Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Reasons to Stay.

"This place will only let you grow so far and after that you hit a ceiling. Like a tree that grows too tall for the room it is in, the people that need to continue to grow, end up growing twisted. They end up growing in undesirable and uncontrollable directions, with their gnarled branches reaching out towards any chinks and gaps that can be found."
- blog entry Last Words, from In Other Words
"Having said that, with an ageing population and an economy that no longer promotes life-long employment, the Singapore government may soon have to consider whether the benefits of affirmative action to boost mature worker employment outweigh the costs. Otherwise, the reality of living and working in Singapore may become exceedingly harsh for these people."
- blog entry Realities about living and working in Singapore, from The Singapore Commentator

Things I may (will?) miss about Singapore if / when I leave permanently.

(I have tried to put the list in descending order of importance to me.)

Personal history
I grew up here. I know how things work here. No need to adapt to dramatic cultural changes. I understand and speak Singlish. I very much do not like change. I absolutely cannot think of any emotional push-factors to leave Singapore.

Family and friends
Almost everybody I know and am on close emotional terms with are based here in Singapore. The SO likes it here too.

Consumption-based taxation
Singapore taxation is primarily consumption-based, rather than income-based. Based on your willingness to exercise restraint on consumption, it is actually easier to accumulate wealth in this ecomomy as compared to income-based taxation economies.

Wide variety of cheap food
S$2.50 for bowl of noodles.
S$3.50 for economy rice.
S$0.60 for kopi-o (black coffee).
S$40.00 per seat for middle-class restaurants.

Personal security
Safe to get drunk and fall asleep on the street at 3am alone. Very few serious crimes and felonies.

Majority race
Belonging to the majority race, I do not suffer racial discrimation in Singapore.

Malaysia is next-door
Long road trips. Sambal BBQ stingray. Teh-tarik. Ramlee burgers. Bandong. Monster-sized packets of keropok. Friendly people.

Air-conditioned comfort
Singaporean journalist Cherian George did not call his book Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation without good reason. Also, this is a tropical island. No worries about freezing to death outside of climate-controlled areas.

Clean, green and neat
Everything and everyone has a place. No fuzzy edges. No need for intensive intellectual thought. Materialism and compliance is the milieu.


Blogger FF said...

Sounds like you're used to being in your comfort zone. Sometimes we have to try to overcome that inertia.

I was happy in Malaysia but chose to come to Singapore to study and work, leaving my family, car, maid and then boyfriend behind and I don't regret it one bit.

Good luck with your decision!

December 28, 2004 6:11 PM  
Blogger miss jurisfiction said...

I have never been to many places to weigh my preferences and reading for information does not help that much. Only real-time experience will allow me a good feel of what I want. Nevertheless, I concur on your reasons to stay as they have struck me too. All the best with your decision.

December 28, 2004 11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made the difficult decision in Nov 02 , the last possible time to enter NZ before my residency expired. It's been a good 2 yrs. My children enjoy the school life here. My son , 11 wrote in his year end school essay "In Singapore , I only learned long division (not true he learnt lots more) , but here I learnt ratios, scales , decimals , snorkelling , kayaking , sailing and in only one fifth of the time !" That summarises the difference between life in S'pore and NZ . There's more to life than assessment papers and chasing the 5 (or 6?) Cs. True , I miss the hawker centres and convenient MRT etc but I don't miss the work life (I'm in my 40s and was in the IT consulting biz which is no fun) . I'm now a part time Montessori teacher earning a lot less than I was in S'pore , but hey , I also need a lot less to have a good quality of life. And I don't need to stress myself out with my son's Chinese (they should have introduced Syllabus B earlier- haha !). Really the decision is gonna be tough. If you are a Christian , pray ! God is there wherever you go ! Being the kiasu S'porean , I took a year's no pay leave and was prepared to return if I wasn't happy in NZ. But things have turned out well and my children will be so sad if they have to leave NZ now. Not sure if you plan to have kids , but NZ and I'm sure Aus are great countries to have children ! The great outdoors ! yeah! And for yourself and the SO as well ! Good luck with your decision ! Oh yes - on the subject of stayers vs quitters - when I told my mum that I was going off to NZ and self-depracatingly said I was a quitter , she said "xiao ah ! if our ancestors weren't quitters ,we'd still be in China ! mai tiah ee luan chu gong ! (don't listen to him anyhow say ! )

Stayer who decided to stay elsewhere but who always has Singapore in her heart ...

December 31, 2004 7:48 AM  
Blogger Cowboy Caleb said...

the heart is a nest of yearnings

January 02, 2005 11:56 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Hey, stumbled upon your blog and I must say you write well and with good insight.

Write on.

January 04, 2005 2:52 AM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

A good compilation of reasons to stay in Singapore from the Sammyboy forums by a person from Singapore who has a Canada PR.

March 19, 2005 2:34 AM  
Blogger -ben said...

Majority race
Belonging to the majority race, I do not suffer racial discrimation in Singapore.

Yes, and the majority race gets to practice racial discrimination on other races. What a wonderful world. "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king..." Just check out how many bloggers unapologetically use the offensive term, "Jap."

June 04, 2005 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Race discrimination is just an excuse....when you are fresh from school, employers tend to exploit by saying that you don't have the necessary experienced. When you hit 40s, they tell you that old dog very difficult to learn new tricks.

I do know a lot of our bright and have choose to leave but that does not mean they are contributing. They left so that people like me can be employed...hahaha

November 16, 2005 10:03 AM  

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