cultivate appreciation of the arts, we need to expose our children to music, dance and arts right from the point they receive their first education, if not earlier at home.

I do not recall having contact with classical music, dance or arts until I was well into my adolescence. Parents and schools need to organise activities that give children the opportunity to see, experience and hear the beauty of music, dance and arts.

Being a dance performer and busker while I was in Melbourne, I had the chance to interact with gays, lesbians and transsexuals.

In Singapore, beyond a reasonable doubt, there is a good population of homosexuals and transsexuals. However, the society in general is not receptive to issues relating to homosexuality. This caused many gay people to relocate to countries like Australia, Britain and the United States. As many gay people are artistically inclined, we are losing a good number of talented individuals as well.

For Singapore to move beyond economic excellence, there is still a lot of work to do pertaining to Singaporeans being more receptive to new ideas, cultivating appreciation for the arts and developing tolerance to alternative lifestyles.

The Straits Times, July 27, 2006,
Govt warns of youth leaving S'pore: Lim

YOUTH, having been groomed by a first class educational system and equipped for the challenges of a competitive and global market would choose to leave Singapore for greener pastures.

This is a worry that Minister of Transport Raymond Lim voiced out to more than 400 junior college students on Wednesday.

He was speaking at the 16th Temasek Seminar, organised by the Ministry of Defence, to share with students Singapore's need to eke out a relevant role within the international system.

He stressed the importance of youth, citing them as 'stakeholders of a common destiny'.

Speaking to the audience, he said, 'For me, nothing is more urgent now than a dialogue with the sons and daughters of our country, to understand and work with you to build a home that you would call their own.'

'If you end up marrying them, that is alright but please settle down in Singapore to raise your children,' he said jokingly of meeting people from other cultures.

Mr Lim's worries are likely to be well-founded.

A recent survey by Singapore Press Holdings - based on a poll of 2,548 teenagers from India, China, Malaysia, Japan, and Singapore - found that 53 per cent of Singaporean teens would consider emigration.

This sentiment is much more prevalent among Singaporean teens, than with their counterparts in India (39 per cent) and Malaysia (28 per cent).

The survey also revealed the top reasons teens here gave for emigrating: stress and the perception of better job opportunities overseas.

Also present at the annual seminar was Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean who addressed the need for Singapore to remake itself 'to possess the right qualities and attributes for the 21st century world city'.

'While many of the challenges facing us, such as our country's small size, have not changed, the world around us has,' he said, pointing out that Singapore has already begun to adapt.

The Straits Times, July 31, 2006
Take heed of concerns behind intentions to leave
By Tris Pruetthipunthu

WHY do so many young Singaporeans want to emigrate?

After all, this country is a 'good house in a bad neighbourhood', and a leading economic power with good infrastructure and a low crime rate.

The problem lies, I believe, in a lack of national pride.

Don't rush to blame our relative youth as a nation - citizens of the even younger former Soviet republics profess a strong sense of belonging and pride.

We, however, lack a coherent identity that we can call 'Singaporean'.

And then there is the desire among our youth for a more exciting life.

The path to ascension in Singapore is standard: Get good grades, go to a good university and get a degree in a course that is bound to earn good money.

This is the opposite of what some other countries appear to offer: A chance to do what one really likes, even if it is not the mainstream.

To be fair, this potential brain drain is not as serious as the survey suggests, as it only shows potential intent.

But, to prevent intent from becoming actuality, I urge the authorities to pay heed to what our youths say.

The more their concerns are dismissed, the less hopeful our future together becomes.

The writer is a second-year law student at the National University of Singapore.

The Straits Times, July 31, 2006
Push factor is Singapore's stability
By Tee Yock Sian

LIFE in Singapore is stable.

We have a low crime rate, economic prosperity, political stability and are relatively safe from natural disasters because of our geographical location.

And that is precisely why I would contemplate moving to another country.

Because being in Singapore means leading a routine life, a safe life where I do not get to venture beyond certain limits.

Success in life is measured in grades and material possessions.

I see some of my older friends getting so caught up with 'doing well' that they lose sight of the ideals and dreams which we once spoke fondly of. I fear I will end up like them.

