I have had friends leaving Singapore over the years but last week was the first time I had to say farewell to 2 friends who are going off in the same week. They are leaving for good, one for New Zealand, the other for Australia. I tried to persuade them to stay for another month so that they can watch the National Day parade of wonderful things in Singapore that might change their minds but they were all ready to go. When I asked they why they are leaving, among other things, they said they don't want their children to go through what have have gone through in life - high stress in our society, NS, lack of a social safety net, etc. These 2 friends in their forties who fairly successful at what they do, have chosen to leave because they were worried the doors will close for them as they get older - many countries have an age limit of 45 yrs old for immigrants.
About 10 years ago SM Goh coined the term "quitters" to describe those emigrating and when I first heard it, I thought it was strange to use the term "quit" as if people have resigned from a job. People "quit" when they hate their jobs. The question to ask now is whether the people who listened to SM Goh and became stayers are better off than the quitters who rejected his wisdom. Those who left 10 years ago emigrating to countries without the benefit of PAP leadership must be living in utter misery - after 10 years of poor leadership, their lives must be a total disaster. Now you can see the importance of having a 1st world govt that deserves its top salary.
If you look at the pattern of emigration, you can tell that these Singaporeans are not so smart. Their first mistake is to leave Singapore and their 2nd mistakes is to go to countries with societies that our leaders have been warning us about. It was reported by the Canadian govt that about 26,000 Singaporeans have applied for economic visa for PRs (+ family visa the number should be about 40,000) including applications to Australia, NZ, Britain, USA etc we are talking about more than a hundred thousand who have applied to leave, and every other person is thinking of leaving the country. ...and they like to go to countries where there is welfare, democracy, freedom, human rights and all the things that is not good for Singapore. Not only that, they are willing to pay the 20-30% income tax in those countries to support the system. It is obvious the people emigrating from Singapore are really not the smartest citizens, they seem unable to appreciate what our outstanding govt has done for them so they are heading for trouble.
Looks like the PAP isn't going to do much about people leaving. I guess they have done their utmost to explain why people should stay put and have more children- but if people still want to leave, there is little the govt can do. What the PAP has done to solve the problem of Singaporeans not willing to have children and leaving Singapore is to import people from Vietnam, China and India to make up for the loss. It is not too hard to convince someone from Vietnam where the people earn less than half the wages in China that coming here will improve their economy well being tremendously. Ready made citizens from Vietnam will save the govt a lot in terms of incentives they have to give to highly stressed Singaporeans to have more children.