Sunday, June 19, 2005

Fragments 09.

"We have NeWater"

Those who are thinking of migrating should think again.
In the case of Singapore, each time our economy becomes less competitive because of rising costs, we have the capacity to reduce our costs.
Also, we are topping up our population with able people from China, India and elsewhere. If we have able people and we are more united and better organised than others, we can remain on the top rungs of the competitive ladder.
Housing, education and health-care services will always remain within your reach.

- from Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's 2004
May Day Rally speech, as reported in The Straits Times, 3 May 2004 [ excerpts also archived at YaleGlobal online ]


National Public Toilet Map

National Public Toilet Map shows the location of more than 14,000 public and private public toilet facilities across Australia. Details of toilet facilities can also be found along major travel routes and for shorter journeys as well. Useful information is provided about each toilet, such as location, opening hours, availability of baby change rooms, accessibility for people with disabilities and the details of other nearby toilets.


Two Speeches

I am not big on inspirational speeches, but occasionally some of them get past my deeply-ingrained cynicism. Both speeches are worth the full read for those of us facing great change in our lives.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

- from
commencement address by Steve Jobs, delivered to Stanford on 12 June 2005. [ also archived here ]

Those are things that are hard to learn early in life, As a rule you have to have picked up some mileage and some dents in your fenders before you understand. As Norman Douglas said "There are some things you can't learn from others. You have to pass through the fire.'
I can tell you that for renewal, a tough-minded optimism is best. The future is not shaped by people who don't really believe in the future. Men and women of vitality have always been prepared to bet their futures, even their lives, on ventures of unknown outcome. If they had all looked before they leaped, we would still be crouched in caves sketching animal pictures on the wall.

- from
reunion event speech by John W. Gardner, delivered to Stanford in 1989. [variant of speech archived at PBS ]


Abandoned Blog

In any case, I do believe this calls for some sort of celebration, perhaps even champagne. Leaving Singapore is always a good thing, and leaving it permanently must count as one of the best things in life.
- last paragraph of the
last recorded entry of Je Voyager dated almost a year ago on 30 June 2004

There are only a handful of entries on the blog, but enough to provide a tiny glimpse. Did this near-40 year old man and his wife and his 6-year-old daughter leave Singapore? Did they return? How are they doing now? We can only wonder..


tim to Canada

We applied for our Social Insurance Numbers, got bank accounts and are awaiting our PR cards now. My parents also did a bit of house hunting, just looking around my aunt's area for housing.

- from entry Back, from blog Ever So Often


ldsdtsunami to Macau

Migration is very pscyhological. Logistic is very a ticket online, quite your job, take a holiday (if possible), leave your country. So simple, so clear, so painful. I'm starting to feel it now. The emotion is sipping in....Gawd! I'm dwelling in my pessimistic flux! You useless-creature!

- from entry Alone, blog My Olive Tree

He blogs about
dealing with loneliness as his family has made the initial move to Macau, leaving him to tie up the loose ends in Singapore. I will be facing similar issues in the near future, separated by D. by over 3000 kilometres and the Indian Ocean.


mrsbudak Stays Put

mrsbudak documents her six reasons on Why I like Singapore (and the reasons why I would stay put). Some of her reasons are almost identical as my Reasons to Stay.


Multiculturalism in Australia

To me, Australia is not a multicultural country – it is just a country where many different races are living one culture. You either fit into the Australian culture, or you are left out. That is perhaps one of the main reasons why most of the Asian Australians that feel the most acceptance are, unsurprisingly, ones that have chosen to give up their own culture.
- blog entry Multiculturalism in Australia, from Halfway Magazine



Anonymous Bohemianlisa said...

Dude, seriously, I didn't realise there is a public toilet near where I live until I check the link out...

June 19, 2005 8:30 AM  
Anonymous mrs budak said...

I wouldn't say I'm definitely "staying put" in Singapore. I find that I am somehow anchored to this region, but it need not be Singapore itself. Much of what holds me here is (unfortunately ?) location-specific. I'm still hoping to have a chance to move overseas, but at this moment, there're some personal matters I need to get a grip on first.

budak and I talked about the future in Singapore. Frankly, despite what GCT says, we think the future is murky. You really don't know how Singapore will turn out in 20 years' time, particularly after the old man is gone.

Those of us who eventually decide to stay put are taking a chance at the future, much like those who have decided to leave too.

June 19, 2005 1:31 PM  
Blogger C said...

I read that Halfway mag one, and it gave me a bit to think about. Some valid points the writer has there.

June 19, 2005 5:44 PM  
Blogger sway said...

well. re: halfwaymag. hmm. I guess that's true to an extent.

it's true for the vast majority of aussies anyway. But at the same time, it's not like Malaysia (or Singapore) has that much more of a claim when if you asked many Chinese people about Indian wedding ceremonies (for example) or arranged marriages they won't be able to tell you all that much.

Certainly Singaporeans and Malaysians do know more about the daily life, but Aussified Asian Australians are precisely that. Asian Australians. If Singaporeans had kept traditional customs from India or China intact, would we fit into Singapore?

And certainly in Singapore, do we not make fun of Indians from India and PRCs? I don't condone it, but I am stating a fact that I have observed for myself. On top of that, it seems to be accepted. At least over in Australia, it's considered politically incorrect.

Also, while in Singapore and Malaysia it's certainly much more in depth - the extent to which we understand our other cultures- but at the same time, the acceptance here is much more encompassing. (or maybe just in Melbourne, which I understand is the most diverse and tolerant state)

read this for example:

and you'll see what I mean. She's from Sydney, and is a radio deejay for Triple M, a free-to-air radio station owned by Austereo.

June 22, 2005 1:10 AM  
Blogger xue said...

i've been reading your blog for a while and I just wanted to stop lurking for a bit to wish you good luck. I hope everything turns out great for you in the end.

June 24, 2005 2:04 AM  

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