I believe that going overseas might prevent that.

Many foreign universities encourage students to think.

And some of them do not force you to stay within a rigid set of guidelines.

Failure is possible, but so is self-discovery.

There are things I love about Singapore - such as the ideals of fairness and equality that are propagated via the system of meritocracy.

But will I ever get the chance to truly explore my identity and capabilities if I stay here?

The writer is a final-year communications and information student at Nanyang Technological University

Ned Stark said...
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Ned Stark said...

Jack Ryan,
There is no doubt that the old guard, which includes MM lee, has done a great job of transforming Singapore. Personally i respect them for that achievement.

However, as long as they do not allow space for dissent and continue the my way or ur sis becomes a maid kind of thing, there is a danger that should a day come when the old guard is gone, the new guard may not be able to fit into their shoes and may be unable to face the challenges that Singapore faces. The Singapore system is too dependant on certain individuals and thus should these individuals no longer be in charge or lose the capability they have, we could go the way of the Byzantine Empire. The historical example of the above and the Qin Dynasty do show the consequences of having a system over reliant on one variable, in Singapore's case namely the PAP. PAP does not equate to Singapore and yes while there are those who say that Singapore is what it is today because of the PAP, is it not more accurate to say that it was because of the PEOPLE in PAP and not the party per se that Singapore became what it was?

Anonymous said...

will cpf release my holding if i were to migrate?

Anonymous said...

Now that Mr Wang had given Mr Jack Ryan his reason(s) for his bloggings< I look forward to read Mr Jack Ryan persuading Singaporeans to stay< remain patriotic and procreate in earnest for the sake of Singapore and as a proof of loyalty> I will apreciate more if he could tell us why the present leadership is worthy of our respects and appreciations> There is no doubt that most Singaporeans are fine with the Country but I suspect many have a good feeling for the leadership!

Anonymous said...

Ned Stark:

Yes, that'd be how the courts work: When there's a case, then there's a judgement.

Yet shouldn't that be taken into consideration, that's the pt I want to make.

Isn't the judgement essentially something in the tune of 'legislating against stupidity'?

By all means, have laws against discrimination and racism, but stupidity isstupidity.

Anonymous said...

to April 28 2.15pm anon

yeah, the ft definition is ludicrous. the last time i checked, it includes these categories of workers: pork sellers in wet market, cashiers in ntuc fairprice, customer service phone operators at ntuc income etc etc...

see how 66.6% sporeans are so stupid that they can't be even trained for these jobs...

to jack ryan

pls you need to put up better arguments, otherwise you're actually doing pap a disservice.

Anonymous said...

Just a fair share of thoughts on the current topic. There are a variety of reasons why anyone would want to leave Singapore, to evade NS, for vast open land, the beaches and some real sand for a change, to own some property without someone living over it.

For one, I did my NS and it was a great experience in developing one's personal characteristics but I told every single one that I took charge of that I am not doing my NS to protect the clan above or anyone else, except that if war did come to the doorstep it would be to protect my family living here if they at that point they still lived here.

But why I want to leave is so that I wont be closed in everyday with concrete structures around me. I want to be able to enjoy myself after a hard day's work with nature, people and some variety of establishments. I want my property, some land, a decent car without it appearing like a rented one and freedom to say whatever I bloody want to. I cant do this if i stay here, well I could, if I was bloody rich and how long will it take for me to get bloody rich!
If you're rich, you could most certainly enjoy all the positives of Singapore and compensate its negatives by just going overseas ever so often but honestly how many of us can do that! I'd rather leave...

Ned Stark said...

Still Loving Gertrude,

As to that, perhaps it could work both ways. You could say the fella had a responsibility to prevent people from piggybacking. You could also say that you do not have the right to piggyback by virtue of the fact thats the fella did not secure his thing. The analogy would be if a person leaves his house open, and you burglarise the place, you are still liable.

