Thursday, September 30, 2004

Emigration Essay.

"Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school."
- John Dryden (often attributed to B.F. Skinner)

Question:

Describe in around 500 words, the reasons you are emigrating. (100 marks)


Answer:

Five hundred words may suffice to outline the predominant reasons for leaving my homeland. Five hundred pages may be required for a detailed study.

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".


I am considering emigration because although a nanny goverment may tell me how to live my life and define the penalties for disobedience, I exercise the choice to decide if I wish to accept life on such terms.


Because emigration answers the mocking challenges of "why just keep complaining about things?" and "so what are you prepared to do about it?"


*****

Flesch Reading Ease = 62.5
Fog Scale Level = 11.1
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level = 8.1
- from http://resources.aellalei.com/writer/sample.html


Me need go learn rite good. :(


10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Serf,
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I read your essays with the greatest of interest and respect. You have put down succinctly many of my own personal feelings.

I guess when my 60 months is up, if I cant get an extension, I will make the hard choice. Like you, I feel blessed that I have the Option. Many in my age group have missed the boat and become the Discriminated aged and existing in silence.

Keep on Blogging, I am reading.

Best Wishes
Anonymous1955

October 02, 2004 6:57 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Drinkalot said...

Your personal reasons strike a chord in me.

December 18, 2004 11:28 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Drinkalot said...

I just tried out the writer's analysis thingy. It's so interesting! Looking at your results, why do you say you need improvement? It all depends on what style of writing you are comfortable with, what sort of target audience you are reaching out to, what you are writing about, etc etc.

December 29, 2004 2:26 PM  
Blogger Patricea Chow said...

Just came by this post and this para -
"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." -
is exactly the reason why the thought of packing up an leaving has been in me for ages. Maybe in my next life, for I've decided to commit myself to other things now.

February 01, 2005 11:24 AM  
Anonymous journette said...

Oh my goodness. I think your blog has struck a chord with loads of S'poreans! :) It really puts into words that vague sense of just wanting to... well, run screaming. And gives those of us who want to leave some more concrete reasons. :) Thanks. It's a bit like, yeah, I don't imagine it to be all roses in Australia or elsewhere, but it beats that odd claustrophobic feeling I've always had here.

April 19, 2005 12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You bloggers are all the same - full of bullshit crapping all over the net.

You should be out there in the real world, feeeding kids, paying rent, paying fines to the CPF for not earning enough money to top up my own medisave account! etc etc

Start living man and stop all that on-line jerking around!

May 05, 2005 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is lacking is in you.

And believe me not, it follows you wherever u go.

It is u bro. Not the system.

May 07, 2005 7:20 PM  
Blogger Jack Chen said...

Excellent post!

Only wish Singapore can see what it has became.

I am still young and will try to do something for my generation,

running away now may seem like the easy way out

but I guess I have to do something.

I wish you the greatest sucess!

May 11, 2005 2:59 AM  
Anonymous Ah Q said...

Wish you all the best. Your essay is powerful.

If Singapore goes down, at least we had our day in the sun, however short that day was. Though it is bitter to fall back to where we were.

Taking a look at what Singapore faces with the long lens of History, what she faces is nothing. We will evolve and there will be new leaders and new ideas. All it takes is someone to be the leader.

China / India are just illusions when we face the reality of the GLCs.

In their heart, I think the PAP is good. But like all humans, they were fooled by their pride and trapped us in a faulty system. Do not think they are not fearful. All their actions betray their fear. The fear of failure, losing credibility, losing power. They fear the citizens more than we fear them. Who will lose millions of dollars? Who is being suppressed? Who is hiding behind bodyguards? Why?

Are you enlightened now? Why emigrate when it is so exciting living on an active volcano!

June 19, 2005 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Mdm Yeo said...

Yes, it is time to go. Singaporeans have no real onwership of anything in Singapore. I am old, I want my full CPF pay back to me so that I can enjoy my old age instead of being "Cash" controlled. When a few old man lose their CPF in geylang it won't happen to the 400,000 old woman like me in Singapore who have better things to do with my hard-earned money. China is a good place to stay. Bye Bye Singapore!!

November 11, 2005 9:01 PM  

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