Legislate against stupid? Haha do you realise how many commentors will be hit by such a legislation? I can think of a number :P

Anonymous said...

if e island sink overnight, will the world will feel its impact?

e 1st to run off for higher grounds will be those in top positions, leaving poor helpless pple sinking.

who will :"you jump, i jump?"

it's already sinking now in terms of widening income gap..e poor left to sink further, while e men in white laughed in their helicopter view haha

visceral said...

it may well be the diaspora who shall fulfill the singaporean dream.

Anonymous said...

all i wanna say is even birds know migrate to warmer places when it's winter.

to leave the country for good isn't wrong, it's just to go to a place where we can survive better.

i'm not one of the emigrants, simply because i do not have the means to do so.

what ties me down here is my family and friends. if not seriously i would consider to this option.

i say consider because there are things to look forward to in singapore too. it's the lifestyle i have lived through since a couple of decades ago i took my first breath here.

statistics seems good but they're a joke. a job that pays under 500 quid a month is probably enough to survive across the causeway but definitely not in singapore. this is my personal opinion: the rich gets richer, the middle class gets poorer and the poor gets worst.

if you have the means go do whatever you want because you have the means.

if you do not have the means but simply can't survive around here no ones gonna blame you because it's the system around here that's choking you.

to some of the people: don't be so high up there and acting all patriotic and all that. staying in singapore ain't a way to show patriotism. just because people leave they aint quitters. if they are i would say at least half the fault lies in the system.

hence i end my cents worth.

Anonymous said...

anyone pls have any URLs for Emigration to Malaysia? as I am very keen to find out. Thanks!

Any penny for thoughts for the Malaysia My 2nd Home program?

Anonymous said...

malaysia is a very good option. so when in malaysia, do as their people do. come back here work and take the money back there to spend. i hope the malaysian govt be smart and keep their costs down for their people and that will teach that arrogant nation a good lesson..:)

the irony of all these extraordinariness is that the malaysians indeed have the best of both worlds.

Anonymous said...

I feel that although "LKY's version" may seem a bit skewed, the version(s) presented here of why Singaporeans are leaving are also perhaps a bit biased.

No doubt Singapore lacks certain levels of freedom that most Singaporeans crave, but the fact remains that these people are leaving without even trying to make an impact to change the existing system. My friends and I had this acronym called NATO (No Action Talk Only), and in my opinion, these people who leave are purely individualistic and leave in search of greatest material comfort with minimal effort.

I am really grateful to Singapore for who I am now. The education that it provided, the peace and stability that I enjoy in the country, and the friends that it brought me makes me pledge my allegiance to Singapore. No where else in the world will I be treated in the same way as I am treated in Singapore. This may sound entirely patriotic, but leaving a country by citing all its bad points is something that I feel shouldn't be done.

There will undoubtly be good points and bad points, and I feel that it is perhaps the desire for people to experience a new culture that prompts them to leave. Look at the number of foreigners who made Singapore their home. These are people who came from Canada, Australia, just to name two, countries which Singaporeans "wish" to emigrate to. Does that mean they are stupid to come? No I don't think so.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

the fact remains that these people are leaving without even trying to make an impact to change the existing system.

LOL. Let's not get into that, shall we?

When Mr Brown's fans wore brown T-shirts and got together at Raffles City MRT's Starbucks outlet to express their support for Mr Brown, that already provoked a police investigation.

"Look at the number of foreigners who made Singapore their home. These are people who came from Canada, Australia, just to name two, countries which Singaporeans "wish" to emigrate to. Does that mean they are stupid to come? No I don't think so."

LOL, I don't think so either. Anytime anyone moves from Country A to Country B, it has to be the case that on balance, he has assessed Country B to be better than Country A, for him.

What you have to acknowledge is that many people born in Singapore now see some other country (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, whatever) as their Country B.

Simple illustration - if foreigners had to serve NS like Singaporeans, heheh, wait & see how many of them will come.

these people who leave are purely individualistic and leave in search of greatest material comfort with minimal effort.

Once again, I invite you to read the true story of Singapore Serf, an IT professional in Singapore who chose to leave S'pore to be a pizza delivery man in Australia.

Anonymous said...

When Mr Brown's fans wore brown T-shirts and got together at Raffles City MRT's Starbucks outlet to express their support for Mr Brown, that already provoked a police investigation.

I can't say I know much about this, but I guess it got to do with the laws that governs within the country, and with it comes certain duties that the police must adhere to. Besides, there are other ways of showing your support/lending your voice besides "protesting/demonstrating".

Simple illustration - if foreigners had to serve NS like Singaporeans, heheh, wait & see how many of them will come.

It seems like you have a very deep prejudice against NS, and NS seems like the source of all troubles. However, I really do not see the point. Wherever I go (I study in the UK btw), whenever I meet foreigners who have to serve the military in their country, they are pretty open about it. Although they have the same complaints (losing ground on their peers) as Singaporeans, they seemed to be able to understand and accept the rationale for doing it, and they don't necessarily hate the country for "robbing" their youthful years away from them.

What you have to acknowledge is that many people born in Singapore now see some other country (Canada, Australia, New Zealand, whatever) as their Country B.

I totally acknowledge that people regard other countries as their country B. However, I just wish to point out the underlying motives for them leaving. It's easy to point out the bad points about everything and do nothing about it. Everyone ard me does it, including myself. Perhaps, it would be better to re-evaluate the self rather than focusing on the environment/surroundings. True that the environment plays a part in influencing people's decisions, but think about it, we're not as bad as countries like Myanmar, Zimbawae isn't it? Maybe Canada/Australia/New Zealand is better, but is your country more important to you or your individual well-being?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

LOL. I think this debate could go on forever, Ben, and it would be a rehash of many things I;ve already written a lot about in the past (in this blog as well as my old one: http://commentarysingapore.blogspot.com). So I will only leave you with a final thought.

You asked, "is your country more important to you or your individual well-being?"

How would Lee Kuan Yew personally respond say to that? In fact he already did. He was asked a very similar question very recently, and here are his exact words:

"Those are admirable sentiments. But we live in a real world."

He went to say that ministers can't be expected to serve the nation for "low pay", otherwise they may feel tempted to do corrupt acts.

A fine example we have from our dear leaders, don't we.

Anonymous said...

haha I will not deny that LKY said that. but guess u're still missing my whole point of the individual vs the environment. Anyway yupz I do agree the debate could go on forever and thus it shall be left as that I think.

Great blog btw and I do think you provide some refreshing perspective on certain issues (including those I do not know about!) albeit them being a little too biased =) guess that's the beauty of blogging yeah... able to record ur own opinions (if and only if it doesn't cross the "political threshold" I would say)

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Btw, I am composing a new post right now, and it is partly inspired by you. Look out for it ... Not about emigration or anything like that though.

Anonymous said...

Well i'm leaving with my partner cause i'm gay and unwanted here. We're humans too but till now i see that we are not treated with even basic respects / human rights. I can't wait any longer. I'm already 32. Life is short, i need to taste the freedom to be who i really am.

Anonymous said...

I am truly very fascinated by this blog and all the comments posted so far. I really like to get to know this Mr. Wang and what has he done to attract so many fans and supportors. It can't be just this blog of his that makes him a "TRUE" hero to so many "TRUE" Singaporean. He must have devoted so much of his life in the making of Singapore.
By the way, Mr. Wang, are you a Singpaorean? And how many of you here are Singaporean?

Anonymous said...

LKY said in the said news report : 'Can you leave with a clear conscience? I cannot.'

Really? When Singapore was part of Malaysia - through a fake referendum in Singapore that gave voters utterly no choice not to join - there arose so much conflict between the central govt in KL and PAP.

The Tunku wanted to arrest LKY for creating the trouble. LKY sensed it and latter admitted later that he and his comrades had already planned to escape and set up an exile govt in Cambodia in such an event.

In other words, he had no qualms abandoning our people in case of trouble. He will save his skin and leave us to hell.

All this is recorded in TJS George's book 'Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore', a book banned for years but finally allowed because people were getting their hands on it in other ways.

Now LKY says he cannot leave Singapore without a clear conscience.

Sounds so patriotic of him but based on the said record I would think one of the first to flee this country in case of trouble would be him.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is a lousy place to live in. I prefer anywhere but Singapore. I am married and live in Germany now for over 10 years. If I have to live in Asia, I would choose Thailand or Bali where the dollar can stretch, but never S'pore. I agree with the comment that S'pore is an expensive place to retire. Besides, people in S'pore are way too arrogant and materialistic; all they think about is money. They think too much about upgrading their homes (HDB, Condos, Bungalows) and their cars. I think life is more than just cars and houses and careers. I'm resently living in Berlin, Germany. My German friends never ask me about waht kind of car I drive or house I live in.

Anonymous said...

I am in the process of applying for my Australian PR. I hope to get it within 10 months and be out of Singapore by the end of October 2008.

I have had enough of my own country. I have served in the army for 2 years 4 months and I feel I have repaid my debt to this country. I can leave with a clear conscience knowing that I have given a lot more than the PAP have taken from me.

I am the type of person that values freedom over security. I do not wish to live in a country with a government that goes all out to oppress its people and limit their rights as human beings.

Life is short. It would be nice to live in Singapore, work like a dog, get paid peanuts, pay ridiculous amounts to money to own a HDB flat, get ripped off by the crazy car prices and BE HAPPY at the same time. However, I can't see myself being truly happy on my own terms in this country.

To quote LKY when asked if the ministers should work because they want to and not because they are paid lots of money to do so, he replied,"These are admirable sentiments, but we live in a real world". I think this applies to emigration too.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

Link - Singapore Government Plans Another Pay Increase".

Anonymous said...

You don't take a hefty pay rise and ask your people to downgrade to lower quality food due to inflation. Good leadership? You must be kidding. No wonder more Singaporeans are leaving and I'll have NO regrets leaving this country. The only reason why I'm staying on is my family.

Anonymous said...

Tell you why immigrate. Tulan!

Pay people's real salary dues for serving NS, not $200/mth. Otherwise don't force them to serve as a conscript or retired soldier.

Don't like acronyms like nus, ntu, cpf, hdb, nea, etc... shit sounding. Always have that stupid sounding stress on the first syllable. e.g. PeehD. Blaaaader, Nehhhhh neh.

Don't know how to use words and sentences properly when writing corporate emails or advertising slogans.

-kindly reply to blahblah,
(should be: kindly get your ass here!)
-pls revert to my email
(should be: reply not revert)
-please avoid smoking.
(smoke or not? and why please?)

E.g. Worse are half-baked replies that are not understood in emails.

-Note that we accept products from the 20's, 30's and not the 90's. We thank you for the offer of your products.

(want or don't want the products!!)

Even worse are half-baked actions that deny and erase your very bloody identity.

Sings like to act act like they damn polite and formal in official settings. Later after work, sings still act act. i.e., carry LV and LG handbags and mobile, but eating popiah for dinner in kopitiam! Still dare to look look at me eating popiah! I no half-baked, becos i smash both your phone and also popiah.

Also, don't like ah lao sit in kopitiam in sleeping pyjamas (supposedly should be sleeping already) but stare lustily at woman. Later, i take off your pyjamas and poke your eye.

Don't like auntie to open mouth and say potential daughter's husband must not take bus or MRT, only drive. But daughter can take bus and MRT herself. Donch later take car and have accident.

Want to have cake and eat it too? Don't later choke with cake in mouth and hand ah!

Want hen and eggs too?
Don't later turn out got hen blood and egg yolk all over your face.

West also not west, east also not east. Can demarcate sing into east and west parallels? West side for PRC, East side for UN.

I am no half-baked ah! Anybody make a bet with me. Give me SGD$1 million to stay in Singapore, i donch wan. Give me SGD$1 to emigrate, can can.

Anonymous said...

It surprises me to discover that despite the hype on growth in areas like health and education, the number of pupils and hospital beds in Singapore haven't actually gone up since 15 years' ago!

Even despite the visible evidence of more foreign students from China, Phillipines and Indonesia!

It really shows how many Singaporeans have already migrated!

I don't any Singaporean needs to wonder why other Singaporeans have migrated. The reasons are abundant, obvious and persuasive, despite all that the govt has said, which in contrast, are mostly treated as jibbersih even by school kids.

Unknown said...

I also just migrated last year to Australia, it is not difficult to migrate here if you have a degree. I love Singapore and will always treat Singapore as my home. I completed my NS and work in Singapore for 7 years before making the choice to leave for Australia. Singapore is ever changing everything that i can relate to is no longer there. There are so many foreign worker willing to work for a lower pay to do the same job with education level comparable to us. Where is the protection for the citizen putting their life on the line when the PRs is having the same benefit that a citizen have. I have seem numerous case where ppl die during NS training. When you are in the army there is always a higher chance that you may die while you are been pushed to your limit both physically and mentally.

it is not an easy decision to move oversea as i have to start all over again in a foreign country. When i first reach here all the job agency would ask me if i have local working experience.

It is easy to says ppl who left are quitter but i think if you can leave a comfortable and familiar environment and go thru all the disappointment in a foreign country to success i don't classify it as a quitter. If i am a quitter then are all the foreign talent in Singapore quitter too?

Anonymous said...

Yes, emigration is only going to get exponentially higher - my generation (below 22) is leaving in droves. I was your typical top student here, RI RJ GEP etc. but I left because I could not stand the lack of liberty and freedom. NS is not about serving your country, just about serving the people in the MoD with huge salaries (our defense budget is a ridiculous proportion of our GDP). Now I'm at a top US university, will graduate and go into academia - and definitely not at NUS, which has no academic freedom.

Finally: I'm gay, and I knew that if I got a PSC scholarship I would never get anywhere here. (So I chose financial aid from the US.) Nor would I be respected in a country that still criminalizes (along with moral luminaries like Iran) homosexual acts. I want to live a life with my partner where I don't have to hide my sexuality, and where people are tolerant and accepting. Gay people are truly treated like dirt in this country (along with maids, construction workers, the poor and the elderly). The government, being authoritarian, has all the power it needs to institute social progress, but instead cynically uses it to increase their pay and bankrupt the opposition.

Singapore is going to the dogs. It may be clean, safe and rich. But so is a white collar prison. It is turning into the Las Vegas of SEA: a playground for the rich. I'm not ungrateful for the programmes that made me who I am today. But when your government demands that you discharge all your debts - NS, blind loyalty, complete obedience - then you discharge them, and leave. Loyalty and pride are not engendered by force, no matter how many Majulah Singapuras children are forced to sing.

Anonymous said...

The biggest problem with Singapore is that it doesn't understand that people are different. Singapore expects everyone to be the same: to live in apartments, to be spoon fed censored news, to be grateful to the gahmen, to not ride bicycles ("Singapore is too hot for bicycles" says one Millionaire of Parliament). Yes there are plenty of people who like it here, because they may be built to like the things that Singapore tells you to like. But there are many people, like me who want something different: to be free enough to live life like I want to.

People also think it's good to raise kids in Singapore - these people are insane and/or ignorant. They have never experienced the joys of living on a quiet and private street without fear of being knocked over by a car; they don't realize that Singapore will hit 6.5M people soon (50% more), which will make the country 50% more stressful, crowded and competitive; they don't understand that Singapore is now the 10th most expensive city in the world and climbing and if 53% of the youth of today want to leave, imagine how much it will be in the future; they don't get that their children have the highest chance IN THE WORLD of wanting to leave the country (ranked last in HSBC study on probability that children will stay in a country when they grow up) - so what's the purpose of living in a different country than your children?; they haven't foreseen that life as an elderly in Singapore sucks! (see all the old people on the void decks with nothing to do, or worse: forced to work at McDs!).

I literally have a better lifestyle outside Singapore than millionaires who live in Singapore. I lack nothing, and more importantly there is a future for my children, and unlike me, they are likely to live in the same country as me when they grow up, because they have a hope and a future. There is no future in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Two articles are needed to followup to your excellent post:

Singapore IS the Matrix!:

The truth about Singapore's standard of living:

Anonymous said...

I like how LKY condemns quitters when LWL herself admitted that he was ready to send his kids away when the Vietnam war broke out.
I left too. I'm a Singaporean born and bred. I attended a well-known pri & sec school and a top JC. Did I benefit from SG's system? Definitely. But it was also because I happened, for most part, to be able to do fairly well in the education system. My parents grew up poor but worked hard and managed to do well in the 70's and 80's. As such, I led a slightly more privileged life. I did well for the A-levels. But I failed Chinese - not good enough. But I did well enough to enter an Ivy League college. So my parents sponsored me. I graduated when the dot-com bubble burst and returned to SG. Was not able to get a job. I ran my own business. Then I met my future husband and packed up my bags. I left SG for good and never looked back. I never looked back because here in the US, I can afford to buy a house on acreage close to a major city for less than the price of a 99-yr leasehold pigeonhole. I can have a large garden and livestock while still enjoying all the conveniences of a big city. I can buy any car I want the same they I go looking, if I so please.
In SG, every little thing is so stressful. Trying to buy a house is stressful, taking the bus is stressful (and I left before the mass FT influx), getting a TABLE at a hawker center is stressful. Who says SG's hawker food is cheap? Have they seen the prices of fast food in the US? $1 menus (burgers etc) at almost all fast food chains like McD's, BK etc. Taco Bell has $0.79 chicken tacos. Where in SG can you GET FULL on $0.79? What can you get for $0.79? Maybe kopi-O?
My life here is not an 'exciting' life in the US. It's actually quite boring.Quite. Peaceful. I have fresh mountain air to breathe and nice neighbours (that live far away). I drink mountain water from the wells, not recycled 'sai tsui'. I have fresh eggs from my chickens and soon, honey from my bees. Maybe one day I'll have my own milk. I'm not rich, but there is a peacefulness here that I never got in SG. Day and night you hear people all around you, talking, coughing, honking. I never looked because because any future sons I may have will never have to serve NS. They would never have to rush to whatever stupid IPPT after work like my brother had to. If they choose to serve in the military, the country will give them due respect for serving the country. Pay isn't great but they have full benefits, stores give them discounts and they get priority treatment at many govt offices like the DMV etc. I left because my future children will be able to have a childhood without the endless tuition and extra classes. They will be pushed to do well in school but all is not lost if they don't do well in EVERY subject. In the US, you can be very successful in any field, sports, arts etc. You don't have to have scored straight A's throughout your academic career to succeed later in life. I feel that many Sinkies are soft. They are so dependent on the govt to do and decide everything for them. They are too reliant on their maids. If they can't afford one, they cry to the press about how the govt didn't allow their foreign mother in law to come over to help with the baby. Here, people generally take care of themselves. They don't go crying to the press over every trivial problem. The US, for all its faults, its history of capitalism and selfishness, for all its problems, even in this economic meltdown, I still don't see old men and ladies stooped over picking up dirty dishes or cardboard on the streets. They do work as greeters at Walmart, but you don't really see them working other laborious jobs. I think that's one of the most important reasons why Sinkies leave - no one wants to be that 80 year old picking up cardboard

Arturp Siew said...

I am currently living in South Africa, yeap, you seldom heard of Singaporean living in place that far. Sure, you have high crime rate in South Africa, Out of all developed countries in the world, South Africa have the highest rape, murder, theft and all other kind of crime, not that I said that this is a good or bad thing, if you are careful and don't go bling-bling, everything will be alright for you.

I live in Beautiful Cape Town, I work as an occupational therapist, I feel like my skill is much need here and there are more meaning to my life. In South Africa, the standard of living is good, cheap living cost and high pay for my profession. I love the wide open spaces and I live in a small holding in South Africa.

I am willing to trade stupid NS, high living cost, high population prerssure (LKY, are you sure you want 6.5 million people in your city the size of lake taupo ?) expensive food, high security and tight government control for wide living space, cheaper living. good pay and freedom in South Africa. I love South Africa and is willing to put effort into that countries to move forward.

Anonymous said...

some of you sound as if you're clinically depressed. the grass is always greener on the other side. as to lack of prejudice overseas? you wouldn't think so once you're called a chink and spat at by a random caucasian guy walking down the street in those countries. frankly i don't think my comment will make it to the light of day as it will be censored by the